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...i guess the book "walking the planks" has not been published yet?







The double hit of Bertha and Fran in 1996 took out most of the piers it was at a time of rising land values and rising construction costs that also played a hand it in. After Bertha some of the piers were scrabling to rebuild for spot season and had just about finished when Fran did them in again. Fran was very damaging because the protective dunes were gone from Bertha. 19 piers had suffered damage by the 2 storms 5 would not be rebuilt. Paradise was lost in a fire in 1985. Dolphin pier closed in the early 80s and reports as late as 88 had them rebuilding and reopening if not for the public just for the Queen's Grant Condos but the couldn't get the sewer.

If you are interested in finding out more about North Carolina Piers look for the book Walking the Planks: An Incomplete History of North Carolibna Ocean Fishing Piers. It is due out early next year. The History Press is going to publish it.
 

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I worked at paradise pier in 77,78 and then worked at dolphen in 79,worked for a great guy, Don Banks at both places.Caught lots of big fish at both places.Wathed Don catch the state record tarpon from paradise in 78, think it was 176 lbs.I got my biggest king at paradise in19 77, 53 lb.
Thank You for sharing that story!!.. A king weight that most kingers will never see...maybe including myself. Thanks again for the memories.

Reelturner
 

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I remember Mckee's, I think it was a little south of where Seaview is now.I think Yogi's parents operated it for a while in the sixtys,Then they had the Pirate's cove restaurant in Surfcity.
 

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I know this thread is old but I just found it while searching and it brought back some relly good memories. I learned to surf at Paradise pier and was out there the day it burnt down. Some of the older than me surfers were paddling out and getting the fishermen who jumped off the pier. It caught fire so quick there was not much time.
I spent many a night fishing Scotch Bonnet and surfing through the day there. The arcade at SB was the teen hangout. I also remember New River pier on the North end. There was hardly any beach there the surf came almost up to the road at high tide but I remember a large hammer head shark that could be seen quite often in the waves around there. So many memories. Thank you for reminding me.
I was there the night before.

I had taken a girl from Jacksonville to watch the surf from the top of the dunes in my car. When it was time to go, the car got stuck in the sand. We walked across the road to a campground where this nice old guy said he would pull me out, but it would have to wait til in the morning. She called her sister to come pick her up, and I called my Pa. Her Sister came straightaway, but my Pa wouldn't be there for a few hours, so I went over to the pier to kill the time. It was kind of cold, so I hung out in the pier house with the guy that had the place for years. We sat up all night looking at old photo albums and drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. I remember him telling me to just drop the butts through the slats in the floor. Pa finally came to get me and we went home. The next morning after daylight, we went to get the car out of the sand and the pier was almost completely gone by then. Burnt. I can still remember the pilings aflame. The waves would occasionally wash the flames out, but it would light back up like one of those trick candles on a birthday cake.

When I was a kid, one of those piers was blacks only. I think it was Surf City.
 

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I worked at paradise pier in 77,78 and then worked at dolphen in 79,worked for a great guy, Don Banks at both places.Caught lots of big fish at both places.Wathed Don catch the state record tarpon from paradise in 78, think it was 176 lbs.I got my biggest king at paradise in19 77, 53 lb.

Freind of mine swore Dolphin Pier was the best back in the day... He had many stories and pictures to back him up... He also spoke highly of the owner.. "Pier Legend" fished there and I'm sure he felt the same way..
 

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Freind of mine swore Dolphin Pier was the best back in the day... He had many stories and pictures to back him up... He also spoke highly of the owner.. "Pier Legend" fished there and I'm sure he felt the same way..
Yep. I would have to agree, no sure if it was the location or bottom type or what, but that pier put fish on the decks.Lots of tarpon and big kings.I had my best morning in mi oct. there in 79 with 4 kings on the deck by 10:30. 1976 thru 79 were some amazing years for pin rigging on piers up and down the north carolina coast.Two old fisherman on dolphin pier at the time were Larry, and Robert. They were two of the best I ever saw.
 

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Yep. I would have to agree, no sure if it was the location or bottom type or what, but that pier put fish on the decks.Lots of tarpon and big kings.I had my best morning in mi oct. there in 79 with 4 kings on the deck by 10:30. 1976 thru 79 were some amazing years for pin rigging on piers up and down the north carolina coast.Two old fisherman on dolphin pier at the time were Larry, and Robert. They were two of the best I ever saw.
..Don Banks fish was 159 lbs....was the state record for 1 yr and that Atlantic Beach fish beat it (164) that stood til "Jesse's" Bogue fish took over and now it belongs to Malcom Condrie of Seaview...(193.50)
I don't know U Don...but Larry Lee and Robert Howard were 2 of my tightest Dolphin buddys....Larry has been gone a few years now...but Robert is still in the area...I fished Dolphin from 1969 to 1977 ....I had a CAREER there ....saw fishing for kings that will NEVER HAPPEN again......511 fish in 1975......
There were fish to practice on an pattern, and as a result that was as SKILLED a group of pier fishermen as could have been.....
I could go into personal numbers..but without back-up I WOULD THINK I WAS LYING....it was a special place and there was some special fishing...............
 

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hey loner, yep you are right about the tarpon size. It was huge. The times I got to fish with Larry and Robert were some great chances to learn from some of the best.Sorry to hear about Larry.Spent a few nights with Larry and Robert fishing for a state record SPOT that Larry wanted pretty bad.We would fish some channels on the sound side north of the sound pier.A friend by the name of Big John joined us a few times.We had some good times.I was 23 in 1979 they were old,had to be at least forty..At least they seemed old at the time.But they took me in as a friend and taught me a lot.We didn't have PIERANDSURF back then.When we are young we all need some one like them to learn from.
We may have run into each other back then who knows.
Don
 

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no problem, I learned a lot from Larry Lee and Robert Howard.They were the old men to me,I was 23 in 1979 ,hell they had to be close to forty. :) some of the best times were fishing for a state record SPOT that Larry wanted real bad.We use some rigs that Larry made up that seemed pretty close to these river rigs I've been reading about.We fished some channels on the sound side that Robert knew well.We came close to the record but never got it.Back then we didn't have places like pierandsurf and you were really lucky to find people like Larry and Robert to let you become part of a great group of fisherman to learn from. Loner we may have met back then who knows, I fished with Don Banks,Big John Pierpoint,Larry and Robert alot back then.All good people.Even mated on Buddys pirate for a while.Long time ago.
 

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The biggest spots in NC use to show up around Thanksgiving down on that south end and U could sure pick some 1 1/4 lb fish along...there was 2 lb spots landed down that way but our guys didn't get one of em and the ones that did didn't weigh one in.....the old pier that use to be across from the Topsail Motel was a spot hot spot that time of year. Big John Purifoy IS still aound the area but is a offical hermit....i fished with him for years and years and now its been years and years since I have seen him....
Larry Lee landed just over 300 pier kings....he fished very hard for the last ones to get him to that number.....they closed Dolphin Pier and he ended up on Scotch Bonnet......Larry landed a 9 lb. 13 oz and 9 lb. 14 oz speckled trout on sucessive nites at the Sneads Ferry Bridge......52m 51....cardinal 6....
Yes we may have crossed D....Don Banks was a good fellow that moved to the Paradise Pier and did real well for a while...sold out and they BURNT IT DOWN!!!...........
There WERE FISH to catch back then .....kings, amberjack, cobia and more speckled trout THAN u can imagine now day.................GOOD MEMORIES............
 
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