Friday, January 29, 2010

Black Sea Bass out of Murrell's Inlet

Some offshore fishermen out of Murrell's Inlet live for the winter time bottom fishing that can produce action all day long. Michael Broach, maker of Fishizzle Tackle, reports that Blind Hawg Charters with Captain Robert Thompson had a banner day recently at The Parking Lot, a good patch of live bottom out of Murrell's Inlet. Ray Barrineau and Ben Pratt joined Chris Conklin of Seven Seas Seafood on board that day, and four limits of black sea bass were gathered. Lots of other bottom dwellers were caught and thrown back, and all while testing out the new 'Scamp Tramp' by Fishizzle tackle and their 'Meal Ticket' jigs rigged with northern Mackerel.

For a past blog entry abut Fishizzle click here.

PhotosProvided: Chris Conklin with a black sea bass caught on a Scamp Tramp by Fishizzle, Blind Hawg charters was 'coolered out' with a legal limit of black sea bass

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Canada Geese in the Lowcountry

There are not too many Canada geese in the Lowcountry because they find our saltwater environs inhospitable, and their young don't fare too well against our alligators. But every now and then a flock of geese will present an opportunity to try out some BB steel shot. Since a goose is a large bird plan on using a large-sized shot like T, BB or BBB. If you aren't using a goose load and hit the bird in the body they may only adjust their tail feathers as they head on down the migratory trail. Place your mental crosshairs on the head of the goose for the most effective way to bring down a honker. Camo, decoys, a goose call and a back-up plan are always necessary when hunting geese - but they are susceptible to being fooled and make a heck of a racket honking when they are coming in - which adds up to blood-pumping excitement.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Julian Clark and Comer Morrison show off some harvested honkers next to a Big Foot Canada goose decoy
PhotoByComerMorrison: Jeff with a pair of Canada geese that were fooled by his Foiles Migrators goose call he keeps on his WinnTuck lanyard

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bird Dog Training article

This is the first in a series of articles for the Charleston Mercury newspaper on bird dogs and the owners that love them and train them - click here.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Chester has a tri-color face

To view past blog entries about Chester click here.

To view past blog entries about dogs click here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

43rd Charleston Trident Fishing Tournament - Awards

The awards for the 43rd Annual TFT was held at the James Island County Park. Local fishing clubs took turns at the podium announcing their 2010 tournament dates, and donating checks to the TFT. Winners of individual categories received a plaque and a TFT fishing towel, while other winners were voted to be "best in their class" by TFT committee members. TFT treasurer Mike Able said, "I have been working with this group for 20 years and the Trident tournament has been very steady, and things look great for the future." Anglers that catch a sizable fish can elect to weigh that fish at a registered scale (like at Haddrells' Point tackle) and submit that entry to the TFT. The 2010 Trident tourney is already underway! Congratulations to Dow Suggs for his first place photo of son Cole holding a triggerfish.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Paul Godbout was recognized as the Outstanding Offshore Angler for his two triggerfish, weighing 4'13" and 8'7" caught on light tackle and general tackle respectively; John Ward was recognized as Outstanding Fly Rod Angler for his 5'11" spanish mackerel
PhotoByGeorgeFrazer: J.B. McCarty caught the 6'10" spanish mackerel that won the 2009 tournament for the ultra-light tackle category and is shown here with Lee Craig who is holding the fish

Monday, January 25, 2010

Remington Outdoor Foundation

The Remington Outdoor Foundation (ROF) has appointed Jim Moore as their new President. The Michigan resident is a business leader who worked with Jeep to capitalize on their outdoor and off-road credentials, and now he intends to address his 'title' as outdoor enthusiast by bringing his branding experience to the ROF. The ROF is a non-profit organization that supports hunting, shooting, outdoor sports and conservation through land preservation, access, education, research and wildlife enhancement. The ROF hopes that its efforts ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

PhotoByJeffDennis: uses Remington ShurShot shells when wingshooting, including at a recent pheasant tower shoot

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Santee Delta duck hunt

The next to the last weekend of duck season brought high hopes for the arrival of new migratory ducks. Blue-winged and Green-winged teal reports in the Delta have been fairly steady lately, while the 'big ducks' have yet to show up in great numbers. With overcast skies, a gentle wind and a 40 degree temperature - waterfowlers set their blocks out in likely locations and hunkered down waiting for legal shooting time and a chance to make the most of their opportunity. It is safe to say that memories were made for more than one Lowcountry outdoorsman when their game bags were filled with legal limits of ducks and the experience of duck hunting was shared with friends.

To view a video about Rice Hope Plantation click here.

