Three Good Friends
BY JAMIE M1LLIKEN
April is finally here, the month I look forward to more than any other.
Her cool mornings and warm afternoons mark the beginning of our beloved
offshore fishing. The refreshing days of
April bring new-found energy into my
life that always fades into near hibema
m CAPTAIN tion during the winter.
W mT JAMIE'S These past few winter months were
? OFF^HDRF extremely hard for me and some fami
M '"""'"onUnfc iies j dearly love who arc greatly tied to
1 FISHING the fishing community in southeastern
?V REPORT North Carolina. This past December
Mr. Matcland Bellamy passed away.
Mr. Matcland was a lifelong friend of
the commercial fisherman, the men and
women who carve out their living from gill nets, shrimp boats, crab pots and
oyster rocks of Brunswick County.
He was one of the most knowledgeable persons in the field of boats and
fishing that I have ever met. Mr. Matcland may be gone, but his stories of
life's experiences will always stay with me.
February was not a kind month, either. Norman Farrow, a regular on the
local billfishing tournament scene, died unexpectedly while on a business
trip to Atlanta. Norman and his crew of the Double Exposure were always
the class of the field in the Wrightsvillc Beach Marlin Tournament. 1 remem
ber last November, while I was fishing aboard the Caribbean Soul, Norman
gave me a call on the VHF and turned mc on to one of the best wahoo bites
that I have ever witnessed. He was thai type of guy.
How can anyone explain the loss of my good friend Ed Jones? Ed was a
fierce competitor on the local kind mackerel fishing tournament trail. Only
the ones who knew him and loved him like 1 did knew how much he loved
this sport. Ed worked countless hours each year as a volunteer and sponsor
of our South Brunswick Islands King Classic each Labor Day.
Ed was an owner of Ocean Isle Motel and Marine, which has served
yearly as an official weigh station for the tournament. I loved the hours that I
spent fishing beside Ed and his crew of the Southern Style. I will always re
call the hours of fellowship and stories of "the ones that got away" that we
shared back at the docks.
Ed, old buddy, you gave a great deal of time and effort to this sport, and
your life will always be a part of the
fishing fraternity of the South
Brunswick Islands. I am pleased that
your name will forever be on the ag
gregate winners' trophy of my tour
nament, the Jolly Mon King Classic
held each July at Ocean Isle. It will
be an honor to present the Ed Jones
Each of these three men was
different, but their love of God's
precious ocean was the same.
? ? ?
So here it is April, and life is
new again. The fish will start mov
ing in close to shore as the water
temperature continues to rise. King
mackerel will begin to show up in
the 30-mile range within the next
two weeks. The Spanish and cobia
runs will begin in May. Speaking of
May, the 100-fathom line will again
light up with blue marlin, wahoo
I hope to bring you a vivid
recreation of the Southern Kingfish
Association's National Champion
ship to be held this month in St.
Petersburg, Fla. This promises to be
an exciting shoot-out as 62 captains'
chase the top prize. Please wish me
and the crew of the Caribbean Soul
lots of luck, and I hope to have a
story for you when we return.
Until next time, good fishin'
Day Date A.M. P.M. A.M. P.M.
Thursday 8 9:59 10.32 3:53 4:03
Friday 9 10:51 11:24 4:44 4:51
Saturday 10 11:42 5:33 5:42
Sunday 11 12:16 12.35 6:27 6:33
Monday 12 1:10 1:30 7:19 7:28
Tuesday 13 2:06 2:28 8:15 8:29
Wednesday 14 3:01 3:27 9:11 9:29
SHALLOTTE INLET?add 17 min.
high tide, add 32 min. low tide.
LOCKWOOD FOLLY?subtract 22
min. high tide, subtract 8 min. low tide.
BALD HEAD ISLAND?subtract 10
min. high tide, subtract 7 min. low tide.
SOUTHPORT?add 7 min. high tide,
add 15 min. low tide.
LITTLE RIVER?subtract 11 min.
high tide, add 18 tnin. low tide.
Beach Area POAs
To Meet Saturday
At least four local property own
ers' associations plan meetings of
some type Saturday, April 10.
The Ocean Isle Beach Property
Owners Association (POA) Board
of Directors will meet at 9 a.m.
Saturday at the Museum of Coastal
Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach.
Sunset Beach POA meets at 10:30
a.m. at the fire station, with coffee
and refreshments starting at 10 a.m.
The Holden Beach POA meets at
10 a.m. at the town hall, with a
board of directors' meeting at 9 a.m.
