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Book Release: North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers

North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing PiersFebruary 22, 2011 - Southport, NC - From the sweltering summer heat to the biting winter chill, thousands of dedicated anglers flock to North Carolina’s piers to cast lines into the salty depths, hoping to reel in anything from whiting and shark to the highly prized sheepshead, red drum and even the elusive king mackerel. Fishing pier enthusiast Al Baird recounts the history of these wind worn structures, from the incredible story of the oldest pier in North Carolina to the tales of the destructive hurricanes that ripped through the Outer Banks. Discover how seaside towns have grown and changed while their piers remain the same, as Baird recounts the memories and accomplishments of the men and women who have visited and loved these slowly disappearing landmarks.

About The Book

The book North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers: From Kitty Hawk to Sunset Beach details the history and current state of fishing from some of North Carolina’s most important landmarks. The book grew out of my desire to preserve the memories of these great wood, steel and concrete structures and it was greatly inspired by two other books on pier fishing in North Carolina. Those books Coastal Fishing in the Carolinas and Pier Fishing in North Carolina both of those books were written by Bob Goldstein. Bob’s books are instructional in nature but do provide a look at the history of the piers.

I spent ten years researching and “researching” this book. Why ten years? My wife claims that most of my “research” was in the form of fishing. She is correct. Having a good reason to drop everything and head to the coast to do “research” sure came in handy over the years and anytime I got a good fishing report the urge to do more “research” just came over me.

The “research” included two week long fishing trips to visit every pier in the state. This happened in 2006 and in 2007. On the first trip I was accompanied by my son Chris a junior at Fort Mill High School at the time and then in 2007 my wife, Mary just couldn't resist the fun.

In the course of doing the real research for the book I met dozens of people that shed information on what the piers were like in days gone by. The book is filled with old pictures taken from some pretty famous people like Aycock Brown and Bill Robertson. The book also contains stories from pier owners past and present and anglers that ventured out over the water on the planks of their piers.

I also got to communicate with others that have written about pier fishing in the state. Writer Bill Morris (Saltwater Cowboys) is one of those. Bill and I became good friends (Go Steelers!) after he did an article about pier for Our State Magazine. Bill had referenced another article he wrote where he and 2 companions fished 23 piers in 48 hours in 1990. Bill did the forward for the book and consulted on the rest of the book and is a wealth of knowledge about the history the piers.

The book begins with the first fishing pier in the state, Kure Pier, built in 1923 at Kure Beach. It then goes chronologically to every other ocean fishing pier built and operated along North Carolina’s coast. The journey is captured in stories and pictures from an era long since past with the heroes of the book being the fishermen and their prized catches.

I hope the book ignites the desire for you to grab your fishing rod and adventure out over one of these structures real soon. I might even see you there as I have begun “research” on the sequel to it.

About The Author

Al Baird resides in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with his wife, Mary, and their two children, Katie and Chris. He began fishing the North Carolina coast as a child in the 1960s when his family would go on their annual family vacation there. Jennette’s Pier was the first pier he ever fished. In 2005, he started the North Carolina Fishing Pier Society to promote pier fishing in the state. In 2006 and 2007, he conducted a weeklong fishing pier marathon, during which he fished every pier in the state. In 2008, he co-founded, with Mike Marsh, the North Carolina Public

The book will be available in March 2011. More details to follow.

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