• October 2013 - Volume 20, Number 10


    Position of the moon and time of day affect when all animals are going to be more active.

    Who would think that a celestial object 238,000 miles away in space would have any effects on deer movement in North Carolina? 

    Cooling water, thriving baitfish send Lake James bronzebacks into feeding frenzy

    As the easternmost reservoir in North Carolina that holds good numbers of smallmouth bass, Lake James holds a great attraction for many fishermen, and autumn might be the most-productive time to be on the 6,812-acre lake.

    Make a plan and stick to it to load your boat with grouper and other bottomfish

    “Okay gentlemen, drop it down, drop it down, drop it down. All the way to the bottom. If you’re not on the bottom, you can’t catch these fish.” 

    Size doesn’t matter when it comes to the boat in wihch you fish for king mackerel; it’s paying attention to details and all the little things.

    Fall on North Carolina’s southern means two things.  First, the crowds have left the beaches, and it is time for the best fishing of the year.  Secondly, and perhaps more exciting, it is time for the some of the best king mackerel fishing of the year. 

    Make sure your stand blends in with the environment and deer probably won’t detect you.

    No child has ever been successful playing hide-and-seek if the child is easily found and never learns to hide. Likewise, success for those that hunt deer from a blind, stand or elevated position hinges as much on an ability to hide as it does knowing the direction of the wind and food sources. 

    Low spots between high places are highways that deer frequently use.

    Growing up in the piedmont, I was accustomed to hunting deer along creeks, rivers and around agriculture fields. When I moved to Greer, everything changed. The terrain in Game Zone 1, South Carolina’s Upstate, dictates different methods to consistently take nice bucks. Learning how to read the land and understanding how deer travel completely changed my approach. 

    While a good portion of the area is farm fields and rolling hills, the majority is mountainous. For South Carolina hunters wanting to maximize their opportunity, understanding that mountain deer do not necessarily behave differently is a key. It’s the terrain that dictates that hunters react differently to the conditions with which we are forced to work. Hunting deer in the mountains means that changing tactics to be successful harvesting big bucks.

    From late September through October, zero in on bucks that are looking for Lady Love.

    Modern North Carolina hunters face different situations when it comes to preparing for and participating in pre-rut deer hunting.

    Slab crappie will be ganged up around deep cover in Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion; here’s how to find and catch them

    Crappie can be caught throughout the year, but there are times and places when the fishing can extraordinary. The Santee Cooper lakes and October are that ideal combination of place and time.

    Hunting acorns and food plots are still among the best strategies for taking an October buck

    Legislative changes in deer-hunting regulations over the past two seasons have breached the great divide between hunters in the Upstate and those in the Midlands and Lowcountry. 

    Fresh bait, plenty of current and a nice contour change can mean plenty of action, and maybe a trip to the physical therapist afterwards

    October is recognized as National Physical Therapy Month across America, and fishermen planning on visiting  Georgetown’s inshore waters will surely need a series of appointments with their favorite physical therapist.

    Current and cover are keys to success

    When anglers think about the best places in the Lowcountry to catch speckled trout, several immediately come to mind: the Wando and Cooper rivers, Bulls Bay and even the Ashley River. One location that always seems to escape the top of the list is the Stono River, but not for a lack of trout.

    Capt. John Boy Koonce of Shoal Bandit Charters guides on the Stono year-round and is perfectly happy with the ranking his home waters have among the local angling community.

    “I don’t think this area is really overlooked, I mean, plenty of anglers fish it and catch a lot of trout here,” he said, “but I do believe the Stono doesn’t get as much pressure as some of the other areas around Charleston, and there’s certainly areas that don’t get fished much at all.”

    Catch flounder, trout and redfish all on the same trip -- thanks to presence of baitfish and gamefish feeding up for the winter.

    One October, New Bern’s Fred Slann and Chris Walker of Sea Isle City, N.J., anchored within casting distance of a sand bar near a marsh island along the Crystal Coast.

    With more than a million acres in WMA program, finding good public hunting land close to home is not difficult

    South Carolina hunters have a lot to be thankful for. First, with over 1.1 million acres of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), there’s lot of public land to hunt. Second, access is available to anyone with a WMA permit, and these public lands are scattered across the state; almost everyone is located within a reasonable drive of one or several WMAs. Finally these WMAs have a wide diversity of species that produce outstanding hunting for a diversity of species. From big game to small game to waterfowl and turkey, hunters can enjoy it all and be productive. Many also have the advantage of being managed in some form by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

    Some of South Carolina's biggest deer come from the Upstate and the mountains. Learn tips for tagging a big mountain buck and what the future holds as far as baiting.