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COLUMBIA/CHARLESTON EDITION

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Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

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The Suzuki Savings Season 2016 ends soon so see your participating Suzuki Marine dealer today – or visit suzukimarine.com – for details on these special offers.

Gimme Six Extended Protection promo is applicable to new Suzuki outboard motors from 25 to 300 HP in inventory which are sold and delivered to buyer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16 in accordance with the promotion by a Participating Authorized Suzuki Marine dealer in the continental US and Alaska to a purchasing customer who resides in the continental US or Alaska. Customer should expect to receive an acknowledgement letter and full copy of contract including terms, conditions and wallet card from Suzuki Extended Protection within 90 days of purchase. If an acknowledgement letter is not received in time period stated, contact Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. – Marine Marketing via email: marinepromo@suz.com. The Gimme Six Promotion is available for pleasure use only, and is not redeemable for cash. Cash Rebates apply to qualifying purchases of select Suzuki outboards made between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16. For list of designated models, see participating Dealer or visit www.suzukimarine.com. Customer and participating Dealer must fill out the appropriate rebate form at time of sale. Customer will have the choice to either apply the cash rebate against the original dealer invoice (Suzuki will credit Dealer parts account) or have a check sent directly to the customer. There are no model substitutions, benefit substitutions, rain checks, or extensions. Suzuki reserves the right to change or cancel these promotions at any time without notice or obligation. * Financing offers available through Synchrony Retail Finance. As low as 5.99% APR financing for 60 months on new and unregistered Suzuki marine engines. Subject to credit approval. Not all buyers will qualify. Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthiness. $19.99/month per $1,000 financed for 60 months is based on 5.99% APR. Hypothetical figures used in calculation; your actual monthly payment may differ based on financing terms, credit tier qualification, accessories or other factors such as down payment and fees. Offer effective on new, unregistered Suzuki marine engines purchased from a participating authorized Suzuki dealer between 10/01/16 and 12/31/16.“Gimme Six”, the Suzuki “S” and model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®. Don’t drink and drive. Always wear a USCG-approved life jacket and read your owner’s manual. © 2016 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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More Of A World Traveler’s Top Fishing Destinations By Patrick Sebile

L

ast month in these pages, I laid out what in my opinion are the top-5 fishing destinations in the world. It was a list of the most impressive fisheries I have experienced in a career spent traveling to fish the most renowned waters on this planet. From southern Africa’s Atlantic coast to Scandanavia, Panama, Australia and Venice, Louisiana, those five destinations topped the list among the 64 countries where I have fished. But there are other destinations well worth mention as some of the top fisheries in the world. With this article I will touch on five more destinations I believe to be some of the best on the planet. • Florida, U.S.A: Choosing a whole state and calling it a destination might be a stretch. However, the variety of great fisheries offered by this peninsula is what makes it one of the best places in the world for anglers. With fantastic inshore and offshore fishing, seasonal highlights like the east coast mullet run and some of the best bass fishing anywhere, Florida’s patchwork of options make it a great place for fishing. • South Island, New Zealand: This place is as wild as wilderness can get. Fishing for trout in New Zealand streams with the backdrop that was the set from the “Lord of the Rings” movies has to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Also, the north island offers great saltwater fishing for humphead snapper and yellowtail amberjack, which is one of the meanest and most powerful fish that lives in the world’s oceans. • Lake Biwa, Japan: This 259-square-mile lake is surrounded with history as one of the oldest lakes in the world. It is filled with millions of ayu—a small trout-related fish—that turned out to be the major food for a population of largemouth bass. There are consistently more

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Photo Courtesy of Al Stewart Photography

big bass in Lake Biwa than anywhere else I know of. It is where the longtime IGFA All Tackle world record was tied just a few years ago with a bass that weighed 22-pounds, 5-ounces. • Ivory Coast, Africa: Years ago, I ran a lodge on the Ivory Coast, not far from the city of San Pedro, where Stuart Campbell used to come targeting record blue marlin. He succeeded a number of times. From April to June, my average day consisted of three to five fish in the 300- to 600-pound range. • Massachusetts, U.S.A.: I’m a striped bass addict, and fishing the shores of Massachusetts is a pilgrimage I must make on an annual basis, period! There’s nothing like fishing for striped bass when they’re blitzing bait on the shorelines of the northeastern states. Patrick Sebile is the owner and lure designer of Sebile Innovative Fishing (www.sebile.com).

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


It’s the Honda of Outboards. Literally.

Quality, reliability, technology and fuel-efficiency have made Honda an automotive legend. You’ll find those same strengths in every Honda Marine outboard. Honda outboards deliver best-of-class features in models ranging from 2.3 to 250 hp. Many even share engine technology and components used in Honda vehicles like the Accord, Odyssey, Fit and Pilot — vehicles that have proven themselves over millions of miles. No wonder all Honda outboards are backed by the only 5-year manufacturer’s warranty in the industry. Power your boat with the brand that offers millions of miles of proven performance — Honda Marine.

