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.
We left a little later than usual on Sunday morning to start with water at slack high tide. Sure enough the bonnetheads were thick and hungry for blue crab. Time and time again the rods would snap over with sharks feeding in 30ft. of water. Renee is pictured here holding one of the bigger sharks of the day. Kevin gave her a little help at the end to qualify for the assist!
Heavy winds pushed us into the creeks. Fortunately, the Alphin clan is always up for chasing “the strike” wherever it may be. Started pitching chunks of blue crab into deep holes around docks. Redfish hit so hard and heavy that light tackle gear was of no use. Switched over to shark rods and turned the drag down so tight we could barely pull line out with our hands. Everyone had a big redfish by the end of the day but Hunter set the bar with a 33″ beauty!
Could there be a better time of year to be fishing? Anglers have many different species to target and many different ways to fish for them! There’s just no way you won’t find something exciting to do on the water. As it becomes progressively hotter, anglers will increasingly want to fish early before the heat of the day arrives.
For redfish, we’ve been focused on docks where reds become concentrated as the water drains out around them. Using a carolina rig, we’ve been fishing with cracked blue crab, mullet and menhaden. Try using size 3/0 circle hooks and putting the rod down in the holder. When a redfish strikes, wait until the drag starts to scream and you will have a solid hookup for sure.
Not much has changed when focusing on trout. The popping cork remains the way to go. Fish these corks over shell rakes, in front of creek mouths and along grassy banks. Look for places trout can sit and ambush prey. Live shrimp and mud minnows are choice baits. With so many small bluefish and bait stealers in the water, we have been using almost exclusively minnows.
Sharks are pervasive in our waters and best of all eager eaters. The Bonnethead bite continues to become stronger. You can use the same carolina rigs mentioned above for these creatures. Cracked blue crab and shrimp are great for bait but if you can put out chunks of fresh cut ladyfish, you’ll really be in business. Look to fish drop-offs where there is a sharp change in water depth. Don’t forget this is a great way to introduce younger fishermen to the sport.
While fly fishing, we’ve been seeing excellent tailing action from redfish in the grass. This hasn’t been just an evening tailing tide phenomenon either. There have been plenty of sightings during morning high tides as well. Spoon flies with a good weed guard have been the way to go. There have been some real heart pounding moments watching redfish follow our fly and the ensuing explosive strikes!
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.