The Harbor Acres POA will also
meet Saturday at the Holden Beach
Town Hall, at 2 p.m.
A child photographed on a play
ground slide during the Spring Fling
celebration at Union Primary School
was incorrectly identified in a cut
line in the April 1 edition of the
The child was actually Heather
POOR YEAR FOR MENHADFN
Commercial Fish Catch Down Sharply In 7 992
BY DOUG RUTTKR
North Carolina commercial fish
ermen landed 27 percent fewer fish
and shellfish in 1992 than ihcy did
in 1991, mainly because of a poor
year for menhaden.
Also down last year were catch
es of popular finfish including blues,
croaker, flounder and Spanish mack
erel and shellfish such as oysters and
clams, according to state statistics.
After harvesting 212,641,148
pounds of fish in 1991, Tar Heel an
glers caught just 154,429,821
pounds last year for a decrease of
58,211,327 pounds or 27.4 percent.
The value of the commercial
landings fell accordingly, from
S66.7 million in 1991 to S58 million
last year. The poundage and dollar
figures for 1992 were their lowest in
at least seven years.
"Overall the landings are down,
and the landings of many of the de
sirable and edible species arc
down," said Mike Street of the N.C.
Division of Marine Fisheries.
The largest drop was in commer
cial finfish landings, which were
down 32.7 percent compared to
Most of the decrease can be
blamed on a lousy year for men
haden, which is caught for its oil and
fish meal value. Commercial fisher
men harvested 110 million pounds
of menhaden two years ago and only
57 million pounds in 1992.
"There was fairly poor fishing
all along the Atlantic coast for men
haden last year," Street said. He
blamed North Carolina's 53-million
pound decrease on severe weather
during the peak menhaden months
Year Pounds Value
198 6 168,881,954 $63,230,931
1987 157,323,919 $65,707,286
198 8 192,693,176 $77,756,754
198 9 165,197,479 $73,957,607
199 0 174,992,869 $70,692,290
1991 212,641,148 $66,787,706
199 2 154,429,821 $58,024,642
Source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
of November and December.
Also down in 1992 were com
mercial landings of favorites such as
flounder, bluefish, croaker, Spanish
mackerel, pompano and spccklcd
trout, according to preliminary sta
tistics released last week.
The flounder harvest fell more
than 2 million pounds to 5.8 million
pounds last year. Bluefish landings
were down 28 percent to 2.8 million
pounds, while the croaker catch
dropped 19 percent to 2.8 million
"The stocks of most of these fish
arc stressed or depressed," said
Street, indicating that the species arc
suffering as a result of overfishing
or environmental conditions.
The commercial shellfish har
vest fell 12.1 percent last year, from
55 million pounds in 1991 to 48 mil
lion pounds. Fishermen reported de
creased landings of shrimp, clams,
crabs and oysters.
The oyster harvest dropped only
slightly last year, from 319,040 to
293,956 pounds, but the catch to
taled 913,100 pounds just five years
ago. "Oysters continue
to be very depressed,"
State officials blame
the rapid decrease in
oyster landings on bac
terial pollution caused
by septic tanks and
stormwatcr runoff and
tiny parasites that kill
Street attributes last
year's 27-percent de
cline in the clam harvest
to overfishing "Clams
arc getting fished very, very hard
and landings arc going downward,"
The shrimp harvest dropped
nearly 50 percent last year, from
10.7 million pounds to 5.5 million
pounds. However, Street said the
1992 figure was about average and
the previous year was cxccllcnt.
Last year wasn't entirely bad for
North Carolina fishermen. The
grouper harvest increased from
609,520 pounds in 1991 to 761,909
Landings of drum also were up
23 percent last year to 134,787
pounds, while the commercial mul
let harvest jumped 24 percent to 1.8
Still in its infancy, the dogfish
shark fishery saw a tremendous in
crease in 1992 when fishermen land
ed 8.6 million pounds for an in
crease of nearly 600 percent. The
harvest of other sharks also doubled
to 1.3 million pounds.
"Sharks arc about the highest
they've ever been," Street said,
adding that the dogfish sharks
c;iught in nets off the Outer Banks
arc usually shipped to Europe.
Blue crab landings were down
slightly from last year. But Street
said the 40 million-pound harvest in
1992 was the second best on record
and the SI2.8 million value was the
greatest on record.
Remaining about the same as the
previous year was the commercial
king mackerel harvest at just over 1
million pounds, shcepshcad at
47,526 pounds and spot at 2.8 mil
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