Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States

North Carolina - December 2014

While North Carolina was 49th in my first pass through the states, it was the third of my return trips because of its close proximity.  Virginia’s Buggs Island Lake, famous for producing the world record 143-pound blue catfish, has a sizeable arm in North Carolina that produces many trophy crappie.  I chose Chris Bullock ( because his experience and trophy crappie pictures speak for themselves.  Unfortunately, the temperature the day of our trip barely reached the 40s (over 10 degrees below average) and it rained nearly an inch.  Overall, the bite was slow, but Chris knows all of the best spots and we finally found one with hungry fish.  I caught seven different species of fish:  crappie; largemouth bass; striped bass; white perch; yellow perch; channel catfish; and bullhead.  The white perch were enormous and I caught at least five over 11 inches, with one being a 12-inch trophy.  We also caught many crappie in the 13 to 15 inch range, but none big enough to meet North Carolina’s 16-inch trophy minimum.  However, I was very happy with the trip, as I was able to make North Carolina the 34th state in which I have caught at least one trophy fish.

My trophy 12-inch white perch

Chris with a nearly two-pound crappie

I caught this 22-inch striper on the very light tackle we were using for crappie, which made for a fantastic fight