• June 2012 - Volume 19, Number 6


    Tripletails are an often overlooked species that can provide inshore fishermen plenty of summer action along the lower Cape Fear River.

    If not for wearing polarized sunglasses, it would have been impossible to see the dark shape under the crab-pot float in one of the bays off the lower Cape Fear River. The water was typical Cape Fear murky, and the dark fish was holding motionless in the shadow created by the float and some marine weeds.

    Someone who wasn’t attuned to the ways of tripletail wouldn’t have noticed the sulking fish, even with polarized glasses. Jeff Wolfe didn’t just notice the fish: He was preparing to catch it.

    Deepwater bottomfish are pure ‘gold’ off Outer Banks

    Golden tilefish are canyon fish. North of the Virginia state line, boats from Lynnhaven Inlet go to the slopes of the Norfolk Canyon or farther north to Baltimore Canyon. The nearest canyon for North Carolina fishermen is Hatteras Canyon, south of Hatteras Inlet.

    It’s time to begin “sighting in” on some nearshore action as cobia invade the waters around Oregon Inlet.

    Riding high in the tower of his boat, Aaron Beatson of Carolina Sunrise Guide Service scans the waters off the coast of the Outer Banks for any sign of life, anything that might tip him off that one or more cobia were moving through the area.

    “What you’re looking for is 68- to 72-degree water,” said Beatson, who offers that in June, he might run across cobia 50 yards off the beach out to three or four miles when fish start to show up in good numbers.

    Santee Cooper’s No. 1 catfish use ‘highways’ to travel, and when they get on the road, it’s no short sprint. Here’s now to track them down.

    It had been a slow winter for fishermen targeting catfish on the Santee Cooper lakes. Unseasonably warm water and very little rain upset the normal movements of the blue and channel cats, and made them especially tough to find.

    Guide Darryl Smith sipped a tall glass of ice tea in the restaurant at Canal Lakes Fish Camp on the Diversion Canal as he thought about a trip planned for that evening.

    Abbeville bass pro reveals secrets for catching Lake Russell’s June bass, mostly using these two soft-plastic topwater baits.

    Ryan McMurtury of Abbeville knows as much about Lake Russell as almost anyone who pilots a bass boat these days. Growing up, he stomped around what is now the lake’s bottom with his wife’s grandfather, long before the lake was impounded in the early 1980s.

    He knows places that aren’t even marked on maps.

    June is prime time on one of North Carolina’s most-underrated reservoirs.

    High Rock Lake is a reservoir on the Yadkin River south of Lexington that covers approximately 15,000 surface acres of water.

    It’s perhaps never received the notoriety of bigger lakes such as Buggs Island or Gaston, nor that of lakes perched on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas such as Wylie, Falls of the Neuse, Jordan or Shearon Harris.

    But make no bones about it; High Rock should take a backseat to none of the above.

    Famous for its fat spotted bass, this steep-banked Upstate impoundment also produces fine largemouth action — along with crappie, native redeye bass and the occasional smallmouth.

    The good news about Lake Keowee is that it isn’t terribly huge, with waters that cover a little more than 18,000 acres. That modest size can help shorten the fish-finding process, especially when fish are as plentiful as they are at Keowee.

    The bad news is that Keowee certainly ranks as one of the most complex lakes in South Carolina.

    Anglers still have a month to take advantage of great crappie fishing on one of North Carolina’s newest lakes.

    As it should have been on a typical hot June weekend, the parking lot at the lake office at Randleman Regional Reservoir was packed with boat trailers and tow vehicles.

    As with most new lakes, Randleman’s most-popular initial offering was superior bass fishing. However, one of the boats leaving the ramp was something of an anomaly because it was rigged to seek North Carolina’s second most-targeted fish.

    Largemouths at Kerr Reservoir are recovering from a bout with a deadly disease and offer new challenges to anglers.

    By June, the best part of the bass-fishing year has faded into the rearview mirror.

    February and March prespawn feeding frenzies have ended, and the April and May spawning orgy in the shallows is in the books. Male bass fertilized those eggs, then guarded bass fry floating in clouds near their birthplaces.

    Emerald Isle fishermen have plenty of fish descending on their waters this month. Here’s how to put them in your cooler.

    Normally, when two waves approaching each other from opposite directions hit, there’s a crash and turbulence that can destroy anything caught in the middle. So why would fishermen want to get between two big waves this month in the Emerald Isle area?

    The Coosaw River offers Low Country anglers plenty of productive water that’s not heavily pressured and isn’t off the beaten path.

    On any June weekend, most boat landings near Beaufort are full to capacity, and traffic on popular rivers like the Broad is going full tilt. When the usual spots are just too crowded, the Coosaw River is a great option for anglers looking for a little more room to breathe.

    Inshore options on the Coosaw, which separates Ladys Island, Morgan Island, Judge Island and Coosaw Island from the mainland and empties into the St. Helena Sound, are much the same as other coastal rivers in the Low Country. Redfish, trout and flounder are all possibilities, and the chance for a grand slam is better than average.

    June is a great month to tempt trophy speckled trout with topwater offerings around Georgetown.

    Dawn arrives early this month, with over 15 hours of daylight available for anglers to chase their favorite quarry across the breathtaking estuary associated with Winyah Bay.

    But the first and last 90 minutes of each day will matter the most for kindred spirits on opposite ends of the food chain. Fishermen who target speckled trout and their treasured prey share similar hunting strategies, scanning the upper horizon for unsuspecting quarry.

    Throughout history, a number of unscrupulous characters have made their way into Charleston Harbor, but these ‘convicts’ may be some of the hardest to catch.

    Johnny Spitzmiller stood on the bow of his boat, gripping the controls of his trolling motor like a man bent on trying not to crash into the nearby rocks — which he was barely succeeding in doing. Despite what appeared to be a dire situation, he was calm and actually upbeat as he explained his predicament.

    The Outer Banks cobia run is in full swing this month, while bass are biting on Hight Rock and Buggs Island lakes.