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The albie fishery at Cape Lookout is mainly a boat fishery, but shore-bound anglers are not totally left out in the cold. The point at Barden Inlet at the mouth of The Hook is called "The Spit," and waders have been experiencing great action here for years. If you don't mind walking, follow the beach back toward the rock jetty on the ocean side. This beach has some epic spearing action in the sand — perfect for fly-fishermen since the action is right under your feet.

Waders should have both intermediate and sink-tip fly lines. Many of the bites at The Spit are from dredging along the steep drop-off. The standard albie flies are valuable here as well.

Getting to The Spit is simple: Four ferries gladly take anglers to the beach, and the fare is cheap. You can set up departure and pickup times with your ferry operator, and cell service works there for the most part.

Bogue Leake

Little tunny run large off Cape Lookout. A big fish like this will put fly gear to the test

FFSW Tackle Bag bite tippets will keep the mackerel from relieving you of your flies. Check out this website for more information on the artificial reefs: www.ncfisheries.net/reefs/Iok2fear.htm.

SIZE MATTERS

In October, its not unusual to see miles of albies sipping small bait off the surface. You know you've found them when you see fish splashing and rolling on the surface with few or no birds hovering over them. "Sippers" are usually found in warmer water temperatures — from the mid-60s to the mid-70s — and many times farther oft the beach in deeper water. These fish have left many fly-anglers pulling their hair out. Sippers are feeding on tiny bait that's almost clear except for two eyes and a translucent body less than I Vi inches long. How to consistently catch these albies had long been a mystery, but the code was slowly cracked over the last few years.

Capt. Jaime Boyle from Martha's Vineyard showed local guides a few tricks for dealing with sippers. He had his anglers rig up with his version of Dave Skok's Mushmouth, the White Bait Mushy, make long casts and bring the fly through the school using a fast, two-handed retrieve. This method often resulted in strikes. Local guides added other flies — small IVi-to 3-inch sparse pink or white Hollow Bucktail Deceivers or Slim Jims — and when ripped through pods of flashing albies, they got bit as well. A fly that is moving fast and making a wake will draw a bite from sippers eating tiny krill. Most of these fish are in the 5- to 8-pound range, so an 8-weight fly rod is perfect. It's important to get your offering right in the school, or on the far side of it, so that you can show the fly to as many albies as possible. This is where casting practice really pays off.

Not all October albies are sippers. A good tip is that bigger birds such as gulls, pelicans and even gannets will be feeding on bigger bait. The bigger the bait, the easier the fish are to hook. The bait isn't necessarily small just because it's October. The

RODS: 8-weights for smaller fish; 9- to 10-weights for larger albies.

LINES: Intermediate sinking or floating.

LEADERS: 7- to 10-foot tapered with 16- or 20-pound tippets.

FLIES: Skok's Mushmouth, Clouser's Deep Minnow in chartreuse-over-white, grey/white, pink/chartreuse and root beer/white. Also, 2Vi- to 3-inch sparse pink or white Hollow Bucktail Deceivers and Slim Jims. OTHER: Because of the possibility of locating schools of bull redfish, keep a hefty rod rigged with at least a 350-grain sink tip and a chartreuse-and-white Half and Half at the ready.

first tight balls of bay anchovies are making their way down the coast, attracting albies, sharks and Spanish and king mackerel — all of which can be working the same pod of bait.

As November rolls around, the bait is getting more prevalent and larger. The main bait oft the beaches are bay anchovies. You can find groups of 2-inch anchovies or balls of anchovies up to 5 inches long, at times in the same school. Dave Skok's Mushmouth has been a hot fly the last few years. And Bob Clouser's Deep Minnow is still one of the most effective patterns. Top colors are chartreuse-over-white, grey/white, pink/ chartreuse, and root beer/white, just to name a few. Nine- and 10-weight rods are good choices for November — the fish are bigger and it can be windy.

