Friday, July 31, 2009

Master Angler Conservation Citation

The Conservation Citation from SCDNR
The SCDNR's recreational angler tagging program was discontinued due to the weak economy in 2008, but but was re-started in October of 2012. Having been a cooperating angler for SCDNR for two decades, I have tagged and released many fish and have received their Conservation Citation in five years. The most recent year was 2008 when I tagged and released 32 eligible fish, and was awarded the citation for outstanding achievement in fisheries conservation from the SCDNR's Master Angler Program. Conservation is one of the tools that recreational fishermen can employ to ensure healthy stocks of fish in the future - and fish tagging also yields a lot of information for scientists regarding their life history. Tag and Release for the future of fishing!
Try to tag and release two fish at once if you can!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Homewaters clothing one year anniversary

The clothing company that is local to Sullivan's Island claims the name Homewaters to make conservation in style with their red, white and blue polo shirts. The last week in July marks their one year anniversary in business and a quick check of their website reveals that they are doing brisk business in four southern states. Besides polo shirts, t-shirts and visors - this company gives back some of its proceeds to worthy conservation organizations and volunteers their time and resources at fundraisers. Fishing is a passion with this group (Ross, Jason and Theo) and you can bet year number two will involve tournaments, fun-fishing as well as lots of talk about fishing. 

Photo: Jason Fowler, V.P. of Homewaters brings a dolphin over the rail

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Salkehatchie QDMA branch banquet Aug. 8

The Salkehatchie Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association will hold its Second Annual Fundraising Banquet on Saturday, August 8th. This chapter serves Jasper, Hampton and Colleton Counties and the banquet will appropriately be held at the County Line Restaurant at Highway 601, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 for a single and $65 for a couple, and food and fellowship can be shared with other sportsmen. The banquet will feature raffles, Door Prizes, a Live Auction, Games and a Silent Auction. There is always a great chance that Joe Hamilton, Founder of the QDMA, will be in attendance and available for questions. Tickets will not be sold at the door but can be purchased in advance from the Salkehatchie leaders Jay Cantrell at 809-942-0859 or Jeff Hunt at 803-842-1155.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: A Lowcountry hunter brings a quality buck to the processor, QDMA members know that doe harvest is an important management tool, Joe Hamilton took the photo of this running buck while on a dog drive to cull does at Rose Hill Plantation

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swordfish Surprise at the Charleston Bump

A crew of ten willing anglers followed Captain Pete Loy into the North Atlantic Ocean on an overnight quest for swordfish. While the Lil' Bit did not quite reach the Charleston Bump, they drifted for swordfish in about 1400-feet of water using glow sticks on their rigs of freshly caught flying fish. Sharks proved to be the only thing biting overnight, and the surprise was that no squid was seen all night - which are thought to be the main forage for swordfish. Sunrise came and the crew turned their attention to trolling which yielded some peanut dolphin and a nice wahoo. When the time came to switch to dink baits for sailfish the action started immediately, and a young angler caught his first ever sailfish, while another sail dogged the teaser and then left the bait spread before becoming a double-header.

To view my feature article in the Charleston Mercury click here.

To view my fishing report from 9/11/2009 click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Captain Pete Loy put his niece Lizzy on her first-ever dolphin - congrats from!, a 45-pound wahoo piled on the left short line that I had just put out (Griffey Loy assists with the fish box), a sailfish shakes his head to try and spit the hook

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 Sullivan's Island Saltwater Classic - Report

Bluewater Promotions returns to Charleston with their one-day King Mackerel Tournament, fished out of Sullivan's Island with cooperation coming from the Sullivan's Island Fire Department. The weigh-in will take place at the SIFD's private boat ramp, and the awards celebration will take place at their Fish Fry shack. was graciously allowed by Captain Jack Bracewell to pre-fish the tournament with Eren's Addiction Too, and found the seas to be unsettled with four-foot waves and a deep ocean swell. The king bite was off, either due to the conditions or due to the lack of bait located, but tournament day fishing on 7/25 will produce a winning king for one lucky boat - and it's likely that a smoker king or two will be produced. Check back later for the results.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Captain Jack Bracewell throws his cast net for pogies at daybreak, Eren Bracewell and I show off our kingfishing 'bycatch' 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Red*Trout Tournament benefits CFF

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) hosted an organizational party for the Redbone Tournament on 7/23 at the Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan's Island. The tournament will be fished October 2 & 3 and will be held at the Landing on Shem Creek. The Redbone Red / Trout Celebrity tournament pairs a local inshore fishing guide with a celebrity angler and a sponsor-angler to fish for points in a friendly competition that generates funds for CFF. The fishing guides that attended the organizational meeting started that friendly competition with a fly-casting demonstration. Charleston Bay Gourmet prepared a barbecue dinner after the organizational meeting.

