The following information is provided courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.

Saltwater

Hilton Head
Sheepshead: Very good. Although sheepshead are around all year anglers target them most during the winter months, and catches of sheepshead are strong around inshore structure. Fish fiddler crabs (available at Lowcountry Outfitters) vertically on a Carolina rig. Spottail Bass: Fair to good. Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley reports that as temperatures have warmed the fishing has gotten better and better. The fish are still grouped up in large schools but are less tentative than a month ago. A variety of artificials, and particularly Gulp! lures, will work. Trout: Fair. Trout fishing has slightly improved as temperatures have warmed; target the outgoing tide.
* Offshore: Weather has made getting offshore difficult, but at nearshore reefs and wrecks some bull drum and very large sheepshead are being caught.

Marinalife, the boating community’s first cruising concierge and leading source of marina information, and BoatU.S., the nation’s largest organization of recreational boat owners, announced a partnership today that improves the boating lifestyle for members of both organizations.

Under the partnership, Marinalife members can take advantage of half-priced BoatU.S. membership and discounted “unlimited” on-the-water assistance services provided by BoatU.S.’ TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist towing fleets – the largest towing fleets in North America.  BoatU.S. members can tap into discounted concierge services by Marinalife, which provides easy online or toll-free booking of transient dockage at over 8,000 marinas. A trove of cruising information, including reliable marina ratings and reviews, customized weather forecasting, approach and navigational tools, tide forecasts, and a marina fuel locator are just some of Marinalife’s additional benefits included with membership.

Would you like to help make your home waters a little cleaner?  The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is offering grant funds up to $4,000 each for community non-profit groups to develop projects that address environmental problems on local waterways.  Since 1997 the annual BoatU.S. Foundation Clean Water Grant program has awarded over $300,000 to improve the marine environment, funding 149 projects in 35 states.  This year’s deadline to apply is February 2, 2009.

“Groups have flexibility in deciding what needs to be addressed, whether it’s a pollution issue, preventing the spread of invasive species, or other environmental concern,” said BoatU.S. Foundation Director of Environmental Programs Susan Shingledecker.

Stunning Jewels & Gemstones

Inspired by NatureFrom golden mornings and coral sunsets to turquoise skies and florals in a rainbow of hues, the Lowcountry offers an abundance of natural beauty and inspiration for the area’s vast array of world-class jewelers, master craftsmen and fine retailers. On the following pages, Monthly’s special jewelry section showcases a few of the hottest looks this season.

O’Grady familyTo many of us, setting sail to chase the horizon for a few years may seem like an unattainable pipe dream. For the O’Grady family, it’s one of their most treasured memories.

Will and Pamela O’Grady and their 13-year-old daughter Sara set off on a grand adventure on the seas on what’s known as “America’s Great Loop.” The O’Grady family covered the distance in stages over three years time, returning back home for seasonal breaks. All in all, they spent six months traveling, accomplishing what many of us yearn to do.

It was a fine day when they set off from their Hilton Head Island home in early June 2004. From Spanish Wells, they headed up the Intracoastal Waterway to the Chesapeake, up New York’s Hudson River to the Erie Canal and across Lake Ontario to Canada.

Spending This Summer on the Water

Spending This Summer on the WaterMany people who live in the Lowcountry agree that the single greatest attraction here is the water. Some are content just to look at it – they relish the simple pleasure of knowing that it’s there. Others, however, enjoy getting out on the rivers, sea, sounds and tidal creeks that make this place what it is. If you belong to this second category, summer is here and there are plenty of boating adventures to be had.

A good day on the water might involve a little fishing, a little cruising, a little swimming, some eating and drinking, maybe even a bit of sunbathing. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’re liable to see some of the spectacular local wildlife, such as dolphins, otters and bald eagles engaging in these same activities.

Jim Stubbs brings the art of and science of sailing together.

Jim Stubbs photographs taken on the Schooner Welcome. Courtesy new owners Jeremy & Marissa McArdlee.It’s hard to imagine a more exotic trade than the sail maker. He designs and builds a defining archetype, the very thing that gives the sailboat its name. The sailing vessel itself extends back in time through the millennia, carrying fishermen, cargo, explorers and settlers throughout the known and unknown parts of the world. And the vast majority of these ships depended upon their sails and the wind to get them to where they were going.

Whether it was a simple fishing boat sailing the ancient Nile, captain James Cook’s square riggers slowly wending their way through the islands of Polynesia, or a sleek, new America’s Cup yacht plying a race course, every sailing ship requires a designer to develop an effective sail plan and a craftsman to build an efficient sail. In the last century, the craft of sail-making has evolved into a thoroughly modern art and science. Nowadays sail makers tend to be few and far between, but it’s worth noting that Hilton Head Island has one to call its very own.

Fair weather and mild winters bring yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.

Fair weather and mild winters bring yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.It’s a rite of passage that occurs each spring and fall, those times of transition in weather highlighted by the slow, stately approach of yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.

“It’s a natural place to take a break,” said George Barr, captain of Camaraderie, a sleek 52-foot Tayana cutter-rigged ketch. “After sailing on the open ocean for eight or ten hours, you really want to get off the boat for a while and have dinner at a good restaurant.”

A few years ago, Barr retired as an IT specialist for a national electronics firm. Shortly after his last day at work, he and his wife Janet finally realized their dream of living and traveling aboard their sailboat, which they had painstakingly refitted. On their first extended passage, they set sail from their home port in North Carolina and headed south along the Eastern Seaboard for the Caribbean. Hurricane season had run its course, and it was finally safe to untie the dock lines.

Local fishing family shares its passion for water sports with the Lowcountry.

Charles and Sheri Getsinger, the owners and co-captains of the Hilton Head Boating Center.Charles Getsinger, a licensed charter boat captain and owner of the Hilton Head Boating Center, can’t remember the first fish he ever caught, or even the biggest. But that’s because as an avid fisherman and boater, he’s caught many big fish over the years, including sharks, blue marlin, cobia, and several other Lowcountry favorites.

“We’ve caught everything there is to catch around here at one time or another,” said Getsinger, who regularly fishes with his wife and business partner, Sheri Getsinger. They have been fishing in the Hilton Head Island and Beaufort area all their lives. Charles grew up in Ridgeland, was a charter captain off of Hilton Head Island for 12 years, and guided hundreds of novice and experienced fishermen on excursions around the area’s numerous waterways.