Take Advantage Of 2.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboards Or 4.49% APR Financing On All New Honda Outboard Engines Or Boat/Motor Packages — Going On Now! To Find Your Nearest Authorized Honda Marine Dealer, Visit Our Website Now From Your QR-Enabled Phone, Or Go To ca.hondamarine.com *APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 2.49% APR financing for 24 – 48 months, available to customers who qualify for the AHFC super preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines: 2.49% APR for 36 months financing at $28.86 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 60 months financing at $18.19 a month for every $1,000 financed. 3.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.44 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. Lower rates may also be available. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines (2hp – 250hp) and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. **APR financing available on all new Honda outboard engines or packages (boat, motor and trailer, where Honda outboard engine is the main source of power) through American Honda Finance Corporation upon approved credit. 4.49% APR financing for 12 – 180 months (term and rate based on amount financed) available to customers who qualify for the AHFC Super Preferred credit tier. Example for new Honda outboard engines or packages: 4.49% APR for 84 months financing at $13.90 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 144 months financing at $9.00 a month for every $1,000 financed. 4.49% APR for 180 months financing at $7.64 a month for every $1,000 financed. Offer good on any new and unregistered Honda outboard engine or package, with a minimum amount financed of $1,000 and a minimum monthly payment of $100. Check with participating dealers for complete details. Dealers set actual sales prices. For well-qualified buyers, not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for different terms and/or buyers with lower credit rating. APR may be subject to dealer mark-up. Offer valid through 01/03/17, on new and unregistered Honda outboard engines or packages and only on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Honda Financial Services’ standard credit criteria apply. ©2016 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Always wear a personal flotation device while boating and read your owner’s manual. All Honda outboards meet EPA and CARB emission levels. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM DECEMBER 2016 NATIONAL 7


BE YOUR OWN BOSS. If you love the outdoors and the Fishing Industry, you owe it to yourself to check out the Franchise Opportunities available with Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine.

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PHOTO BY GARNER REID, COHUTTA FISHING COMPANY

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 261

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPT. CRAIG KORCZYNSKI - PHLATSINSHOREFISHING.COM VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 261

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INTERNATIONAL BAHAMAS : Misti & Gary Guertin • (772) 285-6850 • treasurecoast@coastalanglermagazine.com flahama@coastalanglermagazine.com COSTA RICA : Thomas Hauer, Jr. • (321) 445-1557 • thomash@coastalanglermagazine.com Thomas Hauer • tomh@coastalanglermagazine.com PUERTO RICO/VIRGIN ISLANDS : Ace Bassue • (407) 285-9453 • ace@coastalanglermagazine.com © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: Coastal Angler Magazine / The Angler Magazine will not be held liable for injuries incurred while partaking in activities described herein, or for claims made against products or services provided by advertisers.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM


Editor’s Note: Each month, Coastal Angler Magazine and The Angler Magazine staff search our vast coverage area for photos that will grace our covers. With well over a million readers in diverse coastal and inland markets, our magazines strive for broad national appeal as well as local-level intelligence to put anglers on fish. The cover is different depending on which edition you, the reader, are holding. The following is a little information about this month’s covers.

COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE Eleuthera, Bahamas

FREE

This year’s December holiday editions of Coastal Angler Magazine feature an image Holiday of Gene Dyer and a 30-pound mahi caught GIFT while fishing aboard Uncle Tom Dyer’s GUIDE 55-foot Hatteras off Eleuthera, Bahamas. Dyer is Coastal Angler’s newest franchisee, having recently taken over the Fort Local Lauderdale franchise location. Gene comes to Coastal Angler as a former advertising sales executive for Florida Sport Fishing. Eleuthera is one of the long skinny Out Islands that make up the eastern edge of the Bahamian archipelago. It is a spectacular vacation destination with miles of pink sand beaches, and for anglers it is a renowned bonefish destination, noted for expansive and easily accessible flats. As evidenced by Dyer’s Mahi, Eleuthera is also a fantastic jumpingoff place for the reef, spearfishing and sport fishing the Bahamas are famous for. Excellent reefs such as Devil’s Backbone are teeming with snappers, groupers and amberjack. And with depths of thousands of feet a few miles offshore, anglers can take a quick boat ride and tangle with tuna, marlin, snapper, mahi-mahi, sailfish and some huge wahoo. Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

COASTALA NGLERMA G.COM

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THE ANGLER MAGAZINE Southeastern Mountain Trout

