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    This speckled trout is a keeper, but just barely. If you are in doubt, it’s always safer to throw it back.

    Portable rulers you carry

    It’s an early June morning, and while you know the sweltering heat will come soon, now it’s relatively cool, and you’re hoping for a quick limit so you can get back to the dock before the sun gets too high. And BAM! just like that, you’re into them. 

    June 05 at 9:00am
    Guide Robert McCarley said spadefish are among the strongest of all saltwater panfish; they get to nice sizes around nearshore reefs.

    Go to the reef, in spades

    That’s the fish right there that you want me to hook? I’m gonna yank him straight into the boat,” an angler told guide Robert McCarley one day last May, while fishing a nearshore reef out of Georgetown.

    May 05 at 9:00am
    A little preventive maintenance goes a long way to keep your trailer on the highway and your boat running on the water after a winter of idleness.

    Fix it before it breaks

    April is a favorite month for many anglers, and while a lot of folks get on the water, it’s also a common month to have a less-than-pleasant fishing experience. The main reason is often a lack of proper boat and trailer maintenance. 

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Fingertip controls are part of the Mercury Skyhook digital anchoring system.

    Don’t anchor out again

    Anchoring technology has come a long way since the early days of boating. Power-Poles and Minn Kota Talons are remote-controlled anchoring systems that are great for inshore anglers, and Minn Kota’s iPilot and Motorguide’s xi5 trolling motors lock on to a satellite through GPS and keep a boat’s position steady, leaving anglers free to fish without having to worry about the boat slipping off the fishing hole.

    March 05 at 9:00am
    Spinning reels without bails don’t take much time to master, and they’re easier to use than models with bail wires.

    Held without bail? Great!

    Even though they vary in size and quality, spinning reels are some of the most-basic fishing tools for both inshore and offshore anglers, no matter what species is being targeted. But there are actually two distinct versions of this reel; bailed spinning reels are the most common to see in South Carolina waters, but bail-less versions are becoming more popular.

    February 05 at 9:00am
    Rick Percy of Reel Chance Charters caught this winter trout on a Norton Sand Eel fished on a Rockport Rattler jighead.

    Add noise to winter lures

    Fishing can be tough in the winter. Aside from the cold air temperatures that keep many anglers off the water, the lower water temperatures also slow things down for most fish, including their appetites. They still have to eat, but they eat less often and will conserve energy by passing on the chance to chase down a lot of meals. 

    January 01 at 7:00am
    The disappearance of live bait as fall ends leads to artificials taking a lot more trout in December.

    How to rock a speck

    Ask Steve Chanilo of Murrells Inlet Outpost what he’s fishing for this month, and he’ll sound like a broken record. That’s because he believes in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” approach. What worked in December last year, and the year before that is working again this year, and that is catching trout along the jetties.

    December 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    Capt. Garrett Lacy caught this redfish on a D.O.A. shrimp fished under a popping cork.

    Just stuff a cork in it

    Most anglers’ first memories of fishing involve a cork with some type of live bait dangling beneath it. For the fish, this meant the bait was in the strike zone instead of getting buried in the mud, but to the angler, it meant being able to tell whenever a fish was biting. 

    November 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    These monster Grand Strand specks were all fooled by topwater lures.

    Time for lures over bait

    Ask any saltwater angler in South Carolina to choose his or her favorite fishing month, and a good many will tell you October is the one they look forward to all year. No matter what your favorite fish is, the chance of catching good numbers are high this month. The influx of shrimp and baitfish, the cooling of the water and air and the seasonal migration of fish between offshore, nearshore and inshore combine to give anglers some of the hottest saltwater action they’ll see.

    October 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    Flood tides brought on by full and new moon phases send redfish up on flooded flats, where fishermen can sight-cast and catch them on spinning and fly tackle.

    Time to turn tail on reds

    September is a great month for stalking tailing redfish, no matter what part of coastal South Carolina you’re fishing. It’s typically the last good month of fishing for reds this way, and for a number of reasons, it often produces the best tailing redfish action of the year. This September should be no different.

    September 07, 2015 at 9:00am
    Blacktip sharks are a big summer treat for anglers wanting to tangle with big fish without spending hours heading offshore.

    Take a bite of a blacktip

    August is one of the hottest months of the year, and with the heat, a good deal of fishing slows down. Many gamefish feed for very short periods of time and then find cool spots to lay low in throughout the heat of the day. The heat doesn’t seem to slow down the shark bite however, and Capt. Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters said one of the best fights anglers can hope for can happen this month when he’s targeting blacktip sharks.

    August 06, 2015 at 9:00am
    PVC pipes filled with saltwater and frozen, a good cooler and plenty of ice make a good start for a long fishing trip.

    Time for the big chill

    One of the biggest challenges for anglers this month is keeping things cold, starting with food and beverages and ending with the fish they want to haul back to the dock. While many bigger boats have their own ice makers, most everyday anglers don’t have that luxury. Fortunately, they have more options than ever when it comes to coolers and accessories, but once anglers leave the dock, they have to make whatever ice they have last as long as possible. Norm Sutton of Murrells Inlet has learned a few tips that help make his ice last for trips that sometimes include overnight stays on the water.

    July 06, 2015 at 9:00am
    Knowing the location of color changes, and temperature and current breaks can help locate bluewater species like this dolphin.

    Purchase an advantage

    A  number of pelagic species are biting this month, and with Daylight Savings Time in full swing, anglers have more time on their fishing days. 

    June 04, 2015 at 9:00am
    Capt. Buddy Bizzell makes cobia his No. 1 target in May when he leaves port at Edisto Beach.

    Float a turtle this month

    May brings a treat for saltwater fishermen. Many inshore and nearshore anglers pine for the fight of an offshore fish but don’t have the proper boat or time needed to venture that far out, but this month, a highly sought-after fish is within reach. It’s cobia time, and anglers from the Grand Strand to the Lowcountry can do battle with this fish, which some anglers call Mr. Brown Suit.

    May 04, 2015 at 9:00am
    The Cherry Grove and Coquina Harbor areas are great flounder spots in April.

    Look in warm shallows

    April is a transition month for anglers and the fish they pursue, and it’s a great time to seek out the shallowest inshore areas you can find, because that’s where a lot of fish will be. Some of the best fishing this month will be in shallow areas with dark, mud bottoms, both of which combine to make for water that warms up quickly.

    April 01, 2015 at 7:00am