Saturday, July 31, 2010

Edisto Gov. Cup - Wahoo Photos

To view more blog coverage from the 2010 Edisto Gov. Cup click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Bob Faith brought in a 41.6-pound wahoo from Caramba; Fred Bergen Jr. holds up his 18.2-pound hoo caught from Barely Legal; Cal Thompson shows off the open mouth of his 31.8-pounder caught from Five O'Clock Somewhere; Francis Johnson poses with a 34.6-pound specimen he reeled in on Middleton 58

Friday, July 30, 2010

Edisto Governor's Cup - Day Two

Eight boats elected to fish Friay, during day two of the Edisto Marina Billfish Tournament. The weigh-in was from 5 until 8 with a catered supper of mahi mahi afterward by Lowcountry Eats. The weather was triple-H; very hot but also very fishable! On Day One Rance Jennings, age 6, brought in a 13-pound dolphin while fishing on Micabe. Also on Day One from Micabe, lady angler Blair Bartleson brought in an 18.4-pound dolphin. Also from Day One Clay Lee, age 14, brought in an 11.6-pound mahi fishing from Reel Hooker. Congrats to all the youth anglers! Day Two only saw one sailfish released by Trick 'Em, but some nice wahoo were brought to the scales. Bob Faith, owner of Caramba surged into second place in the wahoo category with a 41.6-pound HOO!

For more blog coverage from the 2010 Edisto Gov. Cup click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Pete Loy relives the grueling fight he had to reel in this 11.8-pound blackfin tuna on Friday; Photos from Day One - a youth angler brings in a peanut dolphin; a spanish mackerel rigged and ready to troll for a blue marlin; the transom of the Major Motion as seen on tournament day

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Edisto Governor's Cup - Day One

The 30-boat fleet at the Edisto Billfishing Tournament traveled through squally weather to the fishing grounds South of Edisto on the 500-line. Sailfish galore (26 sailfish released) seemed to be the theme of the day with several boats reporting 'double-header' to the committee boat. Only Mt. Pleasant based Lil' Bit was able to release a blue marlin, despite other boats seeing 'the man in the blue suit' in their bait spreads. Georgetown-boat Rascal released four sailfish, good for 800 points, and is now in first place at the Edisto tourney. Game On matched them with four sailfish and are in second place with 800 points. Lil' Bit sits in third place with 600 points for their blue marlin release, and they have elected to fish again on Friday. The meatfish category leaders (pictured here) are: Brian Cannon fishing on Can't Complain with a 44.2-pound wahoo, Peyton Stilp on Trick 'Em caught a 35.4-pound dolphin; Gage Blue fishing on the Fat Boy weighed in a 15.6-pound blackfin tuna. Governor's Cup Series point leaders also had a good day fishing with Caramba releasing three sailfish and Daymaker releasing two sailfish.

To view more blog coverage from the 2010 Edisto Gov. Cup click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Charles Rooke (at sea) shows off the 'mahi of the day' from Major Motion, a 51-foot Monterey that LowcountryOutdoors was fortunate to crew on during Day One of the Edisto tourney. Many thanks to Buck, Bucky and Wesley Morris!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Edisto Governor's Cup - Kicks Off

The Captain's Meeting will be at 7 p.m. this evening at the Edisto Marina for the 30 boats and their crews that are registered to fish the 22nd annual Edisto Marina Governor's Cup Billfishing Tournament. This is the fifth and final leg on the 2010 S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series.

To view blog coverage from other 2010 Gov. Cup events tourneys click here.

To view blog coverage from the 2009 Edisto Gov. Cup click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Buist Rivers and Miss Shirlie and the crew from Lowcountry Eats will be catering the evening meals for the Edisto Tourney; From 2009 - look how a dolphin makes Janie and Becca smile; The Governor's Cup fleet assembles at Edisto marina

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fish Hard....Fear Nothing T-shirts

A long time resident of the Eastern U.S. has come up with the idea that there is a bluewater tournament somewhere almost every weekend of the summer. The T-shirts and hats available on his website all bear the Cape Fear logo on the front, and the prints feature some awesome fish artwork sure to please those looking for a specific species. Whether short sleeve, long sleeve, hoodie or women's tees, has a bluewater shirt for everyone.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Fish Hard....Fear Nothing hat; Check out the awesome mahi and flying fish t-shirt; The black t-shirt depicts a wahoo chasing a lure!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Panama Paradise By Guy Harvey / Book review

