This morning’s charter had a tide that set up perfectly to fish the flats for the whole four hours. Combined with light winds it looked like it was shaping up for a great day. Sure enough the trip was fantastic! Using chunks of fresh cut mullet, we got redfish to smoke the bait sometimes as soon as it hit the water. Again and again, the rod tips snapped over as the circle hooks did their job. Darryl and his son, Mason, did an awesome job landing all those reds. It’s nice when it all goes to plan.
Eric was adamant about a full day charter and boy did we wear the fish out! Started with mud minnows under popping corks and with the help of his wife, Pam, dozens of redfish came into the boat. As we reached slack low tide, we went hunting bigger prey under docks. Found fish so big that even the shark rods with 60lb. test could not turn them. However, Pam did manage to get a nice eight pounder out from the pilings. After that, we jumped dozens of ladyfish while catching trout as well. A great day!
Rolled up onto the flat at first light and the schools weren’t hard to make out. Large halos of nervous water cruised up and down the bank sometimes punctuated by a noisy blowup of a redfish crushing shrimp. We posted up and waited for a school to come to us. Soon after, a large school swam in our direction and you could see the push of their backs in skinny water. Colin made a perfect cast putting a grey artificial fluke a few feet in front of the school. Almost immediately, there was a tremendous commotion and his drag screamed. Several minutes later he brought this 14 pounder alongside the boat. Wish all mornings started this way.
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!
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 email@example.com.