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Local fishing community suffers another loss

The late Capt. Harry Evans and his daughters Madi Luzzi of Spokane, Wash., (left) and Kate Evans of Murrells Inlet (right) at Marlin Quay Marina. Submitted photo
Outdoors
‘He was always willing to teach’: Fisherman who hosted TV show on Strand dies at 60

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

September 21, 2018 04:04 PM

Capt. Harry Evans, a true pioneer of saltwater fishing in the Myrtle Beach area, passed away on Sunday from an extended illness.

A native of Florence, Evans, 60, was a charter captain who specialized in mackerel and nearshore fishing, winning championships in numerous king mackerel tournaments, but he dabbled in all types of area fishing from the salt-marsh creeks to the blue water of the Gulf Stream.

In the early 1980s, when Gulf Stream Marina was a bustling fishing spot before Marlin Quay Marina was built on the same site, Evans began establishing his niche as an avid fisherman on the Murrells Inlet fishing scene.

But Evans really made a name for himself by hosting the first saltwater fishing television show to originate from the Grand Strand.

Beginning in 1998 after he retired from landscaping, Evans brought his easy-going, informative style of fishing for species such as red drum, spotted seatrout and king mackerel, among many others, to television markets in South Carolina and other states.

“One of the best things about Harry is he was always willing to teach,” said Chris Lawhon of Marlin Quay Marina, where Evans based his Southern Saltwater Charters business. “He taught so many people so much, there are so many people he touched in the fishing industry. He taught me a lot, especially about kingfishing. He just loved to fish.”

Capt. Perrin Wood was Evans’ partner in the Southern Saltwater Charters venture, and remembered his love of entertaining and teaching on his charter trips.

“Harry loved fishing as much as anyone here but he was really big on teaching and having kids and people on the water with him,” said Wood. “He was very detailed oriented with the charters. It’s all about the experience.”

Evans’ fiancé, Sara Ross, and daughters Kate Evans of Murrells Inlet and Madi Luzzi of Spokane Wash., are planning a celebration of life to be held at Marlin Quay Marina, with the date to be announced, and Evans’ family and friends plan to honor him in multiple ways.

“We’re going to put a plaque at the Marshwalk in his name and coordinate with (the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) to figure out what we can do going forward to design an artificial reef in his name, anywhere from 5 to 30 miles out,” said Wood. “Whatever it takes to keep the Harry Evans name going on.”

Wood will operate Southern Saltwater Charters in Evans’ absence.

“I will continue to operate out of Marlin Quay going forward,” said Wood. “His is a name that will go on and on forever.”

Evans’ family requests donations be made to Murrells Inlet 2020, 4124 Hwy. 17 Business, PO Box 1357, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 for a plaque in his remembrance or to Agape Hospice, 3938 Hwy. 17, Murrells Inlet, SC, 29576.
Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout

With no set time for lines in for the 4th annual Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout, Capt. Robby Remson and crew aboard Long Run/Carolina Hook and Line Company opted for a very early start for the 4th annual Southern Kingfish Association-sanctioned tournament on Sept. 8 out of Marlin Quay Marina in Murrells Inlet.

With designs on leaving well before daylight on tournament day, the crew caught bait the day before and left it in bait pens overnight. When they arrived at the dock at the Marshwalk in the pre-dawn hours, they discovered all their mullet had died, but they still had live menhaden and bluefish in the live well.

As they were preparing to leave the dock, crew member Caleb Hartley noticed a lone mullet hanging around in the lights around the dock.

“Caleb said, ‘I’m going to net this mullet’ “ recalled Remson.

And he did with a cast net, and added the 14-15 inch mullet to the live well.

With Remson’s partner, Greg Christopher, and his son, Stephen, also aboard, the four-man crew headed offshore, arriving at a spot south of Murrells Inlet in 65 feet of water near daybreak. They deployed menhaden and bluefish and began slow-trolling the baits from the 33-foot Onslow Bay powered by triple Mercury 350 Verados.

The dawn bite was strong and Remson said the crew “caught 3-4 kings right away, but nothing very big.”

“After we caught the first couple fish, Caleb put that mullet in the prop wash,” said Remson. “It was bigger than I like to fish with, but it wasn’t out there a minute and that’s the bait that fish wanted.”

The fish hit right at 8 a.m., and they knew they had a good one. A while later, Hartley was on the rod and worked the fish to the stern of the boat. Remson applied the gaff and Hartley grabbed the tail to help lift the large king into the boat.

The 37.7-pound smoker king wound up being the winner at the weigh-in, and Remson was glad Hartley insisted on catching, then using, the mullet for bait.

“Credit to Caleb for catching that one bait, and credit him for wanted to fish with it,” said Remson. “If it had been up to me I would have kept fishing with blues and menhaden.”

The crew weighed in the largest king, had the top three-fish aggregate at 75 pounds and won the tournament-within-a-tournament levels to earn $33,800. They plan to fish in the 2018 SKA Championship, which is scheduled to be held at Morehead City, N.C. Nov. 8-11.

Chris Lawhon of Marlin Quay Marina noted the field for the tournament was 80 boats, the largest of the three tournaments in SKA’s Division Four (South Carolina) this year.

For more results on the tournament and the SKA Championship, visit www.FishSKA.com
Hunting Closures

Due to the extreme high river level and widespread flooding following Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has declared a temporary closure for hunting within the Pee Dee and Waccamaw river drainage systems on all game species.

The flooding has created potential for exploitation of game species that are deprived of their normal escape routes and confined to small areas of high ground.

The closure went into effect on Wednesday and will continue 10 days until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. The closure is for all game species excluding alligator, dove, teal, Canada geese, hogs and coyotes.

S.C. DNR will continue to monitor flooded areas to adjust the closure zones and timeframes as conditions change. Any changes will be posted on the SCDNR website.

Visit www.dnr.sc.gov. for exact details of the closure.
SALTT Fundraiser

The inaugural Waccamaw River Youth Fishing tournament hosted by Jess White of Chasin Limits and the Pee Dee Bassmasters was held Sept. 8 out of Bucksport Marina.

Over $2,000 in prizes were awarded to the top three places in the middle school and high school divisions.

Tim Richardson and Gerald Kelly of Spring Hill won the High School Division with an aggregate of 9.87 pounds. Piercen Lynch and Nate Ansay of South Florence were second with 8.27 pounds followed by Jordan and Jacob Thompkins of Calvary Christian with 7.31 pounds.

In the Middle School Division, Tanner Schultz and Karson Grubbs of Airport won with an aggregate of 6.05 pounds followed by Mason and Will Hardee of Conway with 5.85 pounds.

The proceeds of the tournament benefitted the Student Angler League Tournament Trail (SALTT).

The SALTT officially begins with the first tournament on Oct. 20, after the opener was postponed by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 15. Other fall SALTT events are set for Oct. 20 and Dec. 1. All SALTT tournaments are held out of the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River in Georgetown.

For more information, visit www.SALTTFishing.com or contact Poston at 843-902-4274.

The late Capt. Harry Evans and Capt. Perrin Wood of Southern Saltwater Charters cruise just off the beach. Wood plans to take over the business out of Marlin Quay Marina in Evans absence. Submitted photo