The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is sure to change the fishing landscape

Tight Lines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — First and foremost let me say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Loss of life, personal injury, and property damage are far more important than the effect this storm will have on our local fishing scene. That being said, this is a fishing column, so let’s look at the relevance this storm will have on local anglers.

A storm of this magnitude is sort of like nature hitting a re-set button. Usually it forever changes the fishing landscape as we know it. It’s sort of ‘an out with the old, in with the new’ concept. Visualize that storm as a new broom sweeping clean. Old structure is gone, replaced by new. Channels, depths, and bottoms have new looks and dimensions.

Old favorite spots and productive areas might not be there anymore. It might be time to look for new and different “honey holes.” Accept it, and embrace it as a new, fresh, interesting challenge and opportunity. If we caught them everyday in the same place every time we went out, how much fun would that be?

Hotspot of the Week – Of course, all bets are off until these turbulent waters calm down. However, prior to the storm, it was Speckled Trout EVERYWHERE! Hopefully it will pick up where it left off, and it will be Speckled Trout City out there again soon. I have tentative plans to go myself when things calm down, and will have a current hands-on report for you. Wifey has demanded some fresh Speckled Trout to throw on the grill, and me being the accommodating hubby I am, want to adhere to her wishes. I don’t really WANT to go fishing, BUT if she insists…

Rick’s Soapbox – With Hurricane Sandy tracking up the coast, most intelligent, sane, people were involved in serious storm preparedness and battening down the hatches. Not moi and Wifey. We went bottom fishing at the Intracoastal Waterway at the Core Creek Bridge on Highway 101 between Havelock and Beaufort. Can you say pre-hurricane weather? At first, it was not yet cold, a bit wet, and becoming rather windy? Go figure!

The good news is I caught a few fish. Wifey was throwing colorful MirrOlures trying to fool a Spec, but got bumpkis! I had a little luck bottom fishing. I caught Puppy Drum, Flounder, and the usual bottom dwellers like Pinfish, Blowfish, and Toadfish. I hate to call them “trash-fish” because that sounds so demeaning. I admire and respect any fish that inhales my humble offering, and gives me a sporty tug on the line, however ugly and useless they may be.

A Berkley GULP! Pearl White 3” Mantis Shrimp was working best between the bands of pelting raindrops and near-hurricane force winds. At times, I was considering getting on US 70 and heading west to Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro to check myself in for a psych evaluation. It was without a doubt just pure-t crazy to be out there fishing in that wild, foul weather.

It reminded me of a few oddball, weird fishing excursions with my brother, Charles, when we were young and stupid. My big brother loves a challenge, and does not shy away from an uphill struggle. Unlike me, he ain’t “into” easy. That’s not a putdown, but a compliment. He’s a real go-getter.

Lunch at Sanitary Fish Market in Morehead City was its usual delicious treat, and made the trip worthwhile. I’ve been eating there 35 years and never had a bad meal. Those hushpuppies are second to none. I had Bluefish and Wifey, out-ordered me again, selecting broiled Speckled Trout. Good eats!

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fishy snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!