The Hable family joined me again this year for a morning of family fishing. As the tide fell, we worked grassy banks with mud minnows under popping corks and quickly found consistent action. A mixture of trout and acrobatic ladyfish kept the the corks dropping. Somewhat torn, we left the bite to go in search of redfish under docks. The gamble paid off when Eric muscled a big red into the boat to end the charter!
Every year Ray and Marv drive up from Florida for three days of fishing. Despite all the options available, they want one thing: big redfish under docks. So bring out the shark rods, 60lb. test and chunks of blue crab and away we go! Had our best year yet with hot action every day. Rods would snap over and Ray and Marv would have those few pivotal seconds to get that fish out from under a dock before it wrapped around a piling. Good times. Lots of redfish ten pounds or more. Can’t wait until next year.
Last year Brittnee swore she would return for sharks on their next charter and she was true to her word! Had an action packed day with sharks keeping our rods doubled over. Had hoped to net some menhaden but there were none to be found. No worries though as the Sharpnose ate cut bluefish and ladyfish while Bonnetheads smoked blue crab. Brittnee pledged to return next year for even bigger sharks….I believe her.
Left early to fish a nice rising tide. Popping corks and mud minnows were the order of the day. A healthy breeze kept these corks cruising down the banks and hungry fish kept them dropping. Trout and ladyfish both ate steadily with the ladyfish producing some fantastic runs. Barry cast his cork way up onto some shell rake and I thought for sure he would be stuck. Instead, his rod kicked over and it was quickly apparent it was a big red! Several minutes later we boated a fat eleven pound redfish, the catch of the day.
After a few cold and slow months, our fishery has turned the corner and the bite is back. The water is full of bait and the fish are on the attack. Whether you are casting lures and popping corks or just fishing bait on the bottom, you are sure to run into something!
When you see the flickers of baitfish on the surface, stop and grab your cast net. Menhaden can be found everywhere and redfish love them. Using a carolina rig, we’ve been fishing with both live and cut menhaden. Make sure to use a heavy enough weight to hold the bait stationary, otherwise your rig will tumble along the bottom until it snags. Try fishing docks and other structure immediately around where you netted your menhaden, you’ll be sure to find plenty of reds!
Trout seemed to have been affected the most by our cold Spring. They are now finally active again. Popping corks remain the most effective way to target them. Mud minnows and shrimp on a size 1 circle hook are the ticket. When little toothy fish make short work of your live bait, switch over to an artificial shrimp and keep on working. If you find one trout, there are sure to be more nearby.
Ladyfish are present and so much fun to catch. They are without a doubt my favorite summertime fish. These lively fish will make your drag zing. Their acrobatic jumps and hard runs make these fish very entertaining. You’ll often catch them in the same spots you target trout. Mud minnows and shrimp under popping corks are the way to go here.
Sharks have returned in droves and the bite has been very strong. Atlantic Sharpnose have been especially prolific and cut bluefish or whiting work well. Bonnetheads have started to come around and chunks of blue crab are the go to bait. Use carolina rigs combined with size 3/0 circle hooks. Put the rod in a holder and wait for it to snap over!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.