Bob goes to Charleston, South Carolina and fishes for the big bull red fish just outside of Shem’s Creek. Joining Bob will be long time guide Mark Brown.
This is an extended version of Bob’s trip to Santee with guide Stevie Pack from last year. Bob and Stevie hook several large striper and a fat catfish or two.
[Narrator] Coming up this week on Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine. Bob is striper and catfishing on Santee Cooper Lake system with guide Stevie Pack. Also on this week’s Sportsman’s Table we feature a duck breast recipe. Stay tuned for this and a whole lot more, and it begins right now.
This one right there! What I thought of this thing, he might have been a jake. Fish on!
[Man] Doubled up, doubled up, man!
There’s one right there, come on.
Hang on there.
There he is, right there.
Let me reel it.
Reel him out.
Let me get him outta there, Bo.
You got him?
Yeah, that’s him! That’s him! Look it there.
Well, folks, welcome to our show this week.
That’s a good start!
It’s our early mornin’. Stevie Pack from Pack’s Landing down in Santee. It has been a long time–
Oh, nice one.
Since we, oh yeah, look at that. Look at that, would you? Nice stripe. Now stripe are comin’ back.
Yep, they’ve spawned out.
[Stevie] Boy, they’re comin’ back down the river is what I’m saying, these have spawned out.
[Bob] I’ve referred to stripers are back in Santee!
[Bob] You guys have done a great job with the fishery down here. Look at that.
Look it here.
Man oh man! Stevie, wow!
That little hook’s harder to get out than them big ones.
[Bob] Yes sir. Do you need my pliers?
[Stevie] I got him.
You got him? Now man, look at that. Oh my goodness.
He’s probably 25 inches.
Look at that, wow, let me hold that thing.
Get him in there right there.
Got ya, all right.
And he’s gone. That’s it, let him go, man. That’s okay, he wants to go back out.
Let’s get rigged up and catch another one.
Here, man, here, wipe your hands. All right! Well, folks, listen, I tell you what. We have been on a lot of water. Haven’t been on Santee for probably 10 to 12 years, I guess, Stevie.
It’s time you come back.
Exactly, well, you know, and this guy right here, he has fished this his whole life since he’s been about, well, probably three or four. Started Pack’s Landing, his daddy did, back in the ’30s.
When the lake was– And your grandpa, yeah. I mean, man, and when they built this lake in 1942, the Packs were here. And I will tell ya, you have been fishin’ it ever since. And I don’t believe I have ever heard of a reputation of a guide than the Packs family. You guide, your brother guides. Tell me just a little bit about, while we’re waiting on another hit here, tell me just a little bit about the landing and what you guys service the fishermen down here who come far and wide to fish not only stripe, but blue catfish, largemouth bass?
Well, the story there, we got a nice little tackle shop there. We keep the basics, just what you need. We can’t keep all that tackle everybody needs in there. But we got all the basics. So when you come, if you need something, we got it.
And as far as guidin’, it’s pretty simple, just call us up and come on. The main spawning run up here is March, April, May, June.
So they’ll go up the rivers, 50 miles on up, either Camden or Columbia and they’ll spawn, then they’ll come back down. March you’re gonna catch a nicer fish. They got the big old bellies. That fish will probably weigh three more pounds in March.
Yeah, exactly, yeah.
Fat, probably been a bigger tug too. But it’s slow. If you catch three, four fish up here, most fishermen are happy.
[Bob] Oh sure, yeah.
And then you can mix catfish in with it. And of course we got shellcrackers, brown, and the bass have been off the charts here. But I’m just mainly striper and catfish.
I will tell ya, folks, listen, go to Bob’s Top 16 on our website, bobredfern.com. You will find this guy and his brother and all of the crew down at Pack’s landing at Santee, Pinewood, South Carolina. Okay, let’s do this.
Let’s see if we can catch another one.
A little less talk and a little more walk. Oh, look at that!
Watch that draw right there.
[Bob] All right, got ya, hang on.
That’s a good one right there, buddy.
