Guide Ricky Kellum always has a stock of trout candy, aka live shrimp, when available, but the pinfish that have taken root on AR 398 make it nearly impossible to float one long enough for a trout to see — at least during daylight hours. But according to Kellum, the reef is also a hot spot on a cool, fall night, and a supply of shrimp is the go-to trout killer.
Live baits are the most-productive ones for king mackerel, especially big kings. Some anglers continue to catch kings using a mixture of spoons, sea witches and lures. Some natural baits are used dead — including two that are favorites of tournament anglers.
Eris Jones and Kevin Norris agree the best tool in the hunt for large king mackerel is current information. If they can’t be on the water, they are talking with fellow fishermen, checking fishing reports,and gathering information as they can. For tournaments, they network with a prearranged group of anglers who share information on where fish and bait are being caught. In the 1990s, cell phones added ar dimension to sharing information as locations for fish and bait could be shared privately on the water.
The Santee Cooper lakes, Moultrie an Marion, span more than 170,000 surface acres of water. While they include many coves, blackwater ponds and creeks where anglers can hide on windy days when the surface gets rough, the best schooling action is usually in open water where there’s no where to hide. But the Diversion Canal connecting the two lakes is a place where the action remains good, even on the worst weather days.
The fall striper bite on the Santee Cooper lakes is a must-see event for anglers. Typically, hundreds of birds hovering over the water in fall are prime indicators of a surfacing school of stripers. Sometimes, anglers may want to consider leaving fish to find other fish. Here’s why.
Since January, we’ve covered strategies, rigging and tactics for targeting different species from a paddle craft. Along the way, we’ve covered saltwater, freshwater and even delved into some hunting. Noticeably absent on this list was a favorite saltwater species along the entire Carolina coast: speckled trout.
As we have reported, 15 of our state parks suffered damage from Hurricane Matthew and are currently closed. The good news is, we hope to have the majority of these parks open and welcoming visitors within the next week. Our coastal parks were hardest hit. We are working diligently at Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park to make repairs and open these two parks by the last week of October.
Plenty of inshore anglers rely heavily on natural baits like live shrimp or mullet, and no one can argue their effectiveness or ability to attract gamefish. After all, it’s what the gamefish are actually feeding on and what keeps them alive. Other anglers, however, swear by artificial lures, saying they often catch twice, three times, even five times the number of fish that other anglers catch on live bait.