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  • Carolina Sportsman catching redfish under docks with Capt. Ben Powers of Reel Time Charters.

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    The full moon of August has passed, but the bream bite is still hot on the Lynches River. According to Jesse Petit, of Wisacky, it's mainly the bluegills and shellcrackers that are biting, and they are biting everything.

    Petit prefers to throw Johnson Bettlespins on ultralight rods for his bream action, but he says other spinners in the 1/16 - 1/8th ounce sizes will work, and tiny spoons and crankbaits will also do the trick. Worms and crickets also work fine, but Petit says he avoids getting hung on underwater tree limbs and roots a lot better while using Beetlespins, which bounce off structure more often than not due to their design.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    August 31, 2010 at 6:01pm

    The Palmetto State had some cooler nights and mornings this past week, and that has turned on some of the freshwater fish that have been too hot to bite much lately.

    Bishopville resident Joel Boykin reports the largemouth bass have really turned on in the last few days. He has caught several bass over 5 pounds during that time, all on Zoom Watermelon Red worms and all on waters in Lee County.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    August 28, 2010 at 12:46pm

    It's not open season on deer yet in every part of the state. But don't let that stop you from getting into the woods. In most parts of the Palmetto State, hogs offer hunters a chance for outdoorsmen to get a live warm-up for deer season. They also offer a chance to put some pork in the freezer before the venison fills it up. The SCDNR reports hogs were killed in 45 of the state's 46 counties in the past year, so chances are, there are hogs near you.

    The hunter below took this nice hog at a plantation in Sumter County along the banks of the Wateree River. It won't be long before hunters all across the state have dual opportunities to hunt deer and hogs at the same time. Check your game zone to see when opening day for deer is for you, but in the meantime get out in the woods and put some bacon on the ground.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    August 24, 2010 at 2:54pm

    Camden angler Dearal Rodgers has been fishing professionally for 5 years and has had his share of success during that span, but last weekend he tripled his career earnings by capturing the FLW co-angler championship on Georgia's Lake Lanier.

    The tournament lasted 3 days, and Rodgers weighed in a total of 14 fish, tipping the scales at 27 lbs, 3 ozs. This weight bested the second place finisher by 6 ounces, but the difference in prize money was huge. Rodgers won $65,000; the second place finisher won $20,000.

    Most of Rodgers' fish came while using finesse techniques, including a lot of drop-shotting over brushpiles with Roboworms in deep water while using a spinning reel spooled with 6-lb line and a 3/16-oz lead weight.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    August 11, 2010 at 12:33pm

    The Catfishing is hot on Lake Santee. Capt. Wayne Vining ( has been putting his clients on some good fish the past few weeks. Several 40-pound class fish have been reeled in lately, and many more in the 15 to 20-pound size have been caught recently as well.

    If the heat is too much for you, Capt. Wayne can accomodate you by taking you night-fishing when the air temperature is a little cooler and sometimes the catfish bite better. It's nice to kick back on a pontoon and stretch your legs while waiting on ole whiskers to bite. Capt. Wayne has a comfortable 25-ft. Tritoon that will allow you and several others to do just that.

    Using a combination of drift-fishing and anchoring, Capt. Wayne has had a lot of success this summer and reports the bite is going strong. Check out his website for more

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    August 05, 2010 at 2:36pm

    Some people say you can't catch crappie when it's this hot. Capt. Steve English says otherwise. He reports the crappie bite is good right now around mid-depth brush. Some people make the mistake of fishing the deepest water they can find when in the heat of summer, but according to English, there is currently very little oxygen in the deepest holes.

    Tightlining minnows over brush in 12-18 feet of water is the ticket for boating crappie right now.

    The bream fishing is also good, with many anglers limiting out all over the lake. They have been shallow lately but are starting to move to deeper water, but will be back in the shallows as the next full moon approaches. Crickets, waxworms, nightcrawlers, red wigglers are all working well, and Mepps Aglia and Black Fury spinners are also catching plenty of fish.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    July 31, 2010 at 11:52am

    Alligator hunting permits have been issued and the season cranks up on Sept. 11 and runs through Oct. 9 this year, and to make sure hunters know the ins-and-outs of the regulations, techniques, and equipment needed, the SCDNR is conducting 4 seminars in August.

    Each seminar will take place on the 4 Saturdays of August and will be spread out across the state. Schedule is as follows:

    Aug 7, at 10 am, the first seminar will take place at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

    Aug 14, at 10 am, the Santee Cooper Auditorium will host a seminar in Berkeley County.

    Aug 21, at noon, Lexington County will have a seminar at the Airport Campus of Midlands Technical College.

    Aug 28, at 2 pm, the Spartanburg Expo Center will be the site of the final seminar during the Harry Hampton Hunting & Fishing Expo.