To view a past duck hunt report from the Santee Delta click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Jim Clark and Jeff (in his True Timber Amerisuede Flooded Timber camo) celebrate waterfowling traditions together; Young sportsman Will Marlow of Georgetown was able to take his FIRST limit of ducks ever with six teal; Jeff and Julian are holding a WinnTuck game strap full of tealand are pictured with Phillip Lammonds of the Blue Dogs band; was especially pleased to pick-up some 'jewelry' when this drake green-winged teal came into the decoys wearing a federal leg band!

Friday, January 22, 2010

30th Charleston Boat Show - Hell's Bay boatworks

The annual Charleston Boat Show at the Charleston Area Convention Center begins today and will run from noon until 6 p.m. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door and a donation of five canned goods is good for a $2 discount. With nearly 10,000 attendees expected to view the offerings from many different boat dealers, and scores of specialty items booths - there is something for everyone. Saturday offers and inshore fishing class hosted by Capt. Todd Stamps at 1 p.m., and Sunday features a redfish class by Capt. John Ward at noon. Be sure to stop by the South Carolina Sportsman booth and say hello to Jeff at the 30th Charleston Boat Show.

To view my blog entry on the 2009 Charleston Boat Show click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Hell's Bay boatworks came to Charleston to visit the Boat Show and brought an impressive display of boats including the new 12' 9" SKATE that can be rigged up for duck hunting and their 17'11" MARQUESA

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trout Fish Kill Averted

Capt. Graham Hegamyer of Southern Tail Charters reports about this situation:

Theres been a lot of talk about fish kills from the cold, so I would like to relay some information Ive seen and heard:
Good News- The trout probably took a hit, but it doesnt appear to be anything massive. Over the last two weeks, I havent seen any dead trout and have seen a few groups moving on the flats. The redfish came out of the shallow sounds and bays and found refuge in some deeper water and have been quite happy actually. Ive had some great fish on the fly/artificial, and have seen a few thousands reds schooled up. Also, theres been sheepshead and blackdrum mixed in as well. Its great to get a break from the cold, and hopefully this warm weather will push some fish back super skinny. has heard other reports from Murrell's Inlet to Edisto Beach with similar themes, that no large fish kill of speckled trout occurred.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Capt. Ben Floyd holds a speckled trout

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wassamassaw Quail hunt

Dan Hydrick and John Rhame hunted over german-short haired pointers recently at Wassamassaw quail preserve and sent some great photos. Dan is a Charleston native and a local law enforcement specialist and says they bagged "three pheasant, nine chukkar and a pile of quail." Scott Edwards served as their guide.

To view past blog entries about end of quail season hunts click here.

PhotosByScottEdwards: John holds up a male ring-necked pheasant and just look at that smile;Dan admires his 'pile' of gamebirds that required pointing dogs and able wingshooting; both gunners in the field with the dog on point in the Lowcountry outdoors

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mixed bag hunt in Yemassee

Less than ten wingshooters gathered for the final day of dove season on 1/15, and a cutover corn field provided an ample smorgasbord for the migratory doves. A beautiful day with warmer temperatures made the dove field a very comfortable place to be and while no one harvested their limit of 15 doves, plenty of fine shots were made and perhaps etched into memory in preparation for the long offseason for dove hunting. The next day in the pre-dawn darkness, a visit was paid to a flooded hardwood slew in search of the squeal of a wood duck. The woodies did not disappoint, dropping into the backwoods water a few minutes after legal shooting time at 6:52 a.m. A few wood ducks were harvested and enjoyed a dove and duck rice bog for dinner, after returning thanks for all the many blessings in the field.

For past blog entries about dove hunting click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Comer Morrison and his father Lane display some of the doves bagged; Jeff and his brace of wood ducks; A mixed bag from the Lowcountry outdoors

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hungarian Partridge Tower Shoot at Clinton House

There is something different fluttering in the foothills of South Carolina these days. A swarm of Hungarian Partridge have roosted at the Clinton House in Clinton, S.C. and the hunt is ON! Whether paired with quail in the field for a pulse-racing upland bird hunt, or featured on a Tower Shoot with pheasant and pigeon - the Huns will keep the guns smokin'. Call the clubhouse to book your hunt and then go into the field with plantation manager Mike Johnson and his boykin spaniel Tillie who will flush or retrieve as required. The Tower Shoot consists of a dozen blinds that gunners are positioned in, and birds are released out of the hilltop 'tower' and fly down. After several birds are released the hunt is paused so that all the hunters can rotate to the blind next to them. The hunt is completed when every hunter has rotated to each blind - providing a guarantee that each gun has the same chance as any other to harvest birds. With a slight cool breeze blowing, and ice still visible on the nearby ponds, the Tower Shoot weather was ideal and the retriever work that assisted the gunners was first class.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Jim Tollison and a friend take aim out of a blind at the Tower Shoot; birdman Giordie shows off the Huns; a rooster ring-necked pheasant with a Hungarian Partridge for a size comparison; the dog men of the Clinton House Plantation

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Feature Story on Beaufort Trout

The latest feature story from the Charleston Mercury newspaper's Outdoor Correspondent. The story covers winter fishing for speckled trout in the Beaufort River with guide Danny Rourk of Tailwind Charters, and also reveals the Beaufort Blueways paddle trail to readers.

