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Features : Fishing Report Last Updated: Jul 11, 2012 - 8:59:06 AM


With bad weather approaching, give yourself plenty of time to get back to store
By Greg Peralta
Mar 28, 2012 - 9:52:25 AM

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This week the optimal tides for fishing were late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the best tides coincided with the arrival of strong thunderstorms. As such, most of my afternoon trips were cut short (or rescheduled).  When I did manage to fish, my catch and release numbers were well below average. It was simply a very tough week for fishing (at least for me it was).  March can be that way.  

On Saturday, I rescheduled a trip because a strong cold front (with heavy winds, driving rain and lightning) was forecast to arrive later in the day. About mid-morning, it was warm, calm and clear but the weather radar confirmed the cold front was truly on its way. Given a few hours of pretty good weather (before the front’s arrival), I decided on an impromptu family picnic on the skiff.  My brother Dave was already fishing in the Wando with his daughters (Jessie and Amee). So Elliott, Heather and I picked up some Bojangles fried chicken and set out to meet them. Once on station, we rafted our boats together and began eating lunch. Sometimes, I forget how much fun it is to just hang around on the boat (without fishing).

After lunch, clouds began to move in. Soon the warm breeze was replaced by the chill of the storms down draft. It was time to go home. Dave slipped his lines and said he would meet me back at the landing. About then, I spotted a pod of redfish moving along the shore.

My brain said to leave but I picked up a rod and cast a 4” PaddlerZ in front of the fish. A cold rain began falling just as I set the hook. The wind picked up and I saw a flash off lightning in the distance. The weather was going downhill fast. Waves began stacking up in the river as the strong wind was blowing against the tide. Our margin of safety was gone. Reluctantly, I tightened the drag on my reel and the hook quickly pulled out of the fish. That’s when a really strong (and cold) gust of wind hit us. It was immediately followed by a blinding rain that stung when it hit your skin. Visibility dropped off dramatically and I could no longer see the shore or navigation markers. It was a pretty ugly situation. Thankfully, I was able to use the GPS system to find my way back to the boat landing.  We arrived safely, soaked and cold.

When weather is approaching, give yourself plenty of time to get back before its arrival. No fish is worth exposing your crew or yourself to hazardous conditions.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at captaingreg@shallowwatercharters.com  or (843) 224-0099.

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