• Volume 5 Number 12 - December 2010

    Features

    Don’t miss a chance for holiday fun catching Lowcountry redfish and trout.

    Yes, it’s hunting season, holiday season, party season, and everyone’s pretty busy, but don’t give up fishing just yet. December is a wonderful month for catching redfish and trout on light tackle and flies in the Lowcountry.

    Using dogs to hunt squirrels is a southern tradition that’s good for the heart and provides a good learning manual for young hunters.

    Champ and Curly bounced excitedly around in their pen behind Randy Dunkley’s cozy log cabin on a wooded hillside in the Hurdle Mills community of Person County.

    Put some Wateree crappie on your Christmas wish list. The lake is one of the best cold-water fisheries in the state.

    For wintertime crappie fishermen, the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is special. The weather is cold, but not too cold. It’s that good-feeling time where you re-establish the bond with your heavy jacket but don’t have to rely on it to survive.

    Sight unseen, hunters in curtain blinds can give ducks and brant a steel-shot sandwich.

    The distant flock of ducks pulsed in the early morning light, swinging wide towards Hatteras. They made the turn and let the hunters know they had seen the spread of decoys in the shallow water several miles out in Pamlico Sound. The flock’s shape changed from wide to long as the ducks fell into a loose group headed across the edge of the sound and toward the waiting hunters.

    Here are some tips to draw a full house on Lowcountry waterfowl.

    Duck hunters in the Lowcountry’s ACE Basin either have connections with a plantation owner who plants food plots and possibly buys raised mallards, or they are rugged individualists with masochistic tendencies.

    The trees have been battered and the ground torn apart. Now the ritual intensifies as antler clashing echoes and the chasing of does heightens. Finally the dominant breeders tend their mates as the whitetail rut peaks.

    Once bucks are in the height of pursuing does, their instincts for survival are somewhat diminished. Their eyes, ears and noses are focused on estrus does, and although they can still respond to threats, most of the time it takes them a few seconds longer to put two and two together. This stupor of hesitation on a rutting buck’s part offers a grand opportunity to bring him down.

    The trees have been battered and the ground torn apart. Now the ritual intensifies as antler clashing echoes and the chasing of does heightens. Finally the dominant breeders tend their mates as the whitetail rut peaks.

    The trees have been battered and the ground torn apart. Now the ritual intensifies as antler clashing echoes and the chasing of does heightens. Finally the dominant breeders tend their mates as the whitetail rut peaks.

    Don’t give up when the rut ends; late-season bucks are tough to kill, but not impossible.

    There are a couple of good things about the tag end of deer season in South Carolina. First, the number of deer hunters drops off as small-game seasons open, and some hunters have just had their fill of whitetails. Others simply don’t like to sit still for long periods in the December cold.

    When the weather cools, the fishing action heats up for striped bass on Jordan Lake.

    Troy Roberson, a fishing guide on Jordan Lake who specializes in striped bass, loves deer season.

    The ‘Fish Doc’ diagnoses ways to consistently catch winter crappie on Kerr Lake.

    Keith Wray of Eden — the “Fish Doc” — rarely needs any treatment for cabin fever throughout the winter. The veteran crappie stalker is accustomed to fishing in cold weather at John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Buggs Island.

    Winter migrations of striped bass can make for some of the best coastal fishing of the season, both inshore and offshore.

    For the past five years, North Carolina fishermen have wondered if this could be the season when everything falls into place, when the striper fishing that marked the winter of 2004-2005 makes a repeat visit.

    Deer hunters in eastern North Carolina should take advantage of a “trickle” of buck activity in December.

    Beginning the last week of October and lasting through mid-November, the breeding season for whitetail deer in eastern North Carolina descends upon the land.