He’s tangled up here.
Uh oh, okay, hang on now.
Might get the rods up in the a minute.
It’s gonna be a keeper here.
Well, it’ll being that keeper size range.
What do we got?
Oh thanks. Got it?
Hurry up, he’s gonna come off. He’s goin’ upriver.
You’re gettin’ all excited this morning.
If this don’t get you excited–
Get on it, brother, get on it!
If this don’t get you excited… Look at that one right there, bud. Look at that jump.
Ooh, wow! Wow!
Look at him. They’re pretty.
[Bob] Stevie, that thing is awesome! Yeah!
That’s a hammer.
[Stevie] You gonna lip him?
[Bob] I’ll lip him!
[Stevie] I can do it all!
I know you can! You’re just like Paul. Hang on, I gotta get my glasses off here, I’m gettin’ old. Come here, fish! Come here, man, come here. Hooked just the way he’s supposed to with that Fusion circle hook. All right, come here, come here. Ah, don’t do that. Nah, don’t do that, don’t do that! Nah! Don’t do that! Huh!
Too bad we’re not in a tournament. Just playin’!
Well I’m trying to take it easy! We’re gonna catch and release.
He wasn’t coming off anyway.
Hang on, get that thing off my–
Oh did they hook you too?
Oh you did, you’re gettin’ all excited. Look at that, he’s gone. Man, you did good.
All right, let’s get another one.
[Narrator] Stay tuned! When we come back we’ll have more fishing from Santee Cooper. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine brought to you today by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Life’s just better outdoors. By Berkley: catch more fish with Berkley fishing products. By Ranger Boats: still building legends one at a time. By Browning Ammunition. Browning: the best there is. And by Southern Woods plantation: a place where the grandeur of times past can still be experienced today.
Fish on, Steve!
You got him!?
Fish on, brother!
You got him?
Let’s get him!
I got him, I got him! All right, Stevie, now look, tell me–
Look here, I’m getting ready to catch one, I got one too!
You got one, get it!
I’m comin’ behind you! I got one on too! Clear the room, give me some room.
[Bob] Oh I got you now, I got you.
I think mine’s bigger.
Oh I gotta go under you.
[Bob] All right, go ahead, let’s dance.
[Stevie] Did the dance. Look it there.
[Bob] Let’s dance.
Oh they’re gonna try to cross all these lines up.
Goodness! And you know what’s so unique about this spot is this is just a little cut right here off the main river. Look at that, oh my goodness.
That one’s spawned out.
I’m just playing.
He went and did his job.
[Bob] I’m just playing mine.
I had to clear him before he tangled everything up.
Look at this, look at this, wow! Folks, we have literally been here 15 minutes and just got these four rods in the water, and they are just absolutely tearin’ it up. Okay, we’re fishin’ bait this morning. Blueback herring or shad?
Threadfin shad this morning.
The saltwater herring are gone.
That spawned out in March and took off.
Come here, come here.
While you’re doin’ that I’m gonna get a bait out.
Yeah, do that, Bo. Look at that. And folks I wanna show ya right here with this Berkley Fusion circle hook. It goes right in the upper lip and you can get ’em right outta there very, very easily. Doesn’t hurt the fish. At all. And I’m just gonna grab it just for the sake of… I don’t wanna hurt him. Come on, get outta there now. You are hooked very good. But… Okay. There we go. Stevie, I’m tellin’ ya. Man, you’re all business.
That’s a beautiful morning!
It is, look at that, catch and release. Mm, man. Santee stripers, wow! Now tell me a little bit. I know that Santee stripers have been, there’s a major effort by DNR and all the guys who fish here, like you, that have been behind restorin’ this fishery, okay?
It’s a tough job. It’s a little to deep to get into, but they’re tryin’, we’re tryin’, everybody’s tryin’.
Well I mean I think it’s good for the area but the stripers went away a little bit. Of course they’ve changed the limits and they’ve done all that they can do, so.
