Over the last week, the schools of menhaden that were scarce for awhile are back thick in the harbor and inlets. A very good thing if you are chasing big bull reds. Post up where there is a sudden change in depth and just hold on!
Ever have a big fish hit so hard you could barely get the rod out of the holder? Well, Heather learned all about that today. Huge redfish in less than a foot of water inhaled blue crab again and again. Average fish weighed eleven pounds with the biggest at fourteen. Wow!
Could there be a better time of year to fish? There are so many species available to target and so many different ways to fish for them! Anglers will always find something exciting to do on the water. As the days become progressively warmer, fishermen will want to fish early before the heat of the day arrives.
While the large schools of redfish have now broken up, you can still find pods of dozens of fish roaming the flats and grass banks. In order to get their attention, we have been using baits that leave a hearty scent trail in the water. Cracked blue crab, cut menhaden or cut mullet are all effective choices. Try using size 3/0 circle hooks and just let the fish hook itself.
This season we have been catching many more “keeper” trout (over 14”) than in recent years. While popping corks are a great option, we’ve also been fishing mud minnows on jigheads. These jigheads allow us to get our bait in front of fish holding in deeper pockets. We use 1/8oz. jigheads and make sure to vary the rate of our retrieve. Bumping your bait along the bottom can be deadly.
As always, sharks are pervasive in our waters during the summertime. Cracked blue crab and menhaden are great for bait but chunks of fresh cut bluefish and ladyfish work very well too. Look to fish drop-offs where there is a sharp change in water depth. As a pleasant surprise, you also stand the chance to find a large bull redfish at the end of your line!
There will be a number of significant high tides in the evening this month. As redfish access areas usually unavailable on normal tides, fishermen can see the backs and tails of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to forage for crabs. These tides are called “tailing tides” and provide awesome sight casting opportunities. Watching a redfish explode in skinny water when you set the hook is truly a sight to behold.
See you on the water!
Rolled up on the flats and found reds so skinny their backs were out of the water. After countless clean casts to big schools and five fly changes, Jonathan had his first redfish on the fly! Mullet pattern in black/purple did the trick.
I had hoped the bite would be strong in front of incoming storm system. Turns out it was on! We had our first hit within minutes of starting and it never slowed. The Spedick clan saw heavy action whether we put down whiting, bluefish or menhaden. By the middle of the charter, we had lost count of how many fish had been brought to the boat. Great family fun!
We started the day looking for Tyler’s first redfish. Early in the charter he landed a nice three pound slot red and we were off to the races from there! By the end of the trip, Tyler was boating big boys like a pro. His heaviest red tipped the scales at 12lbs. and longest was 30″. Way to go!
Wasn’t sure what we would find on the flats after two days of heavy rain. Even with cloudy water the reds were happy! All fish over slot and Bob’s eleven pounder paced the day. Team aquifer rolls….pour some for Jesus.
Weeks full of sunny weather and warm temperatures have made our fishery come alive. Bait is everywhere and eager fish are chasing it down. Anglers have a whole host of options now that our seasonal species have arrived to compliment the traditional targets of redfish and trout.
Redfish are very active and attacking artificial lures. Jerk shad lures rigged on flutter hooks are my go to option. These artificial lures, usually 4″-5″ in length, imitate the baitfish flooding our waters. Flutter hooks have a weight on their shank that let you cast a far distance and also put motion on the lure. I use them in size 3/0 with a 1/8oz. weight. Make sure to cast to the edges of the schools to avoid spooking the fish.
With water temperatures so warm, our trout bite continues to improve. The preferred choice of live bait under a popping cork is hard to beat. Live shrimp are now available and will give you another option than mud minnows. It’s a good idea to start carrying your cast net and see if you can find some finger mullet. Finger mullet under a cork is just deadly.
Spanish mackerel are beginning to show up especially in the harbor and can be best found at first light. If you find schools of fish slashing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs and reel them quickly through the school. Alternatively, if you know fish are present but not up top, try trolling Clark Spoons at different depths and different speeds. Remember to check your leader often as it only takes catching a few of these teethy fish to cut through it.
My favorite summer fish is the ladyfish. These dynamic fish will smack shrimp under a popping cork and make your drag zing. Their acrobatic jumps and hard runs make these fish so entertaining. Look for them in some of the same spots that you find trout.
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.
Red hot shark bite prior to the big rains today. Rods constantly whipping over as fresh cut whiting got devoured. Fifteen sharks to the boat. Lost a few that were big enough to snap 60lb. braid!
Big winds out of the East kept us pinned in for most of the charter. Stephanie would not be deterred and caught her first redfish ever! This nice five spotted slot fish took down a shrimp under a popping cork. She’ll be back for more!