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CAPT. MIKE PosteU gives words of encouragement to the anglers
lining the rails. Below, experienced hands control the outgoing
line, feeling for the slightest sign of a bite.
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BEAMING over her catch of the day, Edie Fuiwood of Somthport dispiays the red snapper she took homte as a tasty reward of her offshore
DROP 'ENll Wetting A Hook's A Great Way To Pass The Day
STARING into the deep and hoping for a prized
catch, Judy Loflin of ShoUotU lets her electric
reel do the work as she watches her liae rise from
BY ERIC CARLSON
WWONNNNNKKKKJ "Drop em!" The vnirr ??
I I Capt Mike Pastel) crackles through the Mega
-M.-M-Flite's loudspeaker as he brings the 55-foot
beadboat to a halt directly over the colorful glob of static
on his fish finder screen.
Along the gunwales, two dozen weighted and baited
books plop into the bright blue Gulf Stream waters and
plummet toward the bottom.
In what seems like only seconds, the first electric reel
begins whining as it tugs something up from the rocky
bottom SO feet below. Then another reel sings, and an
other, and another.
Edie Fulwood, a Rocky Mountain native recently of
Southport, leans back and winces as the reel groans in
protest and her pole bends into a smooth arc. She hauls
back on the rod, winds up on the slack, hauls back and
winds up again and again until a glowing pink form ap
pears in the turquoise emptiness below.
A crew member grabs the gaff and skillfully slips the
hooked end into a gill of a 20-inch red snapper. He
plucks the flapping fish from the water and presents it to
Edie like a doctor with a newborn. She couldn't be more
pleased if it were.
"Pretty good for an old land lubber from Colorado,"
she says proudly, gasping for breath. "Whew! My heart
is just thumping This is a lucky boat for me."
Edie is one of 18 people who have signed up for an
offshore fishing trip orgairized by the Brunswick County
Parks and Recreation Department The ptogiaim are
scheduled for senior citizens several times during the
summer, allowing participants to pay a reduced group
rate for a half-day on the water while helping to assure
the charter operator of a fully loaded boat.
Today's weather is ideal. Sunny and warm with
IUVMlffh wiful Ia <w*1 JjjjJ JJCt *a mmim ?
swell. After about IS minutes of fishing at this spot, the
action subsides. Not one to waste time, Capt Mike sig
nals that it's time to move on.
"All right Bring 'em up!" his voice crackles through
With ooe eye glued to the fish finder, Mike maneu
vers the boat to the next likely fishing hole. Sure
enough, another doud of red splotches appears on the
screen's blue background. He slows the big diesel en
gine, then throws it into reverse.
HONNNNNKKKK! "Drop em!"
Like a bevy of small-rime gamblers searching for that
lucky slot machine, the optimistic anglers shout encour
agement at each new stop.
"This is the spot," says one, watching her bait drop
out of sight through the bright blue water.
"Bet this is where the big ones are!" says another.
"We're gonna get Charlie the Tuna this time," pro
claims a third.
"I'd settle for Charlie Grouper," comes the reply.
Again the reels begin to whine. All around the boat
the lines return from the deep. Some anglers are disap
pointed to see their hooks stripped clean. Others are re
warded with flapping catches of Mack sea bass, grouprr,
snapper, and a few other unusual species. And into the
buckets they go.
No sooner has the action begun to subside than CapL
Mike gives the order to move on. There is another roar
of the engine, a few minutes of meandering across the
blue Atlantic and once again that familiar cry.
HONNNNNKKKK! "Drop em!"
Not a bad way to spend the day.
Griff* of Smppfy,
'Big, Noisy And Conspicuous '
"Big. noisy and
BY BILL PAVER
is the descriptioc
iL ? A ,L.L ,,
me auouooq water
sized birds are from 17 to
21 inches in size and have
bold patterns of Mack,
brown and white.
Their feet are flesh- to
pink -colored, and their
bills are red. A white wing
patch is visible when they
fly. A dose -up view re
veals orange- yellow eyes
circles with red eyelids.
They are fouud from
they feed on oysters, mussels, dams, cockles, crabs and
other crustacea. They feed by inserting their large "oy?
ter-knife" bill into the bivalve and cutting the muscles
that bold the shells tight.
Feeding becomes an ait in that the Oystercntchers
must wkk out at just cue ngnt time to eaten tne oysters
open as the tide recedes or comes in. Even a slight
loach or bump will cause the oysters to damp together
so the bird cannot insert its bilL Oystereatchers
feed on I
Nests sre usually placed in ihallow *
are sometimes lined with small bits of shells. Two to
four Mack-spotted buff eggs are placed in this i
both male and female birds share in the j
Oystereatchers do not neat in colonies as do
other birds, but do group together in flocks for migra
tion and wintering Unlike Wiilets and sonae other birds
the North Carolina
Large concentrations have
been found at Cape do
main Wildlife Refuge in
rAVKK South Carolina where
they live along sandy beaches, mud flats and edgea of
They are seldom found far from these area
who will give their nests away by swoops and cries at
an intruder, the Oystercatcher will calmly fly away and
wait for the intruder to leave. They do have a loud aad
distinctive "wheep, wheep, wheep," which helps in
They are good swimmers and divers and flv more
like ducks than shorebirds. Their presence in our
adds to the variety of bird life we find along our <
We are pleased that theae "big, noisy and <
birds share the edge of the sea with us.