• December 2016 - Volume 23, Number 12


    December marks the beginning of a several great months of bass fishing on North Carolina’s Lake Norman, thanks in part to an immigrant who might not be what he seems.

    One morning last December, a bass tournament was blasting off out of the McCrary Creek boating ramp, aka Queens Landing, but Carson Orellana of Mooresville, N.C., was perfectly content to let the traffic clear before he backed his Nitro down the ramp and pushed off into Lake Norman.

    Tundra swans give North Carolina waterfowl hunters a chance for a big, trophy bird.

    After pulling on their chest waders at 6 a.m., six hunters left a comfortable cabin and drove to a nearby wheat field to set a spread of over-sized shell and windsock decoys in the soft, black soil near Pantego, N.C. The “weep-weep” sound of a young swan soon turned their faces skyward.

    With winter on the horizon, the best catfishing of the year approaches on the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina. Here’s how to get in on wonderful whiskered action.

    As the holiday season nears, outdoor lovers gravitate towards an early morning duck hunt or a last-minute sit in their favorite deer stands. But if you’ve got a fishy state of mind, winter is prime time to lock onto a trophy catfish, and there’s no place better than Santee Cooper’s Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.

    There’s no argument; late-season whitetails can be tough in the Carolinas. Take these expert tips and increase your chances of filling a tag.

    Late-season deer hunting in the Carolinas is not for everyone, just those addicted to hunting whitetails. December can be the most-challenging time of the season, but hunters looking for the chance to fill a tag still have opportunities — and some advantages.

    There’s still hope for a nice late-season buck if you take these experts’ advice.

    Ninety-five percent of North Carolina hunters agree that bagging a whitetail with a sizeable rack is more difficult during December than any other month.

    Several reasons exist for this condition: 

    Match your retrieve to the mood of late-fall redfish for the best Carolinas action.

    Who’s right?  

    You’ve read the articles, watched fishing shows and videos and fished with guides or other so-called experts, and they give conflicting advice on how to catch redfish. Those who fish with bait know catching reds is pretty straight forward: drop live or dead bait into a likely spot and wait until something eats it. Yes, there are many subtleties to presenting the bait into the right spots, but if the fish are hungry, they will eat.

    From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the waters around Harkers Island are full of fish, but not boats. Here’s how to make the most of having the place to yourself.

    Once the weather begins to cool around Thanksgiving, many fishermen clean their gear and winterize their boats for storage until spring. Fishermen who put on a jacket and continue to fish really appreciate this. The shorter lines at launching ramps and reduced competition for preferred spots makes catching a limit of specks and reds much easier.

    The end of the season is in sight, so it's time to pull out all the stops to tag out on that trophy buck.