TIPS AND TACTICS

When targeting breaking albies in tight pods around bait, anglers who can keep their flies in the froth are more likely to hook up. Many anglers strip their line in until the leader reaches the rod tip and then recast into the fray. However, albies will seldom leave a pod of bait to chase a fly, so the longer you keep your fly in the impact zone, the more likely you'll hook up.

Chasing Fly

Try making just three or four strips before picking the Hy up and casting again. Floating lines are catching on here, as they are easier than intermediates to pick up and cast back in the zone. Super-fast strips are not necessary — a slower, moderate strip is more effective.

If you watch the albies work a pod of bait, you'll notice that they tear through it in formation and then circle back and blast through again, picking up the wounded bait they missed on the first pass. This rumba will continue until the bait is dispersed or eaten, so keeping your fly right in the action is the most productive tactic. Dead-sticking a fly or letting it sink in the bait pod can also bring hookups.

The ultimate Cape Lookout albie experience is having a bait ball hide under you boat. Nothing makes other anglers as envious as when they hear, "Bait ball!" over the radio. While the casts are not very challenging and the required angling skills are low, just watching the mayhem is priceless. While a horde of albies is blitzing the hapless bait, it's looking for a place to hide. If the school is moving in your direction, turn off your motor. The shadow from the boat appears like a possible hiding place to the bait, and it affords occupants of the boat a great seat to watch the carnage. If enough albies push the bait, it will stick to your boat until one of two things happen — all the bait is eaten or the albies lose interest. This insanity can last for hours.

Dead drifting flies on the outside of the bait ball also produces strikes, and crease flies can be effective as well. If the fish

Catch-and-release fishing at its finest! Capt Sarah Gardner smiles as she drops a small, bullet-shaped albie back into the Atlantic.

get picky or full, try using flies that are as close as possible to the size of the baitfish. Many anglers believe matching size and profile is more important than matching colors. This is the best classroom for studying how albies feed. Watching how they pick apart a bait ball should help anglers learn where to place their flies when fishing other schools of albies.

In mid- to late-November, spearing migrate south, hugging tight to the beach. Sometimes, in less than I a foot of water, they can be found from the west side of Cape Lookout to The Hook, down Shackl-eford Island and along the western beaches. This shallow-water action is tough because the albies are in high gear, chasing the bait with their bellies rubbing the sand. They are fast-moving targets, and because spearing have a tendency not to pack too tightly when being chased, anglers often fish for singles and small packs of albies. This exercise takes patience, good boat maneuvering and casting, but hooking an albie in less than 2 feet of water is all the reward you need — a high-speed tunny melt! Effective flies in this situation are Mushmouths, tan-and-white Clousers and Popovics' Surf Candies.

The albies are alive and well at Cape Lookout, and they're looking for a few new fly-fishermen to terrorize. Come on down to enjoy a little southern hospitality and get your "Tunny Melt." (¡£)

Albi Flies

Getting There, Doing That

Looking to book a terrific albie-fishing trip this fall? Try any of the following contacts: Guides

Harkers Island Marina Capt. Stick Sandlin — 252-728-7828 Capt. Rob Pasfield — 252-504-3823 Capt. Sarah Gardner — 252-449-0562 Morehead City Capt. A1 Edwards — 910-313-0702 Capt. Joe Shute — 800-868-0941 Capt. Pete Zook — 800-808-4235 Accommodations Harkers Island Harkers Island Fishing Center — 252-728-3907 Calico Jacks — 252-728-3575 Morehead City Comfort Inn Highway 70 — 252-247-3434 Beaufort Inn — 252-728-2600

north

Beaufort Inlet Shacklelford Banks

Bogue Inlet

At antic Ocean

Barden Inlet Cape Lookout

Little Tunny Fishing

Little tunny run large off Cape Lookout. A big fish like this will put fly gear to the test

FFSW Tackle Bag bite tippets will keep the mackerel from relieving you of your flies. Check out this website for more information on the artificial reefs: www.ncfisheries.net/reefs/Iok2fear.htm.