Photo By Jeff Dennis: Capt. Danny Rourk with a gator trout caught using a popping cork

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weekend For Wildlife - St. Simons Island

The 22nd annual Weekend For Wildlife will be held by the Georgia DNR on February 12 -13 2010. Funds raised at Sea Island will help support DNR wildlife Resources Division studies and other management that benefits shorebirds - which are to be the focus of the wildlife weekend. Set at the Cloister the two-day event opens Friday with field trips followed by a cocktail reception and silent auction. Saturday sports a wide variety of outdoor field trips, followed by a black tie dinner and live auction that evening. For more information visit the Internet at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SC Wildlife Magazine - Photo Contest

The 2010 photo contest sponsored by South Carolina Wildlife Magazine is underway. Entries will be accepted until March 1 and the winners will be revealed at the 2010 Palmetto Sportsman's Classic. With an emphasis on all wildlife, scenery images and even weather-related photos this contest celebrates nature and the outdoors. To view the 2009 photo contest winners use this link:

PhotoByJeffDennis: This image of two grandaddy longlegs spiders 'dangerously close' together won an honorable mention in a past S.C. Wildlife magazine photo contest

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Grand American Coon Hunt

Brian Cope attended the 45th annual Grand American Coon Hunt that was held in Orangeburg this past weekend. Close to 300 dogs were entered in the event, which many call the Super Bowl of coon hunting competitions. The overall champion of this year’s Grand American came all the way from Indiana. Bellar’s Get Ahead Lil Red, a Redbone handled by Mike Nelson, was crowned the winner at the end of the coldest Grand American in history. Though the temperature was forecast to be in the mid-20’s, the windchill on the final night was around 15 degrees.

The bitter cold did not seem to deter the crowd, which was estimated to be in the 30,000 range over the course of the weekend. Many vendors were on site selling everything from ATV’s, dog food, boiled peanuts, hunting clothing and equipment. Dog breeders were on site as well, selling started pups and fully trained hunting dogs.

For past blog entries on dogs click here.

PhotoByBrianCope: The welcome sign was out in Orangeburg
PhotoByUnitedKennelClub: The 2010 Overall Grand American Hunt winner - Bellar's Getahead Lil Red owned by Russ Bellar (left) and Randal Myers of Huntington, Indiana, and handled by Mike Nelson (right). Also shown are Tim Waters and David McKee.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 Saltwater Seminar Series - notes

Salt Water Sportsman magazine and host George Poveromo brought their successful Seminar Series back to Charleston on a frigid Saturday. The auditorium at Charleston Southern University was packed with at least 300 anglers ready to learn more about fishing tackle and techniques, but since the heating unit was on the blink the 'students' stayed bundled up while indoors as the entire venue was VERY cold. Nonetheless, several informative sessions were narrated by the Lowcountry's own Don Hammond and anglers who listened carefully were able to pick up valuable information. For instance, Hammond's dolphin tagging studies show that bull dolphin frequent one temperature range more than any other, and he also divulged what time of day that dolphin are most likely to be on the surface - i.e. most likely to see your baits. Maybe someone who reads this blog entry was at the Seminar Series and can add a reply to share the answers to these two dolphin fishing tips? MANY door prizes were given away including Penn reels, Sperry Top-Sider shoes, RayMarine electronics, Suffix fishing line and Rapala / Williamson lures. It's probably safe to say that when the ice melts from the deep freeze that the Lowcountry is experiencing, plenty of anglers will be on the water eager to try our their new fishing knowledge and gear. The Seminar Series will travel up the East Coast over the next two months spreading regional information to inquiring anglers. I last attended this Seminar Series during its eighth year in 1995 - while 2009 was the 22nd edition of the Seminar Series.

To view past blog entries about the Saltwater Seminar Series click here.

