Beginner Guide

Pee Dee Redbreast, South Carolina’s Favorite Sun (fish)

Photograph courtesy of SCDNR

For positive, there are bigger freshwater gamefish (largemouth bass and crappie spring to thoughts), together with a panopoly of choices within the sunfish household, however for South Carolinians raised on cane poles, crickets and coastal plain blackwater rivers, there’ll at all times be one thing particular about hauling in a brightly coloured redbreast (Lepomis auritus) through the warmth of summer time.  Possibly it’s the truth that none of our different native freshwater fishes packs fairly the identical visible wallop because the redbreast, a feisty fighter with a colourful underbelly.  Or perhaps it’s the primordial stillness of the coastal plain’s meandering tea-stained blackwater rivers.  However one factor’s for positive, for first-timers and old-timers alike, nothing places a smile on their faces like a hard-pulling, colourful redbreast on light-weight deal with.

    Redbreast may be present in lots of South Carolina’s coastal plain river techniques, however the blackwater Pee Dee system (together with the Edisto system to the south) is understood particularly as a scorching redbreast fishery.  That popularity was at risk, just some brief years in the past, when redbreast fishing within the area started to say no from its historic peaks.  An invasive, non-native species, the flathead catfish, took many of the blame for the decline in redbreast fishing, and there’s little question it has had some affect, however after finding out the issue in-depth, DNR biologists realized that traditionally unhealthy drought circumstances throughout the state between 1998 and 2002 had additionally taken a serious toll. 

    Two components have helped mitigate these issues, and lately, the redbreast chew within the Pee Dee has been stronger. First, the rainfall image has improved enormously, and second, juvenile redbreast raised on the DNR’s Cheraw and Dennis Heart fish hatcheries have been stocked into Pee Dee rivers – the Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Black and Lynches — by the tens of 1000’s through the fall months, fish that will likely be able to spawn the next spring, in response to DNR Fisheries Chief Ross Self. 

    “Proper now the redbreast numbers in these rivers seems to be fairly good,” stated Self. “We consider that our sustained stocking efforts have performed a major function within the return of secure redbreast populations in these rivers.”

The place to go: The Little Pee Dee River in Dillon County was designated a State Scenic River in 2005, and the DNR-published Boating Information to Little Pee Scenic River Water Trail offers an in depth description of river entry and boating choices (in addition to pure and cultural historical past) for a 27-mile part of this scenic river from Moccasin Bluff Touchdown, simply north of the Metropolis of Dillon, to Huggins Bridge Touchdown at SC Freeway 41. The Black River and Lynches River are additionally prime redbreast waters, and lodging, guides and different details about the area is available from the Pee Dee Tourism Commission.

What to make use of: Maintaining it easy is the secret the place redbreast are involved. Gentle spinning deal with is all you want – not more than 4-6 lb-test line, and a light-weight, versatile rod is greatest although in some circumstances, a cane pole or artificial “bream buster” with only a #4 hook and a break up shot fished on the underside is the perfect rig of alternative for getting beneath overhanging shade (a sensible technique).  When fishing with stay bait, crickets appear to be the bait of alternative, though some folks want worms. For synthetic lures choices, small beetle spins – once more on mild deal with are a well-liked possibility.

To search out extra details about fishing and boating in South Carolina, the place to fish, fishing reviews and extra go to the web page Fishing and Boating in South Carolina.

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