"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Catching Up With The Joneses
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

After a week on the shores of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean at North Carolina’s famed Outer Banks (should have been at least two--weeks, that is), I have many things to report to Hoosier anglers and recreationists.

One sees a lot of Indiana auto license plates there, you know, and it is well to let the Tar Heels know we Hoosiers “trust God.”

Otherwise, I must point out that N.C. (gasp . . . at last) requires anglers who fish salt waters to be licensed. This is a good thing because we must protect our oceans the same way we protect the land. There’s no longer a free lunch, you know. If you dance, you pay the fiddler. 

However, I would have to say the tab (10 simoleons for 10 days) for a non-resident fishing license may be a bit steep for one who is planning to fish only a few times. That may keep the fishing poles in some stilted cottages. Those younger than 16 are free fishing folks.

Incidentally, if one “fishes” for crabs he/she must also have a license. There is a license for everything, almost. Reminds me of the fun we (the kids and I) had 25 years ago catching bluepoint crabs for the table with a fishing pole, four feet of string, a chicken neck and a landing net

Aside from the 10-day, 10 bucks fishing license, one may purchase an annual license to fish for $30, a better deal, ($15 for residents) or a lifetime license to fish for $500 ($250 for residents).

If one elects to fish from a public fishing pier, the license is not required, if the pier holds a “blanket license” that is quite expensive, the cost undoubtedly being included in the cost to fishing a pier. The cost of fishing Avon Fishing Pier is $10 for one day, and I personally found that very steep in more ways than one. The buckling pier is in pretty sad shape . . . in places doubling as a toboggan run (the ravages of a usually-angry Atlantic).

You can’t fault the beautiful beaches, access, or the way they are maintained (guarded by the beautiful stands of sea oats swaying in ocean breezes), and there is ample room for the wildest touch football or volleyball game. And if one is of that ilk, the oceanside campgrounds allow you to go to sleep at night with the incessant pounding (thud) of the surf (every seventh wave is a big one).

Who could ever ignore the aura that builds in the adventurer’s heart when the periodicals and knowledgeable locals spin yarns of Blackbeard’s (the pirate) plunderous, murderous sea ramblings of the early 1700s . . . or playing a game of catch (a stone from the parking lot) with Lucy, Tilman Gray’s black lab at the dilapidated commercial “Fish House” (my name for it) on the shores of Pamlico Sound on the west side of Avon. Lucy has been at the Fish House for several years, but I discovered this year that she throws stones and retrieves with great verve . . . and she--like her companions (A. Rod and Orio) love to have their ears scratched . . . Not a bad memory is that of the five-pound speckled sea trout all dressed in browned breading, or the Taylor (smallish) blue, or spot, or brace of 10-inch pompano that helped me experiment with sauteing with only cooking oil and some salt and pepper in my skillet--a fish lover’s delight.

So there you have it, Joneses. The OBX is one tough nut to crack.


All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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