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Making the Best of Fishing for Fall Reds

With the cooler temperatures just around the corner, fishing will change. Fall has always proven to be the best time of year for Redfishing. So recently, we reach out to Perry McDougald of Pogies Fishing Center of Swansboro. Perry is a light tackle guide that specializes in both Redfishing and Kayak fishing. This makes for a great combination for fall and we wanted to get Perry’s take on how he prepares for the coming Fall season.

The first thing that Perry brought up was how the temperature changes will impact the movement and feeding habits of the Redfish. The cooler water will result in the fish increasing their feeding. This is due to coming winter and the reduced presence of bait fish in the months to come. The fish change their feeding patterns to prefer shrimp but will still take artificials. Live shrimp is the lure of the day. The flood tides are a great time to start. This is when most of the bait is in the water and moving. Perry stressed that the Fall is a time of year to look for Redfish in places you might not normally be looking like the middle of channels that will be carrying lots of bait. You’ll also find the fish many times schooling in these deeper creeks and bodies of water.

Fall fishing for Redfish has so many benefits. The cooler weather and less boating activity makes it feel as if you have the fishing all to yourself. Add in the fall backdrop and you have the perfect setting. Factor that with the increased Redfish feeding; it has to the best time of the year. Another aspect that makes it so enjoyable for Perry and other anglers is how the fish move. Since they are more active, it makes sight fishing for them easier. Perry advises to look for pushing water for the moving fish. Looking for the tailfin or dorsal fin popping out of the water is another good sign. It’s important to remember that Redfish commonly feed with their tail at a higher angle than their head. This is one of the reasons the tail many times makes an easy target when sight fishing. Remember they’re always looking for bait like shrimp and other small baitfish. That means they are commonly looking downward, thus protruding their tail and dorsal fins out of the water as they search and move. Once spotted, Perry tells us to cast the bait ahead of the fish then pull the bait just a few feet from the fish as it passes.

Fishing for Redfish in the fall requires a stealthy approach. A quiet boat with a trolling motor or even a push pole are best. The more shallow the draft, the better. A noisy anchor or chain will end your fishing day fast. Moving into the area as slow as you can will be the best tactic. Keep that rod ready and be prepared to cast the moment you see that pushing water of fins cutting through. When all those factors come together…it’s Redfish time.

Written By: Captain Tim Wilson
Contribution By: Perry McDougald


Creating the Perfect Fishing Boat In Your Mind

Most anglers know how to make their fishing boat “perfect”. We think in the lines of a new GPS or maybe additional rod holders. So I recently sat down with my good friend Scott Douglas to discuss this. Scott is an avid offshore fisherman and has fished all over the United States. He is also a sales professional at MarineMax of Wrightsville Beach, NC. I asked Scott to give me the features he believes would be on the “perfect fishing boat”.

Double Rigged Outriggers

The first thing that came to mind would be double rigged outriggers. More lines means more bait and rigs in the water, and with more opportunities to hook up. Next would be multiple power plugs, both front and back to power the electric downriggers and electric reels. Chilling plates in the fish macerator would be a plus to combine with the fish slurry and make a slushy chumming mixture. It also cools the caught fish in your fish box. Multiple live wells would be a must. These are needed to enable us to manage multiple baits and allow having to stop to catch bait less frequent. Then there are the rod holders, lots of them and all around the boat. These would make it easier to clear the lines

Rod Holders

When we get hooked up on that big fish. It would have bolsters along the gunwales to make it comfortable for those guys manning the outriggers or trolling rods. Make sure they fold up so they can easily get out of the way. Comfortable seating is a must. That means cockpit and forward and aft seating. That long ride out and back in can take its toll and make the day less enjoyable. Soft seating and abundant grab bars can make that ride home easy and safer. There should be access doors both starboard and port sides as well as aft for dragging in the big ones that are too heavy to pull over the gunwale. Keeping in mind that our “perfect” fishing boat is a center console, have it designed with plenty of roo

Rigging Station

m around the console. Trying to squeeze around a console when the bite is hot can be a pain and you risk setting the hook. Adequate room enables us to move quickly and safely around the boat for quick access to our rods, and clearing the lines or reeling in the big ones. The console/cockpit area has a top that provides ample shade and hand holding security. Behind the leaning post needs to be a large rigging station with a sink complete with running water equipped with a knife holder. When it comes to electronics, the “perfect” boat will be equipped with a fish finder with high speed recognition, thru hull and 1000 watt transducer. This allows the boat to travel at higher speeds while still effectively tracking the fish below. No slowing down to allow the fish finder to catch up on our perfect boat. A digital radar is a must since it not only reveals large objects such as other boats, but also birds in the air that means bait which means bigger fish nearby. Now for the fun stuff. No “perfect” boat would be complete without the toys. Things like underwater lighting that allows you

