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Outdoors roundup: 600-pound marlin caught and released

Jacob Byrd, 16, of Salisbury recently caught and released a blue marlin weighing an estimated 600 pounds approximately 55 miles off the coast of Morehead City on May 25.
Along with him on the trip were his dad, Jim Byrd; brother, Alex Byrd; Kelly Sparger, and Kerry and Heather Dyer all of Salisbury. They were fishing on the Bill Collector, with Capt. Stephen Draughn.
They also caught 23 dolphin on the trip that day.
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Spence Brunson of Salisbury won the Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned Brunson $4,428 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship in Appling, Ga., Oct. 15-17.
“This is my fourth win fishing the BFLs,” said Brunson. “It always feels good to go out and whip them all.”
Brunson was fishing water 15 feet deep on the main lake with a chartreuse crankbait with a green back.
“I fished shallow all morning and did not catch a keeper,” Brunson said. “Around 9 a.m. I started fishing a chartreuse crankbait a little bit deeper. I caught my first 7-pounder about 9:15 a.m. and caught a second 7-pounder around 10 a.m.”
Rounding out the top five boaters are David Wright of Lexington (three bass, 20-3, $2,214); Rob Digh of Denver (5 bass, 18-8, $1,478); Bruce Bowman of Winston-Salem (five bass, 17-15, $1,033) and Christopher Brown of Lexington (five bass, 17-14, $886).
Wright took home the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $635 for a 8-pound bass he caught.
The next North Carolina Division event will be the Super Tournament held on the Lake Norman in Blythe Landing, Sept. 26-27.
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Zack Kahl, of Jacksonville, and Miah Domel, of Morehead City, are two young anglers who love to fish. Thanks to Neuse Sport Shop and the N.C. State Council of Trout Unlimited, they will be able to indulge their passion for fishing for the rest of their lives ówithout ever having to pay for a license.
Zack, 12, and Miah, 9, won the top prizes, lifetime fishing licenses, in a statewide drawing from participants in 40 kids’ “Fish-For-Fun” events held in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week earlier this month.
Zack won a lifetime freshwater/saltwater combination fishing license, donated by Neuse Sport Shop, located in Kinston, while Miah won a lifetime freshwater fishing license, donated by the N.C. State Council of Trout Unlimited.
Zack’s license, which is valued at $450, gives him fishing privileges in all public waters in North Carolina, including designated mountain trout waters, trout waters on game lands, joint waters and coastal waters. Miah’s license, valued at $250, gives her fishing privileges in all public waters in North Carolina, including designated mountain trout waters, trout waters on game lands and joint waters.
Zack participated in the June 6 kids’ fishing event at Ord Pond in Jacksonville, while Miah participated in the June 6 event at Lake Powhatan in Buncombe County.
– – –
Alan Ritchie caught a 44-pound catfish on a recent outing at High Rock Lake.

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