Drawing from the book

Dr. Guy Harvey, conservationist at work
Offshore anglers hear that the fishing in the Eastern Pacific waters off of Panama are magical grounds for marlin and more. Guy Harvey knows this to be true since he has made at least 30 trips to the Tropic Star Lodge since 1991 and closely documented each outing with his palette of talents that include writing, photography, sketches and of course watercolors. Panama Paradise is an excellent history of one of the most storied fishing operations in the world, and it’s images bait the reader to take the hook, line and sinker.
         Guy Harvey is known as an artist but he is also a marine biologist, and before that he was a dedicated marlin angler in Jamaica where he grew up. Harvey’s family immigrated from Wales, England to Jamaica in 1644 where they were given land to farm tobacco. After ten generations of Harvey’s in Jamaica, Guy moved his family to Grand Cayman Island in August 1999, where he keeps an art gallery and studio “on the ocean’s doorstep.”
Dr. Guy Harvey at work in Panama
         By the age of 14 Harvey was selling his art during the regular marlin season events in Jamaica, and then in 1986 he was encouraged to show his art at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Harvey said of that moment, “That was the first time I truly realized the potential of what I had to offer.” Upon seeing Harvey’s art Raleigh Working said, “It didn’t take long to realize that this art was different than anything I’d ever seen.” Over time the Guy Harvey brand of licensed products has diversified, and now includes books.
         For more information on Guy Harvey, the Guy Harvey Research Institute in Florida, and the Guy Harvey brand please visit the Internet at The power of t-shirt sales is staggering when you consider the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation recently received a $500,000 donation from the “Save Our Gulf” campaign, after participating retailers sold 50,000 t-shirts with the Guy Harvey-licensed project logo that depicts a healthy Gulf of Mexico and its inhabitants. Harvey said, “It takes cash to care, and to sponsor research work.”
         Panama Paradise begins with a history of the ‘Pioneers,’ the families that first owned the fishing operation. It literally is located where the mountainous Darien jungle meets the Pinas Reef, and is still considered quite remote. Earthquakes, political regimes, and an ever-encroaching vibrant jungle were just a few of the early pitfalls. This history is set in the first three chapters among a treasure trove of classic photos of monster marlin and other species taken over the past five decades.
         In 1998 the investor-group Pinas Bay Foundation took over ownership of the Tropic Star Lodge and the infusion of capital brought the amenities offered into a more modern state. The same rough jungle is right behind the lodge with neo-tropical birds like the violet-bellied hummingbird making regular appearances, and the same Pinas Reef which is an underwater formation leftover from an ages old volcano that juts up from the ocean floor about 160-feet, providing the all important structure to attract baitfish and pelagic predators.
         Harvey is also an accomplished diver and he refers to the Pinas Reef as a Black Marlin Classroom. Harvey said, “When a black marlin plunders the ever-present school of rainbow runners, the sight is dramatic but fleeting, and happens too quickly to capture in a photo. The color, the speed, the foam and the drama of open-ocean predator and prey interactions make the hairs on my arms stand up. I commit the event to memory and compose it on canvas when I get home to my studio.”
         The artist’s memory must be formidable because the eye-popping watercolors he depicts from these close encounters reak of realism. Harvey put his talents to work in creating an 11-foot-long painting called ‘Black Beauty’ that depicts a giant black marlin on patrol among a nervous school of black skipjack. The masterpiece now graces the dining room wall at the Tropic Star Lodge, a place Harvey calls “the ultimate fishing destination.”
         Subsequent chapters document Pacific Sailfish, Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Mackerels, Jacks, Snappers and Groupers that can all be found off Panama. These latter chapters hold a stunning visual array of photograph images and watercolor depictions of the bounty of life that Harvey has witnessed. But it’s the apex predators that receive the most attention in this book, which hits a home run in the arena of saltwater big game.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2010 Lowcountry Redfish Cup - HHI

