Glorious Spring

In the South, more than just food is made in the kitchen. Family and friends come together, relationships are strengthened, longstanding traditions are passed down and new traditions begin.

As the warm spring breezes give way to the dawning of summer, families gather to celebrate their mothers, grandmothers and happily, in some cases their great grandmothers. This special day is always the second Sunday in May. It dates back to 1908 when Anna Jarvis created the day by holding a memorial for her mother at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Later in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mothers Day an official US holiday. The Church in Grafton holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

Fish Tales

Painting by William M. Rhett III.

Our South Carolina coast with its miles of rivers, creeks and estuaries is home to hundreds of species of fish, birds, and animals. The redfish are the rulers of these waters. During high tides, the Reds take shelter amongst the spartina grass, creating hiding places from predators such as eagles, ospreys and dolphins. As the tide begins to recede, the reds are forced out from their spartina shelter into open areas usually surrounded by mud bars and oyster mounds.

Shortly after the warming begins the larger bull reds start moving back into the estuaries from offshore waters. So spring is a great time of year to catch ‘em and cook ‘em up for supper!

Even if you don’t like to fish for your dinner, incredible sight fishing adventures await you, thanks to the extreme high tides which flood our marshes. Depending on the moon phase, full or new, the gravitational pull causes these flood tides. Each month we have six to eight such tides.

As the water starts to flood the marsh, the reds will move onto the spartina- covered flats to feed on fiddler crabs. As these fish feed on the crabs, they will appear to be standing on their heads. Depending on the depth of the water, the fish may be feeding in shallow-enough water to completely expose their backs and tails.

Just the sheer thought of casting a fly rod into a milling school of redfish is enough to raise the hair on the back of the neck of most anglers. The shallower the water, the more thrilling the fight.

Ever tasted a redfish? redfish or red drum have a mild, sweet flavor with a medium-firm texture, not a steak texture like swordfish and not as flaky as a flounder. §

Vincent Chaplin

Story by Andrew Branning (Publisher)

In Memory of a Hero (1969-2017)

Sometimes people come into our lives for only a season. Whether it is a professor, co-worker or an oysterman. God has a way of using these people to slap us in the face and allow us to realize the amazing world around us. That person came along with total surprise and opened my eyes to an amazing world of the “Whiteboot Brotherhood.” His name was Vince. Vince was a part of an exclusive brotherhood made up of hard- working fisherman who have a passion for the sea.

Hard work and love of the sea encapsulate this Whiteboot Hero. Having only the pleasure of knowing Vince for a few short years, he made a major impact in my life and work.

Vince was a gentle soul whom you could not help but love. Whether it was his inspiring work ethic on the oyster banks or his willingness to help others, he was just a good guy.

I would like to take a moment to share the first time I met Vince.

Back in 2014, I got a call from Craig Reaves (owner of Sea Eagle Market) telling me he is heading out to the oyster banks. He asked me to join him. Not knowing what to expect I said sure! We hop into his boat at the Broad River landing and off we go. Standing on the bow of the boat with my telephoto lens we approach the oyster banks. In the distance, I see a man covered in mud surrounded by oysters that had the appearance of flowers in the soft light of the evening. Bent over his basket, I simply watched Vince work with a tidal-like rhythm.

Eventually we pulled up closer and I introduced myself as he flung a 50 pound bag of oysters over his back. He simply said hello and looked at me with such joy as if he knew the secret to happiness. Indeed he did.

As I reflect on my adventures with Craig and Vince, I feel incredibly humbled that I was able to help the world see this amazing individual. Portraits of Vince now hang proudly in the finest homes in Palmetto Bluff, Sea Pines and beyond. And his image pulling up crab pots became the cover for our book on Southern blue crab.

I will continue to honor the life of Vince and the passion he gave me for the sea. There is much work to do as we preserve and protect the seafood culture of the South. Rest easy my friend, may God grant you a following sea into the gates of heaven.

The culture of the oysterman is being lost because the knowledge is not being passed down. Oyster harvesting is an art form that requires experience and skill to harvest efficiently. 

Soft Shell Crab

SERVES: 4

Inspired by Chef Robert Wysong of Colleton River Plantation


INGREDIENTS

4 soft shell blue crabs

all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

peanut oil

Seafood spice

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend all together

Remoulade Sauce

1 cup good mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

1/2 tablespoon capers, finely minced

1/2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, washed & minced

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco


  1. Prepare crabs and dust with seasoned flour.  Carefully fry in heated oil, 325° until golden brown.
  2. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Season liberally with seafood spice mixture.  Split in half and arrange with lemon slices and whole leaf parsley for garnish.  Serve with remoulade on the side.

Editor-in-Chief Patricia Branning

South Carolina’s Lowcountry is a place of endless stories that rise up when least expected.  Your response to the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Series on our Lifestyle Book Series was one of those incredible, unexpected and amazing surprises. The series represents my love for this region, its people and culture, and evokes a sense of history and timelessness rooted in love and memory.  So much more than a playground for tourists, ours is a place that echoes on in the hearts of all who have experienced it.

 SCG Magazine will reflect this distinctive voice and presence, capturing the power of place; the style, character and enchantment of our coastal South. Whether you were born and raised here, or came later in life as a stranger, SCG Magazine will capture your heart and imagination with a hold that can never be broken.

If you want to fall head over heels in love with the coastal South, boil some peanuts, pour a tall glass of sweet tea, pull up a front porch rocker, grab your copy of SCG Magazine and relax while South Carolina’s finest writers spin bushels of stories and delve deep into Lowcountry lore while we serve up stunning art and photography.

Our beloved sea islands always inspire with waters that sparkle and enchant, cozy harbors, dunned beaches, inland secluded ponds, stately antebellum homes and a sun that shines brightly and often.  For this is a region steeped in history and folklore with magical powers that will keep you coming back for more.  But our seersucker suits, grits and gravy will not sustain the legacy of the South anymore than our beloved mint juleps.  To be relevant, we must contribute something of genuine importance to this nation.  May each issue with its collection of art, stories and photography give you a glimpse of life below the Mason Dixon line and help preserve this extraordinary region for the generations who come after us.

We acknowledge the full range of writers and people who contribute to the cultural collective that we seek to celebrate and explore.  We look not solely through the lens of elitism and wealth, but through the eyes of spirited lesser heralded men and women who fight battles every day to bring us the lifestyle we know and enjoy.

My heartfelt appreciation goes to the artists, writers and photographers, who warm the pages of this magazine with their masterful work and for all who share their love and cherished experiences and memories.When the romantic bubble bursts, I believe the real South will be left standing tall in the pages of great regional magazines like, SCG Magazine.