Author: Outcast Fishing
Pre Hurricane Fishing In South Carolina
As Hurricane Mathew was steaming right into South Carolina, the entire residential community of Hilton Head was on its way to places like Augusta, Charlotte, Atlanta and neighboring towns. I obviously didn't want to sit in the midst of a hurricane, knowing that we won't have power, water or food for days after, so my evacuation plan was to leave on the last day prior to impact. The Outcast was already on the trailer and safely placed in a field 20 miles inland, so it was time to grab my bass rod and try a pond that I haven't fished since my high school days (more than a few years ago).
"Huge schools of Redfish and Black Drum were swimming without a care in the world."
This lagoon was loaded in my younger days, but they've strictly enforced a "No Fishing" policy because its located on a popular golf course and the association fears a ball bouncing off a fisherman's head. I was still skeptical of giving it a try, but my neighbor that manages the course insisted I go, and reassured me that he'd be shocked if I even pass a car on the road. With his permission, I was out the door.
He was correct, I was entirely by myself. I started out casting/retrieving a black and red jig. My first fish was a small ladyfish, and with that ladyfish I felt like Borat "SUCCESS". A few casts later, another ladyfish. Then another, and another. After about 12 ladyfish, I was ready to move on and try and get something else. I walked down the lagoon and found the sweet spot. Huge schools of Redfish and Black Drum were swimming without a care in the world. I even saw a flounder chase the bait in two different times. It was so aggravating, but amazing. These Reds and Drum wouldn't even look at anything I was throwing. Jigs, spoons, surface baits, I threw it all and they just swim by. Ahh aggravating! I knew shrimp would be my deadly weapon, but with the evacuation, nothing is open. Every store and grocery is boarded up. Ive got big shark bait in the freezer, but no shrimp. I called my neighbor, and before I even finished my sentence "Chip, I got shrimp, come get it".
So I return to this lagoon an hour later with Black Drum crack! To make a long story short, I had one of the most exciting days I've had all year. Trying to land a monster fish on light tackle, on a deserted island...amazing. These fish technically should have spooled me, but with the lagoon being so narrow, I was able to just walk up and down the banks as they ran. The alligators liked my tactics so much they joined in. Unfortunately, they were able to chase down one of the Redfish that was on the line, so I did have 1 casualty. But all the others were released unharmed to battle me another day.
I'm not sure when the next time will be that I can fish this lagoon. We may not get another hurricane evacuation for 10 or 20 years......but when we do, I know exactly where I'll be.
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