PhotosByJeff Dennis: welcomes George Poveromo (senior editor at Saltwater Sportsman magazine) to town; This handsome redfish mount was just one of the awesome door prizes awarded to lucky attendees; the Fish or Consequences box is a Seminar Series tradition that allows an angler to take a chance and trade one doorprize for a mystery item - usually resulting in some good-natured 'horse trading' for all to enjoy

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Red Drum Stock Assessment - Salt Column

Check out my interview with SCDNR's Robert Boyles about the current status of red drum stocks. Congratulations to Robert for recently being elected the Chairman of the ASFMC or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. with a recent sampling of the red drum stock in the 25-inch category

Friday, January 8, 2010

Spirit of South Carolina - Winterim w/ P-G

Middle School students at Porter-Gaud are granted a few days in their curriculum to take an outdoors-related short course, and this break is called their 'winterim.' One such course involved 19 students and two teachers taking a three-day sailing course aboard the Charleston-based Spirit of South Carolina that departed on January 6th. A special guest on this educational sailing trip was Will Haynie, the new CEO of the Maritime Foundation beginning on 12/15/09, who was no doubt able to get his 'sea legs' again while setting the mainsail! This program is geared toward teamwork and leadership with students working together to operate the 140-foot ship. The students stood watch, calculated navigation plans and took turns at the helm of the handsome ship with the broad deck and the tall masts. Sailing in the ocean outside the jetties by day and mooring in the Wando River at night, the students encountered some cold weather. Maritime Foundation Chief Operating Officer Sarah Piwinski said, "Sure it was cold but the students used hot chocolate and deck activities to remedy that circumstance." The Maritime Foundation's mission is to offer educational opportunities to S.C. students using the Spirit of South Carolina as the catalyst for providing outdoor experiences while on the water.

To view past blog entries on SCMF click here.

PhotosBySaraPappas: Maritime Foundation CEO (and able deckhand) Will Haynie stands with P-G students upon returning to port on 1/8/10

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rice Trunk article

Migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds all require various types of habitat and differing water depths, which are controlled by the manipulations of the rice trunk. The first trunk used in the Lowcountry likely was a concept brought over from Africa and may have been as simple as a hollow tree trunk with some type of plug in it. Today the “Combahee-style” rice trunk dominates the impoundment landscape where habitat maintenance is both a science and an art form.

For more on my recent article in the Charleston Mercury visit the Internet at :

PhotoByJeffDennis: A rice trunk in the Lowcountry outdoors

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Browning X-Bolt receives 2009 award

Browning firearms introduced the X-Bolt rifle in 1998, raising the standard in the bolt action centerfire market, a standard that Browning previously set with their reliable A-Bolt model. Browning just received the “Best In Class” award for 2009 in the centerfire rifle category by Gun Test magazine. Publisher Timothy Cole said, “We don’t accept any advertising so consumers have confidence that our picks are derived by firing test results and not by anything else.” X-Bolt features include a feather trigger, X-Lock scope mounting system, Bolt unlock button, 60-degree Bolt, Inflex recoil pad and Rotary In-Line feed magazine.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Browning bolts can also receive a custom engraving like on my A-Bolt

PhotoProvided: Browning X-Bolt gun

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

His and Hers Archery

Billy Aiken of Walterboro is now offering a full service Pro Shop for bow set up and tuning. Whether you need broadheads, sights, rests, targets or lessons - His and Hers archery is the right choice. Billy and wife Anita are experienced bowhunters and have long wanted to serve the Walterboro area and the ACE Basin  - and have now joined the "Spend your bucks in the 'boro" campaign. His and Hers archery sells 'Pro-Series' bows and promises that their patrons will see the same service year in and year out, and that they will honor warranty work as dealers for PSE archery, Browning archery, and the brand new Buck Commander bows made by Athens archery. Youth hunters and women hunters are the specialty of His & Hers Archery, which helps to promote the future of hunting. Don't forget that bowfishing is becoming a hot new trend, so let the Aikens tell you about the latest rules and regulations.

PhotoByJeffDennis: His and Hers Archery logo
PhotoByBrelandProcessing: Anita Aiken with her 2008 Labor Day Buck harvested with a Matthews Mustang compound bow, Beman Hunter arrow shaft (with orange and white lazor veins) tipped with a 100-grain Steel Force broadhead.

Monday, January 4, 2010

November / December birding observations

Although was in the field plenty during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, it seems that recorded birding observations were down a bit. Woodpeckers seemed to make the biggest display including yellow-bellied sapsucker, hairy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker and pileated woodpecker. Also spotted were the white-throated sparrow, chipping sparrow, towhee, cardinal, blue jay and tufted titmouse. Eighteen Canada geese blew into the pasture pond at Snipe Hill during the Christmas morning tornado watch, returning for their annual winter visit. Bluebirds and wood ducks have already been seen checking out nesting boxes, reminding us that birdhouse maintenance must be completed in February - which includes emptying the boxes of any old nesting materials and clearing the boxes of insects.

To view the Sept.-Oct. '09 birding blog entry click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: This red-tailed hawk sat on a powerline watching a pond full of migratory waterfowl (I was observing) and seemed oblivious to my approach; turkey vultures sit in a tree - a common question is what is the difference between these and a buzzard - the answer is that they are one in the same!