• Freshwater Fishing

    Jason Bowen of Durham had to call for reinforcements when he hooked this 101-pound blue catfish at Buggs Island on Oct. 15.

    Durham angler catches 101-pound catfish

    Undeterred by a broken trolling motor, Jason Bowen of Durham had to make all his drifts for blue catfish with the wind on Kerr Lake last Saturday. After changing spots once, he hooked up to the biggest fish of his life, a 101-pounder that required reinforcements to land.

    1 hour ago
    Ronnie Setzer is a self-taught fly-tier, but he recommends anglers who want to learn the craft start by taking a course or two.

    How to tie your own trout flies

    Seeing a trout rise to a fly is always a thrill, no matter how often you fish. Having a trout rise to a fly you’ve tied yourself is a greater thrill.

    Tying flies is an art, a craft and a science, the concocting of feathers, fur, thread, yarn and other material to produce a fly that looks enough like an insect to make a trout think it’s the real thing.

    October 19 at 9:00am
    If a school of stripers you’re working has only small fish, fish deeper or look for another active school to find bigger fish.

    Change strategy when you’re catching only small Santee Cooper striped bass

    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.  

    October 15 at 7:00am
    The Diversion Canal between Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie is a great place to find stripers when weather makes for rough conditions on the open water of the lakes’ 170,000 acres.

    Santee Cooper’s Diversion Canal can be a striper hot spot on bad-weather days

    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.

    October 15 at 7:00am
    Anglers may catch dozens of stripers in the 20- to 25-inch range on October trips at Santee Cooper.

    Fall frenzy

    Anglers in the Carolinas are fortunate to be within driving distance of a true, freshwater paradise: the Santee Cooper lakes. With towering bald cypress and water tupelo lining the banks and massive beds of aquatic vegetation, the sheer beauty of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion is evident. Sweeten the pot with a tremendous fishery for monster crappie, heavy stringers of largemouth bass, record-sized shellcrackers and colossal catfish and you’re really onto something.

    October 01 at 7:00am
    Chris Simpson catches plenty of channel cats at Lake Murray this month, but the potential exists for a slam: channels, blues, whites and  flatheads.

    How to slam catfish on Lake Murray through October

    October is a prime time to catch the grand slam of catfish — channels, blues, whites and flatheads — in a single trip to Lake Murray, according to guide Chris Simpson of Greenwood, S.C.

    September 27 at 11:25am
    The Lynches River produces lots of nice bream like this one caught by Joe Wilson, especially in the fall.

    Lynches River’s bream heat up as weather cools

    With cooler, fall temperatures overtaking much of South Carolina, it’s tough to beat bream fishing on small rivers like Lynches River. This narrow waterway can be tough to fish during the summer, when hornets’ nests, snakes, mosquitoes, and various other creepy crawlies can ruin a day of fishing, but the cool nights of October put most of those to rest.

    September 27 at 11:21am
    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
    Elijah Crabtree, a 12-year-old angler from Bladenboro, poses with the new North Carolina state record spotted sunfish.

    12-year-old sets new spotted sunfish state record

    Elijah Crabtree, a 12-year-old from Bladenboro, is one of North Carolina's newest freshwater fish record-holders. Crabtree caught a 7.7-ounce spotted sunfish, a close relative of bluegills and redbreast sunfish, and it is the newly-established state record.

    September 04 at 1:02pm
    Anglers turn to power-reeling to catch big striped bass at Lake Hartwell during the dog days of summer.

    Spoon-feed those stripers

    For two summers, some fishermen who target striped bass on Lake Hartwell have done their best to keep one of their hottest tactics secret. But bringing big fish to the docks and winning tournaments makes it hard to keep a secret because inquiring minds, especially those who didn’t win the tournaments, want to know.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Once Lexington’s Chris Brown discovered Lake Thom-A-Lex, he made it his go-to lake for bass fishing for reasons like this chunky one.

    Little lake, big bass - Little municipal lake has answers for North Carolina bass anglers

    For years, Lexington’s Chris Brown traveled 45 minutes or more to big, well-known lakes, including High Rock, Badin and Norman, to fish for largemouth bass, all the while bypassing a small body of water teeming with bass almost in his own back yard.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Big flathead catfish put on their feed bags in September in the lower part of Blewett Falls Lake.

    Blewett Falls Lake cats get rolling in lower main-lake area

    A strange thing happens this month in the Pee Dee River below Blewett Falls Lake and at the lake itself, according to guide Robbie Burr of Pee Dee Fishing Adventures.

    “September is by far the worst month for catfishing in the river, yet the fishing for flatheads is pretty good at the lake,” said Burr. “I can’t explain why.”

    August 30 at 9:07am