With gifts scattered throughout the room, bows and boxes collected and trash filled to overflowing, the next challenge awaits.
Other than fulfilling my quest of favorites from an overladen table, making sure family and friends were attended to and keeping snoopers out of my workshop, our day of celebration went fairly well. I received more than I deserved, but the complaint is null. With age comes privilege.
My main request fulfilled, it appears the new year's fishing will keep my bank account from uncontrolled growth.
For most, the fishing has been light and scattered.
Light to mean that fishing activity in relation to those in pursuit was minimal. Scattered refers to the areas where anglers boarded their vessels, launched their boats or stepped by the shore, dock or pier.
While a few reports did reach my in box, the amount was slight. Holiday gatherings and cooler temps produced a welcome change.
For areas inshore the most productive species were trout, spottail bass and a few flounder. Three black drum were taken from the main river drop in Skull Creek by Terry Jamesborg of Charleston while leisurely drifting a boat delivery as a Christmas Gift (a double treat).
Offshore action has been great for black drum and sheepshead, while the prime bait taker -- blackfish -- was plentiful and released for another day.
There were a few large flounder and some bass in the vicinity, but sheepshead and black drum kept many rods on the curve.
We had extreme high and low tide the past week as well as lots of northeast winds. These weather/tide conditions caused muddy and rough water conditions, not exactly a prime time for fisherman.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has announced free hunting days Jan. 4-5.
Free hunting days allow S.C. residents to hunt without a state hunting license or other required permits. It is important to note that free hunting days do not waive any federal requirements for a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) to hunt waterfowl, and the do not open wildlife management areas that were previously closed for hunting.
All existing seasons, bag limits and methods of take still apply. Check the 2012-2013 S.C. DNR rules and regulations for information. Free days do not extend deer or any other season.
Details: 803-667-0696, www.dnr.sc.gov
A youth coon hunt will be held in Bowman on Saturday, Jan. 12, sponsored by the Orangeburg County Coon Hunters Association.
It's part of a series of nine youth coon hunts being held around South Carolina through February, sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the S.C. Coon Hunters Association.
Details: Allen Shuler, 803-533-1370.
George Poveromo will host the six-hour Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series when it lands at Charleston Southern University's Lightsey Auditorium on Feb. 9.
The National Seminar Series is the nation's most popular and longest running educational seminar on recreational marine angling tactics.
Poveromo is also host of the NBC Sports Network television series George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing.
Register: www.nationalseminarseries.com/register.php or 1-800-448-7360
During winter months when waters are clear, it is best to check out any area of muddy water. Feeding fish often stir up the bottom causing muddy conditions. These areas attract gamefish looking for an easy meal.
My very best to you and yours for the coming New Year.