Water Mister

To see the bait below and even enables you to see that monster fish your about to land at night. It also looks cool to your friends when you dock at your favorite watering home after a long day of fishing. L.E.D. spreader lights are not only useful, but reduce night glare. Now let’s not forget water misters. You know, those things that spritz water on you from the hard top to keep you cool on those hot days of fishing. A satellite phone is a good addition to any “perfect” boat. You can call the wife from the gulf stream and tell her you’ll be late for dinner or use it to order a pizza. Or how about underwater cameras that interface with your navigation system that could make a Go-Pro look like a 1970’s polaroid? We could even have an A/C unit blowing cool air on the helm area….ummmm, nice. There is an enclosed rod storage cabinet that spray’s soap on our salty rods and reels then rinses them and then finally drying them by blowing warm air on them. Last of all we could have a drone pad on the hard top to secure our fish finding video drone while not in use.

These are just a few things Scott and I came up with for a start and I’m sure you have a list of your own depending on where you fish and what you fish for. Most of these toys are available and in the years to come there’s no telling what we will have at our finger tips to help us fish better and most of all spend more money.

Written By: Captain Tim Wilson with Contribution By: Scott Douglas


Talkin’ Turkey

All South Carolina sportsmen and women look forward to spring each year. Whether it is trolling around the fringes of the Gulf Stream for dolphin, working a trout trick along an oyster shell rake in the Wando River for a gator trout, or getting up at 4 a.m. to chase a particularly elusive gobbler, spring in the Lowcountry truly has it all to offer. While many outdoors enthusiasts will have a hard time choosing what to do with their free time this time of year, for me, the answer is always easy: Time to talk some turkey.

With U.S. Forest service lands and plenty of Wildlife Management Areas, South Carolina still boasts quite a bit of public opportunity to hunt wild turkey as well as on private lands. While there is ample hunting opportunity around, you do need to take into account that almost 52,000 hunters were estimated by the DNR to have hunted turkeys last spring, meaning hunting pressure can be high and leads to some extremely skittish gobblers.

The 2017 spring turkey season here in the Lowcountry should shape out to be a B+ if we were going to give it a preseason letter grade. Two years of fair to good hatches in the lower part of the state should mean a good number of 2-year-old gobblers going in to 2017, with 2-year-old gobblers typically accounting for a large portion of the annual harvest. The Midlands and Upstate would likely receive a B- preseason grade, as in general these areas of the state have not fared quite as well as some areas of the lower part of the state as far as the past couple of hatches are concerned.

However, never be discouraged too much by a preseason report, as every small geographic area can hold a different survival and recruitment rate of poults each year. Bottom line: Those willing to put in the effort will likely still taste success in 2017.  Every hunt is different, but here are some tactics and turkey hunting tips that may just help you end up on the winning side of an early morning chess match with an old gobbler.

Less is more

When turkey hunters gather around one another, you can guarantee that there is plenty of trash talk back and forth about whom is the best caller and who sounds like a dying flamingo trying to call a gobbler. I tell people all the time that some of the worst sounding turkey calling I have ever heard has come from live turkeys, and it’s true. While we all strive to sound “purr-fect” with our turkey calling, the reality is that knowing when to call and the cadence of the call means far more than the actual pitch of the call.

Learning a simple “yelp” cadence and call can kill a turkey in almost every state, but overdoing it can also very quickly turn that old gobbler into a shy old guy that goes the other direction, especially if he has played the game before. Once a gobbler has answered you and is within a couple hundred yards, you can all but guarantee that he knows exactly where you were calling from. Continuing to blast your calls out from that same location will quickly begin to set off the warning flags with that gobbler as he knows that hen should be coming his direction at that point rather than standing in one spot constantly calling.

If a gobbler has answered your calling and has closed the distance between the two of you, it’s time to hush! That gobbler knows where he heard the calling, and even if the gobbler goes silent for a period of time, continue to sit in a ready position not calling or just scratching in the leaves with your hand. Often times 20-30 minutes may elapse before you all of a sudden see him at 30 yards in full strut, when he simply just had to see where that hen he heard went off to. Checkmate.

