One shell at a time
From humble, messy beginnings, CCA South Carolina’s oyster recycling program sets the standard.

Text by Hannah Smith, Assistant Director, CCA South Carolina
Photos by Carol B. Stewart

On a chilly day in January, 7,200 people consumed more than 50,000 pounds of oysters in a matter of hours at the 36th annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival in South Carolina, considered to be among the largest oyster festivals in the world. While the crowd enjoyed the activities and the oysters, a record 275 volunteers donned in red shirts mobilized to collect empty oyster shells and educate participants on why it is so important to South Carolina’s envied marine resources to recycle the material.

Texas Transitions
Fishing the spring transition period means working through a series of questions and puzzles before feeling that satisfying thump.

Text by Capt. Randy Brown
Photo By Patrick Murray

The seasonal transition from winter to spring makes consistently finding fish on the Texas coast a challenge. As winter gives way to spring, everything seems to change. Air and water temperatures, water depths and tidal flow and average wind speed are just a few of the variables to which we start to pay closer attention. Flexibility is essential. This capacity to be flexible applies to structure, lures, retrieve patterns and just about every other decision you have to make on the water. Unless you’ve been on fish for a few days, spring time will probably mean making multiple moves to multiple types of structure during a day’s fishing, and even then you’ll probably make more moves than you might like trying to find a pattern. Of course, if you have access to full-time guides it never hurts to take a survey.

Three or One?
Single in-line hooks are triggering changes among many die-hard pluggers.

Text By Capt. Dave Lear
Photo By Rapala USA

The idea of using anything and everything to successfully hook and land fish is almost as old as the sport itself. Terminal tackle companies have nurtured that obsession with barbed and chemically sharpened hook points, offset or curved hook shanks for weedless presentations and stout free-swinging hooks tethered to butterfly jigs. Yet except for individual experimenters, many surface and suspending plugs used along the coast have traditionally been rigged with two or three treble hooks, attached with split rings or the lure’s standard hardware.

Tideline Tango
Where river and sea collide, anglers lay it on the line.

Text By Capt. Spud Woodward
Photos By Jason Arnold

While cryptic and probably nonsensical to some, the few words in the text message – “D buoy has fired off” – told me that fish were being caught just offshore the terminus of the Altamaha River. Like many others who ply the waters of the central Georgia coast, I’d been waiting for this annual summer ritual. The next morning found friends and I heading out of the inlet between Little St Simons and Sea islands with high hopes. After a quick stop to load the baitwell with live menhaden, we set a northeasterly course for the sea buoy at the eastern end of the Doboy navigation channel (D buoy) confident that heading would carry us across productive waters

Buoy 10 Blueprint
Be smart and know the best tides and locations to maximize opportunity on the lower Columbia River this summer.

Text & Photos By Pat Hoglund

There should be a sense of urgency for anyone planning to fish the lower Columbia River this summer. Here’s why: this year’s upriver bright forecast (2019) is expected to be 340,400. The good news is that more than 1 million coho are forecasted to return, which should prolong the Buoy 10 season into September, but that does not diminish the fact that the number of days on the water will be precious, especially for Chinook. And while this year’s upriver forecast is similar to 2018, there is hope that we’ll see a slight improvement on the king run, especially given the news about 1 million coho returning. Regardless, with fewer fish to catch that means narrowing your focus on when, where and how to maximize your time on the river will be doubly important.

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