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

FREE

There is no better gift for a trout angler than the opportunity to cast to gorgeous fish in the streams of southern Appalachia. The cover image for our holiday editions of The Angler Holiday Magazine comes from the north Georgia GIFT GUIDE mountains, where Tommy Nicodemus caught this big rainbow trout from Noontootla Creek Local while fishing with guide Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters. Noontootla Creek is one of the best small trout streams in Georgia, and it feeds the larger Toccoa River, which boasts one the Southeast’s premier tailwater trout fisheries. Noontootla itself flows from high-headwaters through public land on Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, where it is a small stream offering wild brown and rainbow trout. For decades it has been managed under special regulations, which have produced a great, if sometimes challenging, fishery. Our cover fish was caught from an extensively managed private trophy stretch of Noontootla Creek called Noontootla Creek Farms. The image was captured by Jason Weldon. PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON WELDON

VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 263

F R A N C H I S E

Fishing Reports Catch Photos News & Events

FISHING WITH UNICOI OUTFITTERS

THEANGLE RMAG.COM O P P O R T U N I T I E S

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inter means giant redfish on the fly. From Florida to Texas and up the east coast of the United States, giant redfish are a prime target species for many saltwater fly anglers. In my opinion, there is no finer wintertime saltwater species to sight fish a fly too. The fishing opportunities are endless, and the chance to hook a true giant heavier than 30 pounds is very likely. However, for the fly angler to be successful he/she must be able to make the cast. First Things First The first thing I suggest to anglers before they jump into saltwater fly fishing is to really learn how to cast a fly line to 40 feet quickly and accurately. We are often led to believe that if the angler can cast a long distance then he or she will be a successful fly angler. There is nothing further from the truth. I’ve seen wonderful fly casters become frustrated when sight casting to redfish. They are so focused on making a long cast that they miss the f ish-catching opportunities within 40 feet of their rod tip. Casting to redfish is more about accuracy and quickness than is distance. Learn The Double Haul Developing a solid double-haul is the foundation of a quick and accurate cast. Not only does the double-haul help with distance, if executed correctly, it reduces the number of backcasts the angler must make. It is well to remember that the more time the fly line is in the air, the less time the fly is on the water. The best way to learn the double haul is to find a grassy area like a park. Next, strip out 40 feet of fly line and make a forward cast, allowing the fly line to lie on the grass in front of you. Next, lower your rod tip to where it is touching the ground in front of you. Then, pick up the fly line and make a back cast, laying the line out behind you. This is the single haul. Next, pull the fly line off the grass behind you with your line hand while the fly rod is moving forward, and with the rod moving forward, pull the line down towards your belt line. As you feel the fly rod load while it bends on the forward cast, release the line from your line hand, allowing the fly line to shoot forward through the guides. This is the second haul of the double haul, an effective cast when long- distance casts are required, but also important for the short, quick accurate cast needed when fishing red fish. The Back Cast Is Important Much of your success in fly casting is dependent upon the development of a smooth back cast, that is the ability to cast 20 to 30 feet of line behind you whenever demanded. Remember the fly fisherman’s adage that “your forward cast is only as good as your back cast,” and a good cast is the “rule-of thumb” when casting flies to redfish. If a redfish appears behind you, simply make a forward cast. With your fly line on the water, simply pick up the line, and shoot it behind you. Retain eye contact with the redfish’s position. In next month’s column, Casting to Redfish Part Two, I will write about the importance of the repositioning cast and quick cast.

FLY FISHING

ON THE COVER

CASTING FOR THE REDFISH GAME: PART ONE

Follow Conway Bowman at www.conwybowman.com, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For More Fly Fishing with Bowman, go to

CAMFLYFISHING.COM

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Gift Ideas FOR ANGLERS

C

heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on it, just take out a marker and circle it. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. Yes, crude but effective.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine.

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Lake Murray December Fishing Report

I

n November, fishing was slow for the most part. However, December should bring better fishing as the water temperatures are pretty well cooled off. The length of day will be at its shortest, the lake will be recovered from turnover, and fish will be well into their fall areas and starting into their winter areas. Focus should be on the main flow areas of the lake, around the mouths of creek arms and on both primary and secondary points, as well as steep banks, focusing on rock and hard-bottom areas. On the upper end of the lake, from Dreher Island up river, and in the backs of main lake coves, where the water has more color, look for fish to be positioned in the last deep water. Remember, this can be relative to the area and could be the last deep bank of a creek channel bend that is 3 to 6-feet with a 2-foot flat surrounding it, or it might be the end of a point that drops into a ditch or creek channel in front of a spawning bay. Techniques of choice are slower techniques with crayfish and shad- mimicking baits. Good lures to use are Greenfish Michael Murphy Signature High Class Spinnerbaits, umbrella rigs, flat-sided Ima shaker crankbaits, Greenfish jigs; Soft Plastics or Finesse worms, creature baits, tubes and beaver type baits, such

