The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

August 5, 2011

New Rules For Trout, Flounder, and Drum

TARBORO — New North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulations that standardize seasons and size and creel limits for sea trout (spotted or speckled), flounder, gray trout (weakfish) and red drum taken in inland waters with joint or coastal fishing waters became effective Aug. 1.

Regulations for saltwater fishes found in inland waters are set by the Wildlife Resources Commission and typically mirror the rules established by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters. However, because the rule-making timelines for the two agencies differ, it often takes up to a year or more to unify a change in regulations across all jurisdictional waters.

The new rule will expedite this process by establishing the same seasons and size and creel limits for these four saltwater fish species, when caught in inland waters, by referencing those regulations set by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters. This change will provide consistency for managing these four saltwater fish species and should minimize confusion for anglers fishing in different jurisdictional waters.

Online and print versions of the Commission’s 2011-2012 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest direct anglers to the Division of Marine Fisheries’ phone numbers and website for information regarding the current seasons and size and creel limits.

“The disparity in rule cycles between the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission often resulted in regulations being different for anglers fishing for the same species in coastal waters and those fishing in inland waters,” said Christian Waters, program manager for the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries.

“We hope these new regulations to standardize seasons and size and creel limits for these four marine species among the jurisdictional waters will eliminate any angler confusion, streamline future regulation changes and improve communications with all our fishing constituents.”

For more information on fishing in inland waters, visit or call 919-707-0220.

Minnesota angler, Jeff Kolozinski, recently set a Guinness world record catching 2,649 fish in 24 hours.  He did it jigging off a pier at Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Almost all his caught fish were from the bluegill family. Jeff participated in this marathon event as part of Fishing for Life, a non-profit organization that exposes kids to the great outdoors, and creates a sense of community through fishing.

It is interesting to note that not everyone was pleased with this contest and its outcome. Some took great offense at him jerking 2,649 fish out of the water.  A few thought it not too sporty of him. Since it was for a good cause, and I trust the fish were quickly returned to the water, I have a hard time seeing much negative about Jeff’s actions. I love to fish, but 24 straight hours is a little much for me.  I wonder if he got bathroom and food breaks, and did the clock stop or keep running?  I can visualize some comical scenarios.

Hotspot of the Week: The feedback I am getting indicates that summer flounder are bending rods all over in Eastern North Carolina. Drifting and bouncing minnows on the bottom is the tried and true sure-fire method to catch flatties. Gulp! Baits have been a real game changer for most flounder fishermen.  Not having to find live minnows is a big time and effort saver for those seeking Freddie The Flatfish, and some swear the Gulp! Baits match up nicely to any minnows you could catch and/or buy.

One of our Tight Lines faithful, who wishes to remain anonymous, went flounder fishing recently with a neighbor in the Belhaven area. He is an experienced fisherman that has caught some flounder while fishing for others types of scaly wonders, but never specifically targeted flounder.  He became a flounder-pounder believer after catching a 29-inch flattie that weighed 10.5 pounds. Wow! Some guy’s fish for flounder all their lives, and never catch anything close to a 10 pounder. I saw a picture of it, and it REALLY did look large enough to be a REAL doormat, as the big ones are called. Both men caught their 6-fish keeper limit, and released a whole bunch more.

Gary and Richard Bateman continue to enjoy some flounder and speckled trout success around Swan Quarter. It’s not unusual to catch trout and flounder on the same baits, and in the same locale. Sometimes a puppy drum might also make quick work of those baits.  It’s fun to hook a fish, and guess what is on the other end of the line. I don’t mind losing a fish before I get it on the deck, but I at least like to see what it was. I have dreams, sometimes nightmares, about hooked fish that got off before I could get a good gander at ‘em.

Rick’s Soapbox: Early August means it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school for the kids. You still have time to take-a-kid-fishing, and make that summer of 2011 fishing outing a lifelong pleasant memory. As the Nike folks like to remind us, “Just Do It.”

Catching fish? Tell us about it. Better yet, send us a picture with all the details. We love to hear from you at

See you on the water, my friend!


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