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Improve your fishing: hire a professional

When it comes to fishing guides, some are good, some are bad, but for the most part, none of them should be considered ugly.

If you are just visiting and funds are limited, you have to decide your best course of action. For many weekend fishermen, the expense may to great. But, if you are serious about your fishing and want a trip to remember, consider the services of a professional. Most local charter boats and fishing guides are competitive, and for the most part, offer rewarding trips and an exciting fishing experience. By using a professional, you have many advantages that others may find lacking.

Fishing guides are out on the water daily and know where and what the present course of action should be for success. Use their expertise to become more proficient when you are fishing home waters. Dazzle your friends with your brilliance and take home more than excuses.

Local waters along the coast, and especially here in the Lowcountry, dictate certain techniques and procedures. There are no guarantees, but your chances of catching fish or landing that trophy are greatly improved if you use the services offered by professionals.

Boat choices are critical for both inshore and offshore excursions. Fishing with local guides assures you that the boat in use is the best choice for the waters you are fishing. Remember, you can't walk back.

By employing the use of a local guide or charter boat captain you will know that your bait is fresh and the choice is one that is current and productive. Most fishing guides will either get bait before launching the boat or they'll throw a cast net for fresh bait before heading to productive waters. Pay attention to their technique, you could save a few teeth by knowing when to release.

You will have access to the latest in fishing rods and reels as well as tackle, all the appropriate equipment needed for an enjoyable and hopefully successful day on the water. Whether you are a bait fisherman, an artificial enthusiast or fly fisherman, they have all the right tackle and know what is hot and what is not.

Fishing guides are outstanding when it comes to instructions. They want your trip to be successful as it helps their reputation. Word of mouth beats any other form of advertising. Most charter captains will cover casting methods and proper lure presentation as well as what to and not to do for success.

If you decide this is the best route for you to take while visiting, or you are just tired of coming home skunked with nothing to show for your time and effort, hiring a professional is worth every penny. It's not just a day on the water making excuses, it's a learning experience that will stay with you a lifetime. Every guide wants you to enjoy the time, and most importantly, catch fish.

SOUTH CAROLINA ROLLS OUT NEW 3-YEAR LICENSES

The South Carolina General Assembly passed a new law that allows purchase of several new types of three-year hunting and fishing licenses. These new license include a three-year resident hunting license ($36), a three-year resident big game permit ($18), a three-year resident wildlife management area permit ($92), a three-year resident combination license ($75), a three-year resident sportsman's license ($150), a three-year resident freshwater fishing license ($30), a three-year resident saltwater fishing license ($30), a three-year non-resident freshwater fishing license ($105) and a three-year non-resident saltwater fishing license ($105).

To encourage new resident and non-resident hunters, anyone over the age of 16 who does not have a hunter education certificate and without previous hunting violations may purchase a one-time apprentice hunting license for one year which waives hunter education requirements. Fees are equivalent to the annual state hunting license.

Resident lifetime combination license holders may add a lifetime migratory waterfowl permit at any South Carolina Department of Natural Resources office.

Fees are based on the applicant's age. Three-year licenses sold during the 2010-11 license year will expire on June 30, 2013. Refer to the 2010-11 rules and regulations for requirements and updating information on license and fees.

TOURNAMENT NEWS

Sea Island Fly Fishers wrapped up another redfish tournament on Oct. 15 and crowned a winner. Sixteen entrants had a week-long window to select one day to catch reds with the highest total spot count. Beaufort's John Holbrook was the winner. John caught five fish with a total of 11 spots. He won a gift certificate to Bay Street Outfitters and got his name on the club's trophy. Craig Dumesnil of Bluffton was second with three fish and 10 spots.

The tournament is the 10th in a series of fly-only events held by the club.

Dedicated to the promotion of fly fishing in the area, the tournament is designed to attract new blood into the sport. A number of fishermen have caught their first redfish during this event and beginners have won twice.

Another event will be held in the spring and the club encourages anyone interested in fly fishing to enter. Visit the club's website at www.flyfishingbeaufort.com for additional information.

TACKLE TIP

The name of the game in preventing theft is deterrence. Anything to make your boat or equipment less attractive to thieves is the goal. BoatUS says there are some precautions boaters should take to prevent thieves from targeting your boat over the winter. Here are some general tips:

  • If you are storing your boat away from home, ensure the yard or marina is secure with fencing and cameras.
  • If you are storing your trailerable boat at home, if possible, don't leave the trailer tongue facing the street. Block the trailer and remove the tires, storing them inside, or add wheel locks. Put a lock on the hitch receiver.
  • Adding personalized markings to equipment can help identify and recover stolen items. By making them obvious, it also makes the items less marketable.
  • Don't leave your dinghy on your club's or marina's rack unlocked or for long periods of time.
  • Make periodic visits to your boat over the winter. If you can't get to it, get a friend or yard worker to make a monthly visit.
  • Don't leave liquor out in the open where it can be seen.
  • Leaving a "For Sale" sign posted all winter attracts the wrong kind of attention and gives someone an excuse to get aboard and look around.
  • Don't forget that four-legged "bandits," such as raccoons and other critters will enjoy your boat as much as spring breakers hitting the beach, so ensure winter covers are tight and remain securely attached. Don't store your boat in a place that makes it easier for animals to get aboard, such as near trees or building overhangs.
  • Cover large exhaust ports. Don't leave a ladder affixed to the boat.
  • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    In Europe, the first native variety of shrimp to make its way from the fishing net to the dinner plate was Crago vulgaris. This particular species is fairly small, so the new tasty shellfish was called schrimpe, the Middle English word for "small, puny person." That means the insult predates the food.

    Since some species of shrimp can grow to 15 inches in length, the old oxymoronic joke about "jumbo shrimp" owes its origins to its etymology and not some comedy routine.

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