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Hunting Island is a 5,000-acre secluded semitropical barrier island located off the coast of South Carolina. Since 1935, it has been classified as a state park. The cool part of that is if your camping at night your the only ones allowed in the park till the gates open the next day. The beach is on every list of the top beaches. Behind the beach is a beautifull maritime forrest and then a huge saltwater marsh filled with blue crabs and millions and millions od fiddler crabs that move away in waves from you at low tide. The fishing is just okay this time of year. I caught mostly small sharks and rays. There were a few guys catching flounder in the surf. The secong day I had a run on a finger mullet and set the hook and the surf rod bent to the breaking point as line went screaming out. Finally after a battle that had my arms and back feeling it I landed a ray that was an inch or two wider than my three foot tape measure. I felt a bit like Jeremy Wade on river monsters. But then came the scarey part unhooking the thing. Even the small rays sport a pretty serious looking barb on their tails and are a bit of a project to unhook safely. I finally stood on the tail and grabbed the steel leader and miracle of miracles the hook popped out. I was pretty happy. I'm pretty sure I looked pretty awkward wrestling it back into the water. Both me and the ray were pretty tired as it just rested in the waters edge for a while before finally swimming off. A day or so later I saw another guy land one almost as big. He caught his at midday and drew quite a crowd, I was glad no one was around for mine. Blue crab were everywhere and one day I caught a big stone crab in the crab trap too. The best campsites are right on the beach but those you have to reserve way in advance. I think we reserved ours six months ago. You could grab a bucket and fill it with seawater and boil your crabs as pelicans and seabirds flew overhead and the sound of the surf filled your ears. I especially loved walking and fishing the beach at night with miles and miles of beach all to yourself. Lots of wildlife, sea birds, aligators and crabs in the marsh, and all kinds of wierd sea creatures to look at at low tide make the place a paradise in my book. I highly highly recommend the place. This is our second year of going and its on the way to becoming a family tradition. Even the two grandaughters didn't want to leave.















 

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osprey



gator in the marsh



Big Creek in the smokies where we camped out on the way to the sea. A place Ive been alot. Great trout fishing and very secluded.

 

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The start of supper



Even the little guys have a serious barb on that tail



My river monster from the inland waterway between Harbor Island and Hunting Island.





 

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Annyong!
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That looks and sounds pretty sweet OSG. I am going to have to check that place out.

Those two "rays" look different, any idea what kind they are?

That would be my only reservation about ocean fishing; not knowing how to handle some of the creatures you may catch.

Great post and photos.
 

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Looks like a really nice trip! I wish I could hit the coast this year. Alas, I will be landlocked

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. -Abraham Lincoln
 

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Those two "rays" look different, any idea what kind they are?
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The bigger ray is a cownose ray they can get 84 inches across and have a spine that varies from an inch or two to seven or eight inches. The spine on this one was four or five inches long pretty scary though at least its located close to the base of the tail. The spine has little saw teeth and produces some kind of mucosy toxin to make sure your really messed up if it jabs you. The little one is an Atlantic Stingray, they dont get nearly as big but have wicked spines a quarter the width of the rays disc long.
 

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HouseTackle
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Stinky lives!!!!
We feared that the shark tornado had gotten ya :(

Nice catches. I'm always amazed how the big skates and rays fight like sharks. What did you use to catch bait down there?
 

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Stinky lives!!!!
We feared that the shark tornado had gotten ya :(

Nice catches. I'm always amazed how the big skates and rays fight like sharks. What did you use to catch bait down there?
It seems like sharknado was the biggest thing we missed in the last ten days. I think I've heard it mentioned four times in the day and a half we've been back. Ill have to set the DVR for this modern classic.

There was this lady that had a lil roadside stand on Harbor Island that sold bait. Fresh and frozen. I was going to cast net some but she wore a bikini top and daisy dukes every day so I just went there. I think when I open the strip bar,bait shop and paylake someday Ill have Bait Girls walking around selling bait...
 

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Great pictures and story, as usual. We made a day trip to Hunting Island in March while we were down at Hilton Head and that was one of my favorite parts of the entire week. It felt like we had a tropical island all to ourselves. Thanks for sharing - makes me want to go back.
 

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Nice vacation!! That cownose ray is pretty funky looking. Great photos!!
 
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