Fishing North CarolinaMike Marsh's latest book, Fishing North Carolina, was released February 14, 2011 and the book is now available for sale on this website. Mike is extremely proud of this latest offering and considers it some of his best work to date.

Mike has been touring the state attending more than a dozen book signings and other events, as well as giving radio and television interviews.

Fishing North Carolina covers 100 lakes, rivers, streams, park millponds, watershed lakes, sounds, fishing piers and beaches in a way only Mike can do. No other book has been, or will ever be written, that covers the fantastic fishing available all across the state in so much detail. [Read more]

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Welcome to Mike Marsh Outdoors

Mike MarshMike Marsh is one of the most prolific, widely read and highly respected outdoor writers in the nation. Most of his stories and photography are based on his adventures in the Southeast, especially North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. He has written thousands of magazine and newspaper articles and sold thousands of photographs to “hook and bullet” print and online media. In a typical year, Mike produces 400 to 500 published articles and 600 to 850 published images.
Teenager Bags 784-pound Black Bear PDF Print E-mail

David Honeycutt Jr. took this 784-pound black bear on Dec. 18, and it is now North Carolina's second-place bear by weight.For the second time this season, a black bear took over the second-place slot for the state's heaviest bear. Sixteen-year-old David Honeycutt Jr. was participating in his first bear hunt when he shot the sumo-sized bear with a Marlin .45-70, lever-action rifle borrowed from his host, Phil Barker. He shot the 784-pound bear on Thursday, Dec. 18 at a private farm in Hyde County that Barker owns with four other partners.

"We had been seeing this bear for a couple of months," said Barker, a building contractor from Wilmington. We turned dogs on the track at 7:45 a.m. and David shot it by 8:30 a.m."

The 7,500-acre private farm is adjacent to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, which has one of the highest black bear population densities in the lower 48 states. The group of hunters also took a 581-pound and a 480-pound black bear later the same day, bringing the total number of bears taken on the farm this year to 16.

"We try to take 20 bears a year off the farm," Barker said. "I have been hunting up there for 30 years. We have leased it since the early 90s before purchasing it nine years ago. We hunt ducks, bear and turkey and had taken David duck hunting the previous afternoon."

The farm has 3,500 acres of cropland and 4,000 acres of timberland. The hunters began by looking for tracks in the fields and roads.

"One of my partner's sons, Harris Shaw, and my daughter, Ann McBride Barker were along," Barker said. "David is a friend of my daughter and they go to New Hanover High School. He said he would like to go bear hunting, so I invited him up. Keith Nations, who is from Silva, N.C., came from the mountains with his dogs. He is the leader of the hound group."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 07:01
Ladyfish Known for Its Man-sized Fight PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:36

This column won second place in Best Daily Newspaper Story category of the 2014 SEOPA Excellence in Craft Awards.

A ladyfish puts up a fight that belies its size and name. It's other nickname, 'ten-pounder' may be a better indicator of its attributes.A lady is supposed to be well-mannered and reserved, with a politeness expected of the higher classes. However, the ladyfish is totally the opposite and makes its appearance in area waters during the sweatiest months of the year.

While prospecting for speckled trout near Southport last week, a debutante ball broke out with the dawn. First, mullet swirled in defensive circles, balling tightly against the suitors half-light would bring. Aerial attacks began, with pelicans and terns diving down to join the buffet. Menhaden were flipping and I managed to snag a dance with a speck.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 09:31
Diluted Deer-Farm Rules Pose Potential Disease Risk to Wild Whitetails PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 13:20

By Mike Marsh

(Raleigh) Two human generations ago, white-tailed deer were scarce. Now, good old days are here, with deer so abundant hunters and nature-watchers alike enjoy seeing them everywhere. However, a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission proposal to relax restrictions on deer farms could set back the clock to the bad old days.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is decimating deer populations in at least 22 states. The Commission found no CWD present during last season's testing, which it performs every five years. One way the disease is spread is by deer farms that unknowingly import infected deer. North Carolina remains CWD-free because it has only 37 deer farms and a moratorium against new ones. However, a provision of the 2014 Budget Act (Oversight of Cervids; Senate Bill 744; Section 14.26) will force the Commission to issue permits for an unlimited number of new deer farms.

"Legal guidance I received is we now must allow new captivity licenses to establish deer farms," said Gordon Myers, the Commission's Executive Director. "The compromise language also requires that we align our deer captivity rules with USDA standards for CWD."

One provision prevents importation of any cervids, hoofed animals like deer and elk that may carry CWD, until 2017. That is only three years away and once the CWD genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back. It appears the agency and its board of commissioners knew that when they established rules for deer farms, which contain some of the strictest testing requirements in the nation. The legislature's first pass at relaxing those restrictions was an attempt at removing deer farms from Commission oversight and giving permitting authority to the N.C. Department of Agriculture. When that did not occur, the result was the provision passed in the 2014 Budget Act that forces the Commission to rewrite those protective rules.

Dick Hamilton, former Executive Director of the Commission, is now the N.C. Wildlife Federation's Camouflage Coalition Coordinator. The Camouflage Coalition is the federation's outreach arm to sportsmen.

Time to Legalize North Carolina Sunday Hunting for All PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 15 September 2014 08:07


Mike Marsh took this turkey on a Sunday while hunting public land in Georgia in spring of 2014. While Virginia and South Carolina prohibit Sunday hunting on public land, Georgia hunters can hunt anywhere. North Carolina is now surrounded by states that allow general hunting on Sunday. Now that Virginia Allows Sunday Hunting, When will the North Carolina Domino Fall?

With Virginia setting aside its last blue law, the state's hunters are participating in their first legal Sunday hunt for wild game in modern times, leaving North Carolina surrounded by states that allow general Sunday hunting. Blue laws are those enacted at the behest of religious interests and once included prohibitions on alcohol, working, shopping, fishing and other activities on Sunday that are now the social norm. In North Carolina, a partial ban on alcohol sales and a ban on firearms hunting are the only remaining blue laws.

Matt O'Brien spearheaded the effort, setting up the Facebook Page, "Legalize Virginia Sunday Hunting for All." A North Carolina group has since set up "Legalize North Carolina Sunday Hunting for All," to cash in on the domino effect.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 08:23
Barbs and Blasts

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Snapping Turtle Soup

Mike holds the main ingredient of snapping turtle soup by the tail. People trying turtle soup for the first time ask, When I was a student at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, I lived on what I could catch from the Neuse and Little rivers. Catfish was a mainstay of my diet. Occasionally, I was fortunate enough to catch a snapping turtle.

In the years since, I have caught snapping turtles on purpose or incidentally to hunting and fishing for other species. Sometimes I eat them, but most of the time I let them go. Last week I was near a creek in Pender County when I saw what appeared to be a half-rotten stump. As I passed it, the dark brown object moved. Turns out, it was a snapping turtle of around 12 pounds.

A snapping turtle strikes with the speed of a cottonmouth. Anything clamped in its sharp-edged jaws gets cut off. As I circled the turtle, it turned to face me. However, I outmaneuvered it, grabbed it by the tail and flipped it into the pickup bed.


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