To view photos from the 2008 Red*Trout click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Volunteers Justin DiGiulio and Kyndele Cooke greet the Redbone anglers with a smile, Captain Tucker Blythe of Grey Ghost Charters and Ashley Starnes, Sarah and Captain Mark Phelps of Shore Thang Charters

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nemours Wildlife Foundation - Toyota Donation

The Nemours Wildlife Foundation is located in northern Beaufort County, comprised of approximately 10,000 acres along the Combahee River. The missions of the Nemours Wildlife Foundation include stewardship and scientific study of the natural resources located in their portion of the ACE Basin Focus Area. The preservation of hunting heritage is secondary to science at the Nemours Wildlife Foundation, an organization that exists due to the foresight of Mr. Eugene Nemours DuPont III, 1914 - 1995. A private entity is always looking for supporters and in this case the "Friends of Nemours" consists of well-meaning folks who want to speak up for conservation. One such Friend of Nemours is Jo Cooper, Vice-President of Toyota North America, and she 'spoke up' with a 2009 donation through the Toyota Corporation - signifying that the excellent programs at Nemours are worthy of corporate recognition. Another Friend of Nemours is naturalist Rudy Mancke, and he will lead an on-site field trip for members this fall, October 24th. Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Nemours can give the Foundation's event planner Ashley Jones a call at 843-368-2554.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: The Live Oaks at Nemours Plantation speak of natural beauty - adorned this day with patriotic bunting to welcome 'Wounded Warrior' veterans to the annual deer hunt

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

May / June Birding Journal Observations remains committed to bringing readers periodical birding reports from Snipe Hill about every two months (even though this entry was about three weeks late). Some bird observations are more exciting - today I saw a loggerhead shrike; and some are more mundane, like the mockingbird that nearly bombed me under the live oak. The month of May did not have the excitement of the first neotropical arrivals like April, but we did note some other migratory birds. A swallow-tailed kite was swooping low over a field of winter oats one morning and was witnessed by myself and two employees of the S.C. Forestry Commission - very cool. Other observations include blue jay, blue grosbeak, blue bird, cardinal, brown-headed cowbird, pileated woodpecker, dove, kingbird, red-headed woodpecker, wood ducks, summer tanager, canadian geese, cattle egret, wood stork, mockingbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, brown thrasher, indigo bunting, hairy woodpecker, tufted titmouse, carolina chickadee, chuck will's widow, mississippi kite, yellow-billed cuckoo and wild turkey.

To view the March-April '09 birding blog entry click here.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: A wood stork is a common visitor in the ACE Basin

Monday, July 20, 2009

HT3 Redfish Tournament - Photos

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Captain Graham Hegamyer demonstrates how one angler can control the push pole with his feet while casting to a redfish in the HT3 Tourney, Captain Tucker Blythe weighs in his fish as Pat Malone looks on, Captain Chris Condon caught his fish about 7:30 a.m. and brought it to the weigh-in to take 8th place

Sunday, July 19, 2009

HT3 Redfish Tournament Results w/VIDEO

The HT3 Redfish Tournament made its debut in Charleston on July 18, 2009. Organizer Pat Malone drove up from Orlando, Florida with the big rig that converts to a stage complete with a digital weigh-in scale. The format of the tournament was very specific calling for one angler per boat, using only one line in the water at any time and only artificial baits were allowed. A fleet of fourteen boats, comprised mostly of local guides, met at Shem Creek Landing at 6 a.m. for the final instructions and a shotgun start. Fishing was completed by 3 p.m. and a brief but entertaining awards ceremony followed the weigh in. No redfish are killed during the HT3 tournament, which is modeled after freshwater bass tournaments that see live fish weighed in before large crowds. Competitors are allowed to weigh up to two redfish that are within the slot limit of 17 to 23 inches, with the heaviest combined weight determining the winner. The redfish proved to be finicky when presented with the artificial baits on tournament day  (largely due to the copious amounts of live bait available in July) and only 6 anglers weighed in two fish. Captain Jody Tucker's two-fish total was 6.90-pounds - which was good for first place and the $1000 prize. Captain Ben Alderman finished in second place with a two-fish total of 5.88-pounds and a $300 prize, and Alderman said that he would be heading to Louisiana later in the week to fish another redfish event - so wishes him good luck fishing down in the bayou! 

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Captain Graham Hegameyr and HT3's Pat Malone are fired up at 6 a.m. in Shem Creek, Capt. Hegamyer and Pat show off Graham's 3.93-pound redfish that was good for 7th place overall - right behind Captain Tucker Blythe's 6th place finish, Captain Jody Tucker accepts his winner's check with a laugh from Pat Malone, The HT3 banner bills the tournament as a professional event for working anglers

Video: Captain Graham Hegamyer weighs in a redfish

Saturday, July 18, 2009

HT3 Redfish Tournament Today was invited by the HT3 Redfish Tour to fish along with one of the competitors, and is grateful to Captain Graham Hegamyer of Southern Tail Charters for the ride in his 18-foot East Cape Canoe flats boat. Results posted tomorrow.

