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You will need to select bait and this is one area where you need to be particular. If you are going to use shrimp, make sure they are fresh (eating quality) shrimp. A half-pound of shrimp will last you all day. You might try peeling the shrimp to give you an extra advantage. Sand fleas are another great bait and you can dig them yourself from the surf. Mullet and menhaden are the other two favorites but once again; make sure they are fresh, not frozen.

Finally you will need to pick up the new North Carolina Saltwater Fishing License. It is available at most local tackle shops, sporting good stores and at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Office in Wanchese. The cost is $15.00 for residents and $30 for nonresidents for an annual license. You may also purchase a 10-day license, which is $5.00 for residents and $10.00 for nonresidents. Children under sixteen years of age are not required to have a fishing license.

Now that you have the rod, reel, bait and license, it’s up to you to wet your line. Your tackle shop will be happy to show you how to use your equipment. Be sure to keep it out of the sand and saltwater and remember to wash it off after each use with fresh water. And finally be sure to pick up a regulation sheet when you buy your tackle. This will explain size and bag limits and keep you free from the long arm of the law. Now that you have no more excuses, go out and have a great time catching your own seafood!

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