    There is no cost to attend the seminars, but there is a small fee to gain entrance into the Harry Hampton Hunting & Fishing Expo.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    July 31, 2010 at 11:42am

    Lowcountry fishing was tough this past weekend. The baitfish were plentiful but the bite was slow in Johnson Creek and Machete Flats. It wasn't easy to keep the toadfish, skates, and small sharks off the bait, but kayak angler Dalton Reames of Sumter caught the fish of a lifetime. Reames landed a 42-inch redfish while trolling a mud minnow through Johnson Creek, making what started out as a slow day into a memorable one.

    The 3.5 foot long redfish made several runs, pulling line out each time it came within sight of the kayak. Reames played it cool, allowing his Ambassadeur 6500's drag to do its job while he let the drum play itself out. After pulling the kayak around for a few minutes, the fish finally tired and Reames was able to haul it atop his 12' Wilderness Systems Tarpon. Reames then spent several minutes in the water reviving the fish, which finally swam off under its own power, none the worse for the battle.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    July 26, 2010 at 11:19am

    The fishing report for Edisto Island ranges from 'fair' for trout to 'excellent' for Spanish mackerel.

    The Spanish mackerel have been schooling and biting small bucktails and spoons. The fish are easy to find right now. Focus on the nearshore wrecks and at the mouths of the rivers, and watch for seagulls and other birds diving. Work your lure quickly for best results.

    Sheepshead fishing is also excellent right now. Fidler crabs are the hot bait. Fish them around pilings, downed trees, or any structure that has barnacles on them.

    Tarpon fishing is good, especially early in the morning. Cut blue crabs on Carolina-rigs are catching them, and big mullet are good bets too. Some anglers are having good luck while chumming, but this tends to bring the sharks in too.

    Redfish are biting very good. These fish seem to be hitting everything right now. Many are being caught on fiddler crabs by anglers targeting sheepshead. Live shrimp fished under a popping cork is another excellent method. Many good redfish are being caught in the back creeks where the wind has been less of a factor.

    Flounder fishing is good around docks, oyster rakes, and the mouths of creeks, and they are being caught on mud minnows and finger mullet. These fish are plentiful but most are undersized.

    Trout fishing is fair. The winter cold is purported to be the reason that more of these fish aren't being caught. Try fresh shrimp under a popping cork.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    July 21, 2010 at 1:35pm

    The South Carolina DNR has reported a red-bellied pacu was recently caught out of Gibson Pond in Lexington County. Cousins of piranha, pacu are popular aquarium fish that often outgrow their homeowners' welcome and are sometimes illegally released into public waters. Pacu are native to South American rivers, but are not native to South Carolina and are considered an invasive species and a nuisance to native fish and plants.

    If you catch a non-native species like a pacu, report it to the South Carolina DNR and do not re-release the fish into South Carolina's waterways.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    Photo below is courtesy of SCDNR and shows the recently caught pacu.

    July 08, 2010 at 1:19pm

    The trout are biting great on the Lower Saluda River. While many folks think you need to travel to the upstate to catch trout in South Carolina, you can actually catch them just a few miles from downtown Columbia.

    Saluda Shoals Park has great access to these trout waters. With a small boat ramp and a canoe/kayak launch in the park, you also have the option of fishing while wading the bank.

    The best bite has been on small spinners like Mepps Aglia lures and Worden's Roostertails. 1/16th-ounce and 1/8th-ounce sizes will keep you occupied by fish, but if you want to focus on bigger trout, use 1/4-ounce lures and more patience. The bite will be more infrequent but will have a bigger payoff.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    June 30, 2010 at 8:32am

    The Wateree River has had pretty low water levels lately, and while that can make things tough from a navigational standpoint, it is excellent for bass fishing. The outside bends of rivers like the Wateree typically have the deepest water, so bass will go there seeking the higher oxygen content and cooler water. Toss an enticing looking lure in there and you'll get bit often enough to make the trip very well worth it. Spinnerbaits are working well in these holes, and according to Sumter's Ken Nutter, you're better off throwing spinnerbaits in the 5/16th-ounce size. He says they fall slower and offer a more realistically sized presentation to these fish than anything bigger.

    In the early mornings, buzzbaits work well behind downed logs when the water is low like it is now. Any break in what little current is present will make the water almost completely still. Fish the buzzbaits parallel to the downed logs and trees to cover the most area. Have another rod armed with a weightless plastic worm or creature bait, and if a fish swipes at, but misses, your buzzbait, cast the plastic lure right were the fish hit. Let it slowly sink, but pay close attention for another strike.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    June 28, 2010 at 2:34pm

    The 3rd leg of the 2010 SC Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, the Carolina Billfish Classic, is taking place this weekend out of the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. The tournament runs from June 24th-26th, with each boat fishing 2 of those 3 days. About 50 boats are participating in this event and Thursday saw some excitement at the scales.

