Last year Brittnee swore she would return for sharks on their next charter and she was true to her word! Had an action packed day with sharks keeping our rods doubled over. Had hoped to net some menhaden but there were none to be found. No worries though as the Sharpnose ate cut bluefish and ladyfish while Bonnetheads smoked blue crab. Brittnee pledged to return next year for even bigger sharks….I believe her.
Long time regulars, Dan and Dani joined me in the morning to fish a nice falling tide. Popping corks and mud minnows were the choice of the day. Dani hooked a very nice red on her first cast and I knew it would be a good trip. Dan followed up shortly with two reds of his own, including one with five spots on one side. We also caught trout up to 18″. Before we knew it, it was time to head home. As always, great work by both and another productive charter!
What a great time to be fishing! With our waters now teeming with bait, the fish have strapped the feedbags on and are eating heartily. All the summer seasonal species have arrived and when combined with our traditional gamefish, provide a whole host of options for an angler. If your fishing season hasn’t yet begun, there’s no better time to start.
As the water temperatures climb, redfish are becoming more 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 small baitfish. Flutter hooks have a weight on their shank that let you cast a far distance and also put motion on the lure. I use flutter hooks in size 3/0 with a 1/8oz. weight. Make sure to cast to the edges of the schools, if you cast right into the middle you stand a good chance of spooking them.
Per usual, it’s that time of year for topwater trout action at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in their silver mullet color works great but my favorite is the chartreuse and black. Vary retrieve speeds as you work these lures back to the boat. This is a lure that you should reel tight to the fish before raising your rod tip. Good luck with that as a violent boil erupts around your lure! Once the topwater bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going for a little while longer.
Sharks have returned to our waters and several species like bonnetheads, sharpnose and black tips are already prevalent. You’ll start to see the fins of sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey in skinny water and also find them foraging along drop offs in the harbor and inlets. Chunks of blue crab, cut bait and live shrimp all work well on these predators. I favor 7/0 circle hooks and just put the rods in the holders. Fishing for sharks can be a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up great fights.
See you on the water!
Spring has arrived! With days full of sun and temperatures holding in the 70’s, our fishery is rapidly changing with many new signs of life. Trout and flounder are entering the mix and anglers now have several species to target instead of just spooky redfish. Bait is filling our waters and the fish are hungry!
Redfish are no longer focused simply on preservation but are becoming predators again. Anglers should consider using artificial plastic lures that mimic bait fish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that have become very popular and are available in a wide variety of colors. I’ve been finding that silver hues have been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor.
Having woken from their winter slumber, the trout are active again. Fishermen should focus on grassy banks and oyster beds when targeting these fish. It’s time to break out the popping corks again. Try fishing a 3” D.O.A. plastic shrimp lure suspended two feet underneath a popping cork. The D.O.A. shrimp come in several weights but I prefer their 1/4oz. model. The Glow/Gold color is a great choice.
Often considered our tastiest fish, flounder are a frequent target. 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 structures when targeting flounder. Old pilings and docks are good places to prospect. Remember that 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.
See you on the water!
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!
Finally, a wonderfully sunny day with moderate wind! The Negrete family sure brought the good weather with them. Started at high tide and found no takers on mud minnows under corks. Once the water came out of the grass at mid-tide, the redfish would smoke the cut mullet in front of their path. Bella’s 26″ redfish was the highlight of a happy family trip.
Warmer weather is arriving in the Lowcountry and we’ve already seen a few days in the 70s. As the water temperature rises, trout and redfish will become more active. For all of you eager to get out on the water, the time has come!
Albeit starting to break up, redfish will still be in huge wintertime schools where you can easily find 50-100 fish in closely knit pods. 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 cracked blue crab, mud minnows and cut mullet on a size #3/0 circle hook. Set the drag lightly, leave your rod in the holder and let the fish set themselves.
It depends on the year as to when trout reappear. However, it has been so warm over the last few months, the trout bite is already in full swing. Popping corks cast over oyster beds and along grass banks will be a good bet paired when with mud minnows. I usually use a 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. Again, the circle hook will do most of the work for you.
This a prime time of year for fly fishing. Sight fishing abounds and stalking a school of a hundred plus fish is so exciting it can be nerve racking! Smaller flies in darker colors are working best and a black wiggler fly would be a good bet. Remember when the fish hits, resist the temptation to lift your rod tip and strip strike instead.
See you on the water!
Left early in the morning to get out on the flats as the tide fell. Found lots of bait with plenty of redfish sloshing among it. Posted up and put out chunks of cut mullet and watched them get picked up twice, only to be dropped. Watched a rod snap over and the third fish stayed buttoned. A few minutes later, Charles brought a nice nine pound redfish alongside the boat. The biggest fish he had ever caught! As the water rose, we switched over to popping corks and mud minnows and had a blast messing with bluefish and small trout.
Yes, we actually fished today. In the face of 20+ winds out of the NorthEast, Bob and Rob decided that we would give it our best shot. The only option was a system of creeks that would provide us with some protection. Turns out they made the right call! Found a healthy bite for most of the charter with redfish up to eight pounds. Only mud minnows on jigheads bumped along the bottom produced fish. The redfish turned their noses at mud minnows under corks and cut mullet. A really pleasant surprise in a week of tough weather.
Excited about the prospect of 70 degree day, Austin and John booked me the night before. No need to leave before noon until the water and the redfish came out of the grass. Found the same tightly bunched schools we had seen all winter. Cut mullet on the bottom was the go to choice as the redfish were way too spooky for artificial lures. Austin had the fish of the day with this 27″ beauty!