The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Tight Lines

August 3, 2012

Fish still being caught in these dog days of summer

TARBORO — Air and water temps are a little toasty, but serious, determined anglers are still catching fish.  Of course, early morning is the desirable time to go.  Best solution these hot days is to arrive early, catch your fish, and leave early.  By the time the day starts to heat up, and the fishing action slowing down, you should be home in your comfortable easy chair sipping a cool drink, and cranking up that a/c.

I admire those guys that go fishing rain, shine, hot, or cold.  Gary Bateman definitely fits that mold.  Pastor Gary goes as often as his ministerial duties allow, and always catches his fair share.  Gary is one of my shad catching friends, who, like me has a special place in his heart for those big beautiful White Shad.

This time of year the Swan Quarter area gets most of his attention, as he likes to target flounder.  Gary always gives us the straight scoop, and he tells us it is sometimes a hit or miss proposition chasing those flatties, and that he does draw the big goose egg occasionally.  Even the best of fishermen get skunked sometimes, and I consider Gary Bateman an “A” team player.

On a recent Swan Quarter trip with his brother Richard Bateman, and Dr. Boyd Bailey of Bethel, it was “action city.”  Using Gulp! Shrimp and Mullet, they caught over 80 flounder, 10 puppy drum, and a few speckled trout.  Of course, many of these fish were undersized, and immediately returned to the water.  He recalled a good trip several weeks ago where they caught a bunch, including 16 keeper flounder and 3 legal size trout.

Wayne Harrell is another one of those guys that loves to fish, and goes every chance he gets, regardless of weather conditions.  Wayne is mostly a weekend warrior fisherman these days, but is starting to think about retiring.  That’s good news for him, but bad news for the fish.  Watch out fish, here comes Wayne. Largemouth Bass usually get Wayne’s undivided attention, but he will cast for other species when his bucket-mouths have a case of lockjaw.

On a recent trip to the Belhaven area, Wayne and George Long had a good day tossing grubs from Tackle Joe’s.  They caught 40 speckled trout that included 6 keepers over 20-inches, 20 flounder, and 10 puppy drum.  Other than the 6 keeper specs, all the other fish were released to live, grow, multiply, and fight another day.  Wayne-O is a big believer in catch & release, and wants a healthy fish population to thrive and survive for future generations to enjoy.  I definitely like the way the man thinks.

Hotspot of the Week – Got to be Freddie the Flatfish!  Summer flounder are biting all over.  Since puppy drum and trout dine at the same table, no telling what might be pulling on the other end of that line.  Gulp! Baits in a variety of flavors and styles are doing the trick.

Rick’s Soapbox – September 1 marks the opening of dove season.  Depending on the location of your fishing destination, you might need to share some space with hunters if your chosen body of water is close to a dove field.  Be aware of their presence, and always make them aware of yours.  Nothing would ruin a pleasant fishing outing quicker than an unwanted shower of shot raining down on your body.

Care to share?  Tight Lines enjoys your fishing success stories and snaps at

See you on the water, my friend.


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