• Volume 7 Number 6 - June 2012

    Features

    Santee Cooper’s No. 1 catfish use ‘highways’ to travel, and when they get on the road, it’s no short sprint. Here’s now to track them down.

    It had been a slow winter for fishermen targeting catfish on the Santee Cooper lakes. Unseasonably warm water and very little rain upset the normal movements of the blue and channel cats, and made them especially tough to find.

    Guide Darryl Smith sipped a tall glass of ice tea in the restaurant at Canal Lakes Fish Camp on the Diversion Canal as he thought about a trip planned for that evening.

    Abbeville bass pro reveals secrets for catching Lake Russell’s June bass, mostly using these two soft-plastic topwater baits.

    Ryan McMurtury of Abbeville knows as much about Lake Russell as almost anyone who pilots a bass boat these days. Growing up, he stomped around what is now the lake’s bottom with his wife’s grandfather, long before the lake was impounded in the early 1980s.

    He knows places that aren’t even marked on maps.

    Famous for its fat spotted bass, this steep-banked Upstate impoundment also produces fine largemouth action — along with crappie, native redeye bass and the occasional smallmouth.

    The good news about Lake Keowee is that it isn’t terribly huge, with waters that cover a little more than 18,000 acres. That modest size can help shorten the fish-finding process, especially when fish are as plentiful as they are at Keowee.

    The bad news is that Keowee certainly ranks as one of the most complex lakes in South Carolina.

    The Coosaw River offers Low Country anglers plenty of productive water that’s not heavily pressured and isn’t off the beaten path.

    On any June weekend, most boat landings near Beaufort are full to capacity, and traffic on popular rivers like the Broad is going full tilt. When the usual spots are just too crowded, the Coosaw River is a great option for anglers looking for a little more room to breathe.

    Inshore options on the Coosaw, which separates Ladys Island, Morgan Island, Judge Island and Coosaw Island from the mainland and empties into the St. Helena Sound, are much the same as other coastal rivers in the Low Country. Redfish, trout and flounder are all possibilities, and the chance for a grand slam is better than average.

    June is a great month to tempt trophy speckled trout with topwater offerings around Georgetown.

    Dawn arrives early this month, with over 15 hours of daylight available for anglers to chase their favorite quarry across the breathtaking estuary associated with Winyah Bay.

    But the first and last 90 minutes of each day will matter the most for kindred spirits on opposite ends of the food chain. Fishermen who target speckled trout and their treasured prey share similar hunting strategies, scanning the upper horizon for unsuspecting quarry.

    Throughout history, a number of unscrupulous characters have made their way into Charleston Harbor, but these ‘convicts’ may be some of the hardest to catch.

    Johnny Spitzmiller stood on the bow of his boat, gripping the controls of his trolling motor like a man bent on trying not to crash into the nearby rocks — which he was barely succeeding in doing.

    Despite what appeared to be a dire situation, he was calm and actually upbeat as he explained his predicament.