With our unseasonably warm weather, fishermen are taking every opportunity to do away with winter doldrums and get out on the water.
Closer to shore, Skull and Broad Creek have provided some of the best inshore activity in weeks. Trout, sheepshead, whiting and spottail bass are among the most active. While flounder fishing has slowed, offshore at the Ross the fishing has been great.
If your fishing takes you over deeper waters simply revert to earlier days afloat. Be pre-rigged, turn on your fish-finder and drift. Maintain boat position until you locate a drop, toss the anchor and enjoy.
Simple enough, but few fishermen will employ the technique, desiring otherwise to wander aimlessly in hopes of stumbling on a few stragglers. No doubt eventually they will get lucky, but for the most part they are simply drowning bait.
There are a number of deep ledges in many of our rivers. A bit of graphing with your fish-finder in rivers you fish less frequently can bring surprising results. Doing so provides an insight into the art of relaxing, and quantity becomes less important. You will find relief from stress and feel a bit less urgency.
In creeks and rivers, fish close to points and the larger feeder creeks. Sandbars, shell mounds and grass croppings serve as a dinner table for gamefish, and with the warm weather we are experiencing, fishing has been outstanding.
Minnows, shrimp, cut baits of squid and fresh fish are effective live baits. Artificials include D.O.A. shrimp in clear and pink and green screw-tail grubs with silver fleck. Oddly enough, smoke and silver fleck work better for trout, and 4-inch Gulp worms will add fish to your stringer.
There is a lot to be said for winter fishing, especially in the Lowcountry. Fish move, temperatures fluctuate and seasons change. If mild weather conditions persist, some of our best days are just ahead.
Effective Jan. 30, harvest and possession of snapper-grouper and coastal migratory pelagic species is limited to the recreational bag limit within designated special management zones off South Carolina.
This rule change iss being implemented through the NOAA Fisheries Service Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 (CE-BA 2) and applies to both commercial and recreational fishermen.
Special management zones encompass most of South Carolina's artificial reefs including BP-25, Beaufort 45, Betsy Ross, Bill Perry, C.J. Davidson, Cape Romain, Capers, Charleston 60, Comanche, Eagles Nest, Edisto 40, Edisto 60, Edisto Offshore, Fripp Island, Georgetown, Greenville, Hilton Head, Hunting Island, Kiawah, Little River Offshore, North Inlet, Paradise, Pawleys Island, Ten Mile, Vermilion, Wayne Upchurch, Will Goldfinch and Y-73.
Be sure to check recreational limits before heading out at www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/saltfishing.pdf.
The Feb. 9 meeting of the Beaufort Sportfishing and Diving Club will be held at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. The social begins at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7.
The scheduled guest speaker will be charter captain, humorous radio star and fisheries trivia expert Captain Fuzzy Davis of Hilton Head Island. Fuzzy will reveal his secrets for winter Red Drum and Sea Trout. He will also have rods and reels and baits of choice for this time of year.
Guests are welcome. For information, call 843-522-2020.
A man running late to meet his fishing buddies gets a ticket. When stopped, he stated to the patrolman: "OK, I was speeding, but I don't think its fair. Everyone around me was speeding; why did you single me out from the crowd?"
The officer noticed the fishing gear and said, "I see you are a fisherman. Did you catch all the fish on the lake?"
The startled man replied,"That's not possible."
Smiling as he walked away, the patrolman replied, "My point exactly."