Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
In the first blog entry of this series I detailed the theme of this blog series and mentioned that Blakely Byrd was going to be my guide. There are 2 sides to every story and one reason Blakely is helping me out chasing turkeys this spring is because she happens to like fish and is interested in fishing with me on one of my upcoming trips on the coast. The fishing trip on the coast leads me to the next item I’d like to share and that is to give a shout out to my friend Ja Malphrus.
Ja happens to own a guide service and is great fishing guide. I met Ja a year ago down in Beaufort, SC and he took me and some of my friends out to catch some red fish. It was a first for me something I've always wanted to do. Ja knew what he was doing cause he really put us on the fish. It was an enjoyable experience and I've already booked a few trips this year… one of which includes Blakely because she is, as you read in the first entry in this series, helping me to hopefully bag my first turkey. Hopefully we’ll have a successful spring in the field and then another successful fishing trip as well! So if you’re thinking about catching some reds look my friend Ja up and tell him Robbie sent ya.
More About Ja and his Fishing Charters
Shore Thang Charters is a fishing adventure that starts in the backwaters of Hilton Head Island and Beaufort. Ja has a 18 foot Maverick Master Angler edition that can fish three anglers on a sturdy platform as well as stay dry if we were to come across rough conditions.
In the low-country the season is the determining factor on what species of fish will be biting. No matter what time of year redfish are always the main sought after species. Trout and Flounder are highly sought after as well in spring, summer, and fall. The Port Royal Sound has one of the largest cobia runs on the east coast that generally starts in mid-April and runs until mid-June and the tarpon run starts right after that from July to October.
The Hilton Head and Beaufort area provides an outstanding fishery with something different to explore every time you get out on the water. You can find me on Youtube and you can also check my website out at ShoreThangChartersHHI.com. Along with the fishing, we also offer quail and turkey hunting at Old House Club which is located just 20 minutes away from both Beaufort and Hilton Head just outside of Ridgeland. We do quail hunts for up to 4 guns, morning or afternoon, and our turkey hunts usually just two hunters at the time.
Below are some pictures from my last fishing trip with Ja
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for fishing. This passion was instilled in me by my Dad who got me involved in the sport at a very early age. I was lucky to have a small pond located on the family farm. I can only imagine the number of times that I cast a line across that pond. Millions of memories fill my head of those days. Let me see if I can paint a picture with words of just a few of them.
The sun peeked over the horizon and transformed my bedroom walls from baby blue to bright orange. The chirping of the robins in the yard signaled that the days were getting longer and warmer. One deep breath of the spring morning air and I was up and at 'em. The one thing on my mind was getting Dad's shovel and finding a few worms to dangle in the small pond that sat within view of my bedroom window. When I think of fishing, I often think of those mornings of spring fishing fever.
Dad always found time to take me on an adventure to the family pond. In my younger days, Dad and I would grab the cane poles and dig a few worms from the pasture behind the house. Then we would set off for an hour or two of fishing. The trek to the pond was an adventure in itself. A long winding trail sliced through a thick forest of oaks and pines. One day that is etched into my memory is a day in which I persuaded Dad to let me ride on his shoulders. We headed down the path humming a tune that Dad made up and singing a song from the "Wizard of Oz"..Lions, Tigers, and Bears 'Oh My'. Well, lets just say at about the time my Dad said "Bears", a snake decided to show his head on the trail. I think my Dad hit mach two and lost his shoes. I'm not sure how I stayed on his shoulders. I never cross that spot on the trail without thinking of that day.
My fishing memories of that pond are endless. These memories include the early years of chasing tadpoles and minnows to more recently watching my son catch his first fish. I used to pretend to be Hank Parker. I would set up a scenario which put me a fish down with only a few minutes remaining in the Bassmasters Classic. I seemed to always find a way to catch that fish. Whether it took me a few hours or not. As I got older, I would always try out new baits in the pond. I can remember catching two bass with one cast on a new rattletrap. I was amazed. I learned to throw a baitcaster, tie different knots, site fish, fish topwater baits, fish the carolina rig, and on and on and on.
As I look back on those memories, I understand now the impact that being outside and with my Dad had in my life. Now that I'm a Dad, I try to strive to teach my son those same things. Take a kid fishing because maybe that one memory will turn into a million.
