Started out the day hunting clean water and good current. Kept our popping corks rolling along with mud minnows underneath. Not much interest at the first two spots but plenty of happy fish at the third. Julie let her cork float way back in the current and it got hit hard! After a couple minutes of fighting the fish against the current, Julie had a four pound trout in the boat. Her new personal best – great job!
Charleston is a great place to be fishing! No matter what type of fish you want to catch, they are all active and biting. Fishing for redfish and trout remains strong even with increasingly warmer water temperatures. Seasonal species like spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish and shark are plentiful as well!
We’ve been targeting redfish with artificial lures especially around low tide. The longer jerk shad lures (4”-5” inches) are quite productive. We have been favoring lures in natural hues of silver and grey. Try using flutter hooks that not only put more action on the lure but land softer than a jighead. Remember to vary your rate of retrieve until you find what works best.
Popping corks remain the best choice when targeting trout. Bait stealers have been vicious and a live shrimp barely makes it a few seconds. We have been sticking with mud minnows paired with size 1 circle hooks. Popping corks can be hard to recover once hung up on structure or around shell rakes. A trick that will save you time and money is attaching a 20 pound test line to the top of the cork and attaching a 15 pound test line to the hook from the bottom of the cork. When you pull hard, the line will snap at the hook and you will get your cork back.
While you have those popping corks out, be ready to get hit hard by ladyfish! These fish have really come in with the warmer water and are very aggressive. Don’t be surprised if your corks get hit once or twice in rapid succession until the hook finds the softer part of their mouth. Their strong runs and frequent jumps make these perfect for kids!
Sharks fish well irrespective of the temperature and our waters are full of them. Even in the afternoon heat, they will be cruising looking for easy prey. With lots of smaller sharks and other creatures pecking away at live and cut bait, we have at times been fishing an entire live blue crab on a 7/0 circle hook. You’ll have lots of drops but the sharks that hang on are the big ones!
See you on the water!
A couple months ago, Pierce and I looked ahead at the tide tables to pick the best summer evening to fish massive high tides. The wind was cooperating and we were all set to go. Until the water was well into the grass, we saw nothing until Pierce spotted a huge redfish tail sticking straight out of the water! One perfect cast later we had an explosive strike and a 28″ red in the boat. Great job!
Fishing had been steady out of the gates with lots of smaller reds and trout. All that changed quickly when Mark’s cork dropped and the drag started humming! What I thought would be a nice redfish made us all do a double take when it turned out to be a 22″ trout. One of the biggest so far this year. Great job!
With just a couple reds in the boat, we were looking to pick things up a bit on our morning charter. As low tide exposed lots of structure, we kept working popping corks in the current. Wick got bit and the action let us know it was most likely a flounder. Little did I know it would be a boat record! Wick’s fish weighed in at 6.5lbs and measured 25″. Needless to say, that was the daymaker!
Great fishing conditions are finally consistently here! Days full of sunny weather and warm temperatures have made our fishery come alive. Bait is abundant and eager fish are chasing it down. A whole host of options is now available to anglers through the combination of seasonal species and the traditional targets of redfish and trout.
In July, there will be a number of very high tides in the evening. Redfish can access areas usually unavailable on normal tides and fishermen can see the tails and backs of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to hunt for fiddler crabs. These tides are called “tailing tides” and provide amazing sight fishing opportunities. Watching a redfish explode in skinny water when you set the hook is truly a sight to behold.
While popping corks are always a go to option for trout, don’t forget that artificial lures can be very productive as well. Trout have been crushing lures that mimic small baitfish. The Z-man 3 ¾” streakz in smoky shad is a great choice. Paired with a 1/4oz. jighead, these lures work best bumped slowly along the bottom. Trout will usually strike when the lures rise as you lift them up in a jigging motion.
Spanish mackerel are showing up! These fish are especially present in the harbor and can be best found at first light. If you find schools of fish knifing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs (1/2oz. or smaller) and reel them quickly through the school. If you know fish are present but not up top, try trolling Clark Spoons at different speeds and depths. Remember to always check your leader as it only takes catching a few of these toothy fish to make it fray.
In the summertime, sharks are pervasive in our waters. Menhaden and cracked blue crab are great for bait but chunks of fresh cut ladyfish and bluefish work very well too. Look to fish ledges where there is a sharp change in water depth. As an added bonus, you also stand the chance to find a large bull redfish at the end of your line!
See you on the water!
Ray came to town for his 9th trip during which we fish three days in a row. Once again the weather cooperated and more importantly so did the fish! Caught a full mix of reds, trout and flounder. His son, Adam, joined us for the first time and showed that it was in the family blood as he caught reds up to 12lbs!
At our first stop, Melissa let me know that she had never cast before much less caught any fish. On her first cast, her popping cork got hit and things just built up from there. After landing many trout, she proved just as skilled with the bigger fish making quick work of sharks too. Great start!
It’s a fantastic time to be fishing here in Charleston! The usual suspects, redfish and trout, are now complimented by a host of seasonal species including spanish mackerel, ladyfish and sharks. Combined with warmer temperatures, the fishing conditions are now excellent.
Redfish have been making quick work of any well placed bait. Make sure to carry your cast net and try catching some menhaden or finger mullet. We’ve been having the most success around rock walls, docks and other structures while fishing live bait on a carolina rig. Make sure to use a weight heavy enough to hold the bait stationary, otherwise your rig will slide along the bottom until it snags.
As for trout, not much new here. Popping corks remain the way to go. Surprisingly, mud minnows have been outperforming live shrimp under corks. Usually, it is the other way around. If little fish keep picking at your live shrimp, switch over to a D.O.A. 3” artificial shrimp. Their Glow/Gold Rush Belly color has been quite productive.
Anglers focused on flounder have been reporting good numbers being caught. Work finger mullet along the bottom around structures. Move the bait slowly along and when you think you have a bite wait a few seconds before setting the hook. We’ve been picking up quite a few flounder with mud minnows under a popping cork as well.
My favorite summer time fish is the ladyfish. With the warmer weather, ladyfish will flood our waters. These exciting fish will smack bait under a popping cork and make your drag zing. Their acrobatic jumps and hard runs make these fish so entertaining. You’ll find them in some of the same spots that you find trout.
See you on the water!
After catching one shark after another, Ryland decided he would like to spend the rest of the charter casting. We switched over to popping corks and mud minnows and let them fly. Constant cork dropping action for the rest of the charter. Ryland showed us how it was done by putting this 18″ beauty in the boat!