Warmer weather is arriving in the Lowcountry and we’ve already seen a few days in the 70s. As the water temperature rises, redfish and trout will become more active. For all of you anxious to get out on the water, the time has come!
Albeit breaking up slowly, redfish will still be in huge wintertime schools where you can easily find 50-100 fish in a tightly knit pod. To be successful, anglers will often have to be patient and fish bait on the bottom. Casting anything on these schools can send them fleeing! I’ll alternate between cut mullet, mud minnows and cracked blue crab on a size #3/0 circle hook. Set the drag lightly, place your rod in a holder and let the fish set themselves on your circle hook.
It depends on the year as to when trout reappear. You can assume sometime in March is a safe bet. As the trout bite heats up, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows. I usually use a 18”-24” leader and a size #1 circle hook. When working the popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel tight to set the hook. You’ll find that the circle hook will do most of the work for you.
This a great time of year for fly fishing. Sight fishing abounds and stalking a school of a hundred plus fish is so exciting you almost fall off the bow with anticipation. Smaller flies in darker colors are working best and a black wiggler fly is a fine example. Remember when the fish hits, resist the temptation to lift your rod tip and strip strike instead.
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.