Patience key for bottom fishing

Published 7:54 am Sunday, September 1, 2019

By Jennette’s Pier staff

“I used to come here [Outer Banks] when I was a kid,” Tom Conroy said. “Now, we’re starting to come back.”

We hear this a lot at Jennette’s Pier. People returning to the Outer Banks and people returning to the Pier.

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Conroy and his wife Kate were in our Family Fishing program taught by Jenna Livernois the Friday morning of Labor Day weekend. Livernois instructs them on everything they need to know about bottom fishing and then directs them to find a ready and waiting rod.

“Last year, we did pretty good,” Kate said, “we got a pigfish and a sea robin.”

Pier fishing ranks high on the lists of a lot of vacationers to the Outer Banks. When the Conroy couple showed up last year, a cashier encouraged them to try the Family Fishing program.

The Conroys also visited Bodie Island during their week as well as the nearby North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, they said.

“We were there on my birthday,” Kate said. “I’m a big turtle person and Finn was still there.”

She likes turtles, Tom likes sharks and eating out: “My thing is food,” he said.

They named a long string of favorite restaurants and meals they had tried from Nags Head to Colington to Kitty Hawk. They were set to take home a steamer pot for Friday night before driving back home to Chicago.

In the class, they fished patiently waiting for the right fish to come along. For Archer Weisholtz, age 9, a pigfish did come around and he caught it no problem.

“I caught two of them the last time I did this,” he said. Before for he let it go back in the sea, Archer said he heard it grunt like a pig.

His little brother Shepard, age 6, later hooked up with Atlantic spadefish and brought it over the rail. He was also glad to be here and even happier that school hasn’t started back yet in Roseland, N.J., where they live.

Fishing near the Weisholtz family were the Swinsons of Knightdale. Amiya and her mom Lisa worked patiently on their patience.

“This is exciting – she [Livernois] kept telling us to be patient,” Lisa said. “That’s the most exciting – just waiting to see what we’re gonna get!”

Amiya said she liked seeing all the different “sea creatures,” which included cannonball and moon jelly fish as well as a huge butterfly ray. Just being outdoors wasn’t too bad either.

“The weather is awesome and that’s a bonus!” Lisa said.

Then she looked over to her son and husband.

“He needs to work on his patience,” Lisa said about her son. “My husband knows how it goes . . .”

The Family Fishing program is offered at Jennette’s Pier every Wednesday and Friday morning at 9 a.m. in September. For just $15, beginners get a two-hour fishing pass, a rod and reel to use, bait and rigs. Plus, like all our guests, they are covered under the pier’s blanket fishing license.



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