Three generations of the Smith family made a charter part of their holiday week. With temperatures in the 70s combined with sunshine and a light breeze, conditions could not have been more perfect. The fish cooperated too! We quickly put together the lowcountry slam of redfish, trout and flounder using artificials and mud minnows on jigheads. Caught fish at every stop and headed home to eat some more turkey.
Given the unprecedented amount of rains that flooded the lowcountry at the beginning of October, you might have thought fishing would have been off for quite some time. We were very pleasantly surprised that fishing had returned to its usual Fall self quickly. Anglers can expect an excellent November with hungry fish eating aggressively in advance of the Winter.
As water temperatures decline, redfish have begun their annual phenomenon of forming large schools. Schools of fifty redfish are common and the numbers will reach 100-150 in some cases in the depths of Winter. These fish do become a little more wary this time of year and artificial lures can spook them. Instead of chasing the schools, we have been setting out as many as three lines with chunks of blue crab on #3/0 circle hooks. The redfish will smell this bait in the water and usually in short order our rods are bending over with some ferocious hits.
The water is teeming with shrimp – trout simply cannot get enough of them. Lots of little smaller fish can’t get enough of shrimp either. When these bait stealers run rampant, I switch over to DOA 3″ artificial shrimp which I find most effective when fished underneath a popping cork. I like the glow/gold and nite glow colors which look like real shrimp in the water. When fishing a popping cork, it is important to make sure that you reel in any slack line on the water so you are ready when a fish hits.
With the most recent set of high tides two weeks ago, we probably witnessed the last true tailing tides of the year. Fly fishermen should turn their attention to chasing the large schools of redfish on the flats. Late morning or midday low tides will be key as the flats will warm up a few degrees and make for active fish. Darker flies are working best although don’t be afraid to throw some copper flies with lots of flash.
See you on the water!
Left at first light to try to get as much fishing done before the water spilled over the grass during a very high tide. We found a fantastic trout bite that stayed strong for almost four hours! Corks paired with mud minnows kept dropping everywhere we went. Plenty of keeper trout with some nice three pounders in the mix too. Great morning on the water!
Bob and Lisa were understandably concerned about the quality of fishing following the heavy rains. The great news was our fishery returned to its regular productive self very quickly. Over the course of two days we caught lots of trout mixed with some quality reds on popping corks. We also found some large reds on the flats that smoked our blue crab. Both days were sunny with light winds and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Get back out there and enjoy our fantastic Fall fishing!
As inshore fishing goes it’s hard to beat the month of October. Redfish and trout become the primary targets as the summer seasonal species have departed. The falling water temperature lets the fish know that they better eat up now before Winter arrives. What could be better than the combination of hungry fish and beautiful Fall days?
Redfish will begin to form schools that will grow larger throughout the month. Sight fishing has been quite a thrill as these redfish attack schools of shrimp and mullet. Artificials that look like baitfish have been very productive. We are throwing jerk shad artificial lures about 4″-5″ in length in hues of blue and grey. I rig these lures on size #3/0 flutter hooks that provide great action and as an added bonus land softly in the water.
Trout are responding well to artificial lures too. We’ll use lures in the same hues as for redfish but slightly smaller, 3”-4”, and often with a paddle tail. Instead of a flutter hook, try using a 1/8-1/4oz. jighead. It’s important to use a jighead heavy enough to get down in the water column and in front of fishes’ noses. The goal is to bounce the lure off the bottom and wait until you feel the resistance of a striking fish. If you catch one trout, there are likely many more in that area.
Large schools of redfish can be a fly fisherman’s dream. The water becomes clearer as all the algae leaves and sight fishing is superb. Again, we’ll try to imitate the bait fish that are in the water. Wobbler flies in black as well EP fiber mullet flies are go to patterns. Redfish at this time of year by nature are becoming spookier. Take your time approaching the schools and you will be well rewarded.
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.
We fit the whole rotation into today’s six hour charter! Slack high tide found us catching bull reds and sharks with live large menhaden while we also snared bluefish with gotcha plugs off the bow. As the water fell, we hooked up with trout and a rouge flounder using mud minnows under popping corks. To finish, we went onto the flats at low tide and landed slot reds using blue crab for bait. Fall is a great time to be on the water!
As part of their honeymoon, Danielle surprised Drew with a morning of inshore fishing. Winds had been heavy out of the North for several days and I was wary that the flats I had planned to target would be blown out. Fortunately, even with winds at 15+, the bite was still on! The fish were finicky and you could only get one out of each school before they got lockjaw. Nonetheless, we boated reds up to 30″ and several nine pounds and over. It turned out to be a great morning!
As a introduction to lowcountry fishing, David brought his friend Steve, a renown hand model, out on the water this morning. Fishing low tide on the flats worked well with blue crab and let Steve get those precious mitts around some nice redfish. Transitioned to popping corks and caught more reds and trout with mud minnows. A steady current and lots of bait kept the bite steady for rest of the charter.
Started at first light to try to catch the last bit of outgoing tide. We were hoping to fish the same smoking hot ladyfish bite we found yesterday. Unfortunately, there was no bait to be found along the grass edges and the ladyfish were absent. Moved into the inlet around slack low and spent the next three hours fighting sharks and cow nosed rays one after the other. Sharks were eating anything thrown at them but seemed to prefer cut bait fish. Great action for most of the morning!
Set out this morning trying to capture the small window when there would be enough water to get up on the flats but before the redfish could get into the grass. We got it just right! Pushed up to a set of shell rakes and immediately put a 31″ beauty in the boat. Landed five more fish over the next hour with the smallest at 5lbs. and the average around 8lbs. With the water up, we fished popping corks with mud minnows along the grass lines and had good success catching trout. It’s great when a plan works.