Below is a video of my son catching a bass out of the pond I grew up fishing. Do you have a favorite spot that fills your head with memories?
This is a video of a few bass we caught several weeks ago at a pond in Chester. I'll provide a little breifing on the day but I'll keep it short and let the video speak for itself. A few friends and I decided to give the kayaks another try at this pond a few weeks ago. If you read my blog Kayaking for Lunkers you know that we landed a few big bass out of this pond back in March. Back in March the fishing was slow but the fish were big. On this day the fishing had picked up but most of the fish that we caught were what I like to refer as crumb-snatchers. We did manage to pull in a nice three pounder though. Check out the video! It was a beautiful morning and I was glad I got to spend it fishing with great friends. Hope you enjoy.
An old oak stump looked like a good hiding spot for a big bass waiting on an easy meal on this brisk day. It looked so good that the three of us fishing threw to it time after time. After about twenty casts to the stump one more wouldn't hurt would it? Absolutely not! My black shad Culprit worm sailed through the March wind like an eagle diving down to catch a summer trout. It landed softly on the bank padded by a layer of oak leaves. One twitch and it slivered into the cold water. At that instant a swirl of the water signaled that this Culprit was in trouble. A couple more twitches and then a sudden thump. An easy pull on the rod to get the slack out and then I dropped the hammer. No doubt that this was going to be one to talk about.
I'll pause the story for a split second to give you some insight on why this was going to be an even better fight. We were fishing in kayaks! If you've never done this I would definitely give it a try. It takes a little while to get used to it but once you do it is a blast. When you're on the water it almost feels like you're floating. Imagine sitting at water level with an eight pound bass tail-walking across the water and pulling you around like an Alaskan tugboat. Good Stuff!
Back to the story. I set the hook and the fight was on. I recall Eric saying "Man what do you have?" I just knew it was big. Back and forth like Ali and Frazer we went. Eric eased his kayak over to stabilize mine. After what seemed an eternity the bass surfaced and I lipped it with the quickness. As I pulled the bass up the hook fell out. Talk about just in the nick of time. Did I mention that this was the second lunker of the day!?
Although the day was slow it was definitely productive. We caught three nice fish. Eric and I caught eight pounders and Eric's nephew, Alan, caught a four pounder. The water was a little stained from the recent rains so black seemed to be the most productive color. Eric was fishing a texas rig black Zoom Finesse worm and I was fishing a black shad Culprit with a shaky head jig. As noted in the story the fish were on the bank but you had to be patient. We would hit a spot over and over. I'd say it worked out. Check out the video. Who else enjoys hooking big bass?
At some point in everyone's life you're influenced by someone or something. In some cases these influences lead us in a direction that dead ends. Other influences ignite an internal fire and will lead us down a never ending road. One influence in my life that I'm thankful for and that will burn forever is my outdoor influence.
When I was twelve I can remember going with my Dad to a local pawn shop looking for my first deer rifle. At the time money meant nothing to me, but now I realize that was no small purchase. My Dad traded one of his shotguns and a sum of cash for that rifle. It was a semi-auto .243 that seemed to weigh as much as me. It was already equipped with a scope and it was ready for action. My Dad poured a lot of sweat that summer getting ready for the upcoming deer season. Now I realize that he did that for me because he saw the passion I had and he wanted to fuel that fire.
That first season came and went without a deer. I learned a lot that year. One thing was that a semi-auto was heavy and I needed a lighter rifle. We traded the .243 for a bolt-action .270. Another thing was that we had to get the stand out of the back yard. I know Dad (probably Mom) wanted to keep me close but that just wasn't working. So we moved that stand to an oak hollow that was a good hike from the house.
Not long into that season I had my opportunity for my first deer. A four point strolled down through the oak hollow and met his match. I was so pumped that I jumped down and ran all the way back home. My Dad was at work so I pulled Mom out of the house and we made the trek back through the woods to find the deer. My Mom always joked that she passed the hunting gene to me because she was 1/16th Native American. Well after watching her find that deer I would agree. My Mom passed away this year and I will always cherish the pride she had and interest she showed in my outdoor adventures. I told her to find a good hunting spot for me in heaven. No doubt that she influenced me.
