Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blue Water Fishing

According to a 1938 article in the Beaufort News (Beaufort, NC), "The first Gulf Stream fish (dolphin and amberjack) ever caught with rod and reel off North Carolina were landed off Ocracoke Island. That was back in 1910, and the anglers making the initial catches were Frank L. Fuller, of New York City, and Tom Eaton, of Winston-Salem."

The Colbalt-Blue Waters of the Gulf Stream

Tom Carlson, in his book, Hatteras Blues: A Story from the Edge of America, relates the same story in a bit more detail but with a slightly different date:

"…quite probably the first offshore fishing trip from the Hatteras area was made in the early 1920s by a man named…Thomas Spurgeon Eaton,…the son of a Reynolds tobacco Company executive. He was also an avid fisherman and a lover of the Outer Banks of North Carolina…. [As Carlson notes, even in the 1930s 'off-shore' trips were rare in large part because of 'a healthy respect for the fickle weather at Cape Hatteras']. Tom Eaton talked Captain Bill Gaskill of Ocracoke Island [and proprietor of the Pamlico Inn] into taking him all the way out to the Gulf Stream to fish. A skeptical Bill Gaskill deferred to his son, Thurston, to skipper the boat. They went out Ocracoke Inlet and fished the Gulf Stream, but got lost on the way in [this was long before fishing boats were equipped with electronic navigation aids such as depth finders, radios and GPS] and finally came in through Hatteras Inlet, having caught six huge dolphin. This was probably the first real blue-water charter trip off Cape Hatteras."

Thurston Gaskill (with fish)

To see more photos of the Pamlico Inn and Thurston Gaskill, click here.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about earthquakes that have affected Ocracoke and the Outer Banks. You can read the newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092116.htm.  

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