Thursday, November 24, 2011

Freshwater Fishing on a Student Budget

Photo by Dino De Luca
By Taylor Hastings
Why fishing? South Carolinians are blessed with a wonderfully tangled web of water and land. Fish is a mainstay in our culture, recipes, tourism and economy. Charleston offers a great variety of fish, temperate weather, and numerous bodies of water. Fortunately, fishing is inexpensive, local, and without a dress code. Charleston’s waterways never close up shop. And fishing can be whatever you want it to be, casual or competitive, enjoyed individually or with your friends and family.  Did I mention it is for women too? Men can no longer keep the fun all to themselves. Fishing is for everyone.
To get started on your adventure, you will need to gather the necessary equipment. If money is tight, you could go to a big box store and find many items you may need, but the cheap way may prove more expensive. Purchasing quality equipment ensures you will not have to replace worn out or easily damaged equipment. Spending a few extra dollars now will ensure many successful fishing trips in the future.
A second option is to purchase your items online from a reputable company like, but this may not be the easiest option for a first time angler. The best option is to one stop shop at a local retailer like The Charleston Angler. Their expertise ensures you have the correct equipment accompanied by great advice, and what could be better than supporting local business? Mike Farmer, Manager of The Charleston Angler in Summerville, was nice enough to create a great list of items for the enthusiastic beginner:
■A rod and reel combo; for example, the “Mitchell” made by Avocet -$39.99
■Terminal tackle; this includes swivels and hooks- $10.00
■A cooler if you plan on making dinner with your rewards; you probably have one in your trunk if you are the outdoors type!
■Live bait: meal worms, cricket and earthworms found at many gas stations for dirt cheap.
■Most importantly, a fishing license, which can be purchased from Walmart, The Charleston Angler and other sporting goods stores for- $10.00
This quality package will cost about $70.00 and is a solid investment. In case you need another reason to see the professionals at the Charleston Angler, they have been gracious enough to give TTC students with a current ID a %10 discount. We are proud to add them to our great list of businesses that support the students of TTC.
If you don’t have all of these items or must purchase them in stages, ask friends to borrow their equipment, but be aware they will probably invite themselves to go with you: anglers can never get enough fishing.
Now that you have your equipment, you are probably wondering where to go. The beginner or casual angler has several great choices for fishing for free. Public piers like the North Charleston Waterfront Park and the old Navy Yard are great. Newer communities like Wescott Plantation in Summerville and Crowfield Plantation in Goose Creek have stocked retention ponds. Also located conveniently behind TTC, you can go to the Goose Creek Reservoir. Don’t forget our bridges and piers. Unless marked by signage, you may fish off of either of these.
What might you catch while freshwater fishing right now? There are several species of fish calling Charleston home. Most likely you will catch largemouth bass, bream, crappie, pan fish and catfish. Get ready for a fish fry!


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