Features from March 2018

  • Crappie on a different plane
    By the time March rolls around, crappie fishermen across the Carolinas are chomping at the bit for waves of slabs to invade the shallows. And even though tight-line and long-line trolling techniques are proven winners, guides like Brad Taylor of Batesburg, S.C., are adding another wrinkle, using planer boards to spread baits out even farther from the boat and access territory otherwise out of reach.
  • Jump-start your turkey season
    Early season turkey hunting offers great potential for success but can be littered with obstacles along the way. Seasoned hunters find ways to navigate around impediments and tag their gobbler.
  • Red shell game – Spring breakup of South Carolina redfish schools comes in March
    It may not match winter in northern climates, but South Carolina does have a season that’s colder than the rest, and when it arrives, redfish gaggle up by the hundreds into tight groups in headwater creeks in marshes, providing anglers with easy-to-find targets. But as soon as Mother Nature turns up the heat at the approach of spring, the fish appear to scatter and vanish into thin air.
  • Running the slab spawn
    Saltwater fishermen often run the tide, moving from spot to spot within a bay or coastal creek to take advantage of a certain water depth where fish are biting.
  • Sack Santee’s spring slabs
    Early spring and crappie fishing form a perfect combination of potential and realization on the Santee Cooper lakes. If you’re looking for a heavy stringer, they are legendary for producing huge crappie, and it helps that March is prime time for roe-laden slabs to be on a strong bite while shifting from prespawn to the spawning.
  • The jig is up. But which one?
    Walk into any tackle shop this time of year and you’ll likely be overwhelmed with choices of crappie jigs to use to tempt one of the country’s favorite gamefish. How do you decide which one(s) to buy and use? 
  • Wilmington’s mixed bag
    Anyone travelling around the Wilmington, N.C., area has got to cross at least one of three rivers — the Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear and Brunswick — but because very few boats are visible from the bridges across those rivers, fishing is often under the radar for many, which is a terrible mistake.

Columns - March 2018

  • Big-fish time on Moultrie, Marion
    March is one of the best months for catching multiple species of fish on the Santee Cooper lakes
  • Bluewater bounty
    I enjoy game as much as anyone, but I’m thinking fish for our March recipe. The cold weather from early January has had negative effects on several species of inshore fish, but the offshore fishing remained surprisingly good.
  • Bomber’s Jointed Wake Minnow
    Russell Garner remembers the days in South Texas and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast when anglers modified jointed Redfins to make a “wake” bait that redfish found hard to resist.
  • it’s only a bucket, or is it?
    Besides rods, reels, line and hooks, what’s the most-common piece of fishing equipment carried by anglers fishing from the bank to million-dollar billfishing boats and every other class of angler in between? 
  • March: lion or lamb for habitat
    March is a pivotal time of the year for wild turkey and deer; the two big-game species on which hunters spend most of their time and dollars. When it’s crunch time for turkey hunters in March, it’s also prime time for deer managers to make waves in food plots in preparation for warm-season plantings.
  • Must-have baits for March bass
    Across the Carolinas, March is the best month, in my opinion, to catch a trophy largemouth bass. I know you can catch one in January, February or April, but everything points to having your best chance this month.
  • No time better than now to prepare
    As I write this, another year’s deer season has come to a close. For many hunters, this is a sad time of year, as thoughts of a long offseason become reality. 
  • Paddle, pedal to plenty of crappie
    March and crappie fishing go together like peas and carrots, but while many anglers fish for crappie, far fewer consider chasing the popular panfish from a paddleboat. 
  • Trout in the Ides of March
    March is a crazy month for weather, especially in the Carolinas. It can feel like winter, spring, or summer, and the days don't follow any certain pattern. Fortunately, mountain trout will still bite throughout the month, and these tips will help you catch your share.

Outdoor Updates - March 2018

Hot Spots - March 2018

  • Annual shad run sparkles in river
    For anglers in the know, fishing the March shad run offers one of the first opportunities since the deep freeze of winter to catch a pile of fish. The Roanoke River will be brimming with hickory shad, and guide Mitchell Blake of Chocowinity, N.C., will be there. 
  • Badin Lake to rebound?
    Last March, when unreasonably warm weather drove the big-bass bite to explode on North Carolina’s High Rock and Tuckertown lakes, the trophy bass at Badin Lake just downstream didn’t get the message. Few bruisers were caught, which was shocking, because Badin historically has been the best of the Yadkin River lakes for giant bass.
  • Find reds on oysters
    March marks the first turn toward spring fishing along the central North Carolina coast as water temperatures begin to warm.
  • Lake Murray stripers begin to stir
    With winter’s chill finally being to be replaced by warmer weather, March is a strong month for striped bass on Lake Murray, according to guide Brad Taylor.
  • Lake Russell slabs on the move
    If catching slabs is your thing, March is the best month to fish for crappie on South Carolina’s Lake Russell, according to guide Wendell Wilson of Elberton, Ga.
  • Prespawn smallmouth starting to stir at Fontana Lake
    The signs are out that fishing is about to pick up on Fontana Lake in North Carolina’s extreme southwestern corner.
  • Reef sheep herded up
    Sheepshead are biting in March around many of the reefs off the coast of Charleston, S.C, including the 4KI, Charleston 60 and Edisto 40. If they’ve got 25 to 60 feet of water on top of them, they are prime sheepshead holes this time of year.
  • Southern North Carolina redfish begin their spring feed this month
    The coastal marshes of southern Brunswick County are the southernmost saltwater areas in North Carolina and are often home to the first hearty bite to fire up when the water starts warming in the spring. 
  • Track down some Georgetown reds
    For most of the year, anglers comb South Carolina’s creeks, bays and shallow marshes for redfish, aka spot-tail bass. 
  • Try Saluda for surprise rainbows
    The lower Saluda River, which begins just below Lake Murray Dam outside of Columbia, S.C., is stocked with rainbow trout, and because the water in the river comes off the lake’s bottom and stays cold, they don’t die during the summer. 
  • Wahoo have bluewater covered
    Spring will finally arrive this month, and it will be a great time to plan a bluewater trip for wahoo, a top-of-the-food-chain opponent and a premiere target for offshore anglers.