Local fisherman reflects on the launch and potential impact of the SC Boating and Fishing Alliance

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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Truman Lyon has been fishing for decades, but said there have definitely been some changes over the years.

He said the water has gotten generally warmer, which leads to the fish being less susceptible to finding its way to a fisher’s hook.

Lyon is now the owner of Santee Cooper Charters, a fishing charter service in Pinopolis, SC.

Now, there seems to be more changes coming along the horizon for Truman and his fellow fisherman across the state.

Governor Henry McMaster announced the launch of the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance, a group that will serve as an advocate for the industry.

Prior to the creation of the alliance, officials said, the boating and fishing industry was, arguably, the most unrepresented group in the entire state.

Upon hearing about the launch of the group, Truman said he appreciates state officials for taking the time to help fishermen especially after his dock comes off of a slow year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The virus has hurt so much. people just don’t call. They’re just not calling. I’ve got the book full of booking, as you can see, and this spring and summer has just been terrible,” he said.

He went on to say, in 2020, Santee Cooper Charters only generated close to half the business compared to past years.

He’s tried to constantly advertise and has reached out to local officials to see what can help generate some added business, but, as of right now, he said “he’s not sure what else he can do.”

Truman said there are some other issues in his area that he hopes can be addressed by a group, like the alliance, some time, in the future.

“We haven’t had any bait facility on this end of the lake at all. Whenever I need the bait, I usually drive up to cross or go by boat and on a windy morning, to leave my dock and go all the way across the lake to buy bait and get back in the lake to fish…it’s just tough,” he added about other issues concerning his area.

Truman remains hopeful that his business will return to normal as the year continues.

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