Scouting before a hunt for deer or other game species can be an exciting pursuit all its own. Finding that out-of-the-way honey hole where the ducks pile up as soon as dawn breaks or where a huge black bear lounges the day away is a memorable experience, even if no shot is taken.
Wildlife Management Areas are the lifeblood for many South Carolina sportsmen, providing places for hunters to target various species. Many WMAs receive a lot of hunting pressure, but ample opportunity exists for those willing to put in the effort to find the right habitat for the specific species they target.
At the beginning of the deer season, most outdoor devotees are making waves in their favorite fishing spots, reeling in a redfish, king mackerel or Arkansas blue. For hardcore deer hunters across the Palmetto State, the sweltering heat, mosquitoes and snakes won’t keep many from climbing into a tree stand. Unknown to many, early September is an ideal time to pick off a trophy buck.
The first thing you notice when you board Clinton Bardner’s 18-foot flat-bottom aluminum boat — besides a cinder block tied to a sturdy rope — is a landing net large enough to hold a a 9- or 10-year-old kid.
The better part of three decades ago a longtime friend described anticipation of the opening of dove season, along with a joyful gathering when that glad day finally arrives, as “Christmas in September.”
When people think of mill ponds, they usually associate them with fishing or hunting waterfowl. This is the tale of two mill ponds that have dove hunting as their September focus. One is The Mill Pond Hunting Club, a privately owned, historic club located near Whiteville in Columbus County. The other is Suggs Mill Pond, a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission game land located near Elizabethtown in Bladen County.
Once he cleared the sandbars outside Carolina Beach Inlet, Rennie Clark turned his boat to the south, and with the rising sun over his shoulder, he began rolling over the small swells headed down the beach towards Fort Fisher, smiling and talking but keeping watch for bait, birds or other signs of fish on the surface and his fish finder.
It’s the time of year when anglers and fish alike long for the crisp fall nights that are approaching, when many of the boaters who pack Lake Murray begin trading their fishing gear for their hunting gear, and when college football occupies the minds of many sportsmen.
September is a sensational month for an assortment of outdoor activities, but one that’s often overlooked is river fishing for largemouth bass in the coastal plain. The Santee and Cooper rivers are intertwined by their close proximity as well as sharing the bond of being sourced by Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, but great fishing could be a strong bond.
At 32,510 surface acres, Lake Norman is the largest impoundment entirely within North Carolina’s borders. Before it was impounded in 1963 the lake floor was cleared, eliminating a lot of potential cover for fish. But a handful of years ago, somebody thought to ask, if artificial reefs provide habitat and attract fish in saltwater, how about on North Carolina’s “inland sea.”
As a sizzling summer comes to a close along the North Carolina coast, the fall fishing season is just getting started. With enormous schools of bait and shrimp in the sounds and rivers, inshore gamefish are putting on their food bags with a vengeance. For early rising speckled trout junkies, there is not a better moment to walk their favorite surface lure along the banks of the Neuse River.
Surrounded by high-rise hotels, gambling vessels and sand castles lay the spartina-covered marshes of Little River, and while they may appear limited in size, the grassy jungles are just what the doctor ordered for South Carolina’s coveted redfish, aka spot-tail bass. Anglers willing to adopt a different tactic can have full access to these waters on the high end of the tidal cycle.
Neuse River trout turn on this month, offering great topwater action. But don't forget archery season for deer also opens up.