Saturday, April 16, 2011

Congaree Striper Fishing Report 4/15/2011

Sometimes the most rewarding experiences turn out to be ones that aren't planned.  When it comes to kayak fishing, I usually have everything worked out a day or two in advance.  I like to be organized and make sure that I have everything perfect before I leave.  But wait a second, the reason I got into kayak fishing in the first place was partly due to the fact that I wanted to be able to just "pick up and go" at a moments notice.  Not having to deal with a temperamental outboard motor or trailer issues is what makes a kayak such a great platform to fish from.

I woke up Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. for no apparent reason and thought, I'm up, I might as well go fishing.  After throwing all my gear in the truck and strapping my Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game to the roof rack, I made it down to the Congaree River and put in behind Budweiser at the Rosewood extension landing.  It was still dark as I paddled up to Granby falls.  I love this time on the water - no buzzing of outboards, no commotion, just peace and quiet and not a soul around.

Within minutes of arriving at Granby dam, I landed 3 decent stripers and missed a few more all between 6:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. I then paddled up through the channel on the left which is possible with a wide blade paddle. It is HARD WORK for sure and probably comical to watch. Half way up this stretch I questioned why in the hell did I decide to do this!  After what seemed like an eternity, I emerged on the other side of the channel albeit a little exhausted.

I continued the journey up to the Blossom Street Bridge area and picked up a few more small fish in 6 feet of water on the float back downstream. All fish were caught on 1) Silver Rattlin Rogue Minnow 2) White and Blue bucktail with a while curly tail trailer and 3) a Bomber chartreuse and white saltwater rattletrap lure. The water level is still a little high and the action wasn't "non-stop" like it has been in years past. All in all it was a great day and only one other boat was fishing the entire area other than me.  The next couple of weeks should really start getting good on the Congaree and by mid-May the stripers wil be moving up into the Saluda River.  For kayak fishermen in the Columbia/Lexington area, this is one of the most exciting times of the year!  See you on the water.

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