• July 2007 - Volume 2, Number 7


    This remote river offers Palmetto State fishermen unique wilderness experiences.

    The Chauga River is nestled in the mountains of northwestern South Carolina. Long overlooked by trout fishermen in favor of its more famous and bigger brother, the Chattooga, the Chauga is quietly garnering a local reputation as top destination for feisty rainbow and trophy brown trout.

    Recent improvements in water quality bode well for this little-known and under-utilized fishery.

    The Chauga is large for a southern freestone stream, averaging more than 40 feet wide throughout most of its trout water. Its headwaters rise in remote Oconee County near the town of Mountain Rest, and the river follows a general southerly path before it empties into the Tugaloo arm of Lake Hartwell.

    It takes perserverance and good weather for anglers to catch some of the best-tasting fish of the Continental Shelf.

    Anthony Ng is one of the top grouper fishermen in North Carolina, targeting many species of colorful tasty bottomfish at all depths of the water column.

    Bottomfish anglers can have a new variety of deepwater fish to challenge their skills and endurance.

    A few years ago, Dink Shull, skipper of the Storm Petrel out of Wanchese, went deep-drop fishing for blueline tilefish at the edge of the Continental Shelf.

    The late bass postspawn is a favorite time for David Fritts and Joel Richardson at N.C.’s biggest reservoir.

    If anyone knows more about catching bass at John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island) Lake than David Fritts of Lexington or Joel Richardson of Kernersville, they’re doing a good job of keeping it a secret.

    Noland Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special destination for trout anglers.

    Noland Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Swain County is typical of hundreds of prime trout streams that crisscross the park — remote, scenic and full of trout.

    A summer evening, moonlight swim, the water full of willing party-goers? It’s not the opening scene from “Jaws”, but a Harkers Island fishing orgy.

    Even with the bright illumination of a nearly full moon, Capt. Noah Lynk had to rely upon sound to direct his sons, Tanner and Ethan, and their friend, Cameron Cottle, where to cast their shrimp.

    These experts offer tricks for catching Charleston’s big flounder.

    Flounder fishing is fun for a variety of reasons.

    First, flounder are available in good numbers, particularly in the Charleston area — and that’s especially true during the hottest months of the year. Second, they are not extremely difficult to catch, but they offer ample challenge and reward for the thinking angler. Finally — and certainly a key to why this fish is so popular — the taste is superb, regardless of how it’s prepared.

    Want to fish a foothills lake where the water’s cool during July and bass hit topwater lures? Try Lake Hickory.

    Jimmy Campbell moved slowly away from Wittenberg Landing near the mid-point of Lake Hickory. Weather reports predicted a hot summer day, one in a string of such days.

    When the weather’s too rough to take a small boat outside, anglers can find plenty of red drum inside Wrightsville Beach’s city limits.

    Capt. Jot Owens surveyed the water and sky as clouds moving from the northwest skidded overhead.

    Charleston Harbor jetties are hot spots for summer battles with giant red drum.

    By the end of the Civil War, the entrance to Charleston Harbor was a mess. Numerous shipwrecks, including vessels sunk during the war, made navigation difficult — at best. In addition, strong ebb currents flowing across the harbor entrance shifted sandbars, requiring deep-hulled vessels to wait until high tide for safe passage.

    Warm water brings sailfish in close, putting them within reach of even small-boat anglers.

    Nipping at the dangling teaser, the dolphin resembled a puppy chasing after someone’s coattail.

    From the bridge, it looked like the school of dolphin was holding the boat afloat. There were flashes of iridescent yellows, greens and blues everywhere. The fish came so close that the mate nearly free-gaffed several. It was the proverbial “fishing in a barrel.”

    Catfish seem to be Lake Wateree’s unknown treasure.

    As the Catawba River winds its way through the Carolinas, Lake Wateree is the farthest reservoir downstream.

    Wateree has often been overlooked as a first-rate fishery for a number of species. It lies just far enough away from major urban centers — Columbia, Rock Hill, and Charlotte — to lessen angling pressure to some degree.

    Hartwell’s boat-dock slabs make “shooting” jigs a must for summertime fishermen.

    It’s hard not to stereotype fishing in South Carolina lakes.

    Certain bodies of water have earned a reputation for being top producers of certain species of fish. Depending on your point of view, the Santee Cooper Lakes produce great catfish, Lake Murray and Lake Wylie are largemouth bass hotspots, stripers abound in Thurmond and Hartwell, and crappie fishermen flock to lakes like Greenwood, Wateree, and Secession.

    Doormats are caught each summer from inshore waters, but the really big boys hide out at reefs and wrecks.

    Like hard-core party-goers who make a night of it by jumping from bar to bar, North Carolina saltwater anglers have options when it comes to getting their fill of big flounders each summer.

    No South Carolina angler is very far from Charleston's highly aggressive redfish stocks.