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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.