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All of you folks got to experience a once in a lifetime occurrence; at total eclipse in South Carolina! I made the trip to Santee Cooper so that my family and I could be in the dead center of totality, and it was worth the effort!

This is a copy of my blog from www.dietermelhornfishing.com

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! That is the best way I can sum up my day on Santee Cooper catfishing with my family and watching the 2017 eclipse.

When we realized the eclipse was going to be in our backyard so to speak, we plotted on the best place to view it and avoid any crowds. We noticed that around our house we were at 96-98% coverage and that would have been awesome, but we saw that "Catfish Capital of the World", Santee Cooper, was in the path of 100% coverage! That made the choice on where to watch the eclipse a lot easier for a catfish angler like myself.

The lakes of Santee Cooper were dead in the middle of the path of "totality", a term used to describe where the maximum amount of darkness would occur for the longest period of time. We decided a few weeks ago to make the 3 1/2 hour trip, spend the night, and be on the water during the eclipse. We were gambling on three big variables on Santee; wind, clouds and summer storms. Santee is known as a rough body of water when it is windy and many people have lost their lives there in stormy conditions. There is a 50% chance of a thunderstorm all summer on Santee, and of course clouds come with those storms.

I had spent the week doing some video production work at the NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. Sunday morning after the race I got up, made the three hour drive home, loaded up the boat, truck, kids and wife, and we made the 3 1/2 hour trek to Canal Lakes Fish Camp to stay the night. The accommodations were sparse like all fish camps are, but very clean and to the wife's liking! The boat was conveniently parked right outside the room and we were ready to hit the water on eclipse day 2017.

On the day of the eclipse we got LUCKY! We had storms in the distance, and you can see the lightning strikes in my videos and live feed from the eclipse. These storms actually made for an even more spectacular experience, though they were a bit unnerving. Luckily for us the lightning stayed to the east and southeast of the lake. The wind was never an issue, so we got lucky there. As for clouds, it could not have been a better arrangement. It was clear leading up to the eclipse, and during totality there was a thing veil of clouds that actually allowed you to look at the full eclipse without glasses and experience it in perfect relationship to the sky around. I have seen no picture anywhere that was able to capture what we saw. We were truly blessed with the way things worked out.

How was the fishing? In all honesty the bite was really good. I am not sure if the sun and moon played a part, or if it was my superior captaining skills (ROFLMAO!), but we managed eight catfish in short three hour trip, and that is pretty good just about anywhere you go!

Between being out on this massive body of water, the lightning and storms in the distance, and the time with the family on the boat, the experience of the 2017 eclipse was the highlight of my summer. I am so glad that I took the time to pack up the family and head down to Santee Cooper for this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch an eclipse in our backyard.





Dieter Melhorn







 

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We were also lucky enough to be on Lake Moultrie during the eclipse. IT was a once in a lifetime experience. The weather turned out to be great and it got much darker than I expected. There was lightening from the storms around Monks Corner and there was even stars visible for a short time. Not sure if it was the eclipse or just a change in water depths but we only had caught one fish until the eclipse started and then the bite was on. We caught 12 more within less than an hour and a half. All were caught drifting in 20 to 30 ft of water. We actually left the area just before the total eclipse due to lighting so not sure if the fish were just going to start jumping into the boat on their own or not. Santee storms still concern me and we were a long way from Canal Lakes. It was an awesome trip. We were blessed with fish and a once in a lifetime show by an awesome God.
 

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We were also lucky enough to be on Lake Moultrie during the eclipse. IT was a once in a lifetime experience. The weather turned out to be great and it got much darker than I expected. There was lightening from the storms around Monks Corner and there was even stars visible for a short time. Not sure if it was the eclipse or just a change in water depths but we only had caught one fish until the eclipse started and then the bite was on. We caught 12 more within less than an hour and a half. All were caught drifting in 20 to 30 ft of water. We actually left the area just before the total eclipse due to lighting so not sure if the fish were just going to start jumping into the boat on their own or not. Santee storms still concern me and we were a long way from Canal Lakes. It was an awesome trip. We were blessed with fish and a once in a lifetime show by an awesome God.
Our bite was the same, it turned on during the eclipse!

Were you at Canal Lakes?? We were too...#25!
 
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