SIZE MATTERS

In October, its not unusual to see miles of albies sipping small bait off the surface. You know you've found them when you see fish splashing and rolling on the surface with few or no birds hovering over them. "Sippers" are usually found in warmer water temperatures — from the mid-60s to the mid-70s — and many times farther oft the beach in deeper water. These fish have left many fly-anglers pulling their hair out. Sippers are feeding on tiny bait that's almost clear except for two eyes and a translucent body less than 1 Vi inches long. How to consistently catch these albies had long been a mystery, but the code was slowly cracked over the last few years.

Capt. Jaime Boyle from Marthas Vineyard showed local guides a few tricks for dealing with sippers. He had his anglers rig up with his version of Dave Skoks Mushmouth, the White Bait Mushy, make long casts and bring the fly through the school using a fast, two-handed retrieve. This method often resulted in strikes. Local guides added other flies — small IVi-to 3-inch sparse pink or white Hollow Bucktail Deceivers or Slim Jims — and when ripped through pods of flashing albies, they got bit as well. A fly that is moving fast and making a wake will draw a bite from sippers eating tiny krill. Most of these fish are in the 5- to 8-pound range, so an 8-weight fly rod is perfect. It's important to get your offering right in the school, or on the far side of it, so that you can show the fly to as many albies as possible. This is where casting practice really pays off.

Not all October albies are sippers. A good tip is that bigger birds such as gulls, pelicans and even gannets will be feeding on bigger bait. The bigger the bait, the easier the fish are to hook. The bait isn't necessarily small just because it's October. The

RODS: 8-weights for smaller fish; 9- to 10-weights for larger albies.

LINES: Intermediate sinking or floating.

LEADERS: 7- to 10-foot tapered with 16- or 20-pound tippets.

FLIES: Skok's Mushmouth, Clouser's Deep Minnow in chartreuse-over-white, grey/white, pink/chartreuse and root beer/white. Also, 2Vi- to 3-inch sparse pink or white Hollow Bucktail Deceivers and Slim Jims. OTHER: Because of the possibility of locating schools of bull redfish, keep a hefty rod rigged with at least a 350-grain sink tip and a chartreuse-and-white Half and Half at the ready.

first tight balls of bay anchovies are making their way down the coast, attracting albies, sharks and Spanish and king mackerel — all of which can be working the same pod of bait.

As November rolls around, the bait is getting more prevalent and larger. The main bait oft the beaches are bay anchovies. You can find groups of 2-inch anchovies or balls of anchovies up to 5 inches long, at times in the same school. Dave Skok's Mushmouth has been a hot fly the last few years. And Rob Clouser's Deep Minnow is still one of the most effective patterns. Top colors are chartreuse-over-white, grey/white, pink/ chartreuse, and root beer/white, just to name a few. Nine- and 10-weight rods are good choices for November — the fish are bigger and it can be windy.

TIPS AND TACTICS

When targeting breaking albies in tight pods around bait, anglers who can keep their flies in the froth are more likely to hook up. Many anglers strip their line in until the leader reaches the rod tip and then recast into the fray. However, albies will seldom leave a pod of bait to chase a fly, so the longer you keep your fly in the impact zone, the more likely you'll hook up.

Try making just three or four strips before picking the Hy up and casting again. Floating lines are catching on here, as they are easier than intermediates to pick up and cast back in the zone. Super-fast strips are not necessary — a slower, moderate strip is more effective.

If you watch the albies work a pod of bait, you'll notice that they tear through it in formation and then circle back and blast through again, picking up the wounded bait they missed on the first pass. This rumba will continue until the bait is dispersed or eaten, so keeping your fly right in the action is the most productive tactic. Dead-sticking a fly or letting it sink in the bait pod can also bring hookups.

The ultimate Cape Lookout albie experience is having a bait ball hide under you boat. Nothing makes other anglers as envious as when they hear, "Bait ball!" over the radio. While the casts are not very challenging and the required angling skills are low, just watching the mayhem is priceless. While a horde of albies is blitzing the hapless bait, it's looking for a place to hide. If the school is moving in your direction, turn off your motor. The shadow from the boat appears like a possible hiding place to the bait, and it affords occupants of the boat a great seat to watch the carnage. If enough albies push the bait, it will stick to your boat until one of two things happen — all the bait is eaten or the albies lose interest. This insanity can last for hours.

