• October 2016 - Volume 23, Number 10


    Fall brings some of the biggest kings and some of the best action to the North Carolina coast. Two Sneads Ferry fishermen share their tricks.

    Fall king mackerel fishing along the North Carolina coast is on a par with anywhere. Between the Virginia and South Carolina state lines, there are plenty of fishermen chasing kings every day the weather allows, and there are king mackerel tournaments every weekend, sometimes several.

    Unique coloration of albino, piebald deer offer hunters in the Carolinas a unique trophy opportunity.

    At the beginning of each deer season, hunters thumb through thousands of trail-camera photos, glass peanut or soybean fields, and think about ways to get a wall-hanger into range. 

    For most hunters, a heavy 10-pointer with a 20-inch spread will make a season one to remember. But some hunters get a chance to take a deer that looks entirely different, covered either in patches or with a completely white coat. And for many, it’s just as satisfying as taking that 10-point buck.

    Wood ducks, teal are common targets for North Carolina hunters during short, October duck season.

    If an outdoorsman is driven by his passion, then a duck hunters would be a Ferrari. Brimming with a childlike zeal for his quarry, you can rest assured that Oct. 5-8 is circled on his calendar with a big, red heart to show how he feels about the first statewide opportunity to hunt ducks that haven’t dodged steel in North Carolina in more than eight months. 

    Necessity was the mother of invention 20 years ago when inshore fishing’s hottest color debuted; it’s still catching redfish and speckled trout in South Carolina’s Lowcountry as it did way back when.

    Leadhead jigs with soft-plastic trailers probably fool more redfish and speckled trout in the waters of South Carolina’s Lowcountry than all other artificial lures combined. Throw one out and reel it back; what could be more simple? Of course, there is more to catching fish, but if you can find them and get a jig-and-trailer into their midst, you will catch fish.

    With the season open again, anglers visiting Lakes Moultrie and Marion need to be ready to take advantage of the year’s best striper schooling activity.

    Anglers in the Carolinas are fortunate to be within driving distance of a true, freshwater paradise: the Santee Cooper lakes. With towering bald cypress and water tupelo lining the banks and massive beds of aquatic vegetation, the sheer beauty of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion is evident. Sweeten the pot with a tremendous fishery for monster crappie, heavy stringers of largemouth bass, record-sized shellcrackers and colossal catfish and you’re really onto something.

    Agriculture can draw plenty of deer, but savvy hunters know all fields aren’t created equal. Here’s how to pick your hot crop spots in the Carolinas.

    A common denominator for deer-hunting hot spots in the Carolinas is the presence of agriculture fields. Not all terrain is suited for large-scale crops of soybeans, corn, peanuts, sorghum and cotton, but a lot is utilized for this purpose.

    Agriculture provide sensational deer hunting if you know when and how to hunt it.   

    Changes in the landscape will move deer into new places as summer ends, and North Carolina hunters who understand them will take more deer.

    Deer hunters know scouting is an important part of success, but many don’t know, like everything in the natural world, changes occur that alter deer patterns.

    Some hunters believe scouting means spending a few hours during the preseason in a truck or riding a four-wheeler near fields to observe whitetails filtering out of woods at dusk to feed on crops. 

    Deciphering why mature bucks rub certain trees in certain areas can get you a leg up on pre-rut hunting success.

    Every January, deer hunters begin preparing for the next opening day, with postseason scouting the first task. Most who specifically target big bucks begin looking for rubbed trees that went unnoticed during the fall. 

    An artificial reef in North Carolina’s New River is ground zero for trout fishermen in the fall.

    Ever wanted to fish an artificial reef but didn’t feel like you had enough boat to go offshore? Maybe you didn’t want to chance a risky inlet or challenge questionable weather conditions on the ocean? Well, you’re in luck. AR 398 lies in the middle of the New River, halfway between Jacksonville and Sneads Ferry, and one of Jacksonville’s top guides is catching some of his biggest trout there.

    The Carolinas’ coast is full of speckled trout this month, and there’s no way more fun to catch them than on topwater lures.

    It’s a fact: everyone likes catching fish on topwater baits. What makes fishing baits at the surface even better is that at certain times of the year, like October, you can frequently catch bigger fish on topwater lures than anything else. 

    Patience paid off last season for Noah Pennell when he waylaid this 142-inch 6-point. Learn how you can get into position to kill your own trophy this season.