Photos by Jeff Dennis: The HT3 rig in the shadow of Shem Creek, ONLY artificial baits are allowed in the HT3 competition, Captain Graham Hegameyer handles a redfish, Captain Ben Alderman flashes that winning smile

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amberjack article in Tideline magazine

Look to the July issue of Tideline magazine for my feature article on fishing for Amberjack. Don't have a print edition handy? Try the web:

Photos By Jeff Dennis: An angler shows off his 'Reef Donkey' during a bottom fishing trip on Captain Mark Brown's Teaser 2, Tideline editor Matt Winter with a fine King Mackerel caught during the 2008 Fishing For Miracles tournament

Monday, July 13, 2009

Belle Bait & Company - bamboo apparel allure

Belle Bait & Company from Murrell's Inlet came to Charleston to sponsor the Megadock Governor's Cup Tournament, and they made the signature t-shirts for the 2009 event. What is different about their t-shirts and Polos is that they are made from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton. They made 800 t-shirts for the tournament and by the end of the event, the ultra-soft t-shirts were nearly sold out. The comfy t-shirt made curious about their signature Polo shirt with the offshore lure logo. Seems the company was founded by Brian Payne and Tripp Davis, with a business plan to provide a specialty fabric that is incredibly soft, lightweight, breathable and 100% renewable to demanding gentlemen and women.
To view other blog entries about bamboo clothing click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: The Polo dresses are for the ladies of the Lowcountry, and the men's polos come in an array of colors like mahi and snapper, the 2009 Megadock logo shown on a t-shirt made by Belle Bait & Company

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Megadock - Photo Round up

Photos By Jeff Dennis: The crew of the Game On knows how to rock the Megadock after fishing is completed, A mahi mahi pictured close up reminds all big game fisherman to practice conservation for the future of sport fishing, The MegaCleat was awarded to Micabe for winning the 2009 Megadock Tournament, and issues its own Sportmanship Award to the crew of Artemis - pictured here with what would have been the top dolphin weighing 43.6 pounds - which they disqualified themselves because the fishing rod was accidentally handled by two different anglers - demonstrating the highest level of the honor system associated with the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfish Series

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 MegaDock click here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Megadock - Day Three Results

Sixty-one sportfishers headed out to the deep blue sea in the final day of competition of the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series. Preliminary reports of 52 billfish releases on Day Three would add up to a three-day total of 152 releases - a new Megadock record! is glad to provide these unofficial results. Congratulations to Micabe for winning the 2009 Megadock Tournament with nine sailfish releases. Owner Mike Larrow credits Captain Chris Jennings for putting the 55-foot Jarrett Bay sportfisher on the fish during the first two days of the competion. Larrow has previously served 8 years on the board of the Governor's Cup Series and said, "I have a strong conservation ethic and I love seeing the tournament with a 100% release rate." Miss Annie took second place in the Megadock with 8 sailfish releases. Four blue marlin were released on Day Three of the competition, giving the tourney a total of five blue marlin released - with special commendation going to Cowboy for catching a blue marlin that had been tagged by The Billfish Foundation and reporting the tag to SCDNR. The top tuna and wahoo entries from the first two days held up, while a new dolphin leader came in with Willy Bell's 42-pound mahi caught aboard Blue Sky out of Georgetown.

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 MegaDock click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: The crew of the Micabe celebrate their victory at the 2009 Megadock, Willy Bell shows off his winning dolphin in front of the Blue Sky, Butch Cooper caught this 20.3-pound wahoo aboard Sweet Deal, and weigh-master Jim Westerhold demonstrates the proper way to display a blackfin tuna

Friday, July 10, 2009

Megadock - Day Two Results

The unofficial tally is 43 billfish releases for the 19 boat fleet that saw 5-foot waves at 4-second intervals. Micabe released 5 sailfish and retained its Day One lead, raising their point total to 1800. Miss Annie had three sailfish releases on Day One and five sailfish releases on Day Two for a 1600-point total and 2nd place. Both Micabe and Miss Annie are 'fished out' for the Megadock tournament. My Time Out had the hot hand on Friday releasing four sailfish and a white marlin, giving them a total of 1100-points - with one sailfish and the white marlin coming on a double-header! Osprey released three sails, NOFA released three sails, and Short People released three sails on Friday. Youth angler Drew Nettles leads all youths with a 20.8-pound mahi caught aboard Short People.

To view more blog coverage form the 2009 MegaDock click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Angler Bill Ingram fishing aboard Reel Passion caught a 18.6-pound wahoo and the tournament leading 21.1-pound blackfin tuna, Preston Knight from Mudslinger shows off a nice 16.2-pound dolphin, The crews of Miss Magnolia and Blue Sky enjoy their 'lay day' during the Megadock

Megadock - S.C. Memorial Reef Event

Day Two of the Megadock Governor's Cup tournament saw 19 boats go fishing. The weigh-in is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is followed by a fundraising banquet for the S.C. Memorial Reef - so everyone come to the docks to see the fish and then stop in the Megatent to support conservation as it relates to the Deep Reef. A Browning shot gun is on the silent auction, plus a beach house rental and a fishing trip.

To view more blog coverage from the 2009 MegaDock click here.

Photos By Jeff Dennis: Custom-painted fish-themed wine glasses are on the silent auction at the S.C. Memorial Reef banquet, Lures from Charleston Angler could prove useful on Day Three at the Megadock, How about an NFL football autographed by the Carolina Panthers!