Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Governor's Cup Awards - VIDEO

The 2010 South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Awards were held at the Governor's Mansion on September 26, and was punctuated by the winning team's owner donating $20,000! Caramba won the 2010 Outstanding Billfish Boat award and Bob Faith made a grant towards the 2011 Gov. Cup Series and challenged future Series winners to make this kind of support a tradition. For more on the 2010 Governor's Cup awards on click this link.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Elizabeth, Jessie and Amy are part of the SCDNR Gov. Cup Staff; Jim and Wendy Goller represent the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Foundation; This blue marlin plaque was given to Governor Sanford for hosting the Gov. Cup awards for six years; John and Emily Horton represent the Georgetown Landing Marina.

VideoByJeffDennis: SCDNR Board Chair Mike McShane recognizes Governor Mark Sanford

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot Smallmouth Action on the Broad River

 Before yesterday, I'd never caught a South Carolina smallmouth, so I jumped at the opportunity to join a friend on the Broad River just above Columbia. I've heard the bite has been hot, and that smallies approaching 20-inches have been caught.

Using Mepps Aglia spinners and soft plastic crawdads, we caught and released over 20 smallmouth in a day's worth of fishing, and added 3 largemouth to those numbers. The fish averaged around 12-14 inches, and a few of them went over 18".

I left the water sunburned and sore, but it was a day of fishing firsts and one I'm sure I'll not forget.

PhotosByBrianCope: These are two of the smallmouth bass I caught yesterday on the Broad River.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Water Action Still Hot

We still have some hot days ahead of us before the fall really gets going, but the cooler night and morning temperatures have been keeping the bass in a frisky mood, and it's been pretty easy to target them with topwater lures.

I caught a handful this morning right about daybreak, and they all fell to a white Booyah ( buzzbait fished tight to structure. I didn't catch any big fish, but it's always good to start the day off by hearing fish making those toilet-flushing sounds that only topwater fishermen can truly appreciate.

PhotosByBrianCope: Catching a few little pounders like this one is a great way to start the day off, and a Booyah buzzbait is a great lure to get them in the boat. One look at my garage refrigerator is sure to show people what my favorite pastime is.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Bass Frog on the Market

Top-water fishing for bass with soft plastic frogs has been an exciting way to catch largemouth, and until recently, just about every frog lure manufacturer's offerings looked so similar that it was hard to distinguish one brand from the next. Lure designers were having to patent the shapes of the frog's eyes and color schemes to set themselves apart from competitors.
But there's a new kid in town now, and the design of this new frog isn't just different, it's radically different.

While some plastic frogs have skirts for legs, others have plastic legs that are shaped like a real frog's legs, but they stay almost completely stationary. This new frog, Capt. Ken Daubert's Designer Clone Series (, has a flexible rubberband-ish section of plastic with feet facing forward when the frog is at rest. Upon twitching the frog, the legs sweep back, then sweep forward again. This gives a more realistic retrieve for frogging anglers, and from yesterday's trip to a local pond, it is a hit with the bass as well.

I didn't catch any monsters with the Clone Frog, but I caught more than a few fish, and I'm sure I'll get into some big boys with these frogs before the fall bite turns off.

PhotoByBrianCope: This 12-incher is nothing to brag about, but it sure was fun watching her come up and swipe that frog off the surface.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Northern Lady takes Southern GATOR

This is a story of determination because even though Mary ellen Christian was not able to harvest a gator in 2009, she came back to give it another try in 2010 and her efforts were rewarded with a MASSIVE gator that she harvested with her husband Mark and Guide Kevin Davis of Black's Fish Camp in Cross, S.C. To read the entire story on South Carolina click this link.

PhotoByKevinDavis: Mark and Mary ellen with the hanging gator

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Santee Cooper Flathead Catfish

Capt. Wayne Vining guides for catfish on the Santee Cooper Lakes, and he knows where to find the big boys. The catfish change depths and their food preferences with every change in the weather, so if you're looking to catch a big catfish, you want a guide who spends a lot of time on the water and knows the little changes these fish are making.

Capt. Wayne recently caught the 56-lb flathead catfish in this picture on Lake Marion. Many people would assume he caught this fish in a deep hole, but he actually caught it in less than 3 feet of water. Capt. Wayne reports that fall is his favorite time to fish, and his clients get their next fishing trip free if anyone in their fishing party catches a catfish over 45-lbs.

Give Capt. Wayne a chance to put you on some catfish. He's got great rates, and he knows where the fish are and what they are eating. Check him out at

PhotoByWayneVining. This 56-lb flathead was caught in less than 3-feet of water on Lake Marion.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little Pee Dee Fishing

The cooler morning and evening temperatures are good for fishermen in more ways than one. It makes it more comfortable to be on the water, and it also keeps the fish in the mood to feed. Two midlands anglers found that to be the case a few days ago when fishing out of Pitts Landing on the Little Pee Dee River.
Tim Glover fished for largemouth bass with spinnerbaits and buzzbaits while his wife Sissy tossed nothing but a white Beetlespin all day. Tim caught a about a dozen bass but reports "nothing was big enough to raise an eyebrow." Sissy stayed plenty busy with her Beetlespin, catching a range of species including a channel catfish, several small bass, and a host of bream.

Most of their bites came in eddies and natural breaks in the current, and when they left the river at 1 p.m., the fish were still biting.

PhotosProvided: Sissy Glover shows off a few of the fish she caught out of Pitts Landing-a bluegill, a channel cat, and a warmouth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New State Record AJ caught out of Isle of Palms

On Tuesday September 7th Captain Michael Owens and long-time fishing friend John Beauford went offshore fishing in S.C. waters for the first time. As luck would have it, they promptly reeled in a new state record 123-pound monster Amberjack. They had planned the trip for a week and a half, looking over charts, etc - and then they went out and executed - gotta give them credit! To read the entire story please click this link.

PhotoByAmyDukes/SCDNR: Angler John Beauford is on the left

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

12-year Old Bags Buck in Velvet

12-year old Garrett Capell of Red Hill killed his first buck over the Labor Day weekend. The young man shot a 5-point, 130-lb buck in full velvet while hunting with his dad on their land in Lee County.

There are many old hunters who have killed big numbers of deer, but never taken one in full velvet. Garrett has started the hunting season off right by doing just that. Next up for Garrett--an 8-point buck with a 16-inch spread!

PhotosByMCapell: Garrett Capell shows off his first buck. Nice velvet!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No Deer, but Still a Double-header

Two Horatio hunters took to the woods over the Labor Day weekend to do a little deer hunting. Getting in stands about 200 yards from each other, Gary Martin and Jake Reny were both hunting for the first time this season. The got in the woods around 4 p.m. and had decided to stay until dark. Around 5 p.m., Martin saw a group of feral hogs come through his food plot but decided to let them be, hoping the few hours of daylight still left would produce a deer. Meanwhile, Reny was looking at a field full of deer, but they were all does. Reny watched these deer move on, only to be replaced by a few button-bucks and a small 4-pointer, all of which he let pass.

Martin's group of hogs, however, stayed put the whole time and just before dark, he decided to take one. He pulled the trigger on the one he selected, then heard a rifle report less than a minute later. As he loaded his hog onto his ATV, he figured his buddy had shot a buck, and they'd have pork and venison for supper. But Reny showed up with another hog. They weighed the hogs and they were within 15 pounds of each other--one going 150 and the other 165. It wasn't what they were initially hoping for when they sat in their stands, but it beats getting skunked. That's one thing about deer hunting in the Palmetto State; you always have the chance of taking a hog if the deer don't show up.

PhotoProvided: When the right deer didn't show up, these two hunters still came out of the woods with plenty of meat for the table.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dove season opener in S.C.

Maybe the most anticipated opening day among hunters in South Carolina, September 4 saw droves of dove hunters surrounding grain fields in order to shoot their way to a legal limit of 15 doves. The usual scorching hot weather that accompanies opening day activities was somewhat stifled by a cool breeze and a break in the weather forecast. Do gun barrels still get hot when shot 50 times or more? You bet they do! All hunts for the first three days in S.C. are afternoon hunts according to migratory bird laws, but beginning Sept. 7 dove hunts can be conducted any time of day during legal shooting hours. Fortunate to attend an opening day hunt in Richland County at Longbeard Farms, I can report seeing plentiful numbers of doves, and for those that drew a bead on the grey game birds - a limit was certainly there for the taking. Sportsman Robin Stamps shot his 20-gauge over and under shotgun from his position under a powerline in the main field, and did not stray too far from the Mojo Dove that Patrick Stamps deployed. Ten youths were also in the field this day with their mentors and young Taylor Ray told me that he killed three birds and that he 'crippled' two more while hunting with his father Mitch.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Robin Stamps stands along the treeline looking for doves; Brothers Mike and Robin Stamps with some opening day doves; two doves that fell after a 'double' by Jeff Dennis; Father and son Mike and Todd Stamps with Sandy the 11-year old yellow lab

For more photos, or to make your own report, visit the SCsportsman forum.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dennis joins Sportsman Network Staff

The celebration of future hunting and fishing endeavors for sportsman in the Palmetto State will now have a South Carolina native working on their behalf. The founder of LowcountryOutdoors has joined the Sportsman family of magazines as the Internet Coordinator, and will focus on new media for