While the weather outside may be the coldest of the year, crappie anglers can enjoy some of the years hottest action at Jordan Lake.
Writers use many clichés to describe Februarys wintry conditions, including references to a well diggers backside or a witchs bosom. The bottom line usually is the air temperature frequently hovers below freezing and the water temperature may be in the low 40s.
There was a raw-edged chill in the air, cutting to the cheekbones as Capt. Jeff Cronk steered his 21-foot Triton center-console out boat to sea through Bogue Inlet.
For a couple of reasons Cronk had left Dudleys Marina dock well after the sun was above the Atlantic Ocean. First, while many of his summer trips begin early because thats when its cool, colder temperature were the last thing he wanted to feel this winters day. The second reason was the suns distance above the eastern horizon.
When Hurricane Floyd hit the southeastern coastline and veered north along the East coast Sept. 14-18, 1999, it inflicting its greatest damage in eastern North Carolina.
Floyd produced more human misery and destructive environmental impact in the state than any natural disaster in memory. The 15 to 20 inches of rain that fell across the eastern half of the state flooded every river and stream. National deaths (57) attributed to Floyd stretched from the Carolinas to Maine and damage estimates totaled $6 billion. Many rivers set new flood records after the hurricane that meteorologists dubbed a 500-year storm.
In what was once a swamp, a hunter sneaked along, making his way around a greenbriar tangle. The scratching of a dried leaf by the nail-hard, needle-sharp, black tip of a thorn alerted a gray squirrel. He probably couldnt see the hunter, who wore a blaze orange jacket with a black camouflage pattern, but something made him scramble for cover, making an almost inaudible chirring sound.
Even in the dead of winter, there can be some lively gray days for fishing at North Carolinas southeastern coast.
The sun smiles, melting the clouds and fills the air with warmth. The wind gods even seem to take a break, making the oceans surface seem as smooth as silk. Anglers must be prepared to take advantage of these not infrequent Indian summer/winter weather days.
Winter is definitely my favorite time of the year to be on the water chasing hybrids and stripers, said Wendell Wilson, a guide at Lake Thurmond. There are lots of fish, theyre relatively easy to find, and they tend to run a little bigger.
Mention tuna to anglers, and it might bring mental images of a small section of boiling ocean as yellowfins feed relentlessly. For some it evokes memories of aching backs and sore muscles; for others the vision is a lightly-seared steak coming off a grill or a piece of sashimi lightly seasoned with soy and bristling with the raw bite of wasabi.
Wayne McDowell sloshed through shin-deep water while behind him trailed a dozen mallard decoys tied to monofilament lines, banging together like plastic drums. With one eye on the sky, he placed the decoys with serious intent while watching for early arrivals.
Does South Carolina have an offseason? No way. There's plenty of action to keep the outdoorsman in the field or on the water this month.