Cape Fear River Question

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by bambam77, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. bambam77

    bambam77 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    nc
    Thanks to all that responded to my last post!!!!! Now I have another question....Has shockers and fishing pressure hurt the fishing at lock#3?? I've been there two weekends in a row and had no luck at all. I've been using cut eel, cut shad, live blue gill and liver to no avail!! I know being limited to bank fishing doesn't help but i'm pretty good at finding small holes or drop offs to set my lines. I have been fishing 5-7 lines at a time in different depths trying to find the fish but it just seems as if their not there!!! Can anyone help??????????? Thanks in advance.....
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Lock 3 is the lock that is closest to Fayetteville.
    I dont think shocking is your problem.
    I've never had much luck bank fishing at the locks. Too many people fishing in one place makes for alot of hit and miss fishing. Most of the time its miss fishing.

    The only way to fish these rivers effectively is with a boat. Very limited access for bankfishing.
     

  3. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    shocking if i am not mistaken is only allowed in Bladen co.

    The fishing is hit or miss period...we have had good nights and bad nights in Fayetville, but i think the state record flattie has come from that stretch of river...

    Lock and dam #2 in Elizabethtown is the one you should avoid....but thats just my two cents...

    I have fished many countless nights with the best, freshest, bloodiest bait and had no takers....not even dinks.....CAUSE THEY ARE NOT THERE, SHOCKING HAS DECIMATED THE CATFISH POPULATION IN THAT STRETCH OF RIVER!!!!!!
     
  4. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    When these shockers come, what do they do? Just come in and take all the catfish? Anybody here ever seen them shocking? If so, describe what they do, it sounds like the state needs to put a stop to this. Every post I've seen concerning shocking was coming from someone telling about all the damage caused by it. It seems like there would be a shocker or two out there reading this who would chime in and have something positive to say about what they do.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The state has no plans to stop it.
    There is a big misconception with shocking.
    Its not as simple as pushing a button and they all float up.
    The state legalized shocking on the lower Cape Fear as a flathead management tool almost 20 years ago and its still high on the list of trophy catfishing waters.
    In reality there probally isnt enough shockers shocking if you understand the importance of these rivers as a breeding ground for more then a few viable saltwater species. Our oceans and sounds feed alot of people and hopefully continue to do so.

    Here are some links to some studies done by the North Carolina State University Zoology department in conjunction (largely funded by) The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.
    http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tkwak/pubs.html

    And no, I dont shock but I fully understand the important role our rivers in NC play in the big picture and how the non native flathead upsets the apple cart.
    I love catching big flatheads as much as anybody here but in this case my wants and wishes dont cloud my vision. Its difficult.
    North carolina is not alone in shocking. Georgia is to start shocking flatheads on one of their rivers as well but the shocking will be done by the DNR. I would imagine when the funding runs out and they still want to reach their objectives they too will legalize some shocking.
    Eradication of the species in our rivers isnt possible but attempts can be made to control.
    Read the ongoing studies. There is some interesting reading and alot to be learned about the flathead like how they have tracked individual fish travelling up to 40 miles of river.
    Kwak is planning a catfish symposium to take place in 2010 with anglers and state agencies invited to attend. He told me he was planning to have the symposium in Tennessee. Probally in Nashville.
    Why 2010? These studies are still ongoing.
     
  6. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    mark once again your right...the shocking was put in place to control the flathead population...when they shock and I HAVE SEEN THEM DO IT,THEY TAKE EVERYTHING!!!!!

    2LBS-40LBS AND ABOVE IF IT FLOATS UP THEY WILL TAKE IT!!!!

    IF SHOCKING WAS TO CONTROL THE FLATHEADS THEN REGS. SHOULD BE IN PLACE TO PROTECT THE OTHER SPECIES!!!!!


    I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF TRYING TO CONTROL THE FLATHEAD POPULATION, AND I UNDERSTAND THE DAMAGE THEY CAN CAUSE TO THE SMALLER FISH AND BREAM POPULATION....I READ ALL THE ARTICLES... BUT THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY... THERE HAS TO BE SOME DISCRETION USED WHEN SHOCK FISHING...

    JUST MY OPINION...
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    There is a better way but none of us are willing to do it.
    DONT CPR FLATHEADS IN THE CAPE FEAR. And of course go there often to fish.

    Shocking is the surgical removal of what the angler isnt willing to do.
    Its tough love and its tough to accept. Especially if you have no attachment to the ocean except the sterile enviroment of blast frozen seafood miles away from saltwater.
    Granted, shockers arent probally the best stewards of wildlife but in this case they are probally a better steaward of the river then I am unknowingly.
    Our rivers arent feeding people. The oceans and sounds are.

    Alot of people would look at this differently and be more accepting if it was further sterilized with only the state doing the shocking. If the state changed its policy, the same folks would be shocking that are now. The only difference would be that they are state employees with some good benefits.
     
