This time of year in Brunswick County, NC you will see wooden shrimp boats, a dying breed, plying the waters of the Atlantic, reapers lowered, trailing an entourage of seagulls like so may white kites. The shrimping is great and so is the fishing. Surf fishermen abound along the shores of all of the South Brunswick Beaches, sitting or standing in the sun, their lines in the water, the soft breezes blowing. They also line the fishing piers including the City Pier in Southport, NC where you can fish the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway mixed with a bit of the Atlantic Ocean. On Oak Island, NC, you will find two piers from which to choose: Oak Island Pier and Ocean Crest Pier. Each of the three southernmost beaches has it’s own fishing pier: Holden Beach Pier, Ocean Isle Pier and Sunset Beach Pier.
There is nothing like fish fresh from the ocean and if you are lucky enough to own you own boat and be your own captain, you likely have a favorite water access and your favorite fishing spot. If you don’t own a boat, there are many head boats and charter boats available to take you out to their special spots. You can find a few here: Head Boats and Charters.
Then there are the fishing tournaments which run through the fall on the Brunswick County, NC coast where fish are still plentiful. Beginning this Friday you can participate in the Sudan Daredevils Shallotte Point Flounder Tournament in Shallotte, NC. On Wednesday, June 15, the Jolly Mon King Classic will start and will run through Sunday, June 19. There are no excuses – the fish are there – catch ’em!
For as long as there have been fishing and boats, many of the residents of Brunswick County, NC have made their living from the sea. The area is one of the few places where you can still see wooden shrimp boats trolling the waters for ‘bugs’. They are, however, a dying breed so I suggest that you enjoy them while you can. Naturally, fishing is an extremely popular recreational sport here as well. You will see people fishing from the piers, surf fishing, throwing cast nets for bait and, of course, fishing from boats. The cool thing is that you don’t have to invest in a boat to fish from one. There are a still a number of boat captains who can take you fishing in their charter boats for half or full days. You can go deep sea fishing or in shore fishing with nearly all the equipment you need provided for you. These local captains know exactly where to take you to ensure that you will come home happy and with the biggest fish or the limit of fish that you are allowed to catch. Charter boats usually can carry four or six persons, so you can make it a family affair or go with a group of your friends if you like. There are even a couple of head boats available where you can fish with a large group of other people. To check out a listing of many of the available fishing boats, go to: http://southport.insiderinfo.us/fishing/head-charter-tour-boat/.
I really wanted to attend a poetry workshop on “The Epistolary Poem: Letters from Within.” in Charleston today. I was looking forward to seeing a friend I have not seen in years and meeting some new friends as well. I had hoped to learn how write a poem to the hawk that hovered between the ridges of autumn trees in Pennsylvania during a recent visit I had made. Or to the stars my daughter, my sister and I stood under one chilly early morning where we held hands in a circle and made a wish. Or to the ocean, so faithfully there every time I return home from somewhere else. But it was not to be.
By mid morning I decided to take myself down to the beach for a walk. I threw a long sleeved shirt that had been my daddy’s over my T-shirt and drove the few blocks to the beach access. I had not taken many steps when I realized that the shirt had to come off – to be tied around my waist. The November sun was warm, as was the sand under my bare feet, and the breeze was light. A perfect day. There were a couple of people paddle boarding on the calm water and a number of men surf fishing as I walked along. I don’t think they even cared if they caught anything or not as they sat comfortably in their beach chairs watching their lines. A couple of them had their families with them. Their wives had stretched out a quilt on the sand and the kids were running, searching for shells, laughing and totally enjoying themselves. A little two year old boy plowed the sand with his toy front end loader. A few people were sitting in beach chairs reading books. People were walking their dogs – one couple had two Border Collies with them. I hoped to run into Susie, the shelter dog, who I am trying to teach that I am friendly. I met her mom, Jeannie, the other day and as I squatted down and put out my hand, Susie came up to sniff it. Not like the first time I met her when she ran away from me. Jeannie said that is the closest Susie has come to anyone else since she got her from the shelter. It must be terrible to live in fear of other people. And so, the walk on the beach did not disappoint – it never does. And this scene is being replayed on every beach in Brunswick County – a special place to live or to visit. And – it’s all good.