Outdoors

Stokes: Offshore fishing going well these days

rodcrafter@islc.netOctober 20, 2013 

There is no denying that inshore activity peaks at this time for a majority of gamefish. However, the news lately has centered on offshore species.

Presently active are dolphin, wahoo, tuna, blackfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, shark, spadefish, barracuda, a few triggerfish and large sheepshead. Waters ranging from 60 to 300 feet have been the mark for most catches.

The wrecks and reefs, as well as surrounding active bottom reaches, have given up good shares and a variety of fish. Trolling, drift and bottom-fishing will work, provided your baits and presentation are fresh.

Artificial lures (small feather and nylon lures, metal spoons), fresh strip baits of squid and live bait fish (minnows, mullet, menhaden, crab) and live or cut shrimp have been successful.

You can't fish on credit, so check your bait and your rigs often.

FLY-ONLY REDFISH TOURNAMENT

Bay Street Outfitters will be hosting "Friday and Tides Right," a flyfishing redfish tournament, Nov. 2-8. There is no entry fee and no equipment is required. Simply sign up and you will be paired with a boat captain for the day. Winners will be judged by the spot count of fish caught. Those who make the cut will receive a $100 gift certificate and their name on a trophy.

Details: www.flyfishingbeaufort.com or Jack Baggette at 522-8911.

TASTE OF WADDELL

The sixth annual Taste of Waddell, a celebration of the Port Royal Sound ecosystem, will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the Waddell Mariculture Center in Bluffton.

The event will benefit Waddell's cobia and red drum research and their summer intern program, as well as the Port Royal Sound adult red drum study.

Dr. Michael Denson, one of the nation's leading cobia experts, will give a presentation on Beaufort County's cobia fishery. Chef Michael Sigler will prepare shrimp dinners cooked three ways, and there will be buckets of May River oysters, beer and wine. Music will be provided by Lowcountry Boil. A raffle and silent auction will be held.

Tickets are $30 per person (beer, wine and oysters extra). Limited reservations are available. To reserve your spot, go to www.friendsofwaddell.org or call Dave at 843-785-4106.

OUTDOOR TIP

With the advent of inexpensive GPS receivers, many think map and compass skills are no longer needed. Granted, these devices are great tools and are especially useful while trekking the woods or running the waterways. The problem is too many depend solely on GPS as their only navigation tool.

Any mechanical device will fail; batteries are not the exception. Knowing basic map and compass skills in concert with your GPS can ensure you will end up in the general vicinity you wish to arrive should things become a bit more complicated than you anticipated. At least you will have an idea where you are should you become disoriented. This peace of mind itself can be a life-saver.

To put things in perspective, if your only means of getting to the game before kickoff, making your tee time or catching the right tide for a launch was solely in the hands of strangers, you would make better plans.

Beeps, rings and vibrations may be suitable for vehicles of transport, but when you are in need of reliable choices, don't rely on crutches. Use the best tool at your disposal. Think and stay safe -- depend on your skills, not a product of questionable origin, manufactured by strangers, packed for sale, and shipped with instructions in many languages.

It's your choice, make the right one when it matters most.

CLOSING THOUGHT

"Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

-- Cree Indian Prophecy

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