    Anglers also have the option of docking and weighing-in at two other venues. Harbour Town Yacht Basin and Georgetown Landing Marina are the other locations. Meat fish can be weighed at any of the three ports, but any killed billfish must be brought to Charleston. Live video feeds connect the three locations.

    Notable happenings for day 1 of the event include Greenville, SC's 'Daymaker' racking up 700 points, releasing two marlin and a sailfish, followed by 'Rascal,' another upstate boat from Spartanburg with two marlin releases for 600 points, and 'Second Love' of Charleston with 600 points as well.

    With two days left in the tournament, there is plenty of time to come in and enjoy the hospitality of the Charleston Resort & Marina. Aside from watching boats come in and weigh fish, plenty of exhibitors are on hand selling everything from fine art, jewelry, t-shirts, and fishing tackle.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    June 25, 2010 at 11:14am

    If you've taken a trip to Lake Marion's Sparkleberry Swamp or Pack's Landing lately, you've probably seen gobs of crawdads at the boat landings and on submerged cypress stumps and knees. The over-abundance of these mudbugs has been credited with the slow bass-fishing in the area--the bass simply aren't hungry after munching on 'dads all day.

    But don't let the slow bass-bite keep you off the water. These crawdads are great for a cookout, and they are also a lot of fun to catch.

    A crawdad (or minnow) trap is your main weapon. Tie an empty bottle to it with 4-foot piece of rope. Baited with fish parts and dropped into weedbeds, the traps should be checked about once an hour. In between checking your traps, you can either fish for bream, catfish, or bass, or you can fish for more crawdads with a rod-and-reel. Just slip a piece of cut-bait onto your hook, dangle it in the water close to some form of cover, and when you feel a little tug, slowly lift your bait out of the water, direct it over the cooler in your boat, and shake the crawdad(s) off. It's not uncommon to have 3 or 4 clamped down on your bait at a time.

    Why use a hook on your rod-and-reel when fishing for crawdads? Well, you never know when that big ole bass or catfish is going to latch onto your bait, and won't you be sorry to tell that story of the one that got away, simply because you weren't using a hook?

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    June 17, 2010 at 12:35pm

    Tis the season for thunderstorms, and while you don't want to be out on the water during one, it's not a bad idea to try your hand at fishing once the storm has passed. A recent outing to a friend's farm pond showed the best parts of the aftermath of a thunderstorm--a rainbow and some top-notch bass fishing.

    All these bass bit soft plastic worms and creature-baits just after a major thunderstorm had passed through the northern part of Sumter County.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    June 17, 2010 at 10:51am

    Fishing aboard CARAMBA during the 2nd leg of the SC Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, 11-year old John Taylor of Columbia caught a 13.4-pound dolphin. This portion of the Series was held out of Georgetown Landing Marina, and was won by CARAMBA, who finished the weekend with 1200 points after releasing two blue marlin.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    May 30, 2010 at 9:12am

    The flounder bite is on fire in the Hunting Island Lagoon, and flatfish of all sizes are being caught. I joined up with some other kayak anglers this past weekend and we caught them in a variety of ways. At low tide, we caught several flounder around the walking bridge that passes over the lagoon. We caught numerous others between the bridge and the back of the lagoon.

    Mud minnows fished on the bottom and reeled slowly accounted for some of the fish. Trolling with the current with rods stuck in rod holders picked up a few fish as well. Z-Man Minnowz artificials in pearl color fished on white jigheads were good for 4 flounder, with these fish also caught while slowly reeling in the lure along bottom.

    Flounder make great meals and each fish yields 4 fillets of some of the best tasting fish out there. Fishing for them from kayaks is a blast, and is a relatively inexpensive way of getting to them. Kayaks also allow anglers to reach areas other boaters can't, especially at low-tide. During a 4-hour period in the lagoon, the only other boaters we saw were other kayakers, who wished they'd brought fishing rods along once they saw what we were catching.

    The flounder are definitely back inshore, and now is a great time to catch them.

    Brian Cope
    SC Sportsman Field Reporter

    May 17, 2010 at 3:41pm
    A comment titled: Weedless and weightless in response to a report titled: Cooler Mornings Good for Fishing

    He's been fishing with the hook buried in the worm and no weight, and just slooowwwwly working the worm around structure.

    August 29, 2010 at 9:55am
    A comment titled: Nice deer, great pic! in response to a report titled: Calhoun

    Those are four nice bucks and a great photo!

    August 28, 2010 at 12:34pm
    A comment titled: Shoot 'em in response to a report titled: hog problems

    Shoot them piggies! It's legal to hunt them at night now, with certain restrictions. From DNR's webpage:

    'There is no closed season on hogs and hogs can be hunted at night with an artificial light that is carried on the hunter's person attached to a helmet or hat, or part of a belt system worn by the hunter and with a sidearm that has iron sites, and barrel length not exceeding nine inches (50-11-710). The sidearm may not be equipped with a butt-stock, scope, laser site, or light emitting or light enhancing device. However, hogs may not be hunted at night from a vehicle, or with a centerfire rifle or shotgun, unless specifically permitted by the department.'

