Found a brief break from the wind and when combined with a nice mid morning low tide, conditions were perfect. The schools of fish were easy to see but still a bit finicky. We posted up and waited for them to come to us. The reds preferred cut mullet over mud minnows. Long time customer, Steele, set his personal best with a sweet 28″ red.
Weather remained cooler than average in March. The recent cold snap over the last few days is hopefully the last one of the year. Looking ahead we have forecasts of sunny days in 70s and 80s which should really bring the water temperatures up. Bait, however, has been showing up in increasing numbers and this will improve the bite and get the fishery moving!
The large schools of redfish found throughout the winter are breaking up as these fish become more active. Anglers should think about using artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that have become very popular and come in a variety of colors. I’ve been finding that white has been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor. These lures work best rigged on a size 3/0 fluter hook.
Trout have just started to appear in deeper water. For now, live bait will be the ticket when targeting them. Working docks and shell beds with a mud minnow on a 1/4oz. jighead can be very productive. Focus on getting this bait deep enough to get in front of the trout and move the jighead slowly along the bottom. As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with live or artificial shrimp.
Flounder, perhaps our tastiest fish, are becoming active. We’ve been catching them mostly when fishing with mud minnows on the bottom or mud minnows under popping corks. You’ll need to focus on structure when targeting flounder. Docks and pilings are good places to prospect. Flounder will hug the bottom in hopes of ambushing their prey, so you’ll need to keep that bait down on or close to the bottom as well. One of the bonuses of the jerk shad mentioned above is that flounder on the flats will strike these surprisingly often.
See you on the water!
Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle 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.
Vetted regulars, Doug and Chip, drove all the way from Charlotte, NC the morning of the trip and were still right on time at 7am. The cold snap the night before dropped water temperatures by three degrees and the bite slowed. It didn’t stop the duo from catching reds up to nine pounds! Almost all fish caught on mud minnows following the trend of the last few weeks.
We had one goal for our charter: catch Kerri’s first redfish. We started with a modest flounder which was her first fish ever. As the winds picked up, conditions deteriorated. Not to be denied, Kerri kept at it and eventually a rod snapped over! A few minutes later Kerri had her prize for the day, a beautiful upper slot redfish.
With wind and boat chop making the water on the flats muddy, we switched over to docks. Found redfish eating mud minnows on both sides of low tide. Bite stayed steady for several hours. Ting was so happy about one of the redfish they caught she decided to give it a kiss!
Rain or shine, Barb was determined to go fishing. Not only did the storm system stay away from us but we also caught lots of redfish! On the flats, around shell rake and under docks the bad weather bite was on everywhere. A great morning on the water.
Visiting from France, Cedrik refused to let winds gusting 30+ out of the NE to keep him from catching redfish. We motored slowly over to one of the few corners with shelter and began to work the docks. Found a surprisingly strong bite given the conditions with cut mullet and mud minnows on jigheads both working. Good call Cedrik!
It was a bit windier than forecasted yesterday afternoon making it a no go on the flats. Worked docks instead with cut mullet and found happy fish that made our drags scream. Brandon caught his biggest fish ever! Good charter in some tough conditions.
Left at dark to get as much low tide fishing in as possible. Spent the first two hours targeting large schools of redfish on the flats before they went into the grass. Until it warmed up a bit the reds were finicky eaters, often picking up our cut mullet and mud minnows just to drop them right away. Had several bites on cut mullet and then moved over to the docks. Found a dock holding some beasts that smoked our rods. Even with 40lb. test these reds were hard to get out quickly from the pilings. Nice to see the bite turning up with the better weather.
It turns out your can still catch plenty of redfish when the water temperature is in the 40s! We spent the day putting mud minnows out on circle hooks and letting the redfish schools swim over to us. For every fish that hooked up, there were at least ten that nosed the bait and the line. Both Noll and Pat caught their first redfish ever. Pat set the bar high for his personal best with this 12 pound beauty!