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Stokes: Tricky weather has most fish playing hard to get

Offshore species remain elusive and have stayed just out of range for a comfortable daily run. A few stragglers testing the waters were shown on recorders, and two Wahoo did manage to make it on board a local boat that wishes to remain anonymous. It appears his boss would take exception to his whereabouts -- but he did visit his doctor, who was his fishing partner.

Inshore things have reverted more to a January schedule with cool winds, another cold snap and tides influencing the catch. Spottail bass remain active, but in terms of movement only. Bass will nudge a bait but won't strike. Those that do are hitting from the fringe of larger schools, which scatter easily when noise or movement is unnatural.

Trout are biding their time for warmer waters, but sheepshead are looking for a food source. Sheeps are taking cuts of crab, strips of oyster and mussel and fiddlers when available.


The Sea Island Fly Fishers' next monthly meeting will be at 6 p.m., April 10, at Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort. The public is invited, and free refreshments are provided. Capt. Tuck Scott will talk on cobia fishing. He'll reveal the best equipment selection, spotting techniques, casting and stripping tips, where to go and cobia traits.

The club's upcoming fly-only redfish tourney also will be discussed. This no-fee event slated for April 20-26 is open to the public. It will be a perfect opportunity for new fly fishers to experience a day on the water under the guidance of a club member.

Sign up at Bay Street Outfitters or email Jack Baggette at if you have any questions.


Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina is offering support for the bill H.3735, which calls for the implementation of state management measures for black sea bass, one of the state's most popular near-shore species. CCA has advocated driving management of marine resources to the lowest levels of government, as it feels that individual states have a better grasp to manage resources that ensure their health and stability. South Carolina's Marine Resources Division has proven its willingness to invest in South Carolina's fisheries by working with anglers and groups to maximize resources for the citizens of the Palmetto State.

"No one wants to go backwards with regard to the conservation of this important recreational species, but neither should anyone be content with a management regime that seems unable or unwilling to find a way to reap the benefits of success," said Mike Able, CCA SC Government Relations committee chairman.

"We believe Rep. Goldfinch's legislation is an excellent opportunity to explore how our own Marine Resources Division could take a greater role in the management of federal species," said Scott Whitaker, CCA SC executive director.


"Fishermen, hunters, wood choppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation."

-- from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden"