South Carolina Weekly Shallow Saltwater Fishing Report Week of 02-18-01 through 02-24-01 There is an article in the March issue of "Sport Fishing" magazine titled "Marine Fish Populations Slow to Recover." It says in part: "Despite a popular perception to the contrary, marine fish populations show little evidence of rapid recovery after prolonged declines." It goes on to say that a paper published by Jeffrey Hutchins at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia has some disturbing facts concerning fish populations abilities to recover after being reduced dramatically. The paper analyzes 90 populations of several species that declined 13 to 99 percent over 15 years. During a subsequent 15 year recovery period, 40 percent of the populations experienced no recovery at all and only 12 percent had recovered fully. Says Jeffery, "Thus, although the effects of overfishing may indeed be generally reversible, the time required for population recovery in many marine fishes appears to be considerably longer than previously believed." That just points up the fact that fishermen in general had best try to take care of the stocks, and encourage your friends and politicians to do the same.
Fair weather, early in the week, let us get out and catch a few reds before the wind and rain set in later on. The reds were plentiful where we were but they were not feeding actively. The first day we caught 6 reds on soft jigs, one was 14# and the others were from 7 to 9 pounds each. The next day, a regular customer had two reds on the fly rod in a matter of minutes. The first one was 6# and the next was 13#. It was his first time to hood a red on the fly, and he was impressed when the fish went into the backing on it's first run. I told him to come back after the water warms a bit, and the same fish would really impress him!
Later that day, they caught four more reds that were from 5 to 9 pounds each on jigs. For the two days, it seemed that the fish wanted a bait with green on it. We had tried several flies with no takers, and then tied on the green and white Clouser and bingo! Two really good fish in a very short time. Even the jigs with green tails seemed to be the first choice. While fishing the second day we ran across an old friend, and they had been doing well using crank baits during the higher tides, and jigs later in the falling tide. It worked the same for us last week when we fished a different area during the top of the tide. A slow moving crank bait is a good bait this time of year. It is big, and if fished properly, it is slow, and mimics an injured baitfish. It's also a good idea to add a little scent, or smell to the bait with either menhaden oil or one of the spray concoctions sold in the retail stores. I and our other guides all believe that the scent addition can make a difference on some days, and as Captain Tred Barta says, "Quite honestly, the why doesn't matter.
The fact remains it's true." Thanks, Gene Dickson
Delta Guide Service