Visiting Charleston on their honeymoon, the Cornwell’s joined me for a morning on the water. Brilliant sun and light winds made for excellent conditions and the bite was on as soon as we stopped at the first flat. We slowly worked from school to school of redfish catching a couple before moving to the next. The charter was supposedly just for Chad but even his wife got into the act! Caught a total of eight redfish including one in the slot with the rest between seven and twelve pounds.
Leaving under the cover of darkness, we rolled up on a flat where we could barely make out the shell rakes. At dawn, you could see the backs and tails of redfish as they busted shrimp. Lobbed in half a blue crab and a 7lb. red was on before I could even put the rod in a holder. Bite was so strong during the falling tide we could barely keep one bait out at a time and caught reds up to 10lbs. Once the tide turned, the fish were more hesitant and we had lots of pickups and drops but still kept putting fish in the boat. Awesome morning!
As a surprise for his 40th birthday, Steve’s friends brought him to the boat landing and told him nothing about the charter until they pulled into the parking lot. Our trip straddled high tide and we set up in the inlet to begin. Hooked up with a shark or two and then moved into the Kiawah river once the current picked up. Had lots of fun throwing popping corks while occasionally a shark would smack blue crab fished behind the boat and set the drag singing! A great birthday afternoon.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.