• Volume 8 Number 4 - April 2013

    Features

    The action can be great and your cooler full if you follow tips from these dolphin-catching experts.

    If you’re ready for a real blast of spring in South Carolina, look no further than the offshore opportunities for catching dolphin this month. These ravenous eating machines literally explode on lures being trolled at or just below the ocean’s surface, and are one of the most-popular and frequently caught bluewater species.

    Dolphin, aka mahimahi, have many qualities that make it a favorite among saltwater fishermen, including remarkable abundance, bullish fighting, spectacular jumps, astonishing growth, striking beauty and outstanding table fare. With liberal creel limits, dolphin can be caught in big numbers and in exciting fast-paced action.

    Big push inshore from wintering flounder fills smallish, shallow estuary.

    Within feet of the state line, the northern end of the Grand Strand harbors a unique estuary with local and worldly significance. On a grand scale, Walter Maxwell’s 1,780-pound tiger shark — caught from a Cherry Grove pier in 1964 — remains untouched after almost 50 years, and is the only all-tackle world record from South Carolina waters.

    But light-tackle anglers recognize this area for an entirely different reason as April arrives.

    The two-lane boat ramp on the north end of 53rd Avenue in Cherry Grove gets more than its fair share of traffic, and for good reason. April means flounder around these parts, as Cherry Grove’s pocket-sized estuary fills up with hungry flounder moving in from the ocean through Hog Inlet when the rest of the region’s fishing barometer remains cold.

    Use larger, more colorful baits or lures if you’re targeting white crappie on Lake Marion.

    To much of the angling world, a crappie is a crappie. They’re found in most every small lake or large impoundment; they spawn in the spring when the dogwoods bloom; you can catch them on either minnows or small jigs.

    Most important, they are delicious when deep fried in peanut oil — which, more than any other factor, probably accounts for their widespread popularity.

    The explosion in kayak fishing has put more anglers on the water. Here are some suggestions for your first paddle boat.

    You’ve likely noticed that there is a surge in kayak fishing.

    You see them being pulled or carried down the highway. You see them at the boat ramps. And you’ll likely see them in some of your favorite fishing spots — even offshore.

    All types of cover and structure will hold spring bass on Lake Wateree in April.

    April and shallow-water bass form a strong bond with fishermen. It is that time of year when bass are roaming the shallows and the water is warm enough for an aggressive bite.

    This month brings hordes of anglers to lakes throughout South Carolina, and as far as shallow-water fishing, Lake Wateree ranks very high.

    Wateree is considered by many to be an ideal spring reservoir. There’s an abundance of shallow cover to congregate bass: weeds, brush, stumps, logs, docks and rocky shorelines. There’s also an abundance of shallow flats, drops, ledges, humps and points at a wide variety of depths that hold fish. Whatever migration stage the bass are in, there is ample identifiable structure to fish.

    Use terrain to your advantage, call softly and let that big longbeard wander into range.

    The beams from my headlights swung around, illuminating our designated parking place along the side of a gravel road that provides access to thousands of acres of public land in South Carolina's Upstate. Shifting into park, we got out and eased in the predawn morning, readying our gear, then making our way up the mountain to find the old logging road that meandered along the ridge top.

    We found our position on the crest of the mountain as the sky began to brighten. Not another soul was around, and we could barely contain our excitement as we listened to the morning awakening.