  8. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    When the typical shocker goes shocking, does their equipment actually kill all the fish or just stun them? I have a video of the Virginia Game Dept. shocking in a couple of VA rivers and they're not killing the cats. They're just stunning them, weighing them, and then releasing them. I'm just wondering how this "private" shocking compares.
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    If you are operating within the law its a low voltage low amperage system that doesnt kill catfish. It just brings them to the surface.
    The voltage shouldnt have any effect on scaled fish.
    Being a low voltage system you have to be in real close proximity to the fish you are shocking.
    Its not like you drop a lead overboard, generate the power and an abundance of fish suddenly floats up spanning the river.

    I dont care for this form of fishing at all but I find it necessary to get all the factual information I can on it and pass that along to someone else.

    I've gone through the NCWRC and one of their biologists in Bladen county to get most of my information.
     
  10. bambam77

    bambam77 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    nc
    Thanks for the insight guy's but everything that i'm hearing and seeing is telling me that the number of fish in that area is down... Is there anywhere north of the lock that can be accessed besides riverside sports center???? Or would i be better off fishing the upper side of the dam instead of the lower side???? Thanks in advance!!!
     
  11. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Bryan, do you have a link where I can see this video. I have always wondered what it looked like, plus I live in VA. Appreciate it if you have it.
     
  12. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    Pritch,

    The video title is "Fishing The James River" and here is a link where you can purchase it.

    http://www.eberlysstore.com/fishing_videos.shtml
     
  13. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    State:
    NC
    Heres a question no one has ever answered. They do shocking to control the flathead population to protect the red breast sunfish. Heres something I don't understand. Highrock lake offers the best crappie fishing in the state. But yet it also hold an enormus population of flatheads. Why hasn't the flatheads whipped out the crappie population. They also holds true for Badin which holds a large pop of flats. Badin has tones of bream, whiteperch and crappie and shad. I think the reason the cape fear river has problems with sunfish is because most people who fish for them never throw any back. Their good eating and they probley just get overfished. The simplest answer is usally the right one. One day when the Cape Fear runs out of flatheads, don't come running over to our side of the state compaining thier no more big cats to be caught in your river.
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    There is another ramp off 87 on the edge of Fayetteville but I wouldnt use it.
    There have been alot of vehicle break ins at that ramp in the past.
    Riverside is alot safer vehicle wise.
     
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC

    Its not just the robins its more importantly the saltwater species that use the river to spawn. Its a non native invasive species issue.
    As far as us running out of flatheads in the rivers, I dont see it happening and if you talk to the biologists down here on the rivers , they dont either.
    Shocking has been going on for almost 20 years and if we are catching catfish on any given trip flatheads will make up a portion of the creel 99% of the time. Sometimes its all we catch.
    They realize that eradication isnt possible so they have limited the management to the lower portions of river that the saltwater species is going to use primarily.
    There is a point when personal feelings have to be set aside to view the facts. I've done that and its hard being a catfisherman but I realize we have alot bigger problems in store if no initiative in any form were not taken to manage the flatheads in the rivers. Our problems dont stop at the native species being consumed it will keep going until the river can no longer support the unchecked flathead population and it will too suffer a decline.
    The Lumber river is a PRIME example of this. its already happened there is now on the mend after the flatheads pushed themselves into decline.
    They literally ate themselves out of house and home. Not just fishermen in general suffered the effects but catfishermen as well.

    As any marine biologist will tell you, a coastal river is a totally different animal then a resevoir. They've tracked flatheads through implanted chips travelling up to 40 miles of river. They aren't doing that for pleasure, its to feed the eating machine.

    As sportsman we all must strive to maintain our hunting and fishing grounds in a positve way as a whole and not selectively.
    Its like your health. You treat the whole body not just an arm or a leg.

    We do the same thing deer hunting. We thin the herd for a healthier more robust remaining herd and its applauded by most hunters. Fishermen seem to have a different mindset.
    We as sportsmen have to be willing to digest studies and their conclusions and act on them. Thats even a more difficult hurdle for me personally to leap over.
     
  16. joe0580

    joe0580 New Member

    Messages:
    228
    State:
    north carolina
    ok lets set all this all straight and get it right because i live in bladen county and know first hand how it started and was brought into effect. a senator for the state reps who is now no longer brought it in as a bill an had one i repeat one biologist agree with him to start shocking. they ( the reps) said well you live there and should know it better than any. and here you go the bill is in effect. now the state has seen that it is wrong and has put a season and limits on it now. starting july first you can not be with in like 500 yards of a lock or state ran boat ramp and the season is only a 6 month period. which is most of deer season so they( shockers) will not be doing much of it. and as far as the bluegill population is total horse crap. i have seen people take buckets of blue gills from the ramp and other areas with no concern to size or a limit. so dont blame it only on one fish to eat them. also you have bowfin, stripers and other fish who use this species as a food source. and if it was to set the population of flatties like you say into a check and balance than why when they shock do you only see them bringing in blues and channels and no flatties. kinda weird huh? if you want to put one in check go after the ones who take out more fish than you could ever eat in a year and myself and other have seen it ( john, dean, and others) and swear they feeding their families. again horse crap! dont stand on a soap box and say it is right cause it isnt. if you say you support a change in something but only if it fits what you think is right you are no better than those who shock. dont say it is needed when you dont fish the area 4 or 5 times a week and see the damage shockers do to everything with no regards to anyone but them selves. dont even try it with me. this is something that i ave tried to stop for a long time and finally got enough attention from hose in raleigh to see it and put finally do something to fix it. before it is over it will be either stopped or only flattied will be kept. that all i have to say
     
