Wanna step outside? State-record white perch caught in Kitty Hawk Bay

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2024

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By Dan Kibler

For the Clemmons Courier

The white perch is a pedestrian little fish, able to live in brackish coastal waters and big freshwater reservoirs.

It’s an aggressive, schooling fish that’s almost never found with lockjaw — it will bite when nothing else around will. Some freshwater fishermen catch them to use as bait — the head of a white perch is a fantastic bait for big, blue catfish — and using a Sabiki rig (a multi-hook rig with a string of small hooks tied vertically on your line), you can often catch three or four at a time, even five.

Caught for food, it provides a couple of neat little, pearly white filets — as long as you learn to hold it properly and not get stuck by the sharp fins along its back. You can almost make a meal out of a bigger one.

Speaking of bigger ones, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new state-record white perch caught on Jan. 7 in Kitty Hawk Bay.

Donald White caught the 2-pound, .8-ounce fish on a jig, fishing with a Kunnan K1570 rod and Shimano Nasci 1000 reel.

The fish, which was 13.5 inches long and 11 inches in girth, was slightly more than 3 ounces heavier than the previous record, a 1-pound, 13-ounce fish caught in 1986.

State offers turkey hunting webinars this month

With spring turkey season just around the corner and more and more Tarheel State hunters becoming interested in North America’s biggest gamebird, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer three free turkey hunting webinars this month.

Participants must pre-register with the webinars at www.ncwildlife.org.

The first webinar is on Feb. 27, and it covers turkey biology, regulations, where to hunt, and scouting.

The second webinar is on Feb. 28, and it covers firearms, ammo, clothing, footwear, and equipment.

The third webinar is on Feb. 29, and it covers hunting techniques and strategies.

Webinars run from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

If you have scheduling problems, the webinars will be available on the Commission’s YouTube channel in March.

F1 bass stockings continue this year

A group of bass fishermen seeking to improve fishing in North Carolina waters supplied the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission last year with $30,000 to purchase F1 hybrid bass (Florida-strain and northern largemouth) fingerlings for stocking in Jordan Lake, Lake Gaston and Lake Norman.

“F1 hybrid bass are a new tool to fisheries managers,” said Corey Oakley, assistant chief of the commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “We hope these hybrids will incease opportunities for anglers to catch trophy bass where we stock them.”

The nonprofit anglers group, Bass Anglers for N.C. Lakes, announced a partnership with the commission last year.

The commission has been stocking F1 hybrids in Lake Norman since 2021. The seed money from Bass Anglers for N.C. Lakes allowed them to begin stocking F1 hybrids in Jordan and Gaston last year. The plan is to have them in very fertile (Jordan), fertile (Gaston) and relatively infertile (Norman) reservoirs to study how the stockings will affect the overall fisheries in the lakes.