We have all had perfect days on the water, a time when everything is in our favor, and you know in the first five minutes that the day will turn out great. The temperature is tolerable, winds are light and cooling, the boat is running well and your bait is fresh and lively.
But one particular day I had a problem -- I had yet to put a fish in the boat. My optimism prevailed; I knew things would change, and they did. I suppose somehow the fish knew I planned on sticking around, so they became more active.
Staying with the game plan can easily save the day. Recent thunderstorms have cooled things down and fish seem to appreciate the change. Things will heat up soon enough, but for now, it has reduced the tension and anxiety brought on by the dog days of summer.
The active species around the Lowcountry now are: spottail bass, bluefish, black drum, whiting, trout, flounder, dolphin, blackfish, tuna and Spanish mackerel.
A few large tarpon have been taken from tide-line breaks close to deep water. Tide lines are formed where inland waters meet the main body of the Atlantic. The difference between the waters forms a line or wall easily detected by a profound color difference created by temperature, turbidity and salinity.
During periods of heavy rain, salinity levels rise and shallow waters generally have a surge in baitfish activity. With a favorable tide and the right current, anglers should make every effort to stick around -- gamefish are not far behind.
On the freshwater scene, largemouth bass from area ponds and rivers are hitting artificial worms and small topwater plugs. Crickets and minnows are moving large crappie from brush and tree lines. Catfish are holding tight at deep vertical banks, while panfish are concentrated in well-shadowed creeks. A bit of caution: high heat ranges cause flying insects to become more active, especially wasps and hornets. Be aware of what you are brushing up against along paths and shorelines.
This Labor Day, the folks at Fripp Island have scheduled their 22nd annual Kingfish Invitational. This two-day event with a payout of $5000 supports a heavy following and is among one of the most popular events on the local tournament trail. For more information, drop me an e-mail or call the Fripp Island Marina at 843-838-1517.
I usually refrain from exposing my political views for reasons better left unanswered. There is no denying our country needs a return to civility.
It is my humble, yet often misguided, opinion that our Congress should adapt more sportsmanlike attitudes. Many of our past representatives and presidents were sportsmen, and as such seemed more connected to the people. Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, to name a few, had a unique perspective on what was fair and equitable. While you may not agree, my choices do have merit.
Think about this before passing judgment: If today's representatives were to solicit names for a boat they had recently purchased, a better suit would most likely be "Clueless" or "Attention Deficit."
It just works out better when our elected officials have a modicum of common sense, discipline, fairness and, for the most part, moral character -- traits that have become well established among those who enjoy the outdoors.