One of the greatest things about this time of year in the Lowcountry, as well as the most challenging thing for someone who loves the outdoors, is the plethora of activities from which we have to choose -- deer hunts, dove hunts, recreational shrimp baiting, fishing the tailing tides for redfish.
But let's not forget something else. Tarpon fishing! While anglers in the Lowcountry have been catching tarpon for decades, it's only been in recent years that tarpon fishermen have achieved the consistency to call it a true fishery.
Numerous anglers have been reporting good days, some of them with multiple catches.
Thomas Wynne, best known to many as the captain of the Petrel, had an outstanding week, catching 11. Included in that number was a fish approaching 200 pounds (the S.C. state record is 154 pounds, 10 ounces) that he caught and released fishing by himself in the Bulls Bay area. A good samaritan, J.R. Gross of McClellanville, took a photo of Wynne's solo catch.
"I took a 16-year-old with me who had never caught one and he caught four in a morning, 100-pound average," Wynne said in an e-mail "We were 4 for 9 on that tide. They are actually biting, not just being seen."
Wynne said the tarpon are following the mullet migration.
"It's been impressive the last week or so," he wrote. "A flyrod would work at times, too."
So don't miss out on this spectacular fish.
--In browsing a list of new International Game Fish Association world records, I came across a catch with some local flavor. On July 12, Michelle Harkavy of Coral Springs, Fla., landed a 27-pound greater amberjack while flyfishing with Chris Morrison off McClellanville. The catch qualified for the women's 10kg (20-pound tippet) record.
Harkavy has held 81 world records.
--IGFA has launched an online e-membership which makes all of its members-only content available electronically at a discounted introductory price of $15 (regular cost is $20). It includes access to the International Angler newsletter, access to the World Record Game Fishes book, online access to work records, discounted world record applications ($40), discounted scale certifications ($30) and unlimited free entry into the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Fla.
Sign up at www.igfa.org/members, call (954) 927-2628 or e-mail HQ@igfa.org.
--Keeper of the Wild Wildlife Rescue in conjunction with Nature Adventures Kayak and Canoe Outfitters on Shem Creek is conducting a fund-raiser today. Kayaking adventures are $40 for adults and $25 for children under 12. Groups receive instructions on kayaking and two-hour tours leave at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 1-800-673-0679.
Keeper of the Wild is a volunteer organization that rescues orphaned and injured wildlife, raising and rehabilitating them before returning them to the wild.
Chad Weatherford of Loris has been named the champion of the 2010 Field and Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. Weatherford earned more than $50,000 in cash and prizes in the three-day competition to determine the nation's most skilled outdoorsman.
Reach Tommy Braswell at (843) 937-5591 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.