New Artificial Reef Guide will help anglers plan fishing trips

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 12:00am

Planning a fishing trip to the North Carolina coast? Check out the new North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Guide.

This new 131-page, full-color guide is printed on waterproof paper and provides detailed information about each of the state’s 62 reefs, including diagrams of each site showing all reef material, GPS coordinates, and material deployment dates.

The guide is available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Headquarters in Morehead City and at other division offices in Wilmington, Washington, Elizabeth City and Manteo. Individuals may pick a book up in person between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). The division will limit distribution of the guide to one book per person.

As a supplement to the paper guide, the division has posted an online interactive reef guide at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/artificial-reefs-program. This web application offers all the features of the paper guide, with the addition of side-scan sonar imagery, which creates a picture of the ocean floor, for each reef. The web guide also includes mapping tools for measuring distance, searching and custom printing.

Featured on the cover of the guide is Cane Faircloth of Holden Beach, who won the 2016 Marine Fisheries Reef Guide Photo Contest. Faircloth, his daughter, Bella, and friend, Maddox, made the cover with this over-the-slot-limit red drum caught at AR-425 (Yaupon Beach Reef) off Oak Island on Oct. 12, 2015. After snapping the photo, they quickly released the red drum back into the water.

As photo contest winter, Faircloth received $125. The second place winner was Nicholas Fuller of Newport, who received $50 for a 360-degree underwater shot of an artificial reef. The third place winner, Brant McMullan of Ocean Isle, received $25 for a photo of an angler and his cobia.