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Yearly Archives

2015

Thanksgiving Fishing

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Thanksgiving Fishing

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.

Charleston Fishing Report – November 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

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!

Charleston Trout Fishing

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Charleston Trout Fishing

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!

Charleston Fishing Report – October 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

Charleston Fishing Charters

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Charleston Fishing Charters

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!

Charleston Fishing Report – September 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

With a perfect storm of conditions in place, anglers can be certain inshore fishing will really pick up this month. A combination of lots of bait, cooler water temperatures and much less traffic on the water should make for fantastic fishing. While most people will turn their focus to football and hunting, fishermen who save some time for wetting a line will be well rewarded.

Redfish on the flats have been finicky and for the most part are spooked by artificial lures. That being said they are actively feeding but the right tactic requires some patience. We’ve been setting up the boat a good ways from the schools and waiting for the redfish to return to us. Putting out chunks of blue crab has been very effective. Use size 3/0 circle hooks and make sure the hook point comes out nice and clean to ensure a good hook set. It’s best to leave the rod in a holder and only pick it up once the drag starts singing.

Trout and popping corks remain a perfect match. Trout are feeding more aggressively and in greater numbers. Even better, we’re starting to catch multiple fish in the two to three pound range along with lots of smaller fish. We’ve been using mud minnows as bait almost exclusively as shrimp just get shredded by bait stealers. Try throwing artificial shrimp instead and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how well this works.

Fly fishing can be challenging during this time of year with water clarity sometimes minimal. At low tide, however, you will sometimes have no problem seeing the redfish as they charge down the bank feeding on shrimp. Poppers worked across the surface to imitate fleeing shrimp can draw explosive strikes and you can literally watch the reds slash toward the fly with their backs out of water. It can be so hard to do when fishing these flies but always strip set the hook when a fish hits before raising your rod tip.

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.

 

Charleston Fishing Report – August 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report - August 2015

Fishing has been very productive this summer and anglers can expect more of the same in August. During this month, it will be important to get out early or stay out late to beat the heat. Not only will it be more comfortable to fish during these times but also the high temperatures in the afternoon can put the fish down. Charters at first light have been meeting with some great success.

Popping corks are a very effective setup. You have the opportunity to catch so many different types of fish: redfish, trout, flounder, ladyfish, shark, etc. Use a weighted popping cork to increase the distance of your cast. I tie on an 18″-24″ fluorocarbon leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook.  Mud minnows, shrimp and artificial shrimp all work well as baits.

Topwater is a fantastic option for trout when you are starting early. Do your best to get to your spot just as it is becoming light. Fish strike topwater lures based on the commotion they make on the surface and aren’t able to discern that the lure isn’t a real struggling baitfish. These lures will also catch redfish and ladyfish. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. lures in chartreuse and black or red and white are the ticket.

The shark bite may be the most consistent of all during August as they don’t seem to mind the heat. We’ve been fishing half a blue crab with its shell left on to keep the bait from being picked apart by little fish. Large menhaden are also producing. Make sure you use enough weight to keep your bait pinned to the bottom. In the inlets and in the harbor you may need to go as heavy as four to six ounces when the current rips.

Fly fishermen will want to continue to focus their attention on high evening tides that produce opportunities to stalk tailing redfish. As always stealth is at a premium when approaching these fish, so be sure to move quietly. Spoon flies with a weed guard work great. When redfish spy your glittering fly going through the grass, they’ll often charge and attack.

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 Family Fishing

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Folly Beach Family Fishing

Folly Beach Family Fishing

The Urschel clan joined me once again for a half day charter. With grandad providing gentle coaching, both grandkids combined to catch redfish and flounder using mud minnows under popping corks. Things got really exciting when we moved out to bigger water. After a barrage of sharks eating blue crab, things slowed until really big fish started to eat whole croaker. Had to get on the engine to track down one gigantic cow nosed ray. Another unseen creature snapped the rod over and completely spooled one of our reels before we could do anything about it. Quite a day!

Montana Flyfishing

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Montana Flyfishing

Just finished our annual trip to the Madison river in Southwest Montana. Warm days and clear water combined to produce the best fishing of the last decade. Trout were rising from dawn to dusk and eagerly feeding. Grey parachute adams dry flies with bead headed prince nymph droppers were the ticket and produced countless rainbows and browns. Can’t wait until next year!

Charleston Fishing Report – July 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

While the weather has been abnormally hot, it hasn’t slowed the fishing down. Anglers can try fishing early in the morning where they can find fish blitzing bait on the surface as well as calmer winds that allow them to sight fish on the flats. Alternatively, evenings also offer cooler temperatures and a chance to chase tailing redfish on big flood tides.

Fishing for redfish has been great. The large schools of redfish have now broken up but you can still find pods of ten to twenty fish especially on the flats. Putting a scent trail in the water and an easy meal in front of redfish is a tactic bound for success. We usually put cracked blue crab or live mullet on the bottom with enough weight to hold it stationary. Use circle hooks in size 3/0 combined with a heavy test line and hold on!

The trout bite continues to improve. We’ve started catching a healthy number of midsize trout whereas before we were only finding a few big trout that were ready to breed. Fishing mud minnows on jigheads can be quite effective and lets you get your bait in front of trout in deeper pockets. I use 1/8 oz. jigheads. You can use heavier jigheads but make sure their size is not significantly bigger than the bait.

Spanish mackerel are plentiful and can be best found at first light. If you find schools of fish busting bait on the surface, throw reflective casting jigs and reel them quickly through the school. Move your boat slowly around the school; running through a pod of fish will put them down. Alternatively, if you know fish are present but not up top, try trolling Clark Spoons at different depths and different speeds.

July and August will bring a number of significant high tides in the evening. This produces very exciting fishing as anglers can see the backs and tails of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to forage for crabs. As a result, these tides are called “tailing tides”. Sight casting to these redfish and getting one to eat is a true rush. Although you may spend a long time stalking a fish and positioning yourself for just the right cast, landing that hard-earned redfish is very rewarding.

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.