Fall is a special time for sportsmen in the Carolinas, and it has managed to shine through all the weather we’ve had this year, including two hurricanes. Fish are biting, and most hunting seasons are open. There were repairs this year that had to be placed in front of the honey-do list, but occasionally sportsmen need a break — even in the worst of times — and the fish and game cooperated.
The odd weather that has been prevalent in the Carolinas this year has continued into the fall. After rain and heat through the summer, Hurricane Florence backed into the east coast and wreaked havoc from Cedar Island, N.C. to Cape Romain, S.C.
Fall is the absolute best season in the Carolinas. It begins in September, lasts into December and brings some of the prettiest weather and nicest temperatures of the year. Sportsmen have multiple opportunities to fish or hunt and can even do both, with high expectations of success, in the same day.
August may be hot, but there is plenty happening for sportsmen in the Carolinas. Saltwater fishing has been good all summer, and some freshwater species are beginning to become active again. Deer hunters in parts of South Carolina get a head start in mid-August, and a lot of migratory bird seasons open Sept. 1.
If you haven’t been outside for a while, let me warn you, the temperature is leaning heavily toward the hot side. Cool days are in the mid-80s, and hot days steam into the 90s, with humidity numbers almost as high. Still, it’s comfortable most evenings to cook on your deck or patio.
Welcome to Summer 2018. It isn’t officially summer until June 21, but after a winter that wouldn’t go away and a spring that couldn’t quite get here, summer will be welcome. The days have already gotten longer, and it makes it a perfect time to get out of the house and enjoy a meal on your patio or deck.
Regular readers of this column know there is always one turkey recipe each spring to go with the turkey season. Only once before have I added a second turkey recipe, but I’m going to do it again. It’s a turkey pie, cooked in a cast-iron pan, that can be cooked in the oven or taken outside to the grill in the warming May weather. It makes a lot, too, so there will be plenty for lunches for a few days.
April is a special time of year in the Carolinas. There is something for all outdoor enthusiasts to do. If you like fishing, there are opportunities from the Blue Ridge to the bluewater, and hunters can get back into the woods for encounters of the gobble, gobble, gobble kind.
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. The wind and sea conditions weren’t often ideal, but when weather windows opened, most fishermen found the fish biting from the top to the bottom.