Black River To Be Stocked With Redbreast Sunfish
WHAT: DNR to stock up to 20,000 redbreast sunfish in Black River
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pump House Landing — Hwy. 41 near Andrews, S.C.
WHO: The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will utilize specially equipped fish hauling trucks to stock redbreast sunfish fingerlings at the Pump House Landing on the Black River between Williamsburg and Georgetown counties. All of the fingerlings were produced at the Dennis Wildlife Center Fish Hatchery in Bonneau.
WHY: The DNR Freshwater Fisheries Section annually stocks from seven to 10 million fish in state waters, including striped and hybrid bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel and blue catfish, bluegill, redbreast, redear sunfish (shellcracker), and rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Anglers in South Carolina spend almost $742 million to fish each year, making the sport, with economic multipliers factored in, a billion dollar business in the Palmetto State.
The Black River flows through the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. The headwaters originate in Lee County south of the town of Bishopville and the river flows southeasterly through the counties of Sumter, Clarendon, and Williamsburg for 150 miles as it makes its way to join with the Great Pee Dee River in Georgetown County.
DNR Announces Additional Closing Dates To Two Upstate Ranges
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gives public notice the James O. Thomason Firing Range in Spartanburg County and the Pickens County Range will be closed on additional dates as well as the regular closed days.
The additional closed dates for both ranges are:
• Nov. 20-24, 2012
• Dec. 18-29, 2012
• Jan. 1, 2013
The James O. Thomason Firing Range is a supervised range that is owned and operated by DNR in Spartanburg County. Pistol shooting is currently limited to Wednesdays only. The range provides five 100-yard stations and ten 200-yard stations. Visitors must provide their own paper targets and target stands as well as eye and ear protection (required). Target stands may be either wood or plastic (no metal) and shall be designed to position the target a minimum of 40 inches off the ground and no higher than 60 inches. Visitors under the age of 16 must be under the direct supervision of an adult.
To find the range from Pauline, take SC Hwy. 215 approximately half mile east toward Glenn Springs. Turn left on Foster Mill Circle and drive 2.5 miles (paved road becomes gravel road). The range is on the left side of the road. For more information about the Thomason range check: https://www.dnr.sc.gov/srange/spublic?r_id=48.
The Pickens County Range is a supervised range that is owned and managed by DNR. The range is located adjacent to the DNR Pickens Dove Field. Visitors must provide their own paper targets as well as eye and ear protection (required). No metal target stands are allowed. For questions or to confirm hours of operation, please contact the range operator.
To find the range from Easley, take SC Hwy. 8 approximately 4 miles towards Pickens. Turn left on Breazeale Road. Drive a half mile beyond SC Dept. of Transportation Maintenance Shop and turn left on Porter Rd. Go approximately a half mile and turn left at the red gate. The range is located at the end of the gravel road. For more information about the Pickens range check:
South Carolina Conservation Bank Funds Six New Land Grant Applications
The South Carolina Conservation Bank had its biannual meeting Nov. 7 in Columbia. This is the second meeting that the state agency has had with its usual funding source of Documentary Stamp Fees since 2008.
The Conservation Bank at this meeting agreed to fund six new grant applications conserving 11,345 acres of significant lands in five counties across the state with an emphasis on the central Midlands for which there was previously limited grant activity at an average cost per acre to the state of $260 per acre with the remainder of its fiscal year funds. Additionally, the Bank Board agreed to fund an additional 5,953 acres in two counties with first available funds at a cost of $241 per acre and it also committed additional approval to fund seven other grants if, and when funding becomes available. These grants consisted mainly of large woodland/wetlands tracts, family farms, and an urban park.
This brings the total amount of lands conserved by the Bank statewide to 180,224 acres since the state agency was funded in 2004.
Marvin Davant, Executive Director of the Bank said, “The addition of these properties is a very much appreciated opportunity for the Bank and the great landowners of our state who voluntarily want to protect their lands for future generations.” Chairman Weston Adams stated, “It is certainly important to our economy and our tradition of having great natural resources. The Bank and its dedicated Board members appreciate the help and support of our General Assembly and the Governor’s Office in supporting the efforts of the Bank to keep South Carolina a special place.”
For Fiscal Year 2012-2013 the Legislature extended the Conservation Bank Act for five additional years and gave the Bank an opportunity to have its full funding restored for this year. The Bureau of Economic Advisors estimate of funding for the upcoming budget cycle is approximately $7.5 million. Additionally, the Bank received $2 million from last fiscal year (2011-2012) as a result of a budget proviso passed last year. The Bank used the $2 million to pay off its previously approved grant commitments. At its July 31, 2012 meeting the Board had previously adopted a spending plan for the $7.5 million of funds for the new fiscal year. The Bank Board decided to expend approximately 60% of those funds on proposals received since 2008, and further decided to hold 40% for the next Board meeting in November, 2012.
The next land application deadline is Jan. 31, 2013.
Information concerning the Conservation Bank including an updated online application can be found on the Bank’s website at sccbank.sc.gov.
Youth Coon Hunt To Be Held In Travelers Rest On Saturday, Nov. 24
A youth coon hunt will be held in Travelers Rest on Saturday, Nov. 24, sponsored by the Greenville County Coon Hunters Association. It’s part of a series of nine youth coon hunts being held around South Carolina through February 2013, sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the S.C. Coon Hunters Association.
For more information on the Travelers Rest youth coon hunt, contact Will Fullbright at (864) 934-4726. The youth coon hunt is limited to 24 entries.
These youth coon hunts will serve as regional qualifying events for the State Championship Youth Hunt. The youth hunts are designed to teach ethics and sportsmanship through low-intensity competitive events. The top two hunters in each age bracket (6-12and 13-17) and Sportsmanship winners will qualify for the annual South Carolina Youth Raccoon Hunting Championship at the Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County, scheduled for Feb. 23, 2013.
Youth can hunt in as many youth coon hunts as they want, and all events are free of charge.
These are non-harvest events, and guns will not be allowed. Each potential participant should contact the sponsoring club for information regarding specific hunts. Each applicant is also responsible for bringing a coon dog to the hunt and should be able to tell when his or her dog strikes and trees with minimal help from the adult.
Other youth coon hunt locations, dates and contacts are:
• Dec. 8 — Georgetown, sponsored by Hell Hole Coon Hunters Association. Contact: Floyd Lambert, at (843) 264-8093. UKC Youth Hunt.
• Jan. 12, 2013 — Bowman, sponsored by Orangeburg Coon Hunters Association. Contact: Allen Shuler at (803) 533-1370. AKC Youth Hunt.
• Jan. 26, 2013 — McConnells, sponsored by York County Coon Club. Contact: Don Cassidy at (803) 984-9798.
• Feb. 2, 2013 — Ridgeville, sponsored by Summerville Coon Hunters Association. Contact: Ed Kimmons at (843) 619-5265. Limited to 24 entries.
• Feb. 9, 2013 — Barnwell, sponsored by Salkehatchie Coon Hunters Association. Contact: Dallas Zorn at (803) 671-2359. Limited to 24 entries.
• Feb. 23, 2013 — State Championship Hunt — Webb Wildlife Center, S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Contact: Jay Butfiloski or Patty Castine at (803) 734-3609. Hunters must qualify at one of the regional hunts to participate.
For more information on the youth coon hunting series, call (803) 734-3609.
19 Junior Anglers Participate In Byrnes Fishing Club Tournament
The first ever James F. Byrnes High School Fishing Club tournament was held on Nov. 10 at Lyman Lake Lodge on Lyman Lake in Spartanburg County.
The winner of the Club division was Clay Rimer with a 3.1 pound winning bass. This also won Clay the “Biggest” fish award as well. Second place went to Wesley Wykel of Florence Chapel Middle School. Wesley had a 1.4 pound bass that locked up the runner-up spot. The fishing was spotty at best, but the 19 students who competed in the tournament all considered it a success.
James F. Byrnes High School Fishing Club plans another tournament in February 2013.
Interested in forming a bass fishing club at your school and becoming a part of the Youth Bass Fishing League? It’s more than just the thrill of reeling in the big one and enjoying time with friends, fishing club members also learn information about fisheries management, artificial lures, attractants and more. All you need to do is get a minimum of six students (within the 11-18 year old range) with dues paid and you can have a Youth Bass Fishing Club. You’ll also need an adult at your school to help lead the club, provide advice and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings.
The Youth Bass Fishing Clubs are a product of a partnership between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, The Bass Federation of South Carolina and B.A.S.S with help and support from parents, teachers, school districts, local bait and tackle shops, community partners and Pure Fishing.
Check the DNR website for more information: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/youthbass/ or contact Aquatic Education Coordinator Lorianne Riggin at (803) 737-8483, RigginL@dnr.sc.gov.
The following information is provided courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports. DHEC Fish Consumption Advisories: www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish.
Black Bass: Fair. The baitfish should continue to bunch up tighter and tighter and the bass action should continue to improve until temperatures get cold. Trout: Slow. The trout bite has been slow ever since the rain caused levels to rise rapidly and dirtied the water. November is traditionally a tough month but this month has been even tougher than usual. Try trolling minnows and spoons around 80 feet deep.
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that the bite has improved on Lake Keowee and fish can be caught in several different patterns all centered around bait. Bass are chasing baitfish on the surface, and because these baitfish are very small little topwater lures have been working. Fish can also be caught at the mouths of creeks and channels and out in deeper water in the 30-60 foot depth range. Some of these fish are suspended in the water column and others are holding close to the bottom. Scrounger heads and Blade Runners have been effective for suspended fish, while drop shot rigs and shakey head worms have worked well for fish on the bottom. The deeper schools are getting larger and tighter so it has not been unusual to catch 10-15 fish out of one school of bass.
Black Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that Lake Hartwell bass are related to bait, and the majority of fish seem to be holding offshore. Ordinarily large numbers of fish would be headed to the creeks right now, but with lake levels down the fall pattern may be different this year. Fishing in 20-30 feet of water with scrounger heads, Blade Runners and drop shot rigs can catch fish. For fish that do make the move to the creeks cover is at a premium, and fish will be caught around docks and brush with shallow running crankbaits and jigs. Schooling activity has really dropped off and seems to be pretty much finished for the season. A jerkbait bite should start soon. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that as the lake begins to turn over and multiple front have come through fishing has gotten tougher, but intermittent schooling activity can be found everywhere from the mid-lake area down to the dam. Most of the schooling takes place in the morning, but there is also some late afternoon activity. Throw topwater plugs at these fish. When fish can’t be found on top the most effective pattern has been down lining live herring in the river channel, generally fishing about 55-70 feet deep in 130 or so feet of water.
White perch: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that big schools of white perch can be found around schools of baitfish, but the key to locating the perch schools has been finding the deeper bait in 40-45 feet of water and fishing just off the bottom with minnows. The best areas of the lake have been in the main channel, flats just off the main channel and in the river channel at the upper end of the lake. Striped bass: Fair to good . Guide Wendell Wilson reports that since July or August this has been one of the best years in some time for catching numbers of striper on Lake Russell. Small striper have now left the Hartwell tailrace and can be found scattered in the river channel where they can be caught on live herring or minnows fished on down lines or drop shot rigs. To target larger striper head to the lower end of the lake and look for the few gulls that have already arrived on Lake Russell. Fishing for trophies should get better in the next month.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Captain William Sasser reports that on the Georgia Little River fish can be found from above the Little River Bridge to Raysville, and on the Savannah River fish can be found from Parksville to the 378 bridge. Most fish are being caught on down lines, with hybrids found roughly 20 feet deep and striper about 50 feet down — both in 70-80 feet of water. In the afternoon there has been some schooling activity on the lower lake. Black bass: Slow to fair. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that bass on Clarks Hill are still very much oriented to the hydrilla, and first thing in the morning throwing a buzzbait up shallow around grass is the best bet. Later on Zoom trick worms and flukes are both working well, and generally smaller fish can be found schooling around grass on the main lake in 8-20 feet of water. The best bet for catching a big fish remains the buzzbait pattern. The lake has not turned over yet, and fishing should improve as water temperatures get cooler.
Lake Wylie (unchanged from Nov. 8)
Catfish: Good. Fishing has been a little off for the past couple of days, but overall the channel catfish bite has been strong this fall. The bite has been better in the creeks than the main channel, and early in the morning the bait seems to be 15-25 feet deep. Cut white perch is a good bait, but most fresh cut fish will work.
Largemouth Bass: Very good. Captain Chris Heinning reports that largemouth bass fishing has been very good with the cooler temperatures and fish feeding up for the winter. Bass are transitioning from summer areas to pockets and creeks, and there have been abundant shad schools in the creeks for about a month now. Several lures and patterns are working as fish aren’t as finicky in the fall when feeding. On windy or cloudy days throw your crankbaits and spinnerbaits, and on bright sunny days fish plastic worms. There has not been major schooling action, but you may see a fish or two bust the surface from time to time so have a topwater lure like a popping or spitting bait ready at all times. Stripers are starting to be caught fairly well fishing rocky points/banks with crankbaits/rattletraps. Crappie: Fair. Will Hinson of the Southern Crappie Tournament Trail reports that crappie are still in a transition period on Lake Wateree. A few fish can still be found on brush, and the best brush has been a bit deeper because of cooling temperatures. On the lower end of the lake fish can be found off points, and tight-lining minnows or minnow/jig combinations about six inches off the bottom in 18-20 feet of water near points has been effective. On the upper end of the lake above Wateree Creek fish can be caught on the river ledge about 6-10 inches off the bottom in 15-20 feet of water.
