• Fishing

    Capt. Justin Carter starts his fishing days with a longer fluorocarbon leader than most anglers do, and he said it saves him time throughout each trip.

    How long is your fluorocarbon leader?

    Braided line has many virtues, and it’s popular among both freshwater and saltwater anglers. It’s also popular for those same anglers to use fluorocarbon leaders due to its invisibility. No other material in the world looks more like water, thus virtually disappearing in water, than fluorocarbon. 

    September 23 at 9:01am
    Today's fishing shoes are more comfortable, more slip resistant, and offer more support than old sneakers, but they can also get plenty stinky.

    How stinky are your fishing shoes?

    Anglers who wade a lot, whether it’s wading in a stream all day, or just stepping into the water to launch or retrieve a boat, have more footwear options than ever. Gone are the days of having to wear a pair of everyday sneakers that don’t fare well as water shoes.

    September 23 at 8:41am
    More changes are on the horizon for the cobia fishery across both Carolinas.

    More changes coming to cobia fishery in both Carolinas

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has approved new, more restrictive regulations for cobia in 2017, hoping to prevent an early closure of the season as took place this year. 

    September 20 at 12:14pm
    Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C. won the Lake Norman FLW Invitational this past weekend, and 8 other Carolina anglers finished in the top 20.

    Bryan Thrift wins FLW Invitational on Lake Norman

    North Carolina native Bryan Thrift won the Walmart FLW Invitational on Lake Norman this past weekend, narrowly beating fellow North Carolinian Scott Beattie by less than half a pound. In all, 9 anglers from the Carolinas placed in the top 20 of the event.

    September 19 at 12:18pm
    The SCDNR is looking for help from crabbers in designing a device that is made to reduce bycatches of turtles and other non-target species.

    SCDNR needs help from recreational and commercial crabbers

    South Carolina Department of Natural Resources biologists are looking for recreational and commercial crabbers to help them improve the design of a device that will help reduce bycatch while maintaining catch rates of large crabs.

    September 19 at 12:02pm
    Flowing for 52 miles through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, the Chattooga is one of the nation’s Top 100 trout streams.

    The Chattooga beckons

    One of the five largest and longest free-flowing rivers in the Southeast, the Chattooga begins its 52-mile journey below Whiteside Mountain in Jackson County near Cashiers, N.C., flowing south and entering the Nantahala National forest below Cashiers Lake. After leaving North Carolina, the river forms the border between South Carolina and Georgia, flanked by the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, offering a variety of trout fishing experiences before entering Lake Tugalo in northeastern Georgia.

    Designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1974 and rated as one of the top 100 trout streams in the nation by Trout Unlimited, the Chattooga is regulated as wild trout waters, delayed-harvest waters and general waters, according to the section being fished.

    September 19 at 9:00am
    Guide Kevin Davis expects September to be a great month to catch blue catfish like this one at Santee Cooper.

    September opportunities

    September serves as a wake-up call for outdoorsmen in the Santee Cooper area. The fishing patterns begin to change as the month progresses, with a trend to shallower water for some species and more-reliable, big-fish patterns in deep water for others. Hunting seasons throttle up everywhere around the lakes in September.

    September 16 at 9:00am
    Fishing deep water and setting up directly over the fish and vertically teasing stripers below is how power-reeling spoons works.

    Tips for catching Lake Hartwell stripers on jigging spoons

    Power-reeling with big, heavy baits has a track record for catching both big striped bass and big numbers of stripers during the summer at Lake Hartwell and other lakes. Guide Mack Farr said while the technique is not hard to master, there are a few advanced tips that can help your overall success.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    The Ben Parker Magnum Spoon  comes in three sizes between 6 and 9 inches, huge for a spoon but small enough to fit in a striper’s mouth.

    Spoon up a striper? Here’s the silverware for Lake Hartwell

    The Nichols Ben Parker Magnum Spoon first made a name with anglers when it was used to win a national bass tournament on Kentucky Lake in 2014. In fact, half of the top-10 finishers used it. The same month, a college fishing event on Pickwick Lake was won with the same spoon.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Fishermen at Lake Thom-A-Lex must observe some boating restrictions in order to sample the municipal reservoir’s fine bass fishing.

    Special restrictions govern buoy area

    Anglers fishing Lake Thom-A-Lex must observe the restrictions on fishing within the buoyed off area of 100 acres near the water-source intake structure on the lower end of the lake. The use of gas-powered engines is prohibited within the area, which is  designated by eight buoys. Fishermen may fish the area with electric trolling motors.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    A variety of lead weights can be used for drifting or bottom-fishing. When paired with a weight trolley, the line will slide, reducing the resistance felt by the fish.

    Heavy weights for bottom-fishing

    The type of weights used for fishing around inlets where the tidal flow often reaches near-warp speeds, varies depending upon the area being fished as well as who is at the other end of the line. Some weights are better for holding in sand, while others are more adapt at not rolling in the current, alleviating the pesky line twist that comes when using a piece of cut bait. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Bull redfish hold on hardbottom areas, like shells or rocks, while they migrate out of sounds toward the ocean in the fall.

    For big drum with live or chunk bait, go with a Lupton rig. Here’s how to tie one.

    Regulations between states vary, but according to guide Dan Utley, South Carolina anglers have taken the lead from the North Carolina requirement when fishing for bull redfish in the inlets around Hilton Head.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Speckled trout are caught along Masonboro Inlet’s rock jetties when the falling tide pulls baitfish and shrimp toward the ocean.

    Seine Masonboro Inlet’s jetties for specks

    The jetties at Masonboro Inlet are oddities along the North Carolina coast, where most inlets aren’t lined with the stone structures.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Speckled trout can tolerate waters with a wide range of salinities as long as food is readily available.

    Speckled trout biology

    Spotted seatrout, aka speckled trout, are members of the sciaenidae family, which includes drums, croakers and weakfish. They are prized as gamefish by recreational anglers throughout their range, from the Chesapeake Bay to Laguna Madre in south Texas, and have been occasionally caught as far north as New York and as far south as Mexico.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Many charter captains participate in the NCDMF red drum tagging program. The information helps biologists understand red drum growth rates and movement patterns.

    Tag, You’re it!

    Catch a tagged fish in North Carolina’s coastal waters and you may reel in a cash award. The NCDMF’s fish tagging program randomly selects tag numbers; anglers who have turned them in win $100. Of 1,020 fish tags anglers returned in 2015, the program drew three tag numbers for each of four species in the tagging program. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    A chum slinger helps fishermen toss chunks of croaker or other fish overboard to set up a chum slick.

    Chum slingers

    Croakers make great bait for red drum, and they also make good chum. The Longer Life Bait Slinger was a great tool for tossing chunks of fish far out into the water to attract big red drum.

    September 15 at 7:00am