Although hunting is now my favored outdoor activity, fishing was my first love. I was lucky enough to grow up with a small pond within walking distance from my house. I can remember many a day when my Dad and I shoveled up a few worms and hit the pond. As I got older I started to let my imagination wonder. My favorite TV show was Hank Parker's Outdoor Magazine. The jingle still rings in my head. "The house needs paintin, the yard needs mowin, where's he at? He's gone fishin!" Talk about influence. Well I had a many of battles with Hank on that small pond. (In my imagination). It would always come down to the last minute. I would be down a fish in the Bassmaster Classic with 10 minutes to go. I always seemed to catch that fish, whether it took me three hours or not.
As many of you would agree, those who have been bit by the outdoor bug will never heal. An outdoor influence is needed more than ever in today's world, and hopefully I can pass it on!
Share your story of what influenced the outdoors in you.
I usually leave the blogging to the other guys and spend most of my time putting the competitions together, but last weekend I had an experience that I wanted to share with everyone. I went on our annual deep sea fishing trip in North Carolina with some friends and my father. This is the 14th year that we have gone with the same group of guys and we had a blast. It?s a ?guy?s weekend? that we look forward to every year and this year would continue the trend. We all work in the building material business so it is also a day where no one can get a hold of us by phone. This, of course, doesn?t happen much more these days.
We left out of the docks on the Tuna Fever with Capt. Billy Maxwell at about 5am. After a 2 hour run we put the lines out and said some prayers. It only took 10 minutes before we had 3 tight lines with polls bending over. I jumped up and hooked up in the side chair. Billy yelled out ?Amber Jacks? and, as you can see in the video below, they were nice size.
After getting three amber jacks in the boat it was off for more trolling for fish. It was almost an hour later when 3 rods bent over again. I didn?t get the opportunity to hop in one of the chairs this time, but Big Ed (my father) just happened to already be in one. Billy yelled out ?I think we got some Tuna? and those where the word that I wanted to hear. I don?t know about you, but Tuna is the #1 fish on my hit list. I love to eat it cooked, raw, and on sushi. As you can see on the next video they were nice size. I can?t remember all the details, but I Big Ed wanted to take a nap after bringing this tuna into the boat. It wore him out.
After about 1 ½ hr of trolling Capt. Billy asked if we wanted to take a hr ride to a spot he thought would be great for Dolphin. At this point we were ready for a change of pace so we said ?LET?S RIDE?. Oddly enough, there was big patch of grass just floating in the water. We started trolling beside it and we could see the dolphin under the grass just waiting on something to swim by. Too bad what swam by next had a big hook in it! We started catching fish about 5 minutes after we arrived. It was so fast and heavy I didn?t have time to get any video. We limited out (60 fish) within 15 minutes. I have included the last video below of our catch lying out on the dock. As you can see, we had a good day.
If anyone of you are interested in taking a trip like this I would like to recommend the Tuna Fever with Capt. Billy Maxwell http://www.tunafever.com. Billy is all about catching the most fish and having the best time while on the water. Like I said before we have gone 14 straight years now and we keep coming back to Billy. Give him a call; you?ll be glad you did.
One of my Christmas gifts was a gift certificate for a catfishin? trip on the Pee Dee River with fishing guide Robbie Burr of Pee Dee Fishing Adventures. I was excited to get this gift, but had never really heard much about catfish on the Pee Dee River. I mean I knew the river had some catfish, but we always go down to Santee to fish for catfish in the summer. I guess catfishin? the Santee is kind of an embedded mindset when I think of going catfishin?. I was eager to see how a catfishin? trip on the Pee Dee would pan out.
If you?ve read these blogs, then you know my schedule has been kind of hectic lately as the wedding draws near and as a lot of time is going in to our ?Food Plot Journey?. For these reasons, it was difficult for me to actually schedule this trip. Robbie is in high demand and finding a time when I could break free and go proved to be difficult. This year?s reoccurring snow and cold weather also made scheduling this trip easier said than done. However, we finally got a date that we both had open and I booked the trip and prayed for a day with decent weather.