The third leg of the Lowcountry Redfish Cup is being fished today out of the Broad Creek Marina on Hilton Head Island. Thirty-one boats were registered to fish at the Captain's Meeting on Friday at 6:30. The weigh-in scales open at 2 p.m. Saturday and Marina Manager Nate Jones went over the fish length measurement rules and said, "We will use a pinched-tail type measurement to determine if it is a legal fish and we will not accept any redfish with mutilated tails." Their is a Junior Angler class for the Lowcountry Redfish Tourneys. All fish will be weighed live and then returned to the estuary, with special 'release bags' available for anglers to use to shuttle the fish from the docks to the scales and back. Organizer Fred Bricketto, a native of Hilton Head is bringing the next tournament to Shem Creek on October 16. Congrats to Captain Reed Simmons (D.O.A. Fishing Team) of Charleston for winning the Hilton Head tourney, and to Team Allure of Charleston for taking second place. To view past blog entries about the 2010 LRC click here.

PhotoProvided: Patrick Crawford and Jody Tucker pose with their 2nd place winnings!

PhotosByJeffDennis: Look at the deck on the new East Cape Vantage boat; Up Da Creek is the unofficial host (bar) of the Broad Creek Marina; the Captain's meeting raffle provided rod and reel combos, fishing clothing, gift certificates and even Yeti coolers (

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lemon Shark State Record in HHI

Outcast Sportfishing out of Hilton Head Harbor is proud of the fact that they caught the state record blacktip shark in 2009. Now Captain Chip Michalove is back up to his old tricks. Angler Stephen Liesen from Quincy, Illinois chartered a trip on 7/22 and caught one fish all day, a 380-pound Lemon Shark! It beat the record set in 2002 by R.L. Price that went 370-pounds. The shark has been certified by SCDNR as of today to be a new state record Lemon Shark. Congrats to the angler for catching the shark of a lifetime!

PhotoProvided: Capt. Chip Michalove stands next to the huge shark that Stephen Liesen (in truck) managed to reel in off of Hilton Head Island

To view past blog entries about state record fish click here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gulf Savers - Donate for Habitat and Wildlife

What can a Sandlapper do to help with the situation caused by the oil spill in the Gulf? Basically, sending money is likely the best option to ensure that needs are met with exactly the right equipment. Two options concerning donations have come to the attention of LowcountryOutdoors, and the residents along the Gulf states have certainly been on our minds and in our prayers. Gulf Savers at are asking for $25 donations that will go towards Wetland Restoration Solutions. Further information can be gleaned from Gulf Savers surrogate Want to work within the Palmetto state to raise funds for the gulf? A partnership has been struck between Upstate Forever, the S.C. Wildlife Federation and the Coastal Conservation League with drop-off locations in each part of the state. Ben Gregg of the SCWF said, "Donating supplies and gift cards is one way to directly and immediately make a positive impact." Gift cards should be to stores like Staples, Home Depot, Target, Walmart and REI because the volunteers on the ground need items like GPS units, clipboards and backpacks. For more information visit the Internet at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

D.O.A. Camp - Smart Folks; Stupid Fish

Captain Mark Nichols will tell you that he loves to fish for 'stupid fish' and he thinks other people feel this same way. When he invented the D.O.A. shrimp he brought that reality a bit closer for anglers because of its unfair advantage, and Nichols has said, "My shrimp sinks slower than evolution." The D.O.A. color-schemes can address differing water clarity, which is important when combined with the sharp pulsing twitch of the bait, but it is the suspended-falling action which can cause fish to react with a strike. Captain Charlie Fornabio said, "The power of observation is very important to fishing." Nichols has observed natural shrimp all his life, then he adapted his lure to mimic their actions, and the results speak for themselves.

For more blog coverage from the 11th DOA camp click here.

PhotoByCapt.PaulHobby( McBride with D.O.A. lures went wading for this snook
PhotosByJeffDennis: Capt. Mark Nichols and wife Jenny welcome Capt. Blair Wiggins (the Mogan man) to Jensen Beach; Jeff and Ocean Kayak Pro Staffer Jean McElroy

