Guide Freddie Sinclair has had the same fishing platform, an 18-foot bass boat, for years, but he recently purchased newer electronics because detecting crappies beneath the lake’s surface is a key to his success, especially during winter.
Guide Wendell Wilson said the potential to catch trophy stripers at Lake Russell exists year-round, although winter is prime time.
“Plenty of huge stripers are also caught in the spring and summer below Hartwell Dam in the upper end of the lake,” he said. “The fact is, this is likely the best lake in South Carolina for trophy stripers.”
During January, the water temperature at Lake Russell typically dips close to its lowest level of the year. When it does — and the big striper bite slows — guides Wendell Wilson and Jerry Kotal have found that thinking small can yield big results.
Plenty of fishermen in North Carolina and South Carolina haven’t been exactly excited about the proliferation of white perch, morone americana, in many reservoirs, Anglers targeting catfish love them for cut bait, but many bemoan the loss of white bass fisheries that are common where white perch have taken over.
The Cape Horn 36os is the excellent big brother of the company’s legendary 31-footers. One look is all it takes to realize mighty oaks grow from acorns and those acorns usually sprout right beside the family tree. The 36os is a boat for fishermen who have a passion for fishing big water and want to do it in comfort and style. And there is a lot of both, plus many built-in features.
Carolina Composites of Walterboro, S.C., make no bones about its Bulls Bay line. Several classic hull designs that have been popular for a while have been located, retooled and modernized to produce a line of affordable boats with the features needed for comfortable and successful fishing. The 230 Center Console is the latest addition to the line and continues the tradition well.
As the only catamaran, the Tideline 235 Hybrid is the odd boat out in this review. Don’t take that to reflect anything negative; it may be a strong positive. The hybrid designation of the 235 is different, too. It was designed from the beginning to fish inshore and offshore equally well. Some boats make similar claims but are found to be lacking at one end of the spectrum; this one isn’t.
The Shearwater 260, the newest boat in Shearwater’s line, is a product of two years of development to establish a new standard in bay boats. Built by American Marine Sports in Groveland, Fla., the 260 includes more fishing-friendly and creature-comfort features than any other bay boat.
The 2350 Bay Ranger from Ranger Boats in Flippin, Ark., is a serious bay boat, yet also brings an innovative, family-friendly, do-it-all inshore/offshore design to all kinds of anglers. The 2350 packs a bunch of features, is rated for 300 horsepower and has impressive performance in terms of speed and economy.