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Fishing Reports

Cape Fear River Watch Striped Bass Tournament 2011

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Here's the run down. The Banquet Friday Night was an awesome time. Lots of good food, free beer and wine. That was for the auction, I guess. Since a lady in front of me dropped about 400 on six things she did not know she had won. I met my anglers Mark Johnson and his nephew Austin Lords. Austin won the Junior Angler Essay Contest and got a spot to fish in the event. Everyone was hyped for fishing Saturday.

Saturday morning starts out cold but not cooooold. It was about 29 when I put my boat in with the promise of mid-fifties for the day. After about 8 cups of coffee and some pancake and bacon sandwiches I was ready. Boats were loaded and fishing was to begin at 9am. After last years event I was bummed as my boat didn't see a fish all day, I was ready to get the skunk off the boat early. But it was not to be. We fished slow, we fished fast, we threw topwaters, we fished softbaits on the bottom. We threw everything all day long. We hit some of Mark's spots. We hit some of my spots. We trolled and we made a thousand casts. We had about a hour to go and now I was really bummed last year all over again. Man I hate January fishing for Stripers (my worst month on record). It's tough, cold water, patterns changing, cold air, baits all but gone and the fish are reluctant to play.

I had not listened to the radio much all day but I had been for the last two hours and people we catching fish and I'm bummed and pissed. The morale on the boat was low but Austin and Mark never quit fishing although I could tell the day was wearing on them. We had time left but it wasn't looking good. Then WHAMMMM. My crankbait gets smashed and the rod doubles. Fishing with crankbaits and in strong current you can never tell a fishes size but you can when they hit the net and she was a SOW.

CFRiverWatch2011252852529copycopy-1.jpg31 incherSix hours and a thousand casts to get one fish but she was the largest fish caught in the three years of this event and finally the skunk was off the boat. After tagging and releasing the fish we made a few more casts and had to make the run back.

This year was tough on a lot of boats but there were fish caught. Capt. John Huff and his crew from Intracoastal Angler pulled off the overall win with Most Fish Tagged (five) and Largest Two Fish Aggregate of 55.5". Austin got the Junior Angler Award and I got Largest Fish. January is a tough month for Stripers on the Cape Fear but there are some beasts out there if you've got the time and get lucky.

Capt. Danny Wrenn

96Charter Co.

Wilmington, N.C.

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Cape Fear Fishing Charters

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