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Charleston Fishing Report – July 2022

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July can be one of the most productive months of the year for fishing. The combination of the usual targets like redfish and trout and summer seasonal species like shark, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel make for a very active fishery. Anglers can look forward to lots of different opportunities during all tides!

Don’t leave the dock without your cast net. Finger mullet and menhaden are readily available and choice baits for redfish. Target redfish while fishing these baits around structures like rock walls and docks. Hook the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook going up through the lower lip and out through the top. Place the bait on the bottom with a Carolina rig using enough weight to hold your bait in place so it doesn’t snag.

While popping corks are always a choice option for trout, don’t forget that artificial lures can be quite productive as well. Trout have been crushing lures that mimic small baitfish. The Z-man 3 ¾” streakz in smoky shad is an excellent choice. Paired with a 1/4oz. jighead, these lures perform best when worked slowly along the bottom. Trout tend to strike as you lift the lures up in a jigging motion.

Spanish mackerel are plentiful and are most prolific at first light. If you find schools of fish busting bait on the surface, toss reflective 1/2oz. casting jigs and reel them quickly through the school. Move your boat slowly around the school; running over a pod of fish will put them down. If you know fish are present but not on the surface, try trolling Clark Spoons at different speeds and different depths.

Sharks bite well irrespective of the temperature and our waters are loaded with them. Even in the afternoon heat, they will be on the move 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 absent its claws 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!

Fishing Isle Of Palms

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Fishing Isle Of Palms

Redfish, black drum and flounder all fell prey to mud minnows on yesterday’s full day charter. Most of the fish were caught fishing minnows on an 1/8oz. jighead. Steve did a great job horsing this sweet twelve pounder out from under the docks!

Fishing Kiawah

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Fishing Kiawah

As a surprise for his 40th birthday, Steve’s friends brought him to the boat landing and told him nothing about the charter until they pulled into the parking lot. Our trip straddled high tide and we set up in the inlet to begin. Hooked up with a shark or two and then moved into the Kiawah river once the current picked up. Had lots of fun throwing popping corks while occasionally a shark would smack blue crab fished behind the boat and set the drag singing! A great birthday afternoon.

Charleston Fishing Report – June 2022

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Charleston-Fishing-Report

Weeks full of sunny weather and warm temperatures have made our fishery come alive. Bait is everywhere and eager fish are chasing it down. Anglers have a whole host of options now that our seasonal species have arrived to compliment the traditional targets of redfish and trout.

Redfish are very 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 the baitfish flooding our waters. Flutter hooks have a weight on their shank that let you cast a far distance and also put motion on the lure. I use them in size 3/0 with a 1/8oz. weight.  Make sure to cast to the edges of the schools to avoid spooking the fish.

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.

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.

All species of shark have appeared. Sharpnose and blacktip sharks have been present for over a month and bonnetheads are becoming more present. Menhaden make for great shark bait. We still use circle hooks but go up to size 7/0. Try fishing one line with a live menhaden and a second with a chunk of menhaden. You’ll find out quickly which one is preferred.

See you on the water!

Charleston Fishing

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Charleston Flats Fishing

When we last fished together, the Williams brothers really cleaned up on the trout and wanted to try for redfish this time. We had perfect conditions with a mid morning low tide that would let us stay on the flats for the duration of the charter. Plenty of action right out of the gates with redfish tentatively biting on blue crab. Had lots of pickups and drops for the first two hours. Once the flats warmed up the rods started ripping over. Brought lots of feisty redfish to the boat with the heaviest at eight pounds.

Lowcountry Slam

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Charleston Fishing

Over a six hour charter, Cheryl and Carrie fished a full falling tide. After the tide started moving, trout started hitting mud minnows under popping corks and Carrie landed the biggest at 19″. Moving over to the flats, reds were smoking cracked blue crab and Cheryl won the weight class with a 12 pounder. Fished rocky structure to end the charter hoping to maybe find a flounder. Sure enough, Cheryl put a 19″ flounder in the boat with minutes left in the charter.

Charleston Fishing Report – May 2022

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Charleston-Fishing-Report

It’s a great time to be fishing! Our waters are now teeming with bait and fish are eating heartily. All the summer seasonal species have arrived and when combined with our traditional gamefish, provide a whole array of options for an angler. If you haven’t begun fishing yet, there’s no better time to start.

Consider making the most of live bait when targeting redfish. Menhaden is a favorite choice whether fished cut or alive. We’ve been catching some nice redfish by pitching chunks of menhaden under docks. You’ll need to use enough weight to hold your bait to the bottom so it doesn’t move and get snagged. I use pinch-on split shot that can be easily changed, just add or remove these weights as needed.

Topwater trout action is plentiful at first light! Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in their silver mullet color works well but my favorite is the chartreuse and black. Vary retrieve speeds as you work these lures over shell rakes and grassy banks. When a fish strikes, reel tight before raising your rod tip. Good luck with that as a violent explosion erupts around your lure! Once the topwater bite slows, suspended twitch bait lures are a good choice to continue the action.

Sharks have filled our waters with several species like bonnetheads, sharpnose and black tips easily accessible. You’ll start to see the fins of sharks as they seek out prey along river banks and also find them foraging along drop offs in the harbor and inlets. Blue crab, cut bait and live shrimp all work well on these predators. I favor 7/0 circle hooks. Just put the rods in the holders and wait for them to rip over!

See you on the water!

O Menhaden, Where Art Thou?

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Isle Of Palms Fishing

Found big schools of menhaden flickering at first light in the ICW and knew we were setting up for a great day. Cut them up into chunks and fished docks as the tide rose from slack low. Rods stayed bent over for the whole charter with redfish crushing our baits. Broke off plenty but ultimately landed seven pigs with the heaviest at 13lbs. as well as plenty of slot fish. Fresh menhaden make fishing so good!

Johns Island Fishing Charters

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Johns Island Fishing Charters

All year I had been waiting to get my hands on some blue crab thinking no redfish would resist. Turns out they couldn’t care less but smoked cut mullet. Spent most of the charter fishing docks and tangled with reds that shark rods and 60lb test simply could not turn. Fortunately, we had tons of chances and Chuck ended the day with this 13lb. beauty!

April Fishing Report

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Charleston-Fishing-Report

Redfish are no longer focused simply on preservation but are now feeding again. Anglers should consider using artificial plastic lures that mimic bait fish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that are available in a wide variety of colors and have become very popular. I’ve been finding that silver hues have been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor.

As trout become more active, popping corks cast over oyster beds and along grass banks are a great bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. I usually use a 18”-24” leader and a size 1 circle hook. When working a popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel tight to set the hook. You’ll find that the circle hook will do all of the work for you.

Regularly considered our tastiest fish, flounder are a frequent target. We’ve been catching them consistently when fishing with mud minnows on the bottom or mud minnows under popping corks. You’ll want to focus on structures when targeting flounder. Old pilings and docks are good places to explore. Remember that flounder will hang tight to 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!