as the Reins Punchin’ Predator, Craw Tube and Swamp Mover in a Natural or Green Pumpkin color. Target with moving baits during cloudy or windy conditions, switching to slower moving baits as the day gets brighter and the wind lessens. Be sure to key on areas with rock or a hard bottom, as well as docks built on black floats. On the lower end of the lake, from Dreher Island to the dam, focus on slower moving bottom baits, such as a jig, shaky head, or dropshot in a Watermelon or Green Pumpkin color, especially during times of no wind. However, in there is wind, focus on suspending and moving baits like the IMA Flit and Ima Pinjack 200 on points and jigging spoons on the sides and ends of points. Key areas are those holding blueback herring shallower and white perch deeper. Be sure to focus on the sides of flatter points with hard bottoms where there may be a steep contour or an ambush area. Points with these characteristics are typically marked with a hazard marker buoy. This time of year on the lower end of the lake, boat positioning can be key, so position the boat over water as deep as 25 to 35 feet and cast toward

the point. Try using a Navionics chip in your graph and setting the shaded depth on your Humminbird (press Menu twice, under Chart) to 30 feet. This can be extremely helpful in locating ideal humps and points. Wind is also a key factor and can be the difference between a successful day and a difficult one this time of year. So, be sure to follow the wind from day to day, fishing points that have the most direct wind blowing on them. The month of December is when the bass are in full swing of their fall patterns and starting to venture into their winter patterns. This is a great month to catch fish in predictable areas, as they can be easy to pattern with good electronics. Bass will be in the backs of creeks and pockets holding on the last deep water areas around rocks and docks, starting to set up in deeper 25to 40-foot areas off of points toward the end of the month. Up the river and in the backs of creeks and coves, where resident fish are more prevalent, fish could be as shallow as a couple feet, as long as there is a creek channel or deep water nearby. Be sure to focus on areas with bait and hard-bottom areas. Down the lake where bass are setting up deeper, they will be feeding on blueback herring, white perch or crayfish and will typically be positioned on long tapering

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

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points adjacent to spawning coves. This time of year is a great time to utilize your electronics, spend time idling, and look for key sweet spots in the form of rock or brush piles. A great way to get out, enjoy the outdoors, and do a little fishing is to book a trip with one of the Lake Murray area guides. I am a certified Fisheries Biologist, United States Coast Guard Approved, and a full-time largemouth bass guide. For the past 10 years, I have fished fulltime and competitively across the country on both the BASS and FLW trails and have a lifetime of fishing experience. Additionally, I am knowledgeable in multiple techniques, tournament preparation, and/or electronics education. I would love to share my knowledge with you on the water and enjoy a day of fishing anytime, but keep in mind that the months of December and January are the best times to do some white perch fishing. Michael Murphy USCG Approved Merchant Mariner Licensed (770) 605-6373 www.MichaelMurphyFishing.com Michael@MichaelMurphyFishing.com

DECEMBER 2016

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Columbia Rivers Forecast

O

ctober and November produced some hot fishing with nice holdover and wild trout being caught. But for those that have had a hard time finding these fish, the month of December, and into the spring, should be a little easier as trout time arrives in the Saluda River when the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) begins stocking nearly 30,000 rainbow and brown trout in the river. Officially, trout time kicks off in the Saluda River this month with the helicopter stocking of between 14,000 and 16,000 fish that are normally spread throughout the river from the Lake Murray dam to the I-26 Bridge. These fish are willing to eat just about anything. Good flies to use are egg patterns, worm patterns and anything bright. The typical Pheasant Tail nymphs, Hare’s Ear and smaller mayfly dry patterns will produce as well. On spinning gear, small spoons, Rooster tails and Mepps spinners will get fish to the boat. Regulations are five trout total with only one allowed over 16 inches. However, with the way this fishery has evolved over the last few years, please consider voluntarily returning anything over 15 inches as these are the spawning population, as well as any fish under 10 inches as these are the young of the year spawned 2 COLUMBIA/CHARLESTON

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last winter. If we manage the river well, we can have a trout fishery that rivals the Chattahoochee River in the Atlanta area. This would also make the Saluda the most southern river in the US with a sustainable or even semisustainable trout fishery. Remember to be safe on the river and always keep an eye on river levels as they can change in an instant. Jake Howard Saluda Valley Guides LLC www.saludavalleyguidesllc. weebly.com | (803)312-2435 Barron’s Outfitters www.barronsoutfitters.com (803)254-5537

