With school having just ended, the Bowden family decided to make a fishing charter part of their vacation to Charleston. Apparently they packed plenty of good luck! Started with nine sharks and then went inshore. Caught redfish, trout and flounder under popping corks for a lowcountry slam. Great way to start the trip!
It has been a long time coming but sustained sunny days have brought our fishery back to life after a cold Spring. Redfish and trout are both active and chasing down the bait that has filled our waters. They aren’t the only hungry ones as Spanish mackerel, shark and bluefish have made their way into town. Fishing season is undeniably here, so get out there!
Redfish have become much more aggressive now that the fishery has heated up. Artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish swimming in the water are a great option. Bigger lures like the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz would be my pick given the large mullet around. You will want to pair these with a flutter hook that will make the lure look realistic as it swims. Gamakatsu 4/0 or 5/0 EWG flutter hooks in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights are your best bet.
It’s topwater time! There’s nothing more exciting than watching fish blow up on your lure at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. is one of the reliable standards. My favorite is the chartreuse and black but the silver mullet color works well too. Vary your retrieve as sometimes a change in pace will trigger a strike. Once the topwater bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going. Try the MirrOLure 17MR in green back and white belly and enjoy fishing for even longer.
Ladyfish are my favorite summer seasonal species. They strike hard, run fast and make one acrobatic leap after another. Sometimes referred to as the poor man’s tarpon these fish are wildly entertaining. I will target these fish with live shrimp or mud minnows under a popping cork. I prefer the D.O.A. oval corks. They come in a two pack that costs the same as most single corks and they fish great. Pair them with a size 1 Owner circle hook and get ready for a good time.
See you on the water!
Katie booked a fishing charter for her birthday. What a day it was! Harbor was glassy calm and the bite was strong. Caught well over 25 sharks with four doubles all in three hours. Never had to move to another spot. Great job!
In honor of their mom/grandmom who passed away this week, Angel and David fished today as a way of spending family time together. Caught a nice mix of healthy trout and big reds on a beautiful sunny day. Clearly she was looking down from above and sending lots of good luck!
As we enter May, few can remember a Spring with so many windy days combined with lots of rain. Our fishery is a few weeks behind but is now poised to come alive! Water temperatures have been jumping higher and summer seasonal species have begun to appear. Put a line in the water and you won’t be disappointed!
As redfish begin to feed in earnest, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. From the popping cork, I attach a 18”-24” fluorocarbon leader to a size 1 circle hook. Should smaller fish make short work of your live bait, try using D.O.A.’s 2.75” shrimp in their Glow colors.
Trout have been slowly coming around after a challenging and chilly few months. Artificials have been producing the most consistent trout action. When worked slowly in the water column, smaller plastic artificials that mimic baitfish have been getting crushed. Z-Man’s Finesse TRD lures are a go-to choice in their Mud Minnow color. Tie these lures with a loop knot to give the lure extra action in the water.
Spanish mackerel are already slashing around the harbor and can be best found at first light. When you find schools of fish knifing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs (1/2oz. or smaller) and reel them as fast as you can through the school. Spanish are toothy critters so no matter how fast the action remember to pause and check your leader frequently for cuts and nicks.
With warmer waters, sharks have begun to arrive. Of all the different species of shark we see, bonnetheads are not only among the most common but also the most accessible. These sharks can be caught in a foot of water or in the middle of the harbor. Live menhaden, chunks of blue crab or cut mullet can all be used as baits. These great fighters are good fun for young and old anglers alike.
See you on the water!
For a decade, Capt. Geoff Bennett has operated Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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 email@example.com.
A welcome day of sunny skies and light winds after weeks of the opposite. Started at low tide to get in front of the redfish as they headed into the grass. Strong bite as we landed seven fish over slot and the biggest at 10lbs. While Lisa swore she wanted nothing to do with reeling in fish, she eventually relented and did a great job bringing a couple to the boat!
Staring down a forecast of winds at 20 gusting to 30, Team Aquafour saddled up for their fourth annual charter. To my pleasant surprise, we found reds on the flats smoking blue crab even in one foot chop. We used shell rake to get some protection and it worked out great! Enough action that we even had a double as well as Matt’s first redfish. Great work grinding out some big reds on a windy, windy day!
We left the dock under blustery Spring conditions with the tide quickly dropping out. Peyton was on a mission to catch his first redfish ever. We worked dock after dock with blue crab and mullet with several bites but nothing to the boat. At one of my favorite spots it was quiet until Peyton simply dropped a live shrimp over the side and got bit before it hit the ground! After a great fight, Peyton landed his first redfish and promptly put on a huge smile.
Another burst of Spring time winds pushed us into the creeks. It turned out to be great! We had blue crab and the redfish were very, very interested. Rods started to whip over so fast we eventually just went to using one rod only so we could keep up. Biggest fish of the day came in at 13lbs. Great job guys!
At the beginning of March, Charleston had begun to shed the effects of a chilly Winter. The bite improved noticeably and then two weeks of storms and windy weather slowed things down again. Redfish are available and trout can be found too if you work the right lures. Temperatures will surely rebound in April and with it so will the fishing!
Somewhat surprisingly given the water temperatures, decent size mullet have already made their way into our waters. You can see birds diving aggressively on these fish especially at low tide. Anglers would be well served to use artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. A great option is the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz in their Houndini color. I will rig this lure with a Gamakatsu 3/0 flutter hook in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights. This lure fishes weedless, can be thrown a mile and makes very little noise when it lands. Work one of these around a school of redfish and you will find success!
With fish still moving slowly, the most effective tactic we have found is tossing Trout Eye jigheads rigged with mud minnows around structure especially docks. Take the hook through the minnow’s bottom lip and out through the top lip. We are using a 1/4oz. jighead to help get the bait down close to the bottom. Methodically work this rig back to the boat by popping the bait up twice and letting it fall. When you feel any resistance set the hook hard!
Docks have been a go-to option on these windy days and per usual are quite productive in early Spring relative to other options. Besides working the Trout Eye jigheads described above, we often fish cut bait on the bottom around the docks. Prepare a heavier rod with pinch on weights and an Owner 3/0 circle hook. Use just enough weight to keep the bait stationary. While cut mullet and blue crab are always popular, frozen shrimp has been working best. Just put the rod in a holder and let the circle hook do all the work for you!
See you on the water!