• July 2015 - Volume 22, Number 7


    Popping corks have become a staple weapon for fishermen targeting old drum in the Pamlico Sound and its tributaries.

    Most roads leading east across North Carolina will eventually end along the banks of the Pamlico Sound, an inland sea that separates the mainland from the Outer Banks. It’s in the waters of this pristine sound, 80 miles long and 30 miles wide, that the biggest specimens of red drum spend much of their time inshore.

    Flounder once jammed into the Shallotte River, but now they’re scattered up and down the coast of lower Brunswick County.

    Dating back more than a half-century, the waters of southern Brunswick County have had a reputation for producing big flounder. Old-timers smile as they tell tales of the doormats that used to be wrestled from around the pilings beneath the shrimp houses at Shallotte Point in the Shallotte River.

    Fishing live or cut bait on the bottom isn’t exciting, but it will produce some nice bull reds during the summer.

    July is a great month for catching bull redfish in the Lowcountry, and one of the best places to catch them is around jetties, especially in the Charleston area. 

    Flounder, trout, ladyfish and jacks are great summer species for Lowcountry anglers.

    It’s July, and the weather is perfect for cruising Lowcountry waters, casting to our plentiful gamefish. Unfortunately, while the weather is perfect for cruising and casting, it is not necessarily perfect for catching lots of spot-tails, speckled trout and flounder.  

    Topwater, soft-plastics and jigs are just a few of the baits that Lake Murray’s bass will hit when it’s hot.

    It’s known as “The Jewel of South Carolina” and Lake Murray indeed shines with many facets. Located west of Columbia, the lake created in the late 1920s offers tremendous diversity, and as bass pros demonstrated during last year’s Forrest Wood Cup in July, Murray indulges a variety of fishing styles.

    A variety of baits, fished with a variety of techniques, will catch a variety of Santee Cooper catafish.

    Catfishing on the Santee Cooper lakes has morphed into a year-round quest, but summer is tops for as providing the year’s most-diverse catfishing opportunities. Fishing is literally three-dimensional, with blue, channel and flathead catfish all on a great bite. Fishermen can fish shallow or deep, day or night, in either lake or the Diversion Canal, and catch big numbers of cats or big cats.

    Ocean Crest Pier has been a king-fishing hot spot almost since it was built.

    If experience is the best teacher, then aspiring king mackerel anglers might consider visiting the end of Ocean Crest Pier on Oak Island.

    The introduction of spotted bass and hybrid bass has revitalized Lake Norman’s once-dormant summer fishery.

    Ask any angler what he or she wants more of and the answer will be simple and emphatic, “to catch more fish!”  Spanning 32,500 acres just north of Charlotte, the inland sea known as Lake Norman gives fisherman the opportunity to do just that. 

    Learn how to dissect a set of lily pads and catch more bass.

    Summertime thoughts commonly turn to beach getaways, but the sun-driven heat leaves us adding an umbrella to that picture. And while we’re on the comfort kick, how ’bout some food? Sounds like a nice vacation, but shelter from the swelter and something for the belly also defines the attraction of lily pads for largemouth bass.

    Float or paddle the Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers for great summer panfish fun.

    When the temperature begins to creep into triple digits, many fishermen seek shelter along the veins that run through South Carolina’s Pee Dee region. These black-water streams flow gently along, providing the lifeblood for fauna and folks alike. Swollen tupelo and cypress line the shoreline of this pristine tannic water that many gamefish call home. 

    Trolling at different depths can bring you cooler filled with different Fontana Lake targets

    On Fontana Lake, water temperatures in June and July cement the summer fishing season. While a few fish can still be found in and around the shallows — usually only early and late in the day — most have retreated to deeper, cooler water in the 10,230-acre lake west of Bryson City. 

    Laydown trees are great places to find and catch bass on Randleman Lake when the weather is hot.

    July is a tough months to catch bass in shallow water on most lakes in North Carolina, unless you’re there at the crack of dawn to take advantage of the last few minutes of the night bite.

    Pack a bucket of fiddler crabs and fill a cooler with tasty, challenging sheepshead.

    Dead in the middle of the summer, Charleston anglers have something just as hot as the weather to target. Bait-stealing sheepshead are crushing baits and doing battle in around wooden, concrete or steel structures in waters all around the city. It’s time to put a smackdown on a heavy stringer of over-sized striped bandits well within the historic reaches of Charleston. 

    Head to Lake Norman for some great spotted bass fishing, or run to the coast and catch doormat flounder.