DECEMBER 2016

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The Waller Report

D

ecember is here again! Hopefully, the weather will be milder, unlike the freezing temperatures we had several years ago. Last December, our weather stayed nice until the first of the year, and the fishing was about as good as it gets both inshore and at the nearshore reefs. By now, the small pinfish and pigfish have left the creeks and rivers, and inshore sharks have already left for warmer waters as well. Because we fish bait on our trips, this is good news as we are able to focus on gamefish such as trout, redfish, black drum, flounder and sheepshead. Live shrimp is typically the best bait to use since every fish will eat them at some point. If you are targeting bigger trout, switch to mud minnows or finger mullet for best results. Fiddlers are the best baits for sheepshead, but you can catch reds and black drum on them as well. December is also a good time of year to use artificials for your inshore species, such as trout and reds. Shrimp or minnow patterns work well. On high tide, use them with a popping cork along the shorelines or around creek mouths. On lower tides, work docks and structure without the cork. For those really calm days, head out to one of the nearshore reefs for a change of pace. Often, you will catch the same fish as you would inshore, with black sea bass and weakfish added to the mix. The same baits and gear you use inshore will work out there as well. Use your sonar to mark the structure, anchor so that you are fishing on or near it, and drop lines just off the bottom. There are days where you catch fish nonstop as soon as your baits hit bottom. If you are using bait and are not getting a bite within minutes of dropping down, you need to move. When you are in the right place, the action is fast and furious. Look for the days when the wind forecast is light and variable or no more than 5 to 10 mph. You can still fish when it’s windier, but it’s not nearly as pleasant. Capt. Michael Waller | SaltFisher Charters www.saltfisher.com | (843) 224-8197 or | (843) 343-7538

IF YOU ADVERTISED HERE 10,000 READERS WOULD HAVE SEEN YOUR AD. Contact Eddie Hardgrove • 910.264.5487 eddie@coastalanglermagazine.com for more information

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Slow and STEADY

Wins the Race

W

hen cold weather creeps up on the Lowcountry, fishing becomes a fire and helps us through the short and cold days of winter. While some anglers wait in anticipation of longer days with warmer waters, others love the numbing fingers as they reel in that winter bass or a nice speckled trout. There are always fish to be caught in the waters of Charleston, whether it is a warm or frigid day. Bundle up and head out to the lake for some great winter bass fishing. During these colder months, slow down the retrieve of baits. A largemouth bass won’t typically chase bait in those colder waters. Therefore, slowing down the retrieve will cause the fish to take the bait, allowing the angler to set the hook and reel in a good fish. When fishing for these winter bass, cast to the edge of a shallow bank allowing your bait to sink. I use 4-inch Zman curly tailz grubs on a ¼-ounce red Trout eye jig head. I let my lure sink to the bottom, then slowly retrieve it by bouncing the lure up and down. Typically, the bass will hit the lure on the fall of the bait, but that is not always the way it happens! Other popular lures in my tackle box are my spinner baits. I enjoy the Zman and Strike King Spinner bait arms with the curly tail grub, as it gives you the spinning action from the blade to attract the fish, as well as the swimming grub

4 COLUMBIA/CHARLESTON

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as an attractant. You could also use the scented Streakz curly tail grubs by Zman which give that extra little bit of flavor to your lure. When targeting freshwater fish, you may also encounter the striped bass. During the winter months, the striped bass, or striper, like to school up and chase the bait. Finding the schools of birds has been my biggest success. When you find the birds, ease up to the spot and cast directly into the school. Using a larger pearl fluke swim bait on a weighted hook and casting into the school, then letting the lure sink for a few seconds, has been a game winner for me. Let the bait sink, then retrieve and wait for the bite. If saltwater is your game of choice, I recommend dock fishing or fishing the marsh lines. Speckled trout and red drum are two of the most popularly

DECEMBER 2016

targeted species when fishing inshore in the colder waters. The Zman curly tailz on a ¼-ounce Trout eye are just as effective in the saltwater as they are in the freshwater. Another favorite rig I use when fishing for trout is a 3/16-ounce Trout eye jig head with a Shrimp Po’ Boy Trout Trick. Casting near pylons or into the marsh and letting it sink, then slowly bouncing it back towards the boat, will attract both trout and red drum. I also enjoy using Vudu Shrimp in the tiger color. With the Vudu shrimp being weighted, you can cast directly towards the marsh or dock and slowly retrieve. Using the slow retrieve tactic, the angler is presenting the bait in the face of the fish instead of initiating a chase. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and the fishing will be on fire, even with the cold temperatures. Make sure to stop by Palmetto

State Armory in Summerville or Mt. Pleasant and visit our fishing departments. We want to help you start some fires on the water this winter, and we want to help you catch those winter fish. Don’t be afraid to stop by, ask questions, and let us help you get ready for the cold. Courtney Downing Palmetto State Armory