Yeah, there were other things too, like the Rediversion Canal, rerouting the water. There’s a lot of stuff that went into it, okay? These fish used to come through the lock doors, they were saltwater fish. All of ’em. We’re stockin’ a lot of fish now.
So it’s gettin’ a little bit like some of the other lakes, a put and take lake. But you see they’re doin’ well.
They are doin’ well.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about, yeah, man.
We’re getting some bigger fish coming through the lock doors too, so I’m saying, with that combination it could be back. ‘Cause Santee, you know, was one of the first lakes that saltwater fish would come into and they actually stopped the fish behind the dam and stocked all these lakes in the United States with fish from right here in Santee. Santee started it all. If you read the history on it, it’s there.
Well, and the history of the Packs family, you guys have been here since the beginning! That’s what’s so unique.
[Stevie] That’s why I can’t quit.
Gotta do the old drill.
[Bob] Yeah, man. Don’t do that!
Come back around here. Ah, he’s comin’ back this side.
[Bob] Yeah, I’m clear. I can get the others outta the way.
I think we’re good.
[Bob] You good? Make sure that thing is still alive.
Come here, baby!
[Bob] You got him? All right, man.
[Stevie] This is gonna be a nice one too.
[Bob] Yeah he’s a nice one. I can get that one outta the water if you want.
You might as well.
[Bob] Okay, hang on.
[Stevie] Well, if you go under me I’ll be good.
All right, yeah.
You might catch one while you’re holding onto that one.
I got you.
That’s gonna be a chunker.
Another double! Get another double.
It looks like a chunker.
Wow! I’ll tell you what–
I’ve seen babies roll better.
[Stevie] Oh yeah.
[Bob] That’s a good quality fish right there, wow!
[Stevie] That’s an old chunk!
[Bob] Yeah it is, oh, I’m tellin’ ya. Uh uh uh! Wow!
[Stevie] Come here, baby. Easy. I got ya. Yes sir! Oh, he gone!
[Bob] You did good, all right. Here, let me get ya some more bait here, brother.
[Stevie] That sucker was strong.
Yeah he was!
That was at least, a what, 20…
He was probably 25, 26.
26, yeah. You cannot argue with that in the least. All right. Get a fresh bait, put it on this one. Lift up. Hey, they’re goin’ in spurts here.
[Narrator] When we come back, we head to The Sportsman’s Table for a South Carolina-certified duck recipe. The Sportsman’s Table is brought to you by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Whether you live in South Carolina or out of state, be sure to buy South Carolina-grown meats, vegetables, and fruits. Make sure your food is South Carolina-certified. It’s a matter of taste.
Welcome to Chive Blossom Cafe. This week on The Sportsman’s Table, my guest chef today is Elvis Johnny. He is the chef at Bistro 217 in Pawley’s Island, and he’s got a great duck recipe that I know you guys are gonna wanna, well, they’re gonna wanna cook this at home, aren’t they, Elvis?
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Yeah, okay! I can’t wait, let’s get started.
All right, so we’re using a different technique today. We’re gonna do a duck Seville.
So this is a piece of duck breast that we have seasoned, vacuum-packed. Over here we have this tool is called the Joule. A Seville machine. It’s very popular, people are buying those at home and using more and more. So hopefully this is a recipe they can play with at the house. So they take a vacuumed meat or the fish and then heat it up in the water.
Absolutely, so this is at 133 degrees. We’re gonna cook it for about an hour. Of course I have precooked this for us. So we’ll put that in there, it will cook for about an hour, it will be perfect medium rare. So afterwards we’re gonna take it out and then sear it in a pan over here so that we can get the nice colors on there.
We definitely need that.
Okay. Today we’re gonna serve some sweet potatoes, some baby bok choy, and a nice Asian sauce. I’ve had to use a little bit of ginger and soy sauce.
Oh, this is awesome.
Let’s get started. So we open the bag. Over here.
And that thing’s already been cooked.
Oh yes, this is perfectly cooked. Put it in the skillet. We’ll add a little bit of butter there. Not too much, just a little bit.