  17. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    point 1: It is important to realize that the biggest reason the Flathead is seen as a potential problem in coastal rivers is not because it eats anadromous fish or the native fish. It is because they eat the things that those fish would eat. If you don't read anymore...read that again.

    point 2: Flatheads are considered a problem for one reason only.....their appetite. Most of the fun fish to catch in NC are stocked or have been brought here by other means. None have the appetite for live creatures that the Flathead does. If they ate less, we would not be having this discussion.

    point 3: While all of the studies are very interesting to read and do provide good useful information, it is very common for the researchers and "smart" people to get so caught up in the fine details that they totally miss the practical everyday reality of the situation. One example is distinguishing a blue cat from a channel cat. I can tell them apart with about a 99% success rate without counting one fin ray. There are plenty of other visual things that set them apart. However, it takes a biologist forever and a day to get the id using every scientific method there is rather than just using it to verify what is painfully obvious to a fisherman with half a brain.

    point 4: Shocking is stupid. It is archaeic, embarrassing to sport fisherman, and in my opinion undefendable. That being said, it is legal so more power to them until the law is changed.

    point 5: The solution is rather simple to me and already in effect in at least one area. The only problem is, there are no Flatheads in that system. I am speaking of the Roanoke River and the stocking this year of American Shad frye. If this were done on a regular basis along with occasional sunfish stockings, hering stockings and threadfin/gizzard stockings, the rivers would be full of bait and everyone would have room at the table. It is easy to worry how to get rid of the funnest fish in the river to catch, harder to talk the folks in charge into just feeding them. Let there me some big money tournaments where the local economy prospers and I bet shad start getting dumped in left and right.

    point 6: Shocking is stupid!!!! Did I already say that??? :big_smile::big_smile::big_smile:
     
  18. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    State:
    NC
    Thank-you Joe and Greg. Another point is that bluecats eat alot fo bream. I've caught some many blues on bream it's not funny. Oh-Oh I better not mention that, next the Cape Fear river people will declare war on the blues. Everthing that swims eats bream, period.
     
  19. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    NC
    if shocking was intended for flatheads then let them take ONLY FLATHEADS......DUH!!!!

    LIKE JOE SAID, ONE EVENING WE WATCHED THEM (SHOCKERS) TAKE AN AVERAGE SIZE 15'-16' SIZE JOHN BOAT OUT OF THE RIVER. THEY HAD JUST FINISHED SHOCKING....IT WAS FULL OF CATFISH...BLUES,CHANNELS AND FLATHEADS..(channels have less than 29 anal ray fins...right greg...lol).BUT MOSTLY BLUES....THE BOAT WAS SO FULL OF FISH, THEY WERE FLOPPING OUT OF THE BOAT WHILE IT WAS BEING PULLED OUT OF THE WATER...MUST OF HAD HUNDREDS OF FISH IN THAT BOAT...

    THE CATS RANGED FROM 2LBS-40LBS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN....

    YEA! THAT WONT DECIMATE A CATFISH POPULATION.....WHATEVER!!!!
     
  20. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    In reading about farm pond management, I have learned that there are two types of fish common in NC which you should never stock into a farm pond. The first is crappie because they almost always overpopulate and become stunted. This could possibly explain why the flatheads are not hurting the crappie at Highrock. The second one is the flathead catfish. As far as I can tell all biologists agree that you should resist the urge to put a flathead in any pond. I have read, that if you put one in a pond, one day the fishing will become poor and when you drain the pond all you'll find will be one flathead catfish.

    There are two rivers which I've been fishing in basically all my life. When I was younger you could go to either and fish with chicken liver or worms and catch plenty of channel catfish. Since the flatheads have shown up you can't hardly catch a channel cat. Now, I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that the flatheads decimated the channel cat population. But, it does kinda look that way and most of the locals have definitely already jumped to that conclusion. What I would like to see is conclusive studies telling the truth about the situation, good or bad, right or wrong, like it or lump it.

    Imagine what it would cost to feed all the fish, in all the rivers, in the entire state of NC.

    Most of the big blues I've caught from the rivers were caught on live bream also.

    I'm not jumping to any conclusions about anything, period. I also think we should struggle not to let our emotions get in the way when we're trying to decide what to do.

    Has anyone ever seen any info., from any study, which had anything positive to say about the flatheads? You would think there would have to be something. I don't think I've ever seen anything that did'nt have some sort of good about it.