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Southport NC Fishing - "Did You Hear the One About....."

bigrock fish

I couldn't help but share my amazement when I read about about the lucky local fishermen who landed a prize-winning blue marlin, worth 386,750 in the early going of . No, my comma is in the right place. That is the prize for bringing in the first marlin over 500 lbs.For those of you unfamiliar with the "big booty" world of South East coast fishing, this is SERIOUS BUSINESS. And Tuna Trappe III still has 3 more days add to its catch. Right now with aggregate and daily prizes, the Wrightsville Beach Captain and his crew are on their way to winning a half million dollars. In its 50th year, "The Big Rock," based in Morehead City, continues through Saturday, as all 176 boats have the option to fish any 4 days of the 6 day tournament. Now keep in mind that the "a la carte" entree fees range anywhere from $2500 to $17500. And the gas... you don't want to know. High stakes make the rewards great and keep a lot of the same boats coming back year after year. The largest number are from North Carolina but they come from all over. They come to fish the the fertile expanse of blue water that encompasses ..... from Cape Hatteras, the furthest north, to Cape Lookout in the middle, and finally Bald Head Island's Cape Fear to the South.

Cape Fear marlin

With no chance of getting much of a breather, these boys will be back in their fighting chairs in just a couple weeks. And they won't even have to leave home to participate! Yet another big marlin contest on the circuit, the brings 35 years of tradition to Wrightsville Beach on June 26th-29th. It's a smaller, more intimate gathering of sports fishermen, usually around 50 boats averaging in size anywhere from 35' Bertram to a whopping 68' Hatteras.

While all the big tournaments have a light seasoning of lady anglers, the sport remains a venerable "boys club" evoking all the "boys and their toys" asides you could come up with. But this is an activity for that's not for sissies. It attracts a small group "manly men" who seek the dangers, thrills, and fortunes of life on the high seas.

Jennifer Hinson with a 3 lb. 5 oz. speckled trout caught on live shrimp while fishing from Ocean Crest Pier.               And for those who, like myself, prefer to fish in Tammy Atchison, of Winterville, NC, and Janie White, of Oak Island, with a 4 lb. black drum Janie caught in the Lockwood Folly River on cut shrimp.shallower, calmer waters, early summer is a great time to get out in the surf, on the piers, in the creeks and tidal flats that abound in and around and Brunswick County's beaches. Bluefish, trout, kings, spanish, flounder, and my favorite the pompano are hitting hard in good numbers. I had to laugh as I was looking at a fishing report for Holden Beach and Ocean Isle. I have to show this photo of a black drum caught by an Oak Islander in the Lockwood Folly River. The few of you that read my posts know that I wrote at length in a last fall about my first introduction to a black drum. Never will I misidentify one again! photos courtesy of fishermanspost

And in case you're wondering how the real estate market is in Brunswick County, I wish I could say that it's really picking up. It's a tough market for everyone....except for buyers. There aren't the once-in-a-lifetime deals out there that some buyers come down expecting, although there are a few. Most sellers are hanging tough, but I can say I haven't seen home prices at these levels in five years. I think were in for a rough summer as "the financials" begin reporting another round of earnings next month. Wall Street has been dreading the mortgage industry's second quarter earnings so much, that I believe we may well find a bottom in it's aftermath. I'm cautiously optimistic that Fall will bring "cooler heads" along with cooler temperatures, and we'll begin our journey towards market recovery. If gas prices don't turn around, the second-home market will continue to suffer. Still our big market here in Brunswick County is geared towards retirees. For those waiting in the wings for a sign to make their move, I think you want to be looking now. Once the floodgates open again, the best deals will get gobbled up quickly and we could move into a seller's market rather quickly in our prime communities.

Southport's FarmersMarket7tourist activities haven't slowed a bit that I can tell. It seems that all families vacationing at the beach take a day off from sand and sun to spend the day in Southport....with tons of unique shops, good food, carriage rides, walking tours, art galleries, and more, you'll see right away what all the fuss is about. The "Home-grown/Home-made" Farmer's market has started back on Wednesdays on the Waterfront at the Garrison. With various local musicians performing every week, and the Cape Fear River as its backdrop, the market has taken on a festival-like event with a great following. Friday night brings "Jaws" to the same waterside location, with Southport's unique movie night reminiscent of the drive-ins of our youth....except you don't drive walk in. Bring chairs or a blanket and I promise you will love the experience.