Dead drifting flies on the outside of the bait ball also produces strikes, and crease flies can be effective as well. If the fish

Catch-and-release fishing at its finest! Capt Sarah Gardner smiles as she drops a small, bullet-shaped albie back into the Atlantic.

get picky or full, try using flies that are as close as possible to the size of the baitfish. Many anglers believe matching size and profile is more important than matching colors. This is the best classroom for studying how albies feed. Watching how they pick apart a bait ball should help anglers learn where to place their flies when fishing other schools of albies.

In mid- to late-November, spearing migrate south, hugging tight to the beach. Sometimes, in less than I a foot of water, they can be found from the west side of Cape Lookout to The Hook, down Shackl-eford Island and along the western beaches. This shallow-water action is tough because the albies are in high gear, chasing the bait with their bellies rubbing the sand. They are fast-moving targets, and because spearing have a tendency not to pack too tightly when being chased, anglers often fish for singles and small packs of albies. This exercise takes patience, good boat maneuvering and casting, but hooking an albie in less than 2 feet of water is all the reward you need — a high-speed tunny melt! Effective flies in this situation are Mushmouths, tan-and-white Clousers and Popovics' Surf Candies.

The albies are alive and well at Cape Lookout, and they're looking for a few new fly-fishermen to terrorize. Come on down to enjoy a little southern hospitality and get your "Tunny Melt." (£>

Getting There, Doing That

Looking to book a terrific albie-fishing trip this fall? Try any of the following contacts: Guides

Harkers Island Marina Capt. Stick Sandlin — 252-728-7828 Capt. Rob Pasfield — 252-504-3823 Capt. Sarah Gardner — 252-449-0562 Morehead City Capt. A1 Edwards — 910-313-0702 Capt. Joe Shute — 800-868-0941 Capt. Pete Zook — 800-808-4235 Accommodations Harkers Island Harkers Island Fishing Center — 252-728-3907 Calico Jacks — 252-728-3575 Morehead City Comfort Inn Highway 70 — 252-247-3434 Beaufort Inn — 252-728-2600

north

Beaufort Inlet Shacklelford Banks

Bogue Inlet

At antic Ocean

Barden Inlet Cape Lookout

Calibogue Sound Fishing

ROUND. EISHING

Hilton Head Island is located in the heart of the Lowcoun-try, a region of the Southeast punctuated by endless tidal creeks, vast green marshes ana giant live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The second largest barrier island on the East coast, Hilton Head was home to Indians, plantation owners and troops that fought in the Civil War before the days of tourism.

The island is flanked by Calibogue Sound on the SPOT-TAILS OF

south and Port Royal Sound on the north. These sounds WINTER AND SUMMER

breathe life into the tidal creeks by flushing all the tribu- Pay close attention if you hear a Lowcountry resident taries with two daily 7-foot tides. The endless vascular talking about big "spot-tails." He's referring to red-

system of saltwater rivers and creeks have created ideal fish. It pays to team up with a local guide or long-time habitat for fish, shellfish and bivalves, making it some- resident here. Like a favorite chowder recipe, many suc-

thing of a living bouillabaisse. cessful redfishing tips are handed down from generation

Hilton Head has long been heralded for its tennis and to generation, golf, and fly-fishing has always taken a back seat. But Fly-fishing for reds is a relatively new game at Hilton that's OK — anglers who fish Hilton Head don't mind Head. It was developed in the late 1980s, when a hand-

keeping it a relative secret. ful of locals discovered these fish spend much of the

Redfish, or "spot-tails" as they're locally called, are a prime attraction on Hilton Head flats. The best part is they can be taken year-round.

FFSW TIPPET

A multitude of brackish ponds are located throughout Hilton Head Island, as well as an incredible 10-mile saltwater canal system inside the Palmetto Dunes community. Many of the channels are more reminiscent of the Florida Everglades than coastal South Carolina.

