The morning sun was only a hint in the Eastern sky as Kevin Meetze eased his boat up to the rock jetties at Murrells Inlet and began looking for areas where sheepshead had grazed on the barnacles and mussels on the rocks.
The day began as a Spanish mackerel fishing trip. Donald Lane, captain of the Impulse, a 58-foot Carolina Custom sportfisherman, set out from the Morehead City municipal docks with rods rigged and ready with spoons and planers.
Droning like a Lowcountry air-conditioner in July, the twin diesel engines had an intoxicating effect.
Their vibration and sound combined with the fixation on the trailing spread of baits lulled those in the cockpit to a stupor. When the action is slow, trolling can be as exciting as watching the grass grow. But theres the other end of the spectrum, something this bunch of lethargic anglers was about to experience.
For most of us, this fascination began during a long-ago summer when mom and dad filled the family chariot with suitcases, inner-tubes for riding the waves, cardboard boxes containing sunscreen, Nehi soft drinks, Nabs and moon pies, crammed the kids in the backseat and hit the blacktop for the beach.
When Jeffrey Thomas was growing up in the Lee County town of Broadway, there was only one place to go fishing at the outskirts of town, below the junction of the Deep and Haw Rivers, an old, abandoned dam impounded a section of the Cape Fear River.
Well, Nick Babin and Brian Davis live in Gilbert at the south side of Lake Murray, and when they want to catch big slab crappie and lots of them, they drive completely around their home lake and head up the road to Lake Wateree, downstream from the town of Great Falls on the Catawba River, forming the border between Fairfield, Lancaster and Kershaw counties.