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Keepin’ it real … very real

The pheasant rose from the scrubs, its wings in full flare as it tried to escape to the sky, thinking that there it would be safe from a predator. Alas, a hunter was just feet away, gun at the ready to harvest a tasty meal from a moment of a successful hunt. The memory no doubt burned into the mind…

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A mariner’s worst nightmare

Johnny Savage was just hours into another embarkment of fun and fishing out of Isla Mujeres, the famed Island of Women just off the Mexican coast of Cancun. He was mating for Capt. Eric Bingham on the private vessel Anhinga, a beautiful Jim Smith-built 56-footer. Seas were tailing and light, things looked as though it would be a smooth transition…

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BREAKING NEWS!

NORTH CAROLINA DAWG MAKES REMARKABLE DISCOVERY While watching me read a recent National Geographic story on the ancient English megalith Stonehenge, Oliver Tolliver pawsed and pondered deep thoughts. Surely there must be something similar he could discover. Something monumental, astonishing, mind blowing. After a lot of nose-to-the-ground searching, he eventually ran into the house barking up a storm. Able to…

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She was almost a grander

The day starting off well. The crew on the Reelin’ ‘n’ Dealin’ had gone one-for-three on white marlin and had released a small blue marlin. Sixty-pound class tuna were wearing the crew out. So the move was made to switch to heavier tackle to get the tuna in quicker to avoid sharks and wear-and-tear on the arms and shoulders of…

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It was a hair-raising experience

Had an amazing opportunity recently to tour Back Bay for several hours to witness the bay’s comeback. Got a couple of bass while doing a shock survey with Chad Boyce of the state game department. Lifelong friend Harvey Caldwell was along for the ride to witness for the first time in ages how the second home of our youth was…

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Crab pickin’s sure are a mess

There are few things more traditional along the shorelines of the Chesapeake Bay than a good, old-fashioned crab pickin’. A bunch of steamed crabs – orangish-red, covered in Old Bay seasoning, steaming hot on a picnic table covered with old newspaper. Bowls of melted butter and cocktail sauce. Hammers and plyers and pickers at the waiting. Pitchers of ice cold…

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VBBT is a wrap

Sometimes one is good enough. The crew on the Virginia Beach-based Cuttin’ Up caught a 612.5-pound blue marlin on the first day of the 19th annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament and held on to win the event after Saturday’s final day of competition. It was the only fish the team caught during its two allotted days of angling. The fish,…

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VBBT anglers fishing for second?

There are 67 boats out in the Atlantic today competing in the final segment of the 19th annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. All are trying to catch the team on Cuttin’ Up, a Virginia Beach boat captained by Nick Jones that took the early, and commanding, lead in the event on the first day. Josh Bowen wrestled in a 612.5-pound…

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North Carolina outfitter had some big shoes to fill

In Rodney Atkins country song “Watching You,” his son shocks him by saying a four-letter word. The child responds to a question about where he learned to talk like that with: “I’ve been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.” Jonathan Watts has had some similar issues, although he didn’t mention anything about…

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Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament off to a big blue start

The Cuttin’ Up showed up at the weigh station for after the first day of the 19th annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament and wowed the crowd with the crew’s catch. Team member Josh Bowen fought and decked a big blue marlin that met all the tournament requirements to bring to the dock for weighing – which immediately set the team…

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Pirate’s Cove tournament is a wrap

The 39th annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament concluded Friday with another shuffling of the leaderboard. Country Girl, with Capt. Charles Foreman at the helm, vaulted from seventh placed to the winner’s spot with 800 points that were tallied from a pair of blue marlin and three sailfish. The effort put $370,000 in the team’s bank account. Country Girl edged out…

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