• January 2007 - Volume 2, Number 1


    When the winter sun shines on Georgetown’s shallow mud flats, it heats up the water and a fantastic red drum bite.

    Steve Hedrick regrets there aren’t many people vacationing at the Grand Strand during the winter.

    They may not be missing much in the way of surf, sand and sunshine — or maybe golf — but he and his buddy Mike McDonald know they’re missing some of the year’s best fishing.

    Golf, waterfowl and upland gamebird hunting go hand-in-hand at Maidendown Bay.

    The first thing you notice driving along the entrance road to Maidendown Bay Gun and Golf Hunting Preserve is the flooded land on both sides of the entrance way.

    Still hunting for squirrels with a .22 rifle can provide hours of fun, improve a hunter’s skills and provide tasty table treats.

    More than 20 years ago, when Tim Lemon first went to work as a wildlife enforcement officer for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, squirrel hunting was a big deal.

    Winter bottom fishing off the Outer Banks produces unusually large catches of sea bass, tilefish and snowy grouper.

    Pollack, codfish, monkfish? Winter bottom fishing off the Outer Banks produces huge black sea bass, blueline tilefish, and even snowy grouper. But how to prepare and when to go aren't enough. The few skippers who work deep bottoms off North Carolina and Virginia know when to work certain locations and when to go elsewhere.

    S.C. waterfowl hunters on their way to the coast may bypass duck havens at inland streams.

    The dashboard clock clicked over to 2 a.m. as a weary-eyed waterfowler exited onto the east-bound ramp of Interstate 26. “Hour and a half,” he thought as he eased his rig onto the road that would take him to South Carolina’s Lowcountry. This late in the season he had high hopes for some good shooting, even though it just didn’t seem like the ducks flew like they used to.

    If sheepshead consistently frustrate you, this winter approach may change your attitude about saltwater’s most notorious bait-stealer.

    Driving to the boat ramp in fog as thick as she-crab soup, I thought I might be an idiot.

    It was January and the air at the ramp’s parking lot was damp and clammy. Sitting in a deer stand or duck blind in these sorts of conditions is no problem, but the idea of running nearly 20 miles offshore gave me the chills.

    For successful waterfowl hunting, it’s often what you do before a shot is fired that counts.

    Standing in ankle-miring mud, I felt about as sturdy as the standing-dead timber that surrounded me. The swamp was a perfect duck hole.

    Classic Southern quail hunting still is available at public lands or your backyard.

    When Jackie McCaskill was a youngster growing up in Camden, his dad would come home from bird hunting and leave the quail he and his buddy had shot for Jackie to clean.

    The 5 Horsemen Hunt Club doesn’t care for deer, but when the subject is rabbit hunting, they hop to it each weekend.

    Most hunters in Pender County pursue white-tailed deer in the winter, displaying any newly-acquired buck deer across the tailgates of their pickup trucks for other hunters to admire.

    A Lake Tillery angler has winter slab fishing figured out and lands giants while everyone else is inside by a warm fire.

    Ed Duke is just thrilled few people except local anglers fish Lake Tillery — especially during the winter.

    A Huntersville fishing team reveals some surprising techniques to fill a livewell with cold-weather crappies.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Stokes McClellan of Huntersville and his son, Adam, who love to crappie fish recreationally, also are one of the nation’s top professional crappie-fishing teams. They travel across the country, fishing crappie tournaments with great success throughout the spring, the summer and fall. Although the McClellans fish year-round with different tactics, each catches tournament-winning stringers of big slabs. Stokes prefers to use his Color-C-Lector to learn what color jigs to fish for the most success, while Adam enjoys shooting docks. Carolinas’ crappie anglers can use the McClellans’ fishing tips that work across the country to catch more crappie this winter.

    Begin the New Year red-eyed and seeing specks with a stone cold sober approach to red drum and speckled trout.

    The trout moved along the edge of the dropoff just out from the bank, and we sometimes saw a single, pair or small group of fish as they flashed in the current.

    Winter clears the water along the South Carolina coast to reveal huge congregations of redfish, creating terrific opportunities to sight cast with fly rods or spinning gear.

    Editor’s note: In case you missed it last year, we are reprinting this outstanding redfish article from our first issue January 2006.

    “Big school to our right!”

    Capt. J.R. Waits, using an emphatic-but-hushed tone, commanded readiness and stillness.

    Hitting a flying tundra swan isn’t easy, even for the experts. But practice makes perfect.

    Most late-night television addicts have seen “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” a 1938 epic that features Errol Flynn using a long bow to split a competitor’s arrow at an impossible distance.