Anglers in the Carolinas battle a mixture of conditions throughout the year, from freezing winter temperatures to sweltering-hot summer dog days. While most states experience a steady seasonal climate, the Carolinas often experience the yo-yo effect, where cool and warm days routinely bookmark each other during the winter.
A large, dark shadow was visible in a bathtub-sized pool. The pool downstream from where I stood had produced several average-sized rainbow trout for quick release. The shadow was in a tiny pool upstream in the middle of a turbulent riffle.
The last leg of the North Carolina’s duck season is here, promising what is likely the heaviest month of duck activity. Although many birds have already been schooled by barking shotguns, a savvy hunter can still bring them down, and there’s no better place to fill a limit with a variety of ducks than the Pamlico Sound and the southern Outer Banks.
Most South Carolina waterfowl hunters cut their teeth chasing wood ducks in century-old cypress sloughs or maybe a gaggle of greenheads in acres of flooded grain, but available duck-hunting opportunities are now in high demand. Lease fees and land prices continue to rise, and premiere waterfowl grounds under public control are steadily becoming overcrowded.
Pointing up a small channel to the light ripples in a patch of busy water, Mike Eady of Yak Fishing and Outdoor Guides cautioned the fishermen in his party to move slowly and carefully until they were in casting range of the disturbance. Eady said redfish were most likely the target, and while a bit sluggish in the cold, January water, they were on high alert in the shallow water and would spook easily.
Crappie fishermen in the Carolinas have a handful of great lakes to fish in the winter,, and January remains a great time to target speckled trout and reds at the coast. Photos by Dan Kibler (crappie), David Brown (trout).