Monday, July 19, 2010

D.O.A. Camp - Fishing Report

South Florida's trade winds were blowing well before the D.O.A. outdoor writer's festival, and they are scheduled to continue for another week. Fishing the Indian River is still productive though thanks to Hutchinson Island and Sailfish Point, which serve as a barrier island. Armed with assorted D.O.A. ( shrimp, C.A.L.'s, B.F.L.'s and some secret proto-type lures I set out with Captain Charlie Fornabio using the J.C. Park boat ramp in Fort Pierce to access the Indian River and its spoil island's which serve as structure for game fish. ( With the tide and the wind going in the same direction Captain Charlie said, "This will make for a good D.O.A. drift." Fish breaking the waters surface demanded a cast to probe for jack crevalle, but a school of bluefish turned up and I reeled in a 4-pounder that fell for a D.O.A. sinking Bait Buster in the color, black back gold glitter. Switching to lighter rods rigged with D.O.A. shrimp in glow and gold we casted towards the spoils and retrieved towards the deeper water. Wham - a nice snook bit my lure and bent the rod while Captain Charlie divulged that this area had been hit hard by the winter kill and that this snook was a survivor! The snook that took the hook was released promptly; there is currently a 'No Take' moratorium in place in Florida on snook right now. Captain Charlie said, "I hope the discussion to close the snook harvest for a full three years comes to fruition." LowcountryOutdoors can give its highest guide recommendation to Capt. Charlie ( and would like to support the call for conservation of Florida snook for three years, giving them time to recover the age class that was lost in the winter of 2010, and perhaps instilling a long-term mentality of catch and release, and certainly curtailing any unscrupulous anglers that would harvest a snook now with little regard for their intrinsic value. We went on to catch a few spotted seatrout - and the D.O.A. shrimp seemed to make the specks betray their instinct to sit tight. The fish of the day came right next to us though when a female angler hoisted a 10-pound (?) trout that hinted at a photo opportunity.

For more blog coverage from the 11th annual DOA camp click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Jean McElroy and her Snook Nook guide with a large spotted seatrout; Captain Charlie Fornabio knows D.O.A. products and has fished with Mark Nichols for 20 years; Jeff was a 'rookie on snookie' in '09 - but not so in 2010; writer Pete Barrett holds his blue runner schoolie caught with

Sunday, July 18, 2010

D.O.A. Outdoor Writers Festival - Sponsors

Captain Mark Nichols, founder of D.O.A. lures, ( welcomes his sponsors to the 11th annual Outdoor Writer's Festival. River Palms Cottages ( is the perfect setting for fishing, fellowship, partnership and sportsmanship. Local guides will point the writer's in the right direction for trout, snook, tarpon, flounder and more in the Indian River Lagoon.

For blog coverage from the 10th annual DOA camp click here.
PhotosByJeffDennis: Logos from sponsors taken on site

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 Chas. Harbor Tarpon Release Tourney - Winner!

A rite of passage for summertime angling is the 16th annual tarpon release tournament. Organizer Cantey Smith moved the tournament up one month from its traditional setting in August to July 17th due to the large numbers of tarpon already in the area, and 60 anglers are registered to fish. The early onset of hot weather in June saw the tarpon arrive earlier than ever in coastal waters and the fishing guides have been wearing them out. There are also lots of reports of tarpon hook-ups at the Folly Pier too - where a release is always a part of the 'catch.' In the tarpon release tourney a 'legal release' is defined as when the swivel touches the rod tip - then it's time to cut the silver king loose. The tournament ends with a 6 p.m. affair at Toler's Cove Marina that includes Bar-b-q sandwiches and perhaps a cold beverage - with lots of sportsmanship and fellowship served up!

To view a blog entry about the 2009 winners click here.

2010 Champ: Diddy Pearce released a 100-pound tarpon before noon today fishing with father Dixon, and they have claimed the title of Tarpon Release Tournament Champs

PhotoByJeffDennis: Just marvel at the build of a large tarpon and imagine the possibility of adventure when fighting one

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vote YES - on The Right to Hunt and Fish

In November there will be many choices for registered voters of the Palmetto State to make decisions about the political leadership, and to decide other issues and rights. One such example is the Referendum on South Carolinian's constitutional right to hunt and fish - yes, it's on the same ballot as the Governor's race. On Monday July 12 the SC Camo Coalition's steering committee ( met in Columbia to discuss getting the word out to sportsmen, their families, and other parties that seek to hold up the right to hunt and fish in S.C. as a positive and permanent form of outdoor recreation. With only 5000 'e-mail' members and virtually no funding, this is going to be a Grass Roots campaign, and education about this upcoming vote will be a priority for LowcountryOutdoors. Whether a hunter or an angler, skeet shooter, conservationist, nature-watcher, forest landowner or mother (women are the fastest-growing subset of sporting enthusiasts) - we need to be unified come November about the Vote Yes campaign for the Right to Hunt and Fish. The National Rifle Association has begun a campaign to educate its membership via their position on the Second Ammendment, and more information may be found at Why is this referendum important? It ensures that future hunting and fishing rights are not challenged by "Anti" hunting groups. While there has not been much attention by the "Anti's" in S.C. - did you know that PETA was behind the forced curtailment of egg sales by a religious organization in Moncks Corner?