[Bob] You know things taste so good in a cast iron skillet.
[Bob] And I could tell that thing’s only been wiped out too, so all the flavors are in there!
Absolutely. Okay, so over here have some sweet potatoes. Very traditional from South Carolina. Little bit of sugar, butter, cook ’em in the oven for about an hour or so, they’re perfectly tender. We’re gonna put those in there too because we only– Whoop, there we go. We wanna take out the flavors from the duck.
[Elvis] Absolutely. It doesn’t happen all the time like that, but this time.
[Bob] Ah, there you go. And if you want a copy of Elvis’ recipe, folks, just log onto bobredfern.com.
[Elvis] Absolutely, okay, here we have some nice bok choy. That has been blanched. We’re just gonna sear it a little bit here. We’ll start with the sweet potatoes. Lay ’em on the plate.
[Bob] Oh wow. You know, and sweet potatoes are, really they’re good with anything.
Absolutely, I mean I never ate sweet potatoes before I came to South Carolina and let me tell you, they’re one of my favorite foods ever.
I love sweet potatoes.
Well that’s a story in itself! And as we always say, folks, here at The Sportsman’s Table, Elvis is in the building, huh? There you go. Woohoo!
All right, here we go. I love the contrast of colors there, you know?
[Bob] Oh yeah.
And okay, the piece de resistance. Here we go. Nice duck. You can cut it in different ways, I like to do it this way.
You know, duck breast is just, well it’s a great dish. And a lot of folks really don’t like it because they think it’s too gamey, but the way you’ve cooked it, it takes all that out.
Yes, absolutely, and I tell you what, this duck from South Carolina farms that we have in here, actually Charleston area, which is very, very close to us here, it’s tremendous, it’s awesome. And I don’t think it’s very gamey either, you know?
[Elvis] Here we go, a little bit of sauce. Okay, all we have in here is soy, ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar, with a little teeny bit of sugar. It’s great addition to this dish.
[Bob] Oh my goodness, wow. I tell you, you guys never cease to amaze me.
[Elvis] This is good stuff.
[Bob] That is good stuff.
[Elvis] All right, we have some black garlic here.
[Bob] Ah, the secret.
Absolutely. This will balance it a little bit. And you know, a little story in Japan, they use this for memory. People that have problems with their memory, they eat black garlic, helps them with it.
So I need to take some of that home.
That’s why I bought it. Because I needed it. Here we go, and ready to eat.
There you go, wow. That is a beautiful dish. I know it tastes as good as it looks. Elvis, I’m glad you came in the building.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, man, and listen, I tell you what, folks. If you’d like more great recipes, you can stop on it at Bistro 217 on Pawley’s Island. Stop in by the Chive Blossom Cafe, have some great South Carolina food, and logon to certifiedscgrown.com and you can see for yourself what’s fresh on the menu.
[Narrator] To find out more information on food that’s fresher and tastier, go online at certifiedscgrown.com. Buy certified South Carolina-grown products. It’s a matter of taste. Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine is brought to you today by Chevrolet: the official vehicle of Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine. By the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Buy South Carlina: it’s a matter of taste. By Pennington Seed: the leader in outdoor forage products. By Browning. Browning: the best there is. And by South Carolina Embroidery and Screen Printing. And by Back Woods Quail Club: offering Southern-style hunting, and an array of exciting and challenging clay target shooting sports.
Get him, Bob!
Fish on, Stevie! Fish on, Stevie!
Let’s finish up!
All right, man!
Let’s finish this deal!
Yeehaw! Oh, man! Oh my goodness.
I think it’s gonna be another cat.
I think it is. He’s kinda swirlin’ and twirlin’. Kitty cat, you hear him purrin’ coming to the top. That’s okay though, I’m tellin’ ya. Santee’s known, folks, for its blues and we’ve caught some very nice striper today, nice blue cats. And my guide and go-to guy, oh yeah! Man, that’s a filet or two right there, look at that. Man, listen, you clean him up, fry him there at the grill at Pack’s Landing.
