The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 5, 2012

Fishing and boating safety encouraged Labor Day weekend


Rick Goines

TARBORO — Labor Day weekend signals the end of summer for some folks.  Don’t try too hard out there on the water to have a good time.  Does that statement make any sense?

  The North CarolinaWildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is reminding recreational boaters to be safe while having fun this Labor Day weekend, especially if alcohol is involved.

“Labor Day weekend is always a busy time on the water,” said Sgt. Tim Lominac, a NCWRC Wildlife Officer.  “We see more night boating, more congregating of boats, and more boats in general. We want boaters to enjoy their experience and that means staying safe. A boat operator must be attentive and cautious at all times.”

“Operating a vessel while impaired is against the law, subject to fines up to $1,000 and possible jail. It also puts you at greater risk for an accident, with 20 percent of boating fatalities being alcohol related.”

During Operation Dry Water, a national campaign to combat intoxicated and dangerous boaters held June 22-24, officers in North Carolina charged 32 people with operating while impaired.

Anyone younger than 26 operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater on a public waterway must have successfully completed an approved boating education course.  HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank"

Boats approaching within 100 feet of a law enforcement vessel displaying flashing blue lights must slow to a no-wake speed. In narrow channels, the distance is within 50 feet.   HYPERLINK "

For more information on safe recreational boating, or to enroll in a free boating education course by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go to or call 919-707-0031

Hotspot of the Week - Tight Lines faithful reader Tom Hoard from Wilmington shared a recent interesting outing with us.  He had his youngest son, Graham, out fishing on his 28th birthday.  Tom tells the story better than I can:

“We picked up about four-dozen live shrimp, and headed down toward Bald Head Island where we've been doing really well with redfish. Trout fishing has been spotty at best this summer.

“On the ride down the river, we noticed birds working a submerged oyster reef off the end of a grass island close to the shipping channel. We've only been able to get in there on a high tide, so we decided to give it 30 minutes just for kicks and giggles!

“Almost right away we could see that the place was alive with good-sized ladyfish chasing bait everywhere. First cast yielded a 20-inch speck, and it was on!

“Over the next three hours we caught 18 trout, eight-underslot reds, one keeper flounder, and untold numbers of ladyfish, with a scattering of crevalle jacks. We kept four trout for the skillet, and everything else went back to fight another day. The key was high/falling tide and "Trout Cocaine"...AKA Live Shrimp!”

Good report, Tom!  Thanks for sending!

Rick’s Soapbox -I thoroughly enjoy the act of fishing, whether catching fish or not.  Why someone would want to falsify that situation with an over consumption of alcohol is beyond me.  I’m not talking about a beer or two, but that angler that insists on drinking to excess while on the water.  Why?  What purpose does it serve?  Why take a wonderful, exciting fishing adventure and cloud it over with alcohol overindulgence?  Does it enhance the pleasure of the fishing experience?  I find it hard to believe that it does.  Need to booze-it?  Do everyone a favor, and stay home and drink to your heart’s content.  It’s safer for you and everyone else out there on the water.

Tight Lines welcomes your fishing success stories, snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!