Residents of Palmetto Dunes enjoy year-round kayaking and fishing in this unique estuary. Visitors to Hilton Head can gain access through Palmetto Dunes Outfitters, which rents canoes, kayaks and a wide selection of fishing gear.

Capt. Trent Malphrus also operates a guide service that fishes exclusively within this area and has been successful putting clients on giant reds, seatrout, black drum and landlocked tarpon. It offers a great way to target big fish on fly.

Because of all the grass, weed guards are a must on your flies. Large, weighed crab patterns work well in a variety of colors. The most important characteristic of a high-tide fly is that it has enough weight to sink through the grass so the fish can see it. If the fly can be seen, it usually will be eaten.

Redfish, or "spot-tails" as they're locally called, are a prime attraction on Hilton Head flats. The best part is they can be taken year-round.

winter months on flats not much deeper than two feet. The reds use this shallow water to seek refuge from marauding bottlenose dolphin. The dolphin school the fish and push them into the shallows, which inadvertently creates ideal opportunities for fly-anglers. Many anglers look for dolphin, ospreys and pelicans, which can help locate a redfish school.

There are two distinct fisheries for reds. During the winter months, they are typically targeted at low tide. The cold, clear water makes fish more visible, and almost all winter fishing is done in a flats skiff. Winter redfishing begins in earnest in December and lasts as long as the water temperatures remain in the 50s, typically through mid-March.

Stalking winter reds is very similar to bonefishing. the number of fish encountered may be a few or hundreds, with most weighing from 2 to 12 pounds. Heavier fish can be taken, but most reds over 12 pounds move to deep water, joining schools of migrating fish. A variety of flies work well at low tide, but bigger is usually better. The water is relatively clear, but reds are poor sight-feeders, and big flies don't spook them. Flies tied in brown-and-gold, chartreuse-and-pink or orange-and-black work well on size #2 to 1/0 hooks with gold bead eyes or light lead eyes.

From May through November, reds are targeted in high water and move into Spartina grass after fiddler crabs. High-tide fishing can be done by boat, but its more fun to wade. High-water grass flats have a hard substrate and are easily traversed with sandals or booties. Stalking reds in the grass is like a combination of fly-fishing and quail hunting. Anglers wade through knee-deep grass looking for golden-brown tails rising from the surface.

The fishing is fast and furious. It lasts only about two hours on the last of the flood tide. As the reds make their way onto the flats, they race the tide, seeking out fiddler and mud crabs. Tail-ers are not easily spooked, and short, accurate casts will produce more fish than long shots.

CHASING BIG, SPRING COBIA

Florida's Pensacola and Destin are the undisputed spots for big cobia in the Gulf of Mexico, but Port Royal Sound, bordering Hilton Head's north shore, is where many East Coast anglers flock to catch monster cobes. Port Royal Sound is one of the largest and deepest sounds on the East Coast, extending over 10 miles inland, and it is in these inshore waters where the majority of cobia are caught.

As cobia migrate north, starting at the end of April, they are lured into Port Royal by strong, westward-flowing currents. Here they find an endless supply of food, including calico and blue crabs along with giant schools of mullet, menhaden and threadfin herring. Every incoming tide brings a new batch of cobia, and anglers await.

Flyfishing Best Cobia Fly
Break out the 12-weight! Big cobia migrate into Port Royal Sound during springtime and present terrific sight-fishing opportunities.
Tarpon Port Royal Sound

Plenty of large tarpon can be found around Hilton Head, but an excellent juvenille fishery also offers light-tackle fun.

Cobia are the kings of curiosity and swim at breakneck speed to inspect a flashy streamer or surface popper. For cobia in Port Royal, you can use any color fly — as long as it's red and yellow! There is something magical about this color combo. The absolute best fly in Port Royal Sound is a red-and-yellow Whistler tied on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook. For smaller cobia in the 15- to 20-pound class, a 9-weight rod is ideal. For larger fish, it's best to use 11 - or 12-weight rods. Some of these cobia can exceed 60 pounds and have tremendous stamina. Ifyou have dinner plans, the heavier rod is the better choice.