    And of course you can hunt them with rifles and shotguns during daylight hours. What have you done with the ones you've caught in the trap? Many deer processors in SC will process hogs for you.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:37pm
    A comment titled: Good ones in response to a report titled: still catching fish in my kayak

    Way to catch 'em Mike. Looks like you're getting warmed up for the upcoming IFA Kayak Georgetown tournament. Keep up the good fishing and keep the reports coming.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:19am
    A comment titled: Nice catches in response to a report titled: edisto river flatheads

    Good catches. It's definitely getting to be the right time of year for bush-lining.

    August 25, 2010 at 7:35pm
    A comment titled: dog in response to a report titled: Is that a panther

    I think it looks much more like a dog than a cat too.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:23am
    A comment titled: Nice in response to a report titled: memories

    Looks like a good year of hunting. We'll call that the Palmetto Slam.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:17am
    A comment titled: Good photos in response to a report titled: goood fawn and polt numbers

    Looking good William. How many acres do you have and what part of the state are you located?

    August 22, 2010 at 8:51am
    A comment titled: Wow! in response to a report titled: bears

    Great pics!

    August 18, 2010 at 9:33pm
    A comment titled: Good proposals in response to a report titled: Proposed Changes to SC Freshwater Fishing Laws*

    I think a change that makes different regulations for different bodies of water is good. In North Carolina, I've heard casual anglers complain that the variations in trout regulations are ridiculous and should be the same for the sake of ease. That would make it easier for folks to know the laws from one body of water to the next, but that's all it would do. It certainly wouldn't help the fisheries!

    August 12, 2010 at 10:02pm
    A comment titled: Never in response to a report titled: Smallmouth Bass

    I've never caught a SC smallmouth. I've caught my share in NC but none here. I'm a little too far south. Are there any good kayak access spots on the Broad River that you can share?

    August 05, 2010 at 2:05pm
    A comment titled: Dolphin in response to a report titled: Edisto Gov. Cup - Day Three

    Oh boy, that dolphin had a rough day. 'oh, a free meal. Hey there's a hook in my mouth. I'm being attacked! Saved by the humans! Uh oh, this box doesn't look like such a great place to spend the day.'

    That sounds like a wild tournament with the top places not changing hands after day one. I bet the Rascal crew was surprised to win after coming in empty-handed on the last day?

    August 01, 2010 at 3:34pm
    A comment titled: Tightlining in response to a report titled: Lake Moultrie Crappie and Bream

    Hey Teach, tightlining is when you aren't using a cork but you aren't trolling or fishing on the bottom either. The boat is sitting still and you've got your bait at a certain depth.

    You probably know it by a more high-tech name!

    August 01, 2010 at 3:26pm
    A comment titled: Nice in response to a report titled: Pawley's Island red

    Nice job on the redfish. What have they been biting on lately?

    You're right, catching them from a 'yak is the way to go. Are you going to fish in the IFA kayak tournament in Georgetown in Sept?

    July 30, 2010 at 9:37am
    A comment titled: Nice Bass in response to a report titled: Beginners Luck

    According to most length-to-weight conversion tables for largemouth bass, a healthy 24-inch largemouth bass weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 8.52 pounds, a fine catch for sure.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:08pm
    A comment titled: Nice fish in response to a report titled: Fishing Lake Wateree!

    Nice one Brett. Good to see Wateree becoming such a good largemouth destination.

    June 20, 2010 at 4:40pm
    A comment titled: Great! in response to a report titled: MASSIVE BLACK DRUM CAUGHT ON APACHE PIER

    Excellent catch and good on you guys for getting him back in the water quickly.

    May 08, 2010 at 10:51pm
    A comment titled: Rabbit-food sticks in response to a report titled: Bass Are Attacking Wacky Rigs

    Hey Dan, I've heard the same mixed reviews about them. One guy I know that has them loves them, another guy that has (or had) them said he'd rather fish with a $6 WalMart rod.

    May 06, 2010 at 2:13pm
    A comment titled: Bream Tale in response to a report titled: Upstate Full Moon Bream

    I caught bream all the way down a 4 mile stretch of the Wateree River last weekend. Caught them on red wigglers and 1/16-ounce spinners like Mepp's Aglia lures and Johnson Beetlespins.

    May 05, 2010 at 3:14pm
    A comment titled: Congrats in response to a report titled: Va. gentlemen makes good on a 3 day hunt!

    Congratulations on your Palmetto State gobbler. What you did is no small feat! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    April 21, 2010 at 10:16am
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