Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, November 14, 2014: Yes, I saw the big snowflakes flying at midnight.

Friday, November 14, 2014: Yes, I saw the big snowflakes flying at midnight. I wasn’t impressed (above). I was depressed with the serious chill in the air as I tried to plug this a.m. I realize it’s not that cold but I was fishing in short sleeves a couple days ago. It’s called acclimation and I’m not even half way there as we prepare for what could be a protracted cold spell. Cold spell.  That really makes no sense if you think about it verbally. What, it’s gonna cast a spell over us? Hell, maybe the cold shines in spelling bees.

“Your word is frigidity.”

“Uh, can you please use that in a sentence?”

This thinking is exactly what happens when my brain gets cold.

As I was leaving Holgate (see below), the water down there was turning brown. That’s not good. The rest of the Island – and I drove a good chunk of it – still had very clean water. Whether it remains clean with these churn-up winds remains to be seen. I still think tomorrow will offer some chilly surfcasting. Boat fishing will be a pain, though I saw some buddies of mine coming back in off the ocean today. Crazed folks, to be sure.


HOLGATE HAPPENING: I did my usual Holgate run – as a load of folks will be doing tomorrow, based on the number of exchanges I’ve had with anglers asking how driving conditions are on the far south end.

The drive down is quite fine and easy. The offshore winds have smoothed everything and knocked the swell down. The higher lane of tire tracks is, well, high and dry, even throughout the tides. Lower tracks and wet sand runs are also a breeze at low tide.

Yes, the raptors are out and highly seeable. Today’s rapt showing included the resident snowy owl, bald eagle and northern harrier. However, I saw no fewer than three other smaller raptors, one of which looked like a merlin and another medium-sized model that sure as hell looked like that Cooper’s hawk from a couple weeks back. The 35 mph wind had the smaller birds moving so fast there was little time for IDing and even less time for photos.

However, the larger rapts were putting on a show. Below are some shots I got in the short time the wind-chill allowed me to stand around waiting for a good shot.

When I spot a raptor, I’ll often park and walk, sometimes a goodly distance, to get a better close-up shot. However, I’ve noticed that perched raptors (and many highly watchable birds in general) are often less put off by an arriving vehicle than having an on-foot human walking up, all stalking like. My birding friends who live and breathe the Forsythe birding loop in Oceanville have long said they see more birds close-up by staying in their vehicle and shooting  -- with cameras, of course – instead of getting out and moving in.

Weird raptor scene today was our eagle taking down a black duck – a duck I knew well. Yes, I know those ducks. And so do you if you’ve driven the tip of Holgate. It’s those black ducks leisurely lying next to the water, rarely moving an inch even when we drive closely by. I’ve sat less than ten feet from them taking pics.

(Below: Holgate black ducks in better days. )

Well, I passed the black ducks (there were three) while going to the back cut to try for more bass there. (Nothing -- though I only made a few casts and realized it was nuts getting sand-blasted by nasty-ass westerlies).

Then, driving back I saw the eagle go down in the distance and instantly knew it was bad times for the ducks. Sure enough, baldy eventually lifted into the air with the proverbial dead duck in talon-tow.

Then it got interesting. Baldy couldn’t make any headway against the wind. I was still a goodly distance away. In a rare show of gull bravado, a couple herring gulls began to pester the eagle, seemingly knowing what was coming next. Sure enough, the big raptor just let loose of its catch.

Needless to say, the duck had no flight – or life -- left in it That’s when I got my camera ready for the return of the eagle. But it just kept fighting the wind westward, not even glancing back at the jettisoned meal. One gull landed and began to peck  away at the meal from above. I drove over, snapped a shot of the duck and left it lie. If the eagle came back, it would have no trouble rousting the gulls. 

Below: Baldy just about to release its meal.

Below: Tenderized black duck tartare. 


The snowy owl was doing its low-intensity thing. Kinda cruising around. 


Largest Striped Bass

1 Bill Bannon 39 lbs. 9 oz. No Team Affiliation
2 Ed Youse 33 lbs. 2 oz. Team Mullet
3 Joseph Ford 29 lbs. 9 oz. No Team Affiliation

The Mouse strikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job, A-Company. 

Yesterday, 4:18 PM Ed Youse
Striped Bass 33 lbs. 2 oz. 44 1/2 in. Brant Beach Bunker


Of course, back down in Mouse's stomping grounds ...

North Carolina Beach Buggy Association shared Brian D Jones's · 

From Salvo last night.
Brian D Jones's photo.
Brian D Jones's photo.

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