Month: February 2018

5th Annual Ashley River Cleanup

It’s time again for our annual Ashley River Cleanup.  This is an event I started a few years ago to address a problem that we observed while fishing the upper Ashley.  Quite simply, it was full of trash.  Literally everywhere.  Something had to be done, and the Summerville Saltwater Anglers (SSWA) fishing club was a great avenue to tackle the problem.

Our annual cleanup of the historic upper Ashley river is this Saturday, March 3rd. Over the past 4 years, SSWA along with many volunteers from other fishing clubs, tackle shops, etc have helped remove an estimated 20 TONS of trash from the upper Ashley!

The Ashley is the only local river with a large population at its head-waters, and, its a very long river, so a can that enters the river way up by 17A, for example, will not make it to the harbor by the time the tide turns, so trash remains in the river for the most part. I don’t believe this trash comes from boaters and fishermen. It comes from roadside ditches, especially near our tributaries. A hard rain washes it into the creeks and into the river, where it is hard to get to.

That’s why we need YOU, our boating community to help. The best, most efficient way to collect the trash is by using a boat to get up in the marsh at high tide. A net on the end of a long pole is a great tool to gather trash.

Several boats cleaning trash out of the marsh

Saturday is a high tide. +7 ft at Matceba at 11AM. Fishing will be tough. Might as well come up and spend a few hours giving back to the waterways that we all derive so much pleasure from!

A net attached to a long pole is a great tool for collecting floating trash

I’m excited that this year we have joined forces with Dorchester county and Charleston Waterkeeper to get many (maybe as many as 100) land-based volunteers to help remove trash from the areas where the trash would eventually end up in the river.

We can use all the help we can get, whether you want to bring your boat, join the land based crew, or volunteer with logistics.

Boat volunteers, please arrive no earlier than 9:30 AM. Land based volunteers should arrive at 8:00 AM. Our cleanup is based at Jessen Landing, which is behind the SCFCU bank at the corner of Ladson and Dorchester Rd. Overflow launching will be at Dorchester Boat Club nearby. If we need you to go there we will direct you there with a map.

The SCDNR and CCA “Half Shells” are used as trash barges

Hope you can join us, the weather looks to be perfect. Sunny and Mid 60s. Should be a great event.  See you there!

More info:

Facebook Page  Ashley River Cleanup

Website  Summerville Saltwater Anglers


CPR Initiative & Project ReSpeck

Eye Strike Fishing is very proud to announce our involvement in a new initiative that will positively impact our fisheries for years to come.  Joel LeVine of Redfin Charters spearheaded this effort in partnership with ourselves and Z-Man Fishing.  What it is, is a pathway to direct funds to conservation and sustainability projects through a non-profit, tax deductible organization.  This is the Community and Professional Response Initiative (CPR Initiative), which is a non-profit fund to collect donations toward certain projects.  This is in contrast to sending a donation to, say SCDNR or other government organizations, and having it go into a general fund.  In our case, your funds go directly to the cause we are focusing on.  

Why are we doing this?  Because we have heard from others, and thought ourselves, that we would be willing to pay extra to fund something such as, increasing the numbers of stocked fish in our waters – or wanting to do something to help our recovery from our historic freeze.  Now, we have a way to do so!

Project ReSpeck

Our first project is called Project ReSpeck.  It is aimed at helping our spotted seatrout recover as fast as possible.  In many discussions with the Waddell Mariculture Center and SCDNR it was determined that their most pressing need is to fund an additional spawning tank at SCDNR’s Fort Johnson Facility.  These tanks run $25,000 and are capable of spawning 600-700,000 eggs a season.  These eggs are then taken to Waddell to grow and eventually be released into our waters.  Eye Strike, Redfin, and Z-Man have seeded this fund with an initial 10% ($2,500) and will also be donating a portion of our sales to the fund.

How can you help?  You can donate directly to the cause by going to which will take you directly to the CPR Initiative’s fund page.  After you enter your information and send in a donation, you will receive a donor letter in the mail to be used for your tax deduction.  Please allow a couple weeks to receive it.   Let’s raise these funds and let DNR purchase a tank.  This will greatly increase their capacity for growing fish to stock.  It’s a great cause!  Thanks in advance!

An existing trout spawning tank at SCDNR. It contains local trout up to 13 lbs! It’s a real sight to see…

The Future

Once we have funded this project, we will direct the CPR Initiative to another cause, to be determined.  However, our mission states that the funds must be used to benefit the SC coastal estuaries, so it’s focused on what matters most to us.

Heating Back Up

We haven’t been on the water too much in early 2018, so not much to report from personal experience until now.  I have yet to catch a trout this year, but also haven’t been targeting them in their usual places – but others have been posting encouraging reports so hopefully our large numbers of trout before the freeze will help our recovery.  

Lower slot redfish on a 3/16 Eye Strike Weedless jig with a Pearl MinnowZ (aka Fladd-Shad)

This past weekend Ralph and I took separate trips and found a very strong redfish bite in the Cooper river.  Water temps are up to the low 50’s and the bite was super aggressive once you found the fish.  They are still in their cold water patterns, ie. packed together along deep water structure.  Once you find the fish, you hardly need to move.  

Ralph with a grown Redfish
Lots of big girls around!

I had a good day solo fishing on Saturday, with 15 redfish caught, tagged and released in a few hours.  Most encouraging to me was the size range – with several year-classes represented.  I had fish from 16″ to 31″ and all in-between.  I polled a few friends who had similar days and they also reported similar size ranges of fish.  That is a very good sign.   I wish I was fishing a tournament, as I had four fish between 22 and 23 inches (all released, maybe to recapture in a tourney?)

We were doing a little new product testing, which I will keep under wraps for now, but the new product passed with flying colors.  Really excited to announce the product when its ready!  

On the subject of new products we are working on… we have a lot of new stuff coming, and should be making prototypes and testing them in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

It’s almost spawning season for Riverene Striper and they are Fat-Fat-Fat

See you on the water –