• December 2006 - Volume 1, Number 12


    When Duke Energy moves water at Lake Keowee during winter, it turns on the spots.

    The water needs to move.

    It doesn’t matter which way, as long as there’s a strong current carrying it in one direction or the other, and it doesn’t hurt if there’s a nice breeze blowing, even one hard enough to dot the surface of Lake Keowee with whitecaps.

    An unexpected encounter with a Russian boar produces fear, tears, jeers, and a hunter scared enough to cry in his beer.

    Opening day of the bear season dawned clear and cool in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    A magnificent sportfish has saved N.C. coastal jobs during recent winters, but the future for bluefin tuna isn’t rosy.

    Five years ago, aboard a now-retired 54-foot Atlantic Beach-based charterboat, the Top Hook, a strapping 6-2, 200-pound angler from Raleigh settled into a stern chair for his first tussle with a tuna.

    Anglers have enjoyed the surf fishing at Core Banks each fall and early winter for many years.

    Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this feature, the National Park Service has awarded mainland ferry service to South and North Core Banks to Cape Lookout Concessions (Morris Marina Kabin Kamps). Morris Marina now operates ferries from Davis to South Care Banks, known as Great Island, and from Atlantic to Long Point at North Core Banks. To reserve fishing cabins or ferry trips to Core Banks, call 877-956-6568 or visit www.capelookoutconcessions.com.

    A crescent moon set against a starlit sky, while beautiful to behold, provided scant illumination to the night.

    The biggest shad in the South swim in the Cooper River and offer a surprising holiday treat for S.C. anglers.

    They’re known as “Christmas shad” because American shad, starting their annual migratory spawning run, can be caught at the lower Cooper River during Christmas week.

    Where should December crappie anglers go when the target covers 60,000 acres? Find out what Lake Murray pros do.

    Lake Murray is, by all estimates, a big reservoir.

    It stretches more than 41 miles from the dam near Columbia past the forks of the Big Saluda and Little Saluda rivers, covers 50,000 acres and has 520 miles of shoreline.

    A fourth-generation guide keeps the family tradition alive by offering bear, deer, and waterfowl hunts.

    Like a dozen Junebugs tied to a kid’s kite string, a flock of widgeons circled an open-water blind in Currituck Sound last December.

    An Ocracoke guide has unique blinds that mean close shots and full bags for waterfowl hunters -- if they overcome their reluctance to step inside.

    Leggett Lump is hardly even that. While nobody really knows where the name originated, the “lump” is a slight rise in the bottom of a couple of inches in height above the surrounding expanse of Pamlico Sound.

    Hard work and patience lets an Easley 10 year-old bag a buck that’s the envy of his deer club.

    Whenever Dillan Decandt visited Tony Cole, he was mesmerized by the mounted deer heads that stared down at him from his uncle’s den wall.

    Wait for bad weather, then put on your walking shoes to find the winter’s best bucks.

    As the words of a timeless song suggest, “Deep in December, it’s nice to remember.”

    December brings spot-tail bass into extremely shallow water and offers anglers a variety of thrilling fishing action.

    Anglers who haven’t sampled the hot redfish action at Charleston during the cold month of December have missed a big part of an excellent fishery.

    Western N.C.’s premier river has muskies that can make any northern angler jealous -- and they’re just waiting to be caught.

    A large, brown torpedo appeared under the bow of the small john boat, then sank slowly toward the stern.

    Eastern N.C. grows the biggest black bears in North America.

    North Carolina sportsmen have one of North America’s top big game hunting opportunities hiding right under their noses.

    A Haywood County hunter traveled to Union County to bag 2005’s highest-scoring whitetail.

    Deer hunters spend a lot of time scratching their heads, trying to figure out where exactly to hang a tree stand in the area they plan to hunt.

    In winter, a special set of bays at the lower Cape Fear hold fish in shallow water.

    As we turned to look where Capt. Matt Wirt was pointing so excitedly, the wake created by the moving redfish was something we couldn’t miss as it spread across the slick water.

    Sure, it's December, but anglers from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout will be having as much fun as their deer-hunting counterparts are in more inland areas.