The crew that I rounded up for the trip was Richard ?Big B? Blakeney, Coach Mangum, Jason Fararooei and me. Both Big B and Coach Mangum are well educated on catfishin?, but Jason (The WeHuntSC.com videographer) had never been before. We all wanted to see how Jason handled his first catfish and the overall trip in general. For a non-southerner, he did pretty well. Though, Jason did manage to fall asleep one time when we were moving the boat. Since he fell asleep, I got some good video of exactly how strong the gel in his hair is! Lol! Also, you?ll see Big B imitating Pageland?s very own ?Smiley? in the video as he was wearing a toboggan and a hat. You have to be from Pageland or have ridden through Pageland at some point to understand that one. So this was the crew that you?ll see in the video later in this entry.
Ultimately, the weather turned out perfect. We met Robbie at a boat landing at 8 in the morning and got everything together and headed out. We would end up fishing in two different locations?one shallow water spot that didn?t have much current and then another location that was deeper that did have a stronger current.
I was surprised at how clean, quiet, and scenic the river was. We put in at a small landing and slipped quietly through an access creek that met the river and within 5 minutes we were out in the open water. We almost had to stop in the creek a few times because Big B kept saying he swore there were some bream in the creek, but somehow we convinced him to continue on to bigger waters! It?s just hard for Big B to pass up stopping and trying to find a bream bed. Being out on the water, we almost felt like we were in unchartered territories because hardly any other boats were on the water and it was quiet and calm for the most part. If you?re use to going to Santee and having to wait at the ramp to put in, use to seeing a lot of boats out on the water, and generally having the feeling that you?re competing with a lot of other fishermen, you should consider the Pee Dee sometime. There was no feeling of the area being crowded with other fishermen and/or boats ?at least the area we were gave me this feeling. It was almost as If we had the whole river to ourselves. This was a unique feeling that added to the overall quality of the trip.
Robbie was a great guide and from talking to him and watching him operate his rig, it didn?t take long to figure out that this wasn?t his first rodeo. Robbie handled all the setup of the rods, reels, anchoring, etc. He took care of the whole nine yards. Of course we helped him with anything that we could?we weren?t going let him do all the work. He knows exactly what needs to be done and was on top of things all day long. Robbie has his boat customized for catfishin?. That is, he cut out some sections and made it easier to move freely across the boat + he?s got a jet engine on the boat which allows the boat to get into extra shallow water (if need be).
Throughout the day we caught a couple of fish at each location we that we fished. The catfish seemed to be more active in the morning than they were in the afternoon. We were bottom fishing with shad as our bait. We would move around to different locations and drop 3 anchors so that we wouldn?t spin around when the wind blew. We had about 8 rods out of each side of the boat at any given time and we were just watching the tips of them waiting on one to take a quick surge downward.
One neat trick that I learned on this trip was something Robbie called a ?cheater hook?. Robbie ties a treble hook onto the larger circle hook and lets it hang about 3 inches below. When he puts bait on the hook, he?ll put the larger circle hook into the ?meatiest? part of the bait and then hook the ?cheater hook? a few inches into the opposite end of the bait. This way if a catfish pecks at the big hook, but misses, you still have a chance at landing him on the smaller treble/cheater hook. You?ll see in the video where Jason (whom I?m calling terror-squad in the video) caught a fish on this ?cheater hook? and you?ll hear us talking about it when I say ?it paid off this time?. Throughout the day we caught about 14 fish and I think about 4 of them were on the ?cheater hook??so I?m glad that Robbie had our rig set up this way. While this may be a common practice for many, I?ve never used a set up like this. I guess we live and learn right! Though, if you aren?t using this rig, I suggest you give it a try sometime and see if it doesn?t pay off.
Over the course of the day we caught a lot of fish and I?ve got some of those catches meshed below in the video to give you a feel for what was going on. At the end of the day was when Big B reeled in the biggest catch of the day... a 19lb cat while we were anchored up in the middle of the larger body of water. While a 19lb cat was pretty big to me, Robbie says that they frequently get them way bigger on the river.
Overall the trip was great and Robbie really took good care of us. I think he even laughed at some of my corny jokes so you know he can handle just about anybody on a boat. We fished, talked, solved some of the world?s problems, learned some things about catfishin?, ate a high class ham sandwich & lance cracker lunch, and had a great time!
If you want to know more about Robbie Burr?s guide service and Pee Dee Fishing Adventures check him out at www.pdfishingadventures.com. Not only will he put you on some fish?he?ll even clean them for you too! Now that?s my kind of guide.
At the end of this video, I?ve got a short clip of the catfish being cleaned so if you are squeamish then you may want to click stop!