• February 2007 - Volume 2, Number 2


    Winter is when the DNR evaluates and prepares for the upcoming fishing season. Here’s an overview of how South Carolina’s top inshore saltwater gamefish stocks are faring.

    Politicians often start the New Year by delivering a speech about how things have gone and where they would like to see things go.

    Offshore anglers don’t have to wait for spring to have some real action for sea bass, grouper and snapper.

    For many anglers, offshore fishing conjures up images of big fish caught on big rigs while fishing from really big boats.

    Rabbit hunters migrate east to enjoy the best hunting grounds in the state.

    In the early part of this century, har-scrabble farming made the mid-state section of North Carolina a mecca for upland game hunters.

    Former UNC assistant Andre Powell never loses the itch to fish, and it puts him on the water for lunkers when others are huddled by a fire.

    Thermometers in central North Carolina showed 17 degrees at 9 a.m. at the Ebenezer Road Recreation Area last February when Andre Powell backed his boat trailer toward Jordan Lake’s dark waters.

    Crystal Coast anglers know wintertime is prime time to find huge schools of red drum and have a blast.

    Red drum are versatile fish.

    Now that they’ve returned in large numbers at the Carolina coast, anglers have begun targeting them all year long.

    Two Georgetown captains search the seas for a record wahoo since setting the state mark 30 years ago.

    Traveling at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, wahoos are the kings of mackerels and respectively kings of the ocean.

    A small Ashe County stream that’s stocked regularly by the WRC is one of the jewels of the state’s delalyed harvest system.

    Helton Creek, nestled in the hills of Ashe County, cheek-by-jowl with Virginia, is a jewel of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources delayed-harvest trout program.

    Hot Honey Holes become hot spots for spotted bass and largemouths at Keowee.

    The weather outside is cold during February, no doubt about that.

    Daytime temperatures may get up to the 50s, but overnight temps are often at freezing or below.

    A Southport, N.C. hunter likes the longer season and relative isolation of hunting bushytails at S.C.’s Heritage Preserve WMAs.

    Although Basil Watts lives at Southport, N.C., he’s so near the state line, he hunts more often in South Carolina than in his home state.

    Kayaks take anglers into places they normally can’t reach, and provide excellent red drum action in February.

    We’ll be taking a right at the next junction in the creek and work our way over to where a school of red drum has been holding for the past several weeks,” said Mark Bedell as he eased his kayak closer in the small creek.

    If North Carolina is lucky enough in 2007 to avoid another big chill, specks will offer anglers even more thrills.

    Veteran fishermen knew early in the summer that 2006 was going to be a special year.

    A Pennsylvania angler moved here to enjoy N.C.’s offshore fishing. Now nobody does it better for winter yellowfins.

    Many Tar Heel anglers recognize Capt. Stan “Stanman” Jarusinski as one of the top king mackerel tournament fishermen in the region, winning and placing in numerous tournaments as well as winning the 2005 SKA championship for boats 23-feet-and-under.

    Slow, deep trolling is a good way to load your boat with winter crappies.

    The rod tip of the 16-foot crappie pole began quivering in the cold February air. With a sweep of the rod, Tom Sprouse of Advance quickly brought another chunky crappie aboard his boat.

    Charleston’s flats and small creeks are perfect for catching spot-tail bass and specks during warm February days.

    When it comes to fishing during February, as inshore guide J.R. Waits said: “You never know. It all depends on the weather.

    Several mild winters have led to an incredibly good speckled trout run.