By Dan Kepler
Teams from across the state were no match for entries from Stanley and Surrey counties in the North Carolina Young Hunter Education Skills course held April 30 at the John Lintz Hunter Education Center in Ellerby. “Garnet” of Gray Stone Day School in Meissenheimer won the senior division with a score of 3,625 out of a possible 4,000 points in shooting, rimfire, shotgun, and hunter skills competitions. In second place was Elkin High School Wapiti with 3,609, followed by Northeast High School with 3,607, Princeton Blue with 3,563 and Pisgah High School with 3,552. In the junior division of middle school and below, Elkin Jr.’s Wabetti with 3,420 , followed by Northeast Randolph Middle with 3,343, South Alamance Central Black with 3,290, Bethel Middle Blue with 3,271 and North Stanley Changing Sports Junior with 3,261. Additionally, Gray Stone Middle’s Garnet ranked sixth with a score of 3,261. The schools entered students in each of the four majors, with a potential for 1,000 points in each. Gray Stone Garnet placed first in Division I in shooting with 978×1000, first in hunter skills with 859 and first in rimfire rifle with 928. Little Elkin’s team was first in shooting with 944 and hunter safety with 783. Northeast Randolph runner-up team placed first in Venice with a score of 920. Sixty teams—34 in the Division I and 26 in the junior class—qualified for the state championship out of 3,500 students in 300 teams from 193 public and private schools, home associations and 4-H clubs that participated districtwide.
BASS founder Scott dies
Ray Scott, founder of the Bass Angler Sportsman Association and the father of modern professional sea bass fishing, died at his Alabama home last Sunday of natural causes, according to Bass. He was 88 years old. Scott founded the nation’s first professional fishing circuit, the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, in 1967, and founded BASS the following year. Scott, a former insurance salesman, launched Bassmaster Magazine, which had a circulation of over 600,000 at its peak, helped create the television series The Bassmasters on the Nashville Network in the mid-1980s, and has pushed the catch-and-release mantra that tracks the percentage of bass catchers to this day. After graduating from Auburn University, Scott sold BASS in 1986 but remained a figurehead for the organization for another decade.
Black sea bass unlocks on OBX
North Carolina anglers heading to the Outer Banks in the next few weeks will have an added target, with the opening of recreation season on Black Sea Bass on Sunday, May 15. In state and federal waters it opens in May; It will close on December 11th. The South Cape Hatteras Recreational Season opened on 1 April. The maximum krill north of Cape Hatteras will be 15 individuals per day, with a minimum total length of 13 inches. South of Hatteras, fishermen can only raise seven fish per day.
fishing lesson schedule
Fishing and aquaculture education classes will be taking place at two locations in western North Carolina this month. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a “Gone Fishin” class on May 14 at the Marion State Fish Hatchery for ages 5 and up, followed by Fly Casting lessons for ages 12 and older at the hatchery on May 17 and Dupont State Recreational Forest on May 19 May An Introduction to Fishing class will be held May 24 at the Marion State Fish Hatchery for ages 12 and up. The final chapter, “A trout viewpoint, snorkeling in the river,” is scheduled for May 31 for ages 10 and up. Classes are open to the public and free of charge. More details are available at www.ncwildlife.org.
Just float along….
The final battle along the coast between conservation organizations and the commercial fishing industry is over oysters, and for a change, not shrimp. The commercial shellfish industry has asked the North Carolina Department of Coastal Administration to submit draft amendments to change laws that ban floating structures in public waters. The floating structures in question will be structures based on commercial oyster leases in public waters. Commercial oysters primarily use shade structures, as job sites for cleaning equipment, pressure washing, grading and packing oysters for markets. Buildings are limited to 450 square feet, and can be one story high with a roof. Coastal regulations do not currently allow floating structures above public waters. Opponents of the changes to the regulations cite state regulations that state that the use of public trust water for private commercial purposes should be limited to those that rely on water. Sorting, picking, washing, grading and bagging are usually done on the floor. The possibility of user conflicts caused by structures has also been mentioned.
Dan Kepler is an outdoorsy writer based in Clemons.