[Stevie] We’re gettin’ ready to do that.
Ooh, wow! And them blues have been known to be caught outta here what, 75, 80, 90 pounds?
I think the record’s 110.
We got a ways to go to get that.
Goodness! Yeah but that one right there’s a good eatin’ fish right there. You know what I like to hear about this? I just like to hear you grunt.
It might be old flathead.
I just like to hear you grunt.
Feels pretty good. Definitely bigger than that last one. Oh yeah.
Listen, I’m tellin’ ya, they’ve all been good today. All been good. You were able to get him?
I called it, flathead.
Let me just check, let me just check. Oh yeah! I think he might be the biggest kitty cat of the day.
Oh yeah. I know the folks ain’t seen him yet but that’s okay, they will in a second.
That is how well we can get him up here.
You gonna lip him?
[Bob] I’ll lift him.
[Stevie] I’m gonna put him right in your hand.
[Bob] Yeah, man, there he goes. Get him over here. Come here, kitty. Kitty kitty kitty kitty!
[Stevie] Told you it was a flathead down here.
[Bob] Yeah you did.
[Stevie] Grab in that bottom lip there.
[Bob] Yeah, man.
[Stevie] Get him in the bottom lip, he won’t get ya. Right there.
They pretty, ain’t they?
[Bob] Yeah, they are, mmhmm.
[Stevie] They got the coolest color to ’em.
Man, I’ll tell ya. Man, he is a fat too.
How about it!?
Bo, I’m tellin’ ya, huh! You did good!
Well folks, that’s Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine from Santee down here in beautiful Pinewood, South Carolina, Pack’s Landing, and one of the guys that owns this place, Stevie Packs, his brother Andy, they run this beautiful facility down here. If you haven’t come down to fish, you need to log onto bobredfern.com, go to Bob’s Top 16, logon and fish with this guy right here. ‘Cause I’m telling you, you will not be disappointed. If you haven’t been to Santee lately, it’s back, okay? Blues, stripers, bass, and we’re gonna do some more down here and I gotta thank you again, okay?
And it’s just been a wonderful day. I know you’re gonna get back out on the water here soon, but you know, if folks do wanna come down here, what’s the best time? And let’s take just a couple seconds here. What is the best time to come down here for stripers?
For the stripers it’s generally March 1st through June 1st up here at Santee, on the upper end, as far as we can get up the river here.
[Bob] I got you.
We’re the last marina on the Santee system. And they’re goin’ up to spawn in March and then they’re comin’ back down and then they’ll move onto the lower lakes in March through June. Of course the shellcrackers, they’re bitin’ now. The bass has been phenomenal, largemouth, these tournament weigh-ins, it’s unbelievable. The catfish is awesome, always year-round. We catch catfish year-round, so. And it’s good.
Well folks, listen, I’ll tell you what. Again, as we always like to say each and every week, the outdoors my passion, I want it to be yours too. And I know you want it to be theirs.
Stevie, thank you so much. Folks, we’ll see you right back here again next week.
On another episode.
Why Clarks Hill? Clarks Hill Lake (J. Strom Thurmond Lake) is the largest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project east of the Mississippi River and one of the largest inland bodies of water in the South. The best part, it’s full of striper thanks to the Georgia and South Carolina Department of Natural Resource Departments, they’ve released over 750,000 stripers!
Here are a few fun facts about Clarks Hill Lake:
* 71,000 acres of water
* 1,200 miles of shoreline
* Created from Savannah River and Little River
* Authorized by Congress in what year: 1944
* Construction began: 1946
* Date opened: 1954
* Six million visitors per year
* 55 parks and recreation areas
* 17 campgrounds with campsites
* Six marinas with gas docks, pump-out stations, boat slips, restaurants, boat storage camping, lodging, picnic areas, trails, ships store
* Major lake attractions: Bobby Brown State Park, Elijah Clark State
* Park and Mistletoe State Park
Thinking about taking a trip to Clarks Hill this year or next spring? We highly recommend it.