• February 2018 - Volume 25, Number 2


    Kayaks can put adventuresome fishermen into the extremely skinny water where many redfish spend their winters.

    Approaching the mouth of a creek, Noah Lynk warned a handful of kayakers that the water would be shallow, that they might bump bottom a time or two, and that they would have to wade back across it when the left — but he was certain the fishing would be worth it.

    Preserves give hunters in the Carolinas the opportunity to sample upland game birds the way their elders did in past decades.

    Before whitetail deer and wild turkeys became the flagship species for hunters in the Southeast, bobwhite quail was king. Back when boys rolled up into the high-school parking lot with shotguns in gun racks in the back window of the truck — and no one minded — it was common to stop along the way to school and kick up a covey of quail before heading to class.

    Lake Monticello’s big blue catfish turn on in winter, giving anglers a chance to do battle with trophy class fish.

    If you wanting to get your string stretched to the limit by a big catfish in cold weather, you’ll be hard pressed to do better than South Carolna’s Lake Monticello. It is an real wintertime catfish destination for a couple of very good reasons. 

    Time your winter trout fishing around an approaching weather front and you’ll catch more specks.

    Allen Jernigan launched his 18-foot tunnel-hull skiff and pointed the bow into the channel of a coastal river. The wind was calm, the water slick. Within minutes, he turned out of the main channel and headed into a shallow bay.

    Winter and early spring are prime times to target Lake Norman’s newest gamefish, the hybrid bass.

    In 2012, when the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission decided to quit stocking striped bass in Lake Norman, that probably wasn’t the best news for Bob Curan, who grew up fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay before moving to North Carolina in 1997 and putting in 15 years learning the 32,500-acre lake north of Charlotte.

    Jigs and jerkbaits are a great two-pronged approach to catching bass that become active this month on North Carolina’s Lake Tillery.

    If February 2018 is anything like February 2017 — with its unseasonably warm weather — bass fishermen can expect to encounter a good number of trophy fish. The key is water temperature; once it climbs into the lower 50s, big female bass migrate in numbers into shallow staging areas before they even think about spawning.

    Rabbit populations in the Carolinas are made up of several species, but all provide plenty of opportunities this month.

    If Alex Trebek unveiled this clue on his TV quiz show, Jeopardy, would you come up with the correct question?

    Get a jump on Carolina crappie season on any level in February

    Crappie fishermen who can’t wait for the start of crappie season would be wise to go ahead and hit the lake rather than wait for the dogwoods to bloom. February is a great month to catch a cooler full of slabs if you understand how fish behave during the coldest part of the year as well as where they prefer to wait out the end of the winter before settling into their prespawn patterns.

    The biggest of the big: Patrick Williams of Belews Creek, N.C., killed this potential state-record archery buck last Oct. 25 in Rockingham County.