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Charleston Fishing Report – September 2014

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Charleston Fishing Report - September 2014

The perfect storm that makes fishing so great in the fall is about to begin. The combination of lower water temperatures, tons of bait and fewer fishermen on the water makes for fantastic conditions. The fact that cooler