TARPON LARGE AND SMALL

Hilton Head tarpon are a lot like its tourists — they show up in June and stay through Labor Day. During summer, the waters are absolutely stuffed with menhaden, and feeding for a hungry tarpon is as easy as swimming to the surface with an open mouth.

There are abundant schools of tarpon, but the water clarity makes fly-casting for them challenging, to say the least. A good technique to use on Lowcountry tarpon is the "drift back." This method, developed by Florida Keys guide Robert Trosset, combines chumming and chunking with fly-fishing. The trick to the "drift back" is to anchor in less than 30 feet of water and chum and chunk until you think your arms are going to fall off. At the same time, an angler must drift a fly imitating the chunks of bait. This is a two-man process involving a chummer and an angler (and it's much more fun to be the angler).

Tarpon will feed in the chum line and typically take the fly just behind the boat. The first time Capt. RT tried this technique

Plenty of large tarpon can be found around Hilton Head, but an excellent juvenille fishery also offers light-tackle fun.

Whereas most cobia anglers choose to fish lures or bait, a terrific opportunity exists for fly-anglers. Cobia can be caught on fly by two methods: One effective technique is to anchor and chum, bringing the fish up behind the boat; the other method is to cruise the sound at high, slack tide and watch for surfacing fish. Cruising and sight-casting is the technique preferred by most local fly anglers. This tide can bring dozens of hungry cobia to the surface, where they inspect current rips and weed lines for unsuspecting crabs and baitfish. Swimming cobia can be approached with an outboard, but bow-mounted trolling motors give anglers an advantage and enable fly-fisherman to get extremely close.

Tarpon Whistler

FFSW Tackle Bag

RODS: 7- to 9-weight for redfish, trout, landlocked tarpon and nearshore wrecks; 10- to 12-weight for cobia, big jacks and tarpon. REELS: Minimum of 200 yards of 20- or 30-pound backing with a good drag system. LINES: Weight-forward floating is most commonly used for reds; sink tips or intermediate sink tips are ideal for trout or nearshore wrecks. Sink tips are best for cobia, but intermediate should be used for tarpon. LEADERS: 10- to 12-foot tapered with 12- to 16-pound tippet for reds and trout. Use wire shock leaders when fishing reefs. Big-game leaders with shock tippets of 60 to 100 pounds should be used for cobia and large tarpon.

FLIES: For redfish, Umpqua's Miller's Fools Gold Crab, Razmataz and Pumpkin Pie on #2 hooks. Poppers and Clousers for nearshore species like Spanish mackerel and jacks. For cobia, Whistler patterns tied on 2/0 to 4/0 hooks in orange/yellow or red/yellow. OTHER: Local guides have a license that covers clients. If fishing from you own boat, obtain a South Carolina saltwater license at www.saltwater fishing.sc.gov.

South Carolina Saltwater Fishes Guide

Getting There, Doing That

Island

Contact any of these guides and outfitters during your next trip to the Hilton Head area:

Capt Brian Vaughn — 843-289-4376

  1. Trent Malphrus — 843-684-4007
  2. Jimmy Reese — 843-816-2645
  3. Dan Utley — 843-757-2126
  4. Mike Upchurch — 843-908-2325
  5. Byron Sewell — 843-815-7874

Hilton Head Island Sport Fishing and Fly Club —

Palmetto Dunes Outfitters — 843-785-2449

on Carolina tarpon, two fish were hooked within 5 feet of the transom.

When employing the drift-hack technique, use standard tarpon tackle, a 12-weight rod and intermediate sink line. Sailfish streamers in blue-and-white work pretty well, as they are fairly visible in the dark water. And it's not uncommon to catch large red drum, shark and king mackerel using rhis method.

Another fascinating and unique fisher}' on Hilton Head is baby tarpon in the brackish lagoons and ponds. Most fish biologists will tell you Hilton Head is located too far north for tarpon to survive in winter. Most literature also says that tarpon can't withstand temperatures less than 55 degrees, but actual winter temperatures in Hilton Head ponds often drop into the low 40s, and the fish seem to over-winter without a problem.