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11/17/16 6:21 PM


Charleston’s December Fishing Forecast

H

appy Holidays to everyone! With all the hustle and bustle that the end of the year brings, many forget how great the fishing can be in December. The weather is cooler, but the redfish and trout bite can be excellent. The first thing you will likely notice when fishing this month is how peaceful it is on the water. You won’t see many jet skis or pleasure riders, as the majority of boats are put up for the winter. Thankfully, you will find mostly friendly, fellow anglers. Fishing in December means you should concentrate on two things: redfish and sea trout. The inshore waters of Charleston will be loaded with large schools of both species. The cold weather will have the fish in large schools looking for protection from dolphins and working together to find food. That means you might have to move around to find the large schools or wait a while in your favorite spot until a school comes to you. Either way, you will be in for some fast action when you find them. Most of the bait will be gone, and the fish are hungry for almost any artificial lure or fly you place in their path.

December fishing in the Lowcountry can produce some nice catches like the pictured sea trout and red drum. Expect redfish to be in very shallow water looking for food and trying to stay warm. Pole or troll down a shallow flat looking for a disturbance or gold flashes. It is not uncommon to see more than 100 fish in a school this time of year. The water will be very clear and easy to see on a sunny day, but you must be quiet and have polarized glasses to help you see in the water. The trout will move from place to place depending on the water

temperature. After a cold front, you might find them in a 10- to 20-foot hole. However, a warm afternoon will have them in 2 feet of water along the grass. Midday high tides or late afternoon incoming tides can be the best for trout. Remember to slow down your retrieve of all lures this time of year, as the fish will be moving and reacting more slowly in the colder water. A great way to spend the day on the water is to book one of

the area’s great guides. Having fished in Charleston for almost 21 years, I am extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this area. As owner and operator of Shore Thang Charters, I would love to share my expertise with you on the water. Capt. Mark Phelps Shore Thang Charters www.ShoreThangCharters.com ShoreThangCharter@hotmail.com (843) 475-1274

Photo courtesy of Eddie Hardgrove

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Great

GIFT IDEAS FOR ANGLERS

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heck out these great gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift list. These local merchants are available to ensure your holiday gift giving satisfaction. We always try to encourage our readers to shop locally. It’s our community, and we all benefit from supporting our local businesses. They’re here for us all year long, and our personal convenience depends on their sustainability. Tell them Coastal Angler Magazine sent you. By the way, if you see something here that you wish could be under the tree with your name on the gift, just take out a marker and circle the item. Then leave this page open for your friends and family to see. A little more Christmas fun for everyone. Happy Holidays from all of us at Coastal Angler Magazine.

6 CHARLESTON/COLUMBIA

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DECEMBER 2016

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DECEMBER

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LOCAL ARTIST CREATES UNIQUE GIFTS

Putting on the Finishing Touches H ave you ever seen a beautiful sunset, the perfect day at the beach, or a big game fish on the line and wanted to share that moment? Mickey Timms does this by applying paint to canvas to create unique, one-of-a-kind artwork that illustrates his appreciation for the coastal lifestyle. Mickey has shared his work for good causes, donating paintings to Shem Creek Fisheries (a 501c non-profit) Chicks of the Sea fundraiser to benefit the Shem Creek Fleet and to Charleston Academic Magnet School. He is a member of the Art Guild of Daniel Island and was March Artist of the Month displaying work at The Honey Comb café on Daniel Island. The artist has sold his paintings at the Mt. Pleasant Seafood Market and the North Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market

DECEMBER 2015

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and has shown his work at The Coastal Carolina Senior Art Show and The North Charleston Art Exhibit. Having always enjoyed being near the water - sailing, fishing or just hanging out at the beach - and having previously resided in Savannah, GA and currently living in Charleston, SC, Timms admits that “he can’t help but have salt in his veins.”

Commission work by request Shop online at: MickeyTimmsCoastalArt.Com Mickey.timms56@gmail.com COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2016

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Along with the course materials, each Angler will receive a 2-Day ticket to the Charleston boatshow, complimentary Raffle ticket, tackle and products according to their course selection. Each seminar also features door prizes such as lures, sunglasses and tackle. Our end-ofsession raffle includes brand new gear, tackle and a featured grand prize! Nationally recognized angling professionals will share their secrets of success and teach you how to find the catch of a lifetime! They will cover tackle selection and lure presentation; and although they won’t give away their favorite spots, they’ll show you how to find your own. Register today at

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at planting, and take the rest of the winter off. Even though there are no signs of growth above ground, the root systems will have time to get adjusted to their new location and begin to initiate new root growth. There are plenty of advantages of growing your own edibles. First of all, you know what has been done over the course of the growing season from a chemical stand point. Second, the fruit just taste