Bream: Fair. Sportsman’s Friend reports that bream fishing remains decent on Lake Greenwood, and fish can still be found around banks and piers. Some bream should remain relatively shallow until water temperatures drop significantly. Crappie: Fair. Sportsman’s Friend reports that crappie fishing has improved, and a few more crappie are being caught around bridges and brush in 12-15 feet of water using minnows.
Lake Monticello (unchanged from Nov. 8)
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that both free-line/suspended drifting and Santee-style (just off the bottom) drifting is working well for big fish right now. 50 to 70 feet has been a productive depth for Santee-style drifting recently, but as with any lake that is subject to change from one day to the next. Cut gizzard shad and white perch have been the best baits for Santee-style drifting, while reports indicate that cut herring and small pieces of gizzard shad are working well for the free-line bite.
Shellcracker and bream: Good. Lake World reports that shellcracker fishing has been strong with worms fished on the bottom in 4-10 feet of water. Striped Bass: Fair to good. Lake World reports that most of the striper are being found from the mid-lake area up to Macedonia. The most effective techniques have been free-lining herring and trolling bucktails and Rebel plugs, with planer board rigs also still catching some fish. Down lining has been less popular. Schooling activity has slowed particularly with the recent winds, but when schooling fish are found they have generally been good-sized.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that there is no real productive Santee Cooper catfish pattern to fish most of the time right now, and cooling water temperatures will have fish scattered until later in the winter. Quality catchable fish are not being caught with any regularity right now, but just recently Lake Marion seems to be producing slightly better numbers of quality fish. There is some indication - e.g., smaller fish showing up - that there have been a couple of successful spawns in the recent past. Channel catfish are being caught fairly frequently and can be found in a wide range of depths. Largemouth bass: Slow. Captain Jim Glenn reports that generally bass fishing has been considered slow recently. Falling water temperatures will see the bite improve around visible woody and vegetated locations before water temperatures drop below 60. Both spinnerbaits and crankbaits will work well. There should be some surface action with floating worms and smaller, slower buzz baits and “stick” baits particular in the morning hours. Some bass will continue to hold or suspend on drops just off the banks as well as further into open water and off visible and submerged islands since most prey species including shad, bluegill and others will be moving away from shoreline cover as water temps continue to drop.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations: (Pdf file): http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/freshfishing.pdf
The following information is provided courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports. DHEC Fish Consumption Advisories: www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish. Find out more about popular marine species at: www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/species/index.html.
Cherry Grove Pier: The sheepshead bite off the pier has slowed down and small flounder, bluefish and whiting are making up the bulk of the catch.
Spottail Bass: Very good. Perry’s Bait and Tackle reports that nice catches of slot sized red drum and short fish in the 13 inch range continue to be made in the creeks. Finger mullet continue to be the bait. On low tide fish can be found on creek edges and patrolling around oyster rakes; on higher tides the fish will move alongside and then into the grass. Bigger fish can be found in the surf and around the jetties. Spotted Sea Trout: Very good. Look in Murrells Inlet area creeks and the creeks behind Pawley’s Island and fish in holes at lower stages of the tide and along the grass on higher tides. Fish are also being caught off the Second Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach.
The Charleston Angler reports reds are being caught on shrimp gurglers. As the water was moves back into the grass the sight fishing is good for the big singles.
Bull red drum: Good. Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley and Captain Brian Vaughn report the bite for bull red drums 30 pounds or more has been outstanding. Fish can be found around the rock piles off Bay Point and they have also moved into the sounds and sandbars right off the beach. Use cut mullet on stout Carolina rigs and 12/0 to 15/0 circle hooks. Spottail Bass: Very good. Bay Street Outfitters reports that the best redfish bite has been around low tide in skinny water where redfish are chasing shrimp and baitfish. Look for shallow areas where gulls, herons and egrets are lurking and expect to find spottail bass. Trout: Very good. Fishing live or DOA shrimp under a popping cork near grass on higher tides with a little movement has been very productive. On low tides fish the popping cork off the edges where fish will be holding. Bouncing a jighead baited with Gulp! is also productive; these lures can also be trolled. Some topwater action has been reported on Zara Spooks early in the morning.
For South Carolina marine recreational fishing regulations: http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/regs/pdf/saltfishing.pdf
Visit the Saltwater Fishing License website at http://saltwaterfishing.sc.gov