Even fishing guides need to take a trip once in awhile so we headed down to South Louisiana in search of bull redfish. We were certainly not disappointed! The reds started around 3ft. and some broke 40″. An amazing sight to see a fish so large take a popping cork in three feet of water. We’ll be sure to make this a regular journey!
Found great fishing all morning underneath sunny skies and light winds. Mud minnows and popping corks were the ticket. Redfish up to six pounds were mixed in with legal sized trout. Fall fishing continues to be great!
With a very low negative tide, we started the charter fishing structure and rocks. We had some nice trout fishing mud minnows on the bottom. Tamisha really upped the game by landing this 14 spot beauty with a popping cork. As the water rose, we got up on the flats and had great action with jerk shad artificial lures rigged on flutter hooks.
Fishing in October was fantastic and we can expect November to be just as good, if not better! Chilly nights remind redfish and trout that they had better eat now or it will be a long few months ahead. Per usual, artificial lures become very effective as natural bait leaves our waters. Take advantage of sunny days and go catch a bunch of fish!
As water temperatures decline, redfish have begun their annual phenomenon of forming large schools. Schools of fifty redfish will become commonplace and they can grow as large as 100-150 in the depths of winter. These fish do become more wary this time of year and artificial lures can spook them on the flats. Instead of casting lures at the schools, we have been setting out as many as three lines with chunks of frozen mullet on #3/0 circle hooks. Eventually the redfish will find your bait and whip your rods over with some ferocious hits.
For trout, artificial lures rigged on a jighead are working very well. Trout hang together in pockets and when you catch one there will likely be others in the immediate area. Lures in darker hues of blue and gray are performing the best when paired with a 1/4oz. jighead. Remember to move your lure slowly as the fish are beginning to move slowly as well with the colder waters. Try to bounce the jighead off the bottom and wait until you feel the resistance of a striking fish.
Popping corks are still very effective for both redfish and trout. Live shrimp can be used with confidence now that the little bait stealers are gone. I’ll attach a two foot leader to the cork and a size 1 circle hook on the other end. Cast over oyster beds, along grass banks and at creek mouths and watch for that cork to dive under! It can be so hard to do but when that cork drops, reel the fish tight and let the circle hook do the work. A big hook set can sometimes rip the bait right out of the fish’s mouth.
See you on the water!
The Hamilton party joined me for the third morning this week with our sights set solely on big reds. We had a perfect low tide that would concentrate schools of reds on the flats. Once we posted up and put out chunks of cut mullet, the rods started whipping over! Sharon’s seven pound personal record was the fish of the charter.
The charter began as the tide just turned and started falling. Fished the duration of the trip with popping corks and mud minnows. Wherever we could find current and bait, the corks kept dropping as reds and trout kept hitting. Highlight was this 8lb red that ate so close to the boat we could literally see it rise up and inhale the minnow!
Fall has arrived with cooler weather and shorter days. But don’t put your boat away just 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 time to get out on the water, you won’t regret it.
After a couple of weeks of very windy conditions, the weather has thankfully calmed down and water clarity is improving. Redfish will start to form bigger schools and sight fishing on the flats should be great. We are throwing jerk shad artificial lures about 4″-5″ in length and in hues of blue and grey. I rig these lures on size #3/0 flutter hooks that provide great action.
Artificial paddle tail lures have begun to really produce for trout. 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 search for pockets of fish. Again, we’ve been staying with darker colored artificials. To make your lure even more attractive, try putting a piece of shrimp on the hook. You can use pieces of live or frozen shrimp and it will put a scent trail on your lure that is hard to resist.
Even with artificials becoming more effective, keep tossing those popping corks. Mud minnows, live shrimp and artificial shrimp have been working well when suspended about 18″-24″ below the cork. Redfish and trout alike will eat these baits as they pass by suspended in the water column. Corks have been working best fished along grassy banks at mid and high tide.
Fly fishermen are also enjoying the combination of larger schools of redfish and cleaner water. On clear days, you can see these packs of redfish swimming in circles with their golden backs flashing in the sun. Take your time when approaching the schools and when you make your first shot make sure to cast to the edges so as not to spook the school.
See you on the water!
For after the end of the summer rush, we scheduled a fly fishing trip to Montana. Where to our surprise it snowed heavily for two of the four days and kept the temperatures in the 30s! With freezing hands, we still had quite an outing catching rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Had to put our waders and boots inside so they didn’t freeze at night outside. Never been prouder over the fish we battled for!
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!