Many S.C. families owe our sporting heritage some acknowledgement for all the times that ancestors provided for loved ones from the bounty of natural resources in the Palmetto state.

Vote Yes in November to continue a responsible and sustainable harvest for all time.

For past blog entries about the camo coalition click here.

PhotoByJohnGribb: Two sportsmen share fellowship over a boykin spaniel, the S.C. state dog, while in pursuit of Gentleman Bob - the prince of gamebirds. Vote Yes to ensure moments like this in the future!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Costa - Jose frames and PCB lens debut

Costa sunglasses is further cementing its legacy of partnership with fishermen by announcing its debut of the new 'Jose' sunglass style - named after legendary angler Jose Wejebe from the TV show Spanish Fly. These frames are made of indestructible nylon and provide a comfortable 'forget-they're-on' fit, and they come in black or tortoise. Jose Wejebe said, "I've been wearing Costa's for years, and for them to name a new style after me is like a badge of honor." Costa was in Las Vegas with most of the nation's fishing specialists at the ICAST show, or International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades. Costa is also rolling out its new polycarbonate (PCB) lenses to fit the 'Jose' frame, or any of its other existing frames. The new lens will come in the highest grade, known as the 580 lens, but will be more lightweight and impact resistant than its 580 predecessors that are made of glass. Glass lenses are still available in popular colors like blue mirror and green mirror, and 580 Polycarbonate color options include grey, copper and amber. Consult the web for more information at and

PhotoProvidedByCosta: The new 'Jose' frames and 580PCB lens

To view past blog entries about Costa sunglasses click here.

2012 Blog Update : Jose Wejebe was killed in an aviation accident, and Lowcountry Outdoors salutes his spirit and mission of portraying saltwater angling in such a positive light!

Jose Wejebe with a permit - photo provided by Costa

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reef Ex Beaufort - artificial reef enhancement

On June 11 the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the S.C. Army National Guard teamed up once again and placed 20 stripped down armored personnel carriers (APC’s) into the waters at the Beaufort 45 artificial reef. The artificial reef in 45 feet of water was established about 15 years ago with concrete ‘reef balls,’ retired Army tanks and even debris from the old Broad River Bridge. The APC’s were distributed in a separate location from the artificial reef established 15 years ago, but are in the same permitted area for the Beaufort 45 Reef. Mel Bell is a fisheries biologist with DNR and said, “I have fished at the Beaufort 45 and I have dived on it, and I can tell you first hand that this is a healthy reef. Besides seeing lots of fish around the artificial reef I have seen sponges, soft corals and other fully developed invertebrates inhabiting the ecosystem. We put the APC’s in a separate location in order to disperse fishing pressure from any one area. Often divers and fishermen have to share these reefs, and the APC section will provide them a new option.” Of course it will take several years for invertebrates to colonize the APC’s. Over 33 permitted sites are active in S.C. waters and the joint program has been placing structure in these locations for the past fifteen years. Bell said, “This is a win, win situation for DNR, the S.C. Army National Guard, fishermen and our natural resources. In terms of budgeting DNR is only responsible to oversee the placement of the structure while the NG cleans and prepares their retired vehicles and takes care of the logistics of barges, cranes and such. DNR is extremely grateful for the work that they do.” S.C. has one of the most prolific reef building programs with the National Guard along the Atlantic Coast. Federal funding plays a role in the NG work and the Palmetto state regularly applies for and is awarded further project funding. Everything from military cargo containers, with holes cut in them, to tanks and APC’s have formed new artificial reefs. The forward-thinking Reef Ex program takes vehicles that are obsolete and creates a new future for them and for marine resources.
PhotoBySCDNR/PhillipJones: APC's go down to Davey Jones' locker

To view past blog entries about artificial reefs clock here.