Yearly Archives

2014

Edisto Flats Fishing

By Fishing, Uncategorized

Edisto Flats Fishing

David had booked a charter in December to see some of the huge schools of redfish building as Winter approached. The fish sure didn’t disappoint today! Spent most of the charter at one spot as pod after pod made its way down the bank and over our baits. Whether we had cracked blue crab or cut mullet on the bottom, the rods would snap over every few minutes. The action was so fierce that we even called the trip early and headed back to the landing with good memories and tired arms.

Charleston Fishing Report – December 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Charleston Fishing Report - December 2014

While traditionally this season conjures up thoughts of the holidays, don’t write off fishing until the Spring. One of our fisheries’ greatest phenomenon is taking place as the temperature drops. Redfish are building into huge schools sometimes numbering in the hundreds. Casting into a pod of redfish so big it looks like a dark cloud in the water will make any angler’s heart skip a beat.

These schools form as the redfish’s metabolism slows down with the dropping water temperature and they seek protection in numbers from the faster dolphins. The redfish will try to stay in as shallow water as possible and come up onto the flats at low tide in hopes of evading their predator. In addition, on sunny days, the mud flats will hold a few extra degrees of temperature which attracts these schools as well.

As you might expect, these fish are spooky and if chased will not eat. Once a school is located, it is often best to wait until the school eventually comes close to you. There is nothing more effective now than a chunk of cracked blue crab putting out a scent trail in the water. Rig these baits with a size 3/0 circle hook and it is imperative that the hook point come cleanly out of the bait. Put the rods in a holder and wait until the reel starts singing before you pick it up.

Bait isn’t the only way to catch these redfish. Fly fishermen have an advantage here as flies can land softly and quietly. Darker flies have been working the best with a size #2 black wiggler drawing some fantastic strikes. Should black not work don’t be afraid to rotate over to a size #2 white/chartreuse clouser minnow. As always, aim towards the edges of the school; a cast right over the middle will send the fish running for cover.

Sheepshead, also available, have begun their seasonal migration offshore although there will still be some stragglers around. You’ll want to target these fish around barnacle covered pilings or docks. Fiddler crabs and pieces of oyster have been working well. Suspend your bait vertically next to pieces of structure using a small sinker weight a short distance above your hook. The bite of these fish, sometimes referred to as “convict” fish because of their black stripes, can be difficult to detect. Given their fight and taste though, anglers find them well worth the challenge.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

Bull Redfish

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Bull Redfish

Bull Redfish

Left at the crack of dawn in hopes of getting as much fishing in before a very high tide carried everyone into the grass. Mud minnows under corks proved to be the ticket and we caught many nice trout. We also caught some pinfish and bluefish which would be invaluable later. Once slack tide approached, we took advantage of the light winds and headed out to the inlet. No one carried about cracked blue crab but when we cut the heads off the pinfish the rods started snapping over. Caught bull redfish up to 40 inches and headed home happy!

Charleston Fishing Report – October 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Fall fishing is supposed to be great and so far this year has lived up to expectations! An abundance of bait has made for happy and hungry fish. The bite should keep getting better as cooler temperatures will remind the redfish and trout that they better eat now before all the shrimp and mullet disappear. Get out on the water and take advantage of this prime time!

Redfish will begin to school and form large groups of fish making sight fishing on the flats very exciting. Artificial lures that mimic the baitfish these reds are chasing become quite effective. Lures colored silver and blue work well. My favorite combination is a 4-5” jerk shad artificial lure rigged on a size #3/0 flutter hook. These hooks not only provide great action but also land quietly too.

Artificials can also be used with confidence for trout. Try paddle tail plastic lures paired with a 1/4oz. jighead. I attach the jighead with a loop knot to give the lure even more action. Again, we’ve been using artificials with colors that resemble the baitfish in the water. To make your lure even more attractive, try putting a piece of shrimp on the hook. You can use pieces of live or frozen shrimp and it will put a scent trail on your lure that is hard to resist.

Even with artificials becoming more effective, keep tossing those popping corks! Mud minnows, live shrimp and artificial shrimp have been working well when suspended about 18″-24″ below the cork. Redfish and trout alike will eat these baits as they pass by suspended in the water column. Corks have been working best fished along grassy banks at mid and high tide.

Fly fishermen eagerly await the phenomenon of schooling redfish. On clear days, you can see these fish swimming in circles with their golden backs flashing in the sun. Flies in shades of red and copper with a bit of flash are an easy selection. Take your time when approaching the schools and when you make your first shot make sure to cast to the edges so as not to spook them.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Fly Fishing Montana

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Fly Fishing Montana

Spent the week fishing the Madison river in South West Montana. A sharp cold snap and heavy rains made for some challenging conditions but we still found hungry trout! Purple was the hot color and a purple parachute adams fly with a bead headed prince nymph dropper was the go to rig. Caught a blend of rainbow and brown trout mostly in the early afternoon once things warmed up. Already looking forward to the next trip!

