• Volume 7 Number 7 - July 2012

    Features

    Fisherman can experience the ‘wow factor’ in the Calibogue Sound as summer arrives.

    Once practiced only by hosts of TV fishing shows, catch-and-release is now commonplace among anglers and has gained a strong saltwater following. This changes the criteria for what makes a sportfish desirable, because without table quality what is left to judge a fish by?

    The “wow” factor.

    A fish with a veracious appetite, smoking speed and brute strength screams “Wow.” Add easy accessibility, vivid surface strikes and a street-fighter attitude and the wow factor goes off the charts.

    July is an ‘offshore’ month for largemouth bass on Lake Wateree. Here’s where to look.

    Lake Wateree in known for producing great springtime action for quality largemouth bass, but once the weather turns hot, many fishermen move on to other lakes.

    According to some very knowledgeable bass fishermen, that’s a big mistake. July and the rest of the summer can provide some of the hottest bass fishing of the entire year on Wateree if you do some “deep thinking” — as in “deep-water thinking.”

    Summer is topwater time at this big Savannah River impoundment, as roving bass and stripers ambush schools of blueback herring and threadfin shad.

    Run and gun, run and gun, run and gun. For bass pro Brian Latimer of Belton, summer bass fishing at Lake Hartwell means making milk runs in search of active fish. Somewhere along the way, he expects to find bass, and when he does, things can get pretty exciting, with bass, hybrids and stripers all hammering topwater lures.

    “It’s a huge topwater time,” Latimer said, “The herring suspend over tree, humps and long, flat points, and bass and stripers move around in big wolf packs, ambushing the baitfish.”

    Rebreast sunfish make this wild, scenic river a fisherman’s dream.

    Dalton Reams of Sumter summed up a sure-fire way to land a mess of redbreast sunfish on the Lynches River in July.

    “See that stump? Now look at that eddy just below it. And do you see that trickle of water from that incoming creek just below the eddy?” Reams asked.

    Moments later, he cast a No. 2 Mepps Aglia spinner between the stump and the eddy. After a few turns on the handle of his reel, his ultralight spinning rod bowed. For a second, the dark water of the Lynches glowed red, then Reames lifted a brightly-colored redbreast bream out of the river.

    Bulls Bay redfish don’t shut down during the summer, but you definitley need a strategy when the mercury is rising.

    You remember the week late last July: The temperature along the coast in the Lowcountry climbed toward the 100-degree mark several days in a row.

    When Fred Bricketto of Carolina Backwaters Fishing Charters motored out of the boat basin at Isle of Palms Marina on July 22, heading north up the ICW to Bulls Bay, the radio station said the high that afternoon might reach 102. The only thing that made the sweltering heat bearable was a light wind blowing in off the ocean, just enough to stir the dust and keep the bugs down.

    Georgetown waters hold plenty of tarpon when hot weather arrives.

    As water temperatures rise in the heart of the summer, a mysterious rival surfaces in Georgetown’s inlets, bays and beachfront locales. Tarpon fever sets in and rapidly spreads, pushing silver king groupies into a crazed hunt for one of the top predators of the sea.

    Newbie anglers become immediately hooked when one of these super-sized beasts doubles over one of the heavy rods on the boat’s stern. While Georgetown’s waters have always been a familiar stop along tarpons’ migration route, fishing opportunities today are better than ever, with more and more fish favoring these rich waters.