The Hilton Head Plantation Fishing Club held their first, informal meeting in May, 1987. A lot has happened since this small group of fishermen just wanted to do more fishing, tell some fish stories and socialize with other fishermen and in the process, become better fishermen.
The Club wanted to help conserve the surrounding marine environment for the future. The Property Owners Association [POA] contacted the Club and requested their help to improve the appearance and fishing conditions in the Plantation’s 40 lagoons. This partnership through the years has been very successful with enhancing the appearance of the lagoons and expanding all aspects of the fresh and salt water fishing experience.
When this project started, Club members were unfamiliar with the fragile aquatic ecology of “southern lagoons.” The Club contacted numerous consultants from the South Carolina Wildlife Department and the Waddell Maritime Cultural Center to achieve the Club’s goals.
One major issue with the lagoons was the unsightly accumulation of algae. The consultants recommended that sterile Carp be introduced to the lagoons. The sterile Carp have a voracious appetite for algae and consume more than their weight of vegetation each year; and have extended life spans of many years. This program proved to be immensely successful with keeping the algae under control.
As more POA lagoons were renovated, Club members physically transported bass and carp from several lagoons into Seabrook and Coopershawk, that had been designated as breeding lagoons.
In 1991, The Waddell Center supplied 1,000 Red Drum for planting in Bear Lake. These fish were tagged by Club members. This was part of an ongoing project with Waddell to study growth patterns of Red Drum. Fishermen are requested to return tags.
With the maturing of Hilton Head Plantation, the POA has taken over the maintenance of the lagoons as well as controlling the lagoon water levels.
The Fishing Club has created a map showing POA lagoons for fishing and access points.
2023 HHP Fishing Club Officers
President- Stan Colquitt- Webmaster- Direct activities of the club, meetings, and seminars
Vice President- Open
Treasurer- Margot Gilbert - Maintains club finances, issues checks, issues finance report to the Board.
Secretary- Richard Dugan - Issues annual calendar of club events, maintains members list.
Monte Bentz-Charter Fishing Organizer, Fishing tournaments, lagoon stocking, lagoon health.
Dave Morse- POA liaison, arrange dinner speakers.
Earle Nirmaier - Publicity/ Plantation Living News
Dennis Waronsky- Kids Kamp Organizer
Robert Zelewski - Sales and 50/50.
Ralph Eckles- Dinner coordinator: Notify and advise hosts.
Any member having suggestions or comments regarding Club activities, meetings or other issues, should communicate directly with the appropriate Board member by email. The Board will review all issues at the next board meeting.
Art Schultz: 1987-1989
Fred Redler: 1990-1991
Dick Austin: 1992-1993
Jim Freeman: 1994-1995
Jim Piety: 1996-1997
Earle Nirmair: 1998-1999
Charlie Cherriy: 2000-2001
Gary Turner: 2002-2003
David Morse: 2004-2016
Terry Howland: 2017-2018
Dennis Waronsky: 2018-2021