Charleston Fishing Report – September 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Charleston Fishing Report - September 2014

The perfect storm that makes fishing so great in the fall is about to begin. The combination of lower water temperatures, tons of bait and fewer fishermen on the water makes for fantastic conditions. The fact that cooler days will make fishing much more pleasant doesn’t hurt either!

We often mention popping corks in our reports. Why? Because they work so well! Redfish, trout and flounder will all attack bait that’s suspended in the water column ready to be swallowed. I’ll attach a 18”-24” leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook. When fishing a popping cork, it’s very important to keep the slack out of your line so you can set the hook quickly when the cork drops. I keep my rod tip pointed at the cork and just reel when it drops. You’ll find your hookup rate improves when compared to keeping your rod tip high and trying to set the hook by jerking back on the rod.

It will soon be time to bid farewell to the summer seasonal species who will likely be gone by the end of the month. Meanwhile, sharks are still providing plenty of entertainment. When fishing in deeper waters, it is important to use enough weight to keep your bait pinned to the bottom. Baits that are surfing in the current usually won’t get hit. Instead of using one large 4 or 6oz. weight, I’ll stack 1 or 2oz. weights on my line to get the desired effect. It makes casting easier and provides more flexibility.

One of the benefits of fishing for sharks these days is you’ll occasionally hook into the bull redfish that are beginning to appear. With the mullet run in full swing, these beasts will make their way inshore. Cracked blue crab and fresh cut mullet make great baits. You’ll find these fish on drop offs and ledges in the harbor and inlets. Fishing can be slower than with corks but with redfish measuring into the upper 30” class its well worth your time.

Tailing redfish are associated mostly with summer months but the action certainly continues for the month of September. Little can make a fly fisherman happier than seeing redfish tails flapping away as they root around for food. Spoon flies have been particularly effective and we’ve been using Dupre’s spoon fly quite often. When casting to redfish, remember to lead the fish by several feet, hitting them square on the head will cause them to spook and race away.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Folly Beach Sharks

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Folly Beach Sharks

After catching 20 or so small redfish, Debby said she was ready for something bigger. Off to the Stono Inlet we went. Put two rods out the back with cracked blue crab and got hit very quickly. Fighting to take in line in heavy current, Debby got her big fish fix when she boated this nice bonnethead shark! Caught several more and even had a double before it was time to head home.

Charleston Fishing Report – August 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Charleston is a great place to be fishing! No matter what type of fish you want to catch, they are all active and biting. Fishing for redfish and trout remains strong even with increasingly warmer water temperatures. Seasonal species like spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish and shark are also still available.

We’ve been targeting redfish with artificial lures especially around low tide. The longer jerk shad lures that worked so well in the Spring are still productive. However, we have had better luck throwing smaller artificials like Zman’s 3 ¾” Streakz in smokey shad. With both, we have been using flutter hooks to put more action on the lure. Remember to vary your rate of retrieve until you find what works best.

Popping corks and trout remain perfect together. Local shrimp are still relatively small so we have been sticking with mud minnows paired with size 1 circle hooks. Popping corks can be hard to recover once wrapped around a dock piling or hung up on a shell rake. I’ll attach 20 pound test line to the top of my corks and attach the bottom of my corks to the circle hook with 15 pound test line. If all goes well when you pull hard, the line will snap at the hook and you will get your cork back.

For a species that fishes well irrespective of the temperature, sharks fit the bill. Even in the middle of the afternoon, they will be cruising and eagerly eating. With so many bait stealers around, we have at times been fishing an entire live blue crab on a 7/0 circle hook. You’ll find that sharks will drop such a large bait more frequently than smaller baits, but the sharks that hang on are the big ones!

Fly fishing has been quite good. The best patterns now seem to be shrimp imitations with or without epoxy. Especially at low tide, you’ll be able to see redfish streaking down the banks with their backs out of water as they try to corral live shrimp. Cast your fly in front of a charging redfish and hold on! The shrimp patterns work very well even when you can’t see redfish working the banks.

See you on the water!

 

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Fly Fishing New Mexico & Colorado

By Fishing, Uncategorized

Charleston Fly Fishing

Spending the better part of a week in New Mexico and Colorado chasing rainbow and brown trout on the flyrod. Great conditions with clear water and lots of activity. Trout are eating the usual suspects like prince nymphs, royal wulffs and grasshopper patterns. The nights are cool down into the 50s and a welcome respite from the Charleston heat. Don’t want to come home.