Outdoors Notebook

‘End of Year’ starts well for bass anglers

CorrespondentNovember 6, 2013 

Wallets got a break, anglers had a few weekends off and Phil McCarson spent more time with his grandkids. The new Piedmont Bass Classics End of Year trail met its goals.

“Normally, we always have a summer tournament and a fall tournament. But this year, being that I’m getting a little old – I’m in my mid-60s – I decided to cut back a little bit and combine the two and call it ‘End of Year,’” McCarson, the tournament director, said by phone Monday.

Instead of 16 events, the trail offered nine.

“That gave me a little time to spend with my grandkids and gave the fishermen a break, too,” McCarson, of Durham, said. “With the economy … you don’t want to overdo it.”

The championship went to two long-time Piedmont Bass Classics participants. Jay Garrard of Durham and Mark Herndon of Bahama outfished 14 other qualifying teams Saturday in the End of Year Team Tournament Bass Fishing Trail Championship out of Farrington Point on Jordan Lake. The teams gained entry through qualifying tournaments on Jordan, Falls, Harris and Kerr lakes.

Garrard and Herndon caught five bass weighing 19.81 pounds for a $2,050 top prize and $280 for the points title. The big fish, a 7.79-pounder, added $196, and first in the Tournament Within the Tournament brought $280 for $2,806 in total winnings.

Runners-up Tony Woodard of Four Oaks and Scott Smith of Apex took $600 with a five-bass catch of 14.33 pounds. Third and $360 went to Lonnie Whitfield of Burlington and Phillip Smith of Mebane with 14.30. Dennis Reedy of Siler City and Tommy Marrow of Oxford were fourth with 13.78 to win $240.

The tours McCarson runs drew more than 1,150 entries this year, and he expects good participation next year, with Boats Unlimited and Skeeter Boats as sponsors.

“Everything is looking good,” he said. “We’re holding our own even though there’s a lot of other trails coming into the area.”

Details are at www.piedmontbassclassics.com. Contact McCarson at 919-971-5042 or philsflags@msn.com.

Fisheries commission to meet: Black drum, shad and spotted seatrout will be among the topics when the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission meets next week.

The Nov. 13-15 meetings will be at the Double Tree by Hilton, 2717 W. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach. Public comment will be taken at 6p.m. Nov. 13. Business sessions will start at 9 a.m. Nov. 14 and 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15.

Size, bag and trip limits for recreational and commercial black drum fisheries will be discussed as the state works to meet Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan requirements, according to a Division of Marine Fisheries news release. States must implement possession limits and a minimum size of at least 12 inches by Jan.1, 2014, and at least 14 inches by Jan.1, 2016.

Shad, spotted seatrout, bay scallops, river herring, shrimp, blue crabs and oysters also will be considered.

Learn more at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.

Send news and announcements to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com Twitter: @BoggessT

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