• Volume 22 Number 3 - March 2015

    Features

    With hatchery supported trout streams closed in March, it’s a great time to fish the special regulations section of the Catawba River.

    A pickup towing a trailer carrying two inflatable boats pulled into the parking lot of the Bridgewater Public Fishing Access Area downstream from one of the two dams that impounds Lake James. A cold, rainy morning is not most what most fly-fishermen call ideal, but Scott Cunningham of Marion was excited about being on the water.

    Look for shallow, visible cover in coves and run a buzzbait past everything you can see, and you’ll catch lots of largemouths

    Mist floated above the water as a long cast sent a big-bladed lure through the morning light. Landing with little subtlety, the lure woke up the morning as it churned and bubbled across the glassy surface of Lake Thurmond. An explosion sent it flying through the air with a strike from a largemouth bass. Two casts later, the bass exploded again, this time hooking itself on the 5/0 hook trailing the Black Angel buzzbait. 

    Two big chunks of public land along the Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers offer hunters great hog-hunting opportunities.

    Basil Watts hauled a deer cart from the bed of his pickup truck. Unhooking the elastic cords holding it together, he unfolded it to deploy the wheels. 

    Outside edges of jetty rocks will hold plenty of reds if you can pinpoint them.

    After a long winter, fishermen can find a strong fishery cranking into high gear as the spring thaw approaches. For light-tackle anglers familiar with the rock jetties that straddle the North Carolina-South Carolina state line can expect a fantastic redfish bite along the rocky fringes of Little River Inlet. 

    Outside edges of jetty rocks will hold plenty of reds if you can pinpoint them.

    After a long winter, fishermen can find a strong fishery cranking into high gear as the spring thaw approaches. For light-tackle anglers familiar with the rock jetties that straddle the North Carolina-South Carolina state line can expect a fantastic redfish bite along the rocky fringes of Little River Inlet. 

    Tail fans, wings, different calls and just walking the other way will often cause a tough gobbler to make a fatal mistake.

    An old saying coined for another situation is often appropriate for turkey hunters. It’s simply, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    Follow the migration from deep, main-lake spots to the backs of spawning creeks for the best in Lake Russell slabs in March.

    A guy whose nickname is “Stump Hunter” could only be destined for one thing: catching crappie. Stump’s alter ego is Ronnie McKee of Piedmont, a fisherman who loves all things crappie, runs a garage business making and tying crappie jigs and prefers nothing more than to spend a day on Lake Russell teaching his lures how to swim.

    Take a good look at the Three Sisters and cuddle up to a nice, prespawn striped bass.

    Some angler think striper fishing in the Roanoke River begins around March 1 each year, because that’s when the keeper season opens on the Roanoke River and in the Albemarle Sound.

    Go small and shiny and get your string stretched by a chunky American shad

    On the eve of spring, an awesome fishery erupts this month in the Cooper River tailrace downstream from 60,000-acre Lake Moultrie. By the thousands, American shad will move from the ocean through Charleston Harbor and into the river, then upstream 35 miles to spawn at the base of the coal-fired power station known as Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Generating Station. 

    Retrievers and other dogs make great shed hunters when adequately trained.

    Deer hunters who didn’t get the chance to collect that trophy buck’s antlers while they were still attached to his head this past deer season still have a chance to get them now that deer season is over and he is done with them. 

    Learn how to follow crappie as they move from Lake Murray’s deep water to the shallows to spawn

    March crappie fishing on Lake Murray can be likened to a piscatorial form of March Madness. Limits are typically caught, and it’s the time of year to catch more slabs consistently as the big females migrate up the creeks toward shallow water to spawn. 

    Today’s aluminum boats ain’t your grandpa’s john boat. Instead, there are a multitude of choices that fit every hunting and fishing need.

    Traditionally, many have thought of aluminum boats as being somehow utilitarian and, well, basic. But that’s changed over that past decade or so, and now aluminum boats are built for every purpose imaginable — from carrying duck hunters into the swamp to screaming-fast bass boats to tricked out bay boats.

    Today’s aluminum boats ain’t your grandpa’s john boat. Instead, there are a multitude of choices that fit every hunting and fishing need.

    Traditionally, many have thought of aluminum boats as being somehow utilitarian and, well, basic. But that’s changed over that past decade or so, and now aluminum boats are built for every purpose imaginable — from carrying duck hunters into the swamp to screaming-fast bass boats to tricked out bay boats.

    Tight-line trolling, long-line trolling and shooting docks will solve most prespawn problems for crappie fishermen.

    March ushers in what most anglers consider to be prime crappie season, a time when the weather and the fish can have you running for the bank one day, then backing off and fishing deep water the next. Unfortunately, the same tactics and techniques don’t relate very well to those two extremes. The fisherman  who can assess the situation and choose the proper approach is more likely to do some “spring cleaning” than one who expects crappie to bite the same way in the same places throughout the month.

    The biggest female crappie head to the shallows of Falls of Neuse Lake from late February through March. Wait for April and you’ve missed it.

    Popular opinion among many fishermen is that April is the best month to catch crappie because fish are heading for shorelines to spawn and are susceptible to jigs and live minnows.

    Get in and get out of shallow water at the right time, and you can do battle with plenty of late-winter reds.

    Rick Patterson quickly checked the tide level on the bulkhead as he eased his bay boat away from the dock. He decided it would be wise give the tide an hour or two to rise and bring more water to flats where he’d found redfish, leaving him fishing several nearby creeks and deeper channels.

    March brings out some great spring fishing for reds on the coast, but don't forget that it's also the peak of crappie fishing.