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Pineyside, one of the oldest paylakes in South Carolina and CarpPro’s home in paylake country recently received a $20,000 facelift thanks to new lake operators, Sharon and Gary “Gator” Ruble. Sharon and Gator have leased the lake from CarpPro co-owner Keith Cisney.
Gator and Sharon have poured money into the historic venue, refurbishing and painting the bait shack and grill, rebuilding the dams, and landscaping and grading the banks. The water level in the 3.88 acre lake was lowered to allow the work to go ahead and the fish stocks replenished to at least 40,000 pound of carp. Another forty pounder was introduced bringing the number of 40-plus carp to at least four.
“We know they’re in there,” says Keith. “The biggest was put in just a couple of years ago and it was 47 pounds. We know it’s not dead but nobody has ever caught any of the 40s in the lake. The biggest fish are the smartest!”
The forty-pounders may continue to outsmart the anglers but the renewed lake is already fishing well, with competitors catching fish averaging almost 20 pounds. Although Gator and Sharon are finding out how busy the life of a paylake operator is, with Gator running the lake and Sharon running the grill, they get a helping hand from daughter Jaden who says, “I’m the lake boss!”
Pineyside is one of the oldest paylakes in South Carolina, dating back to the 1950s when it was first built by Bill Jolly. Construction on the lake started in 1950 and finished in 1952. Although it started life as an irrigation pond for South Carolina’s peach orchards, by 1960 the lake had transformed into a carp paylake where anglers could pay from 25 cents up to $2 to fish all day. After Bill and his wife passed in the mid 1990s the lake was handed down to the Jolly’s daughter, Myra, and her husband Marshal Hawkins, who continued to operate the lake until August 2006 when Keith Cisney acquired it.
The traditions and history of paylakes stretch a long way back in Paylake country. Although Pineyside recently celebrated 50 years as a popular paylake, it was not the first in the Spartanburg area.
“There were three in this area way back in the 1940s,” Keith tells us, “One was where the airport now is and one was filled in for a housing development. The other one was drained for road construction.”
Pineyside is a 56-peg lake and during the busy spring and summer tournaments run 5 or 6 days a week. Although the lake is open year round, March 16 marks the beginning of the new season when it is warm enough to run night-time competitions. The evening tourneys run through the end of September or early October depending on the weather.
Although Keith has leased the lake out to other operators for the last 18 months, that doesn’t stop him from fishing Pineyside tournaments. using Hutchinson flavors,Keith regularly puts fish on the bank and jug money in his pocket. His favorite Hutchinson flavors include Total Maple, Chocolate Malt and Monster Crab, although he says you have to fish what the fish want. Some days they want Hutchinson’s Strawberry, Secret Agent, Scopex and Megaspice.
Rod Hutchison flavors are available at Pineyside and testing is already underway for a new CarpPro range that will be introduced later in the year. Rumor is it the new range is already a guaranteed hit!
252 Jolly Road
Inman, South Carolina
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