Talk to the ladies

Any turkey hunter that has spent some time in the spring woods has certainly run across those gobblers with hens all around them. Well, it is no secret that a gobbler would rather hang out with 10 to 12 girlfriends in front of him rather than break off after a lone hen calling from a place he cannot see.

Most hunters will say these gobblers are “henned-up” bad at the time and not worth your time trying to hunt them right then, and often they are right. However, adjusting your calling tactics can lead to success. Rather than sending out yelps to that strutting gobbler among all those hens, try directing your calls at the hens themselves, especially the more dominant hens.

Often known as a call used during fall hunting seasons for turkey, the “Kee-Kee” mimics a younger bird in search of older hens and has also proven deadly for spring birds, as well. Try utilizing the “Kee-Kee” or some aggressive “cuts” in an effort to call that lead hen your way. If the lead hen calls back to you, mimic her every call as best you can. This often will get her curious or mad enough to come and investigate your calling. Wherever that lead hen goes, the entire flock goes, including that big gobbler. This is especially applicable during the early season before hens begin nesting.

Stick and stay, make it play

Inevitably, there are going to be those days when the birds simply just are not talking much, and maybe not even talking at all. Welcome to turkey hunting in South Carolina. However, just because you are not hearing the birds, does not mean that they are not there, and it certainly does not mean that you cannot have a successful hunt.

If you are in an area where you have frequently seen birds or where there is plenty of tracks and scratching in the leaves, you can bet there are turkeys coming through at some point during the day. How do you know what time they are frequenting an area? You hunt. It is commonplace for me to set up in a known travel area for two, three and sometimes four hours in an effort to tag a big gobbler.

While I do typically call in this scenario, I call very sparingly and very softly. I also take full advantage of leaf litter on the ground, mimicking the sound of a feeding turkey by raking the leaves with my hand. It only makes sense that if the birds are not being talkative, neither should you. Some subtle purrs and a few yelps every 15 to 30 mins is more than plenty for this type of set-up. If you are hunting an area that is not too heavily pressured and the birds are not wise to them, the use of turkey decoys can really pay off in this scenario. While it is said that 75 percent of turkeys are harvested during the morning hours, afternoon hunts can also be very productive for those willing to be patient and wait out the afternoon movement patterns of a wise old tom.

Slip out the back door

There he is, by himself, in full strut 80 yards out. Fast forward to over one hour later and there he is, by himself, and still 80 yards out in front of you and well outside of any lethal killing range. Despite your every cluck, yelp, purr, and prayer, he still just flat out will not budge another inch toward you. Likely he has played this game before, and likely he knows that the hen is supposed to come to the gobbler in nature.

Whatever the reason, he is surely not going take a ride home in the bed of your truck without doing something different than what you are currently doing. This is a time where I will go completely silent for a bit and then slowly belly-crawl the opposite direction of the bird. Once covering about 100 yards away from the gobbler, I will then softly call to the gobbler again and follow it up with a gobble call myself.

The idea here is that you are giving that gobbler the impression his date is leaving him for another tom while he struts in the same place. There are times I have had birds literally break strut and run to me after doing so; other times I have gone home empty-handed. Regardless, at this point your butt is surely hurting from sitting for so long and your leg is asleep, so the idea of getting to move will begin to sound like a dream option, no matter the final outcome.

Author: Scott Hammond , Manager of Haddrell’s Point Tackle West Ashley, 843-573-3474


Shallow Water Fishing Expo 2017

The Shallow Water Fishing Expo 2017 is almost here. We are ready to delight and entertain you and your family at the Omar Shrine Temple in Mount Pleasant South Carolina on January 21-22. Tickets are only $5 per person per day, and can be purchased online or on the day of the event at the front door.

Come see the premier leaders in the fishing industry and some of the top boat manufacturers all in one room! Top manufacturers and their pro staff will be on hand to show you the newest product for 2017!



Celebrity fishing guests, Mark Nichols of DOA Lures and C.A.  Richardson of Flats Class TV, will be on site. Free seminars and demonstrations all weekend.



All of our speakers and events are lined up. Be sure to view the full detailed schedule of the seminars below:


There will also be a Sportsman’s Raffle Package worth $5,000! Part of the proceeds will benefit the Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina.


Our Facebook Event page has more details about the Shallow Water Fishing Expo you will want to check out. You can also post comments or add to the ongoing discussion about the Expo:


Also, check out the action at last year’s Shallow Water Fishing Expo in the slideshow below:


If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at our tackle shop at 843-881-3644. Also, you can connect with us on Facebook, or email us at for any other information you may need. We hope to see you and your family there!


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