• Volume 3 Number 3 - March 2008

    Features

    Put a hook in a “convict fish,” and enjoy Charleston’s winter sheepshead fishery.

    While Old Man Winter is loosening his grip on the coast this month, it’s still a little too early to go fishing for bass and flounder in the creeks.

    Why not make like Wyatt Earp and try to “round-up” as many “convicts” as you can?

    Scouting and patience are the two keys to working this region’s early season gobblers.

    For most South Carolina turkey hunters, nothing is better than hearing several longbeards booming gobbles at dawn on Opening Day.

    But for many, there is a way to improve on the scenario — to begin the season in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

    Marine biologists believe speckled trout will carry the day this spring and summer, and other inshore and bluewater species also look promising.

    How will fishermen fare along South Carolina’s coastline this year?

    To answer that question, all you have to do is forecast the weather.

    At least that’s what Charlie Wenner, a marine biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, has to do when he looks into his crystal ball.

    March is a big transition month — but it’s also a month for big bass catches at Clarks Hill.

    On the calendar, March occupies 31 days — like a lot of the other months.

    But for bass fisherman, March covers an awful lot of ground. Conditions can and will change at the drop of a cold front, and over the course of a little better than four weeks, bass fishing can go from dead to dynamite, from winter to wonderful.

    Coastal rivers swell with shad during the spring, and winter-starved catfish are some of the first to feast on the banquet.

    Even though winter never really gets a good grip on the Lowcountry, the lengthening days of March have a feel to them like none other on the calendar.

    The air smells clean, and the warmth of the sun on your skin is as comforting as a blanket to a 4-year-old. While the woods and swamps seem stark and lifeless, pockets of color from yellow Jessamine are a visual reminder that spring is coming.

    Up-to-date tactics will help you fill your cooler this month with Lake Wateree crappie.

    Years ago, crappie fishing was a pretty laid-back, contemplative fishing experience.

    Using three or four land markers — a large tree, a dock, a point — you located a position where you had caught crappie before and anchored there. Then, you set out cane poles baited with minnows, sat back and contemplated world affairs while waiting on the fish to bite.