Durham angler beats Sandy, competition in drum tournament

October 31, 2012 

With Hurricane Sandy closing in, Mike McKee of Durham scored an impressive sweep in the N.C. Beach Buggy Association’s annual red drum tournament last weekend on Hatteras Island.

McKee caught the two largest drum in the fourth annual event and also had judges measure the most fish – four. All exceeded 40 inches in length.

His winning fish was a 47.75-inch whopper, and the second place drum measured 45.50.

“Mike got onto a great slough and he made the most of it,” said Beach Buggy Association president Dave Joyner of Kill Devil Hills. “It’s especially impressive because the ocean and fishing conditions were getting really rough as the storm approached.”

A field of 222 anglers representing 18 states competed in the tournament, based at Frank & Fran’s tackle shop in Avon.

Charlotte fisherman Mike Estridge caught the biggest red drum in the three-day tournament’s first round, a fish measuring 45 inches.

All the drum caught in the competition were released alive.

Tom Higgins

Mountain trout web page established

Anglers interested in information on trout fishing in the North Carolina mountains now have a one-stop resource –

The new page has maps of Public Mountain Trout Waters and information on delayed-harvest regulations, seasons and limits, and the seven classifications for trout streams in the state.

Current trout stocking information is also on the trout fishing page.

Observer News Services

Record S.C. turtle nesting

As the 2012 sea turtle nesting season ends, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources reports that 4,604 nests, a record, were laid this season on the state’s beaches.

In addition to 4,596 nests laid by loggerhead sea turtles, there were seven green sea turtle nests and one leatherback nest.

The recent season is of special interest because the nest count trend has never had three consecutive years of increase. Loggerhead nesting in 2012 not only topped the previous two years, but was also the highest on record since 1982.

“Historical nest counts from the 1970s indicate we still have a bit to go to reach recovery levels but this may be the beginning,” said a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. ONS

Shooters win at trap event

Local marksmen Chip Cook and Rick Robinson teamed last weekend to win the Charlotte Rifle & Pistol Club’s Halloween Protector Trap Shoot, hitting 48 of 50 targets.

Competition at the club’s range near Waxhaw was shot from the 27-yard line. In this type tournament, the first shooter calls for a clay “bird.” If he misses, his teammate then shoots to “protect” him.

Two more Charlotteans, Jeff Trull and Rick Turner, finished second, hitting 47 of 50.


Catches of the week

•  Limits of smallmouth and spotted bass at Fontana Lake by Kenneth Broome of Robbinsville while casting skirted spinnerbaits to the shoreline.

•  A sailfish boated and released off Hatteras Village before Hurricane Sandy by Stephen Higgins of Selma.

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