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    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
    Hunt early and often with other shooters for the best dove results.

    Plan dove days strategically

    Dove season begins this month across the south, and the first few days — if not opening day — are the best times to take a limit. So does it work out that way? Is it the timing of the migration, the amount of birds available, or what?

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Caring for your hunting land as if you own it is the best way to be allowed to use it on a long-term basis.

    Respect land to sustain its use

    Labor Day arrives this month, along with the onset of the first major wing-shooting opportunity, dove hunting. Dove season brings out anybody and almost everybody with a shotgun. The first major wave of doves arrives just in time for the thousands of acres of cut corn and tons of standing sunflowers planted in their name. The level of excitement may not rival the killing of a trophy buck, but the opportunity to shoot at winged targets dancing in the wind is on the annual bucket list for just about every hunter out there. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Big bucks can thrive on small tracts of land that many hunters overlook, especially those closer to developed areas that traditionally are not hunted.

    It’s not too late to look for land

    Every now and then, hunters get stuck in a predicament close to the opening of deers season when their opportunity to hunt a property vanishes. It’s tough to shoot a wallhanger without having a tract of land to hunt. While there are several million acres of public-hunting opportunities across the Carolinas, access to a private tract of land gives hunters more control over their hunting missions. But what types of properties make for a good hunting lease this late in the game? 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    The SCDNR offers a handful of special youth dove hunts across the state.

    Take advantage of youth opportunities

    A good dove shoot is a great way to introduce youngsters to hunting. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources provides a perfect venue where conditions and bird counts are generally good to excellent depending on the weather, for the exclusive first-day use of parents with children. Youngsters can absorb the experience by watching their father or mother shoot, eating snacks, drinking soda and running out making retrieves. Older kids can shoot at a few birds themselves. Accompanying adults may shoot during the hunt, just not while their youth is shooting.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Eris Jones and Cindy Norris put the hoist on this big king mackerel aboard Jones’  Backlash.

    Dethrone a king - Fall is a great time to do battle with a powerful king mackerel

    Fall king mackerel fishing along the North Carolina coast is on a par with anywhere. Between the Virginia and South Carolina state lines, there are plenty of fishermen chasing kings every day the weather allows, and there are king mackerel tournaments every weekend, sometimes several.

    September 08 at 2:21pm
    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