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Outer Banks Angling: That time again

Yep! It’s Memorial Day weekend. And, while meteorologists might disagree, the nation considers it the official start of summer.

Anglers can expect a longer wait at their favorite tackle shop and more people on their favorite pier or in their favorite beach fishing spot. But, tourism is what keeps this area alive and visitors are welcomed here. Although the tourist season is just about to heat up, the fishing has been fairly decent for a couple of weeks now. 
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MFC adopts stricter blue crab regulations

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission adopted stricter blue crab regulations at its meeting last week. According to a news release from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the measures are meant to improve the condition of the state’s blue crab stock.
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Outer Banks Angling: Cobia Madness

There's plenty to read on websites and social media for all things cobia, because it is that time of year -- and because the cobia regulation debate continues to rage on.

The debate centers on how North Carolina should address a federal request to impose both a new creel limit and a season closure for cobia, and the proposals have recreational and professional fishermen in an uproar.
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MFC imposes new restrictions on recreational cobia catch

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission voted last week to impose restrictions on the recreational cobia fishery to try to avoid a closing of the fishery on June 20 by a federal agency.

The new restriction are effective today -- Monday, May 23. 
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Tensions run high at four-hour meeting on cobia closure

On Monday evening, May 9, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, held a public question-and-answer meeting to address cobia management issues, including an upcoming closure of the fishery, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk.

The scheduled recreational closure has caused concerns from fishermen, particularly those from North Carolina and Virginia, where the closure will have negative economic and social impacts because of the seasonality of the fishery. As a result, tensions and tempers of the attendees were high and continued to rise for the more than four hour duration of the meeting.
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Cat Baby wins Offshore Open with 648.5-pound blue marlin...WITH SLIDE SHOW

Cat Baby took top honors in last week's Hatteras Village Offshore Open with a 648.5-pound blue marlin, landed by angler Keith Henry.  The boat's total 1,297 points earned it a check for $44,401.88.

Second place with 1,200 points for three released blue marlin went to Sea Toy, whose crew earned total prize money of $22,809.22.  Coverage took third place with two blue marlin and a sailfish released for 1,000 points and total prize money of $10,738.31.  
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Capt. Ernie Foster honored by Billfish Foundation

Captain Ernie Foster of Hatteras village has been honored by the Billfish Foundation, the world's leading conservation organization for marlin, sailfish, spearfish, and associated highly migratory species.

The group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, last week announced the winners of its prestigious Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award.  The winners included Foster, Captain Kelvin "Red" Bailey of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and Bonnie Powell of Brandon, Fla. 
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The humble oyster could help the environment and the economy

Oyster evangelists are spreading the word about how new aquaculture techniques, marketing ideas and investment in shellfish resources could pair economic development and environmental improvement. 
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Ocracoke surf-fishing tournament still at top of its game

The 71 fishing teams were all in a good mood Friday evening, April 29, as the 33rd annual Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament came to an end.

Amidst the beer, good  food -- barbecue, black-eyed peas, potato salad and cole slaw -- supplied by Jack Edwards and the Carolina Boys and under the big tent at the Community Center’s awards party, groups were in a mood to talk. 
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State fisheries agency plans survey of commercial fishermen

Commercial fishermen who fish in the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina may receive a questionnaire in the mail or by phone call in the coming weeks and months for an N.C Division of Marine Fisheries survey. 
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Outer Banks Angling: Getting there fast

After what can only be described as an amazing month of weather, inshore fishing is faring quite well for March.

The temps averaged mid-60s and higher most of the month with a dominant southwest wind the better part of it -- which is rare for March. March is generally unpredictable and brings as much foul weather as it does good weather, but March of 2016 broke the mold. 
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The very best guide to charter fishing on the islands….WITH SLIDE SHOW

If you’ve never been fishing off Hatteras or Ocracoke, it’s definitely worth looking into.  The variety of trips, boats, captains, and species of fish available is quite impressive, and there are options that can accommodate almost any budget or interest.

That said, with so many options available, choosing the right charter can be a daunting task, especially for first-timers. To make it a little bit easier, The Island Free Press has compiled a guide to Hatteras and Ocracoke charter fishing.  With answers to frequently asked questions, information on everything from choosing a boat to cleaning your fish, advice on making your trip more enjoyable, and pictures to rouse your inner angler, this guide is designed help get you off the docks and on the water. 
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