DECEMBER 2016

better coming out of your home orchard versus buying fruit from the grocers that have little to no flavors. Thirdly, it is good for your soul and you will feel more connected to the environment and nature. Whether it is an apple tree, muscadine vine or a blueberry bush; now is the time to plant. Let’s Grow Together. Greg Ison, Ison’s Nursery and Vineyards, 800733-0324, www.isons.com

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New African Surf Rod Design Promises ‘Seven Seas’ Success By Mike Pehanich

T

he landscape is stark off Namibia’s South Atlantic Coast. Sands end in sea, and, well, that’s about all there is to see! But these coastal waters where Jeri Drake and wife Sue fish and train for international surf fishing competition are loaded with game species, including copper sharks (“bronzies”), spotted gully, cow sharks, blue rays, smooth hounds and many more. You might never make it to Africa to fish these waters, but the tackle and techniques that Jeri—a master rod builder, innovator, member of Namibian President’s fishing team, and owner of Excalibur Tackle (www. excalibur-tackle.com ) in the town of Henties Bay—takes to the surf could find application on your coastal waters, too. Fishing is serious sport along the “Skeleton Coast,” particularly for tournament anglers who, armed with long rods and a fighting belt, often wade out several hundred yards to sandbanks, routinely casting 6- to 7-once sinkers and bait 100 to 160 yards or more to reach hard-fighting game fish. Rod design for Jeri Drake, known simply as “Jeri” in southern African fishing circles, has evolved into 14-foot and longer rods. He has developed his own blanks for this style of fishing, with unique handles featuring short butt sections and long fore grips, the latter measuring around 28 inches. The essential difference to U.S. style blanks is a ‘faster’ action, as opposed to the usual ‘through’ action. Jeri employs the same “reel down” design—reel positioned relatively close to the fighting belt—with surf rods he builds for both “fixed spool” (spinning) reels and conventional reels. The long fore grips allow fishermen to change the fulcrum point while fighting the fish. The “reel down” design also makes it easier to master more powerful casting techniques and thus achieve better distances. Wading through troughs and casting and fighting fish in sea spray calls

for a non-slip rod grip material. Jeri crafts his rod handles individually, wrapping Winn Superior Rod Wrap (www.winngrips.com ) directly over the large butt section of the rod blank. The all-weather WinnDry polymer, which also wraps easily over existing cork or EVA grips with its tape-like backing, retains its tacky feel even when he’s immersed in sea spray. In lieu of finishing tape, Jeri terminates the ends of the rod wrap with thread wrap and a finishing coat. This prevents seawater, sand particles and any other substance to undermine the grip material by seeping in between the wrap and blank. It also gives the handle a more finished look. To protect the polymer material from wear and punishment where rod butt meets rod belt, Jeri places a woven carbon sleeve above the butt button. The base of the rod wrap starts above the sleeve. This keeps the polymer from contacting the rod portal of the belt. Adapt some of Jeri’s surf rod tips to the rods in your arsenal. You’ll be tipping your cap to the tackle innovations of the avid anglers of southern Africa!

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT NO SHOES NATION GEAR Engel has partnered with Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation to offer you a better way to keep #SeriouslyCool. A complete range of products will keep that “cool factor” alive for hours, days, even weeks. With 2 inches of insulation, a rugged lid that seals tightly, virtually indestructible construction, and the No Shoes Nation logo proudly emblazoned on the front, Engel High-Performance Coolers are exactly what you need when the show goes on the road. Packing your stuff in? Grab an Engel No Shoes Nation Backpack Cooler. It’s tough, easy to carry, and can hold enough food and drinks to keep the party going into the night. New NSN Backpack Coolers are coming soon, so stay tuned. When you’re ready to watch the show, sit back with your Engel No Shoes Nation Tumbler. These vacuum-insulated, stainless steel 30-ounce tumblers have a no-drip lid, and a no-skid bottom, so you can enjoy a drink without worrying about spills. Best of all, proceeds from all these sales go to supporting the CCA’s National Habitat Program so there will be a waterfront for us all to enjoy long into the future. For more information, visit

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No more cork tape! No more bike wrap! Now you can apply the patented WinnDry polymer of the all-weather rod grips from Winn to your own rod handles in minutes with just a pair of scissors and a marking pen for instant comfort and rod control. Available in 96- and 44-inch rolls, Winn Superior Rod Wrap brings bold color, style, elegance and fashion to any rod arsenal with seven solid colors: lime green, dark gray, red, yellow, pink, black and purple—and seven hot and trending camo color patterns: Wildfire, Desert Camo, Blue Camo, Lime Green Camo, Gray Camo, White Blue Camo and Pink Camo. The Saltwater Series (96-inch only) features three solid embossed “Tuna” wraps and an elegant camo-style “Dorado.” This versatile rod wrap, which comes complete with finishing tape, can perform double duty on landing nets, boat handles, gaffs and other surfaces upon which the non-slip properties of Winn polymers offer tactile advantage. Now anyone can put a Winn “skin” over the grips of their favorite rods. Finishing tape included.

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UNDER THE SEA

SPEARFISHING WORLD RECORDS SHERI DAYE

M

ost people have heard of IGFA (International Game Fish Association), which manages world records for fishermen. But have you heard of IUSA (International Underwater Spearfishing Association)? IUSA keeps track of spearfishing world records. Both were founded more than 65 years ago and have a rich history—and both pride themselves for providing a universal code of sporting ethics as well as record keeping. The IUSA rules are fairly simple: the fish must be taken while freediving and using a muscle-powered speargun, sling or polespear. The catch must be legal, unassisted and weighed on a certified scale. The application must include photos of the weighing, dimensions and witness information. The categories are: men and women, saltwater and freshwater, speargun and sling/polespear. In other words, a woman can have a record black grouper taken by polespear in the ocean; a man can have a record walleye taken by a speargun in a lake, and so forth. I was inspired a few years ago to see if I could get a world record yellowfin tuna. That led me to learn to hold my breath, educate myself on equipment, get in better shape, learn all about tunas, save money for trips and make friends with other bluewater hunters. Having that goal set many other activities in motion.

I was fortunate to achieve my goal with a 179-pound tuna in Mexico. While the catch itself was exciting, I now realize that it’s the hunt, not the catch—or as they say, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” The lessons learned, the new friends made along the way, the memories—that is what becomes most precious over time. If you’re interested in pursuing a world record, here’s some quick tips: 1. Go where the fish are! Investigate areas, charters, and recent catches. 2. Use the right tool for the job. For example, Wong guns are known for bluewater hunting, Hammerhead is known for slings/polespears, etc. 3. Know the rules in advance so you don’t unwittingly disqualify a record. They can be found on the IUSA website at www. iusarecords.com. 4. Pack a certified scale and tape measure in your dive bag. You never know when that special catch will take place! Chatillon scales are known for being accurate and “certifiable.” 5. Above all, be safe and have fun. Records are an enjoyable pursuit, but they don’t compare to your health and wellbeing. With a bit of persistence and some luck, you might be able to immortalize the fish of a lifetime by claiming a world record. Life is short, so get out and enjoy it! Follow “Sheri Daye” & “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” April 22-23, 2017 – Ft. Lauderdale - Instagram and Facebook.

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Team MHX finds Success in 2016

H

FLW Photo

ow does a team that collectively won over $425K in 2015 go out and improve? “Maintaining the incredible work ethic of our anglers while working directly with our team to continue to develop the best blanks out there,” said Bob McKamey who is The Man when it comes to rod building and managing the team. FLW Tour pro John Cox started off the year with a bang at Lake Okeechobee with a top-12 cut and valuable AOY points. John narrowly missed the Angler of the Year in 2015 but had and extra spark when starting out the new season. An interesting side note to that Okeechobee event was Brad Hallman from Norman, Oklahoma, who was flipping dense reed heads with a custom-built MHX-FS966. “We didn’t initially know Brad was using our blanks until after the win,” Bob said. Come to find out, one of the MHX Regional Staff members Brandon Mosley, who fishes the COSTA series built Hallman’s rods before the event. So with just one event down in the FLW Tour, MHX Blanks had accounted for over $100k, not a bad start. Less than a month later, the Elite Series was on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., and MHX Pro Brandon Lester found himself in the Day 1 lead and newest Team Member Bradley Roy was not far behind. Although he relinquished the lead over the next few days, Brandon and Bradley finished in the Top 20 to earn valuable AOY Points and nice paydays. Not to be outdone, John Cox and the FLW Tour were on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina the very same weekend, and Cox had the lead in that event. Although he did not win wire to wire, he was at the top when the smoke cleared on Sunday. With a Top-12 in the first event and a win in the second event, it seemed Cox wasted no time getting back to his

2015 form. On the regional event side, team member Brandon Mosley maintained a hot hand through the Costa Series and made two out of three cuts while building his rods as well as Hallman’s out on the FLW Tour. As the FLW Tour and Elite Series went on throughout the year, Cox, Roy and Lester continued to produce all while building their own rods. Cox, the most notable, who builds lake-specific rods in his hotel room during practice also has fellow anglers coming to him to fix a tip-top or a guide in an emergency. As the 2016 Season comes to a close, MHX has had an incredible year with multiple titles, a FLW Cup Championship and even team members headed to the Classic for the first time in their careers. Keep an eye out for the MHX Team as 2017 Season begins in January. If you are looking to build your own fishing rods check out MHX Rods at www.fishmhx.com and Mud Hole Custom Tackle at www.MudHole.com.

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Coastal Angler Magazine-Dec. / Columbia/Charleston