• Volume 21 Number 1 - January 2014

    Features

    Schooling nature puts black drum in range of many inshore fishermen during the winter.

    As the New Year arrives, deer season gives way to a new chapter for many sportsmen in the Tarheel State, and one of the most-overlooked inshore powerhouse fishes is readily available, tucked away in the marshes of the lower Cape Fear River.

    Good habitat can equal great squirrel hunting.

    Squirrel hunting is more than just an after-deer or offseason chance to be in the woods. For many hunters, January is the prime month to hunt one of their favored game species. Many hunters actually cut their hunting teeth on squirrels and learned the ways of the woods, honing woodsmanship skills pursuing this often underestimated game species. 

    With live bait hard to find, artificials become staples for fishermen targeting speckled trout.

    As he stowed the last of the fishing tackle, Capt. Noah Lynk of Harkers Island remarked that the tide was still a little low to get into several of the smaller creeks he intended to target that morning. He would first head to a couple of the more open marshes to see if the fifth day of sunshine and daytime highs in the 60s — unusually warm winter weather — had put the trout and red drum into a feeding mood. 

    Tackle, bait and tactics are simple for Lake Murray shellcrackers

    January’s cold weather pushes many outdoorsmen indoors to wait for the coming spring, but that’s a mistake for fishermen longing for that familiar tug on the business end of their line. 

    Scout out those Labor Day fields for winter doves, and be ready to shoot them when numbers spike upwards

    Dove hunters who think the best shooting of the year is finished about the time college football starts could be missing out if those fields of September gold are forgotten. Within the framework of federal migratory bird-hunting guidelines, South Carolina opens the last segment of dove season in mid-December for nearly a month so wing-shooters can take advantage of resident doves overwintering in South Carolina and migratory birds passing through around the end of the year.

    Big decoy spreads, good concealment and maybe even a good retriever can make for a great duck hunt on North Carolina’s New River.

    North Carolina’s New River of the east is a wide, salty estuary, quite a contrast to the winding, freshwater New River of the state’s northwestern corner. Among the shortest of coastal rivers, it flows from Jacksonville to the Atlantic Ocean.

    Nearshore reefs and wrecks are January treasures for Hilton Head sheepshead. Here’s how to lock up some tasty ‘convicts.’

    January can be a cruel month for anglers, but for those willing to brave the weather, fishing for sheepshead on the reefs and wrecks off the Lowcountry coastline can be phenomenal. While fishermen targeting sheepshead inshore during spring and summer have it easy as far as weather is concerned, those who venture to nearshore reefs and wrecks during the winter have the edge when it comes to catching quality fish.

    A good dog, some good grouse cover and a nice January day can mean great upland hunting in North Carolina.

    If you’ve been considering joining a gym, buying some exercise equipment or taking up a weight-loss program to try and drop those 10 pounds — or maybe it’s 15 — you may have added over the holidays, here’s an alternative. 

    Little River stripers are likely from other coastal river populations

    As the New Year arrives, fishermen along the Grand Strand  have plenty to look forward to besides cold weather and college basketball on television, such as the striped bass that take up winter residence in the Little River section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. 

    Locate deep-water brush piles and other crappie-holding structure and Lake Norman will produce some great slabs.

    Today’s electronic technology has made searching for crappie easier than ever before. The latest innovations open up a new world to crappie fishermen, giving them underwater eyes to locate fish-holding cover far from shore in a quick and efficient manner.

    Heavily stocked, the delayed-harvest section of the North Toe River is easily accessed and a challenging fishery.

    Nestled in the mountains is one of the jewels of North Carolina trout fishing, the North Toe River, and one of the shiniest baubles as the section that flows through the town of Spruce Pine. Access is outstanding; you can park on a paved lot, and there are lots of trout.

    Coyotes have spread into each of the state’s 100 counties and provide summary challenges for hunters and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

    Like embarrassing relatives or low-information voters, several things are true about coyotes in North Carolina:

    A little cover and a few decoys can make for a great small-water duck hunt across South Carolina

    The morning mist lifted off the still water as the sun began to peek over the horizon. Soft ripples revealed a beaver returning to his lodge. Three hunters were standing in knee-deep, icy cold water in a honey hole of flooded timber of a beaver pond on an unnamed tributary of Lake Greenwood. Ducks that thrive along the lake know the area and dive in at first light to begin  day of feeding.

    It's time to head just off Hilton Head and Beaufort to load up on winter sheepshead, which are swarming the reefs and wrecks right now.