Hello fellow fishermen and let’s not forget all you fisherwomen, my name is Tim and I’m so happy that you decided to visit my site today. I’m all about fishing, fresh water, salt water, brackish water even fishing in tiny little creeks that you wouldn’t even think about. I’m sure that I haven’t tried it all yet, but I’m working on it.
I grew up in the lowcountry of South Carolina, the Islandton area to be exact. This little blink and miss it spot actually holds some of the best fishing that I have ever experienced. Running along the border of Colleton and Hampton counties is the Salkehatchie River, or the swamp as I always called it. This is a wetlands area that is about a mile wide. It is mostly land, but has many small, and some not so small, branches and streams running all through it. This labyrinth of water ways hold some of my most precious young adult memories.
There is a large variety of fish to be taken in this mysterious looking place. I have taken all types of pan fish, Red Breast, Bream, Stump Bumpers and Blue Gills. They are plentiful and really fun to catch, not to mention good to eat. The predator fish were always my favorite though. Small Mouth Bass, Wall Mouth Bass or Molly as we called them, Bow Finn or Mud Fish, Pike and I can’t forget the hard hitting and tenacious Jack Fish. They are my favorite due to their strong will to never give up. I have taken a lot of different fish over the years, but none put up the fight that is in one of these magnificent creatures. They are a very boney fish but one of the best tasting fish you will ever eat. Last but not least is the swamp cats, Speckled Cat Fish, Yellow Belly Cat Fish, Blue Cat Fish and Channel Cats. They are always fun to catch. I can remember setting lines and spending all night traveling up and down the runs tending the hooks.
The nature in the swamp is, without a doubt, some of the greatest viewing you could get anywhere. We hardly ever used a motor. Our mode of propulsion was a boat poll, a ten-foot-long dowel poll or a cut and dried piece of oak or poplar always did the job. An experienced boat poller makes for a very quiet ride. You can see a wide variety of different wildlife using this mode of travel. Racoons fishing a crayfish from the creek side, yes, they fish to, or a variety of water fowl and other birds. Squirrels playfully chasing each other around a tree or fearlessly jumping from limb to limb high up in the tree tops. I have even been so lucky as to manage to drift up on two beautiful bucks locked in combat. We stopped on the creek bank and quietly watched them settle their dispute, it was quite surreal. The other things that have to be watched out for is the reptilian life. Alligators and snakes are quite plentiful as one would imagine, but they generally leave you alone as long as you give them room. I never had any problems with any of the wild creatures sharing these magnificent wetlands area.
The swamp isn’t the only waterways in the area of Islandton. The Big and Little Salkehatchie Rivers join together to form the Combahee River. This river eventually ends up in Beaufort SC and dumps into the ocean. In its many miles of travel, it switches from fresh to brackish to, as you can guess, salt water. During this time, the variety and types of fish and wildlife change. One of the areas that I always frequented is called Sugar Hill Landing. It is located in Yemassee, SC. The varieties of fish remain pretty consistent to this point with a few additions. In this area, we start to see Shell Crackers and just a little further towards the coast we pick up Spot Tail Bass and the Occasional Striper. I can remember many times almost losing my rod and reel, and a couple of times actually having them yanked right out of the boat while fishing for Spot Tail Bass. They are a wonderful fish to hook into. Great fighters and also another great tasting variety of fish. One of the things I enjoy about this area is the Bald Eagles. One of my favorite fishing holes is right behind a small island. The trees on this particular island have always housed at least one Eagles nest. While sitting in this area fishing I would usually have the pleasure of watching an Eagle fish. Now you haven’t seen fishing until you see this. They are truly majestic birds, and to actually watch one use it keen fishing techniques to snatch a fish right out of the water, well it’s just humbling.
Once we hit the salt water, as you know, the fish variety changes again. Black Bass, Flounder, Sheep Head and a little shark fishing are some of my favorites. Not to mention the shrimping and crabbing are also great. I was born to the lowcountry and no matter where I travel, I will always remember the great times fishing in my home area. But there are many other places in this great country that I haven’t tried yet. But that is a whole other story that I plan on visiting in the near future.