Where to get great "Bottom Fishing" Experience.
Hospitality is very important these days. I had an opportunity to go "Bottom Fishing" with the greatest crew at Morehead City, North Carolina as well as in other areas along the Atlantic Coast. The experience began when I made a call to the Continental Shelf. What a name, I had no idea that this would be a trip of great fun. The man on the other end of the line was so warm and genuine, with such patience and so informative about the trip, the boat, and the staff. I was ready to pack and drive right down there to make the trip. He is "Bill". It was well worth the 200 miles of driving it took to get there. Such hospitality they give you and to see all of the staff working together and having so much fun.
The captain of the boat was also personable. He pulled one of his mates to helm the boat while he came amongst us to cheer us on to catching the best. His knowing the best places and taking us there was one thing, but when we began to reel in the fish was the real deal. As one shouted out that they had caught one, there he was; right there on the spot with camera in hand to get a good shot of that person with their big catch. It was so exciting and everyone was having fun. I don't believe there was anyone who fished that that day who did not catch plenty of fish. Not only did we catch them, but they cleaned and fillet them after our 12 hour fishing trip. The time went by so fast. Great cruzing and there were plenty of snacks and a cook who could cook the best burgers on the Atlantic Ocean aboard that boat. We went out about 50 miles and cast out lines out to about 250 feet to the bottom. Beautiful fish of many colors and types are there for the catching including. Snappers, Groupers, Bass, King Mackerel There are not many things you have to bring on this trip. The only things you would want to bring are your, camera, sun shades, a cap or sun visor and a towel to wipe your hands after taking your fish off the line. If you want to, you can bring lunch if desired, but there is a gentleman who fixes wonderful homemade cheese and hamburgers. Needless to say, the crew was available to assist those who not familiar with fishing or that have a tangled line.
This group provides the fishing gear and bait and tackle. If you want to bring in your fish at a high speed, you can rent an electric reel from them right there on the boat. The greatest thing they would tell you to bring is the "Large Cooler" because you will need something to store the big ones and all the others you catch. You can leave it in the car until you return. Parking is across the street, no very far from the dock at no additional charge for earlier arrivers. Most of all, that kind gentleman who answers the phone is right there and can see where your vehicle is parked. A very safe place, so you don’t have that to be concerned about.
MM 204 Sanitary Fish Market
Overnight dockage for $10 (for any size boat) is available at this restaurant if you come in to eat. For lunch, there wouldn't be any charge. They have 15 feet of depth at and approaching the dock if you go in from the turning basin, but only 5 feet if you come in from Bogue Sound. No electricity or water is provided. There is a sign that absolutely prohibts feeding the seagulls at the dock.
MM 210 Spooner's Creek
Slip rental was reported to be $1.30/ft for transients. I have not been here. They have on site repairs, and one of the boats traveling north with us had a problem and they went in here to have it fixed. They have a 60 Ton Travel Lift owned & operated by marina and they do all below waterline repairs, bottom painting, shaft & propeller repairs, power washing, etc
The repair department is open weekends. Their website says:
DEEP WATER SLIPS & COVERED SLIPS Permanent and transient slips have two 30 and one 50 amp outlets. Electric included in transient dockage. Softened water is supplied .
BEST PROTECTED HARBOR Spooners Creek is fully protected by land on all sides, while conveniently located just off the ICW. Our boaters are not required to leave our safe harbor during severe weather such as hurricanes.
LARGE, CLEAN, RESTROOMS Check out our well maintained, spacious and clean restrooms with adjoining coin operated laundry.
NEARBY Tennis courts (separate business) adjacent to marina. Golf, beaches and downtown Morehead City within minutes. 24 hour Super Wal-Mart 1 mile. Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, Texas Steakhouse, Kabuta Japanese restaurants, banks and ATM 1 1/2 mile
Port and power boat place
We've never visited Morehead City, but I took these photos as we passed by in the spring of 2002. Beaufort and Morehead City are adjacent, and Beaufort is supposed to be the sailboat town (which we've never visited either although we've anchored in Town Creek) and Morehead City is the power boat town.
Morehead City is also a major port. The city is home to several marine-research facilities such as the Institute of Marine Sciences and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. It is also home to the Ferry Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation and serves and a port of the Second Division of the US Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune.
According to the North Carolina Port page of Port Facts
Four miles from the open sea
Situated along the Newport River and Bogue Sound
5,500 ft. of continuous wharf
Two berths served by modern ship-loader and maximum loadout rate of
3,000 tons per hour of bulk cargo
Dry-bulk facility (used mainly for phosphate) with 225,000-ton capacity warehouse, conveyor system and shiploader
Wood chips handling facility which can outload 1,000 tons per hour with a two million-ton annual capacity
Concrete capped sheet pile bulkhead, solid fill with 1,000 psf concrete deck with rubber and/or timber fender system
Deck height averages 10 ft. above mean low water
Apron widths from unrestricted to 45 ft. opposite transit sheds
Well-lighted wharf areas and 24-hour security
Barge Fleeting Area
Over 90 acres available for development on Radio Island
Tides and Climate
Mean tide range 2.9 ft., current velocities 2 to 3 knots
Mild temperatures year 'round with rare snow accumulation
Harbor Features (US Army Corps of Engineers Project Dimensions)
Ocean bar channel depth of 47 ft. M.L.L.W. and width of 450 ft.
Inside harbor channel depth of 45 ft. M.L.L.W. and widths of 400, 600, 775 and 820 ft.
East turning basin depth of 45 ft. M.L.L.W. and diameter of 1,420 ft.
West turning basin depth of 35 ft. M.L.L.W. and 1,200 ft. radius
Depth of 45 ft. M.L.L.W. at NC Ports berths 1, 2 and 3; 35 ft. M.L.L.W. at Berths 4 through 9
This area of North Carolina's "Crystal Coast" was the product of extensive planning by John Motley Morehead, governor of North Carolina from 1841 to 1845. He envisioned "a great commercial city" where Shepherd's Point intersected with the Newport River and Beaufort Inlet. Plans were developed to extend the North Carolina Railroad from Goldsboro to Shepherd's Point.
The first lots were sold at public auction in 1857. When the railroad was completed a year later, the area seemed destined for rapid development as a major port. However, Morehead City's continued development as a port was interrupted by The Civil War. Following the war, the shipping terminal deteriorated, but the railroad continued hauling vast quantities of seafood to the state's inland sections.
The section of the city known as the "Promised Land," -along Bridges Street- was settled by refugees from the whaling communities on Shackleford Banks. These communities, approximately six mile east of Morehead City by boat, were utterly destroyed by the great hurricane of 1899.
In recent years, a large charter-fishing fleet has developed. The town has regained its commercial viability as a modern port terminal as well as a being the "sound-side" of the Atlantic Beach resort trade.