Lynches River shellcrackers

Anthony Messier said shellcrackers like this one are a dime a dozen on Lynches River. (picture by Brian Cope)

Small spinners, small boats are ideal for Lynches River

With its running water and canopy of shade trees, Lynches River offers a respite to panfish anglers, and it is full of chunky shellcrackers.

These fish are willing biters in numerous areas throughout this waterway.

Lynches River is narrow enough that in most places, folks on opposite banks could carry on a conversation without raising their voices. So it’s the ideal river for small craft like johnboats, kayaks, canoes or one-man sneak boats. It’s not uncommon for fallen trees to routinely block the river, causing anglers to portage over or around them. So the smaller the watercraft, the better.

Downed trees, slackwater pools, eddies and trickling water from incoming creeks are all likely fish-holding areas. And plenty of all such areas exist on this river.

Worms fished under a slip cork are always a good choice. But small spinners like Johnson Beetle Spins, Panther Martins, and Blakemore Road Runners are even better choices, according to Anthony Messier of Camden, SC.

Messier uses a 500-series spinning reel paired with a St. Croix light panfish rod and 6-pound test line. He prefers spinners in 1/16- and 1/8-ounce sizes, and utilizes various colors, including orange, red, chartreuse, green and brown. He does most of his fishing here from a kayak.

“You can definitely catch them with worms, but using small spinners lets you stay on the move easier, and it’s a little more fun for me. It’s a lot like bass fishing, just with smaller tackle,” he said.

What’s his favorite type of cover to cast? Anywhere.

“You can catch them anywhere in this river,” he said. “I like to target the front and back of downed trees, the edges of surface weeds and eddies along the banks. And anytime I see water trickling in from a creek, no matter how small it is, I’ll usually catch a fish or two before drifting past,” he said.

One type of area that he said is a little less common, but highly productive, is a slack water pool.

“Especially slack water pools that are formed in sharp bends of the river, those can be very productive. Areas like these are worth slowing down and spending extra time on,” he said.

About Brian Cope 2787 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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