It was a gusty afternoon but the redfish were still happy! Needed to work hard to find places shielded from a heavy NorthEast wind but it paid off. Caught reds by structure with mud minnows and popping corks. Dotty produced the nicest fish of day, a 7lb red that fell prey to the old reliable blue crab.
Long time regulars, David and his son joined me as we targeted redfish at low tide. The reds were somewhat finicky but ultimately they couldn’t resist fresh chunks of blue crab. Robert caught his biggest red ever, a 27″ beauty while Dad put a nice eight pounder in the boat as well. Finished the charter catching trout with corks.
Fishing has been quite good this Fall and anglers can expect it to improve in November. Chilly mornings combined with lower water temperatures remind redfish and trout that it is time to eat before all the food disappears with the onset of Winter. Take some time to go fishing with the family around the Thanksgiving holiday and make the best of what our fishery offers.
As usual, redfish have begun to congregate in large schools that will only grow bigger. Reds huddle together for protection in numbers from dolphins. Dolphins, who do not slow down in the Winter, find sluggish redfish to be easy prey. Finding and casting to pods of 50-100 redfish can be thrilling and even make your knees tremble on the bow. Smaller artificial lures rigged on 1/8oz. jigheads have proven to be quite effective.
You won’t have to change your lure when you decide to target trout. The same rig of an artificial lure on a jighead produces fine here as well. If you catch a trout, there will likely be plenty of others nearby. Move your lure slowly as the fish are moving slowly too. If possible, try to bounce the jighead off the bottom and set the hook when you feel the resistance of a striking fish. Lures in darker hues of gray and blue are performing the best.
For the angler on the fly rod, the focus switches from tailing tides to the big schools of redfish on the flats at low tide. Darker flies work well but don’t be afraid to throw some copper flies with lots of flash. Most importantly, make sure to take your time and approach these fish quietly as even a small noise will send these spooky fish scrambling away.
See you on the water!
Bob and Lisa were understandably concerned about the quality of fishing following the heavy rains. The great news was our fishery returned to its regular productive self very quickly. Over the course of two days we caught lots of trout mixed with some quality reds on popping corks. We also found some large reds on the flats that smoked our blue crab. Both days were sunny with light winds and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Get back out there and enjoy our fantastic Fall fishing!
As part of their honeymoon, Danielle surprised Drew with a morning of inshore fishing. Winds had been heavy out of the North for several days and I was wary that the flats I had planned to target would be blown out. Fortunately, even with winds at 15+, the bite was still on! The fish were finicky and you could only get one out of each school before they got lockjaw. Nonetheless, we boated reds up to 30″ and several nine pounds and over. It turned out to be a great morning!
Fall has arrived with cooler weather and shorter days. But don’t put your boat away yet because we’re about to experience the best fishing of the year! Fishermen can continue to find success with live bait but artificial lures should become increasingly effective. Make some time to get out on the water, you won’t regret it.
Redfish have been hungrily eating cut and live bait fished on the bottom. Menhaden and mullet are pervasive in our waters and can be easily netted. We’ll rig the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook paired with a carolina rig. You can use this under docks as well as on the flats. Just put the rod in the holder and wait for the reel to start humming as the fish hook themselves.
Artificial lures have really begun to produce for trout and the traditional paddle tail design has been awesome. I’ll use a 1/4oz. jighead and tie a loop knot to give the lure even more action. Vary your rate of retrieve as you prospect for pockets of fish. To make your lure even more compelling, try putting a piece of shrimp on the hook. You can use pieces of frozen or live shrimp and it will put a scent trail on your lure that is hard to ignore.
Even as artificial lures become more effective, keep tossing those popping corks. Mud minnows, live shrimp and artificial shrimp have all been working well when suspended about 18″-24″ below the cork. Redfish and trout alike will eat these baits as they pass by riding along in the water column. Corks have been working best fished along grassy banks at mid and high tide.
See you on the water!
As a introduction to lowcountry fishing, David brought his friend Steve, a renown hand model, out on the water this morning. Fishing low tide on the flats worked well with blue crab and let Steve get those precious mitts around some nice redfish. Transitioned to popping corks and caught more reds and trout with mud minnows. A steady current and lots of bait kept the bite steady for rest of the charter.
Set out this morning trying to capture the small window when there would be enough water to get up on the flats but before the redfish could get into the grass. We got it just right! Pushed up to a set of shell rakes and immediately put a 31″ beauty in the boat. Landed five more fish over the next hour with the smallest at 5lbs. and the average around 8lbs. With the water up, we fished popping corks with mud minnows along the grass lines and had good success catching trout. It’s great when a plan works.
The perfect storm that makes fishing so great in the fall is beginning. The combination of tons of bait, lower water temperatures, and fewer fishermen on the water makes for wonderful conditions. The fact that cooler days will make fishing much more pleasant is a bonus!
We often mention popping corks in our reports. Why? Because they work so well! Trout, redfish and flounder will all attack bait that’s suspended in the water column. I’ll attach a 18”-24” leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook. When fishing a popping cork, it’s very important to keep the slack out of your line so you can set the hook quickly. I keep my rod tip pointed at the cork and just reel when it drops. You’ll find your hookup rate is better when compared to keeping your rod tip high and trying to set the hook by jerking back on the rod.
It is time to bid farewell to the summer seasonal species who will likely be gone by the end of the month. Meanwhile, sharks are still providing plenty of entertainment. When fishing in deeper waters, it is important to use enough weight to keep your bait on the bottom. Baits that are surfing in the current usually won’t get hit. Instead of using one large 4 or 6oz. weight, I’ll stack 1 or 2oz. weights on my line to get the desired effect. It makes provides more flexibility and makes casting easier.
One of the benefits of fishing in deeper waters these days is you can regularly hook into bull redfish who are quite active. With the mullet run in full swing, these huge fish will make their way inshore. Cracked blue crab and fresh cut mullet make great baits. You’ll find these fish on ledges and drop offs in the harbor and inlets. Fishing can be slower than with corks but with redfish measuring into the upper 30” class it’s well worth your time.
See you on the water!
At the beginning of the charter, Kelly let me know that she hadn’t fished that much. Just an hour into the charter, it was clear she was sandbagging her talents. In the first few casts, Kelly landed a four pound trout. Not long after, her popping cork got smoked by an eleven pound redfish which she deftly navigated out of the grass and to the boat. Many more trout and reds were caught and we ended the charter with sharks. Nice work!