Hilton Head Island is dotted with brackish lagoons that were constructed to enhance real estate and aid with drainage. Tidal flow reaches many of these lagoons, and the influx of salt water has introduced an array of saltwater species to these land-locked environments. Along with the baby tarpon, there are usually redfish, seatrout and flounder in the ponds.

Tarpon enter the lagoons as larvae or fry and feed on shrimp and small fish. In this landlocked system, the tarpon only grow as large as their environment allows. Lagoon tarpon are most easily caught when there is a discernible flow entering a pond from the incoming tide. Tarpon can be seen rolling and gulping as they feed in the incoming flow. It's best to fish small streamers

Bay Point Bar such as Clousers or even bonefish flies. Most of the natural food is small, so even if 10-pounders are swimming around, its best to downsize — the majority of hookups will come on a size #4 or #6 hook. It's also best to use some fiuorocarbon tippet material.

RIPS AND REEFS

The sand bars located off Hilton Head's north and south ends are terrific areas for fly-anglers. Barrett Shoals, off the southern tip of the island; and Bay Point Bar, on the northern shore of Port Royal Sound, are great areas during summer and early fall. These shoal regions are defined by large tide rips resulting from rapidly changing water depths. When the tide pulls water over the shallow sand bars, baitfish are sucked in and offer easy pickings for predators, including Spanish mackerel, jacks, jumbo Iadyfish, shark, tarpon and cobia.

It's best to anchor on the deep side of the bar and fish down-current toward the shallow water, enabling the fly to swing directly into the tide rip. The rip generally appears as a well-defined line running perpendicular to the current flow. By using a variety of flies, including Gummy minnows, poppers and Clousers, anglers can imitate bait crossing the rip and entice a strike.

When fishing sand bars around Hilton Head, keep in mind that the tide will fluctuate up ro 9 feet between high and low tide. It's easy to get carried away catching fish and forget that you will soon be sitting high and dry.

Just a few miles offshore are two potential gold mines for fly-anglers. The White Water Reef and Zebco's Fish America Reef were constructed in shallow water with the light-tackle angler in mind. It's not uncommon to see schools of Spanish mackerel, small blues and jacks in feeding frenzies. To effectively fish the structure on these reefs, it's best to anchor. One can expect to catch trout, flounder, spadefish, redfish and even the occasional cobia on these reefs. Eight- and 9-weight rods are ideal, and floating and sinking lines cover the structure well. It's also a good idea to chum the fish up.

Hilton Head will almost assuredly be remembered as the land of 1,000 golf courses, but the real hidden treasure lies in its creeks, rivers and sounds that define the Lowcountry. Saltwater fly-fishing is a relatively new game along the South Carolina coast, and new areas and techniques are being discovered every day. If you plan to visit South Carolina, make certain to spend some time at Hilton Head — and leave your golf clubs at home.

Barrett Shoals

Flip Pallat Fly Fisherman

"I've been buying coolers all my life! So have you! I'm THROUGH, DONE, FINISHED, MAS NUNCA!!!!!! I've got my Yeti now. All I have to worry about is what to put in it."

-Flip Pallot

Features Include:

  • One piece roto-molded construction for durability.
  • Filled with 2" of polyurethane foam to provide superior insulation.
  • Freezer style sealing gasket to lock in the cold.
  • Integrated tie-down capability for solid mounting.
  • Strong rope handles with sure grip for an easy haul.
  • Heavy-dutv T-latches with molded-in keepers to fasten the lid securely closed.
  • Recessed leak-proof drain plug.
  • Lockable lid to keep the bears (or your friends) out!
  • Dry goods rack.
  • Constructed of food grade materials that are dry ice compatible.
  • Non-slip/non-marking rubber feet to keep the cooler in place.
  • Molded-in full-length, self-stopping hinge, so you never have to replace a hinge again!
  • Outer dimensions similar to other popular marine coolers, for an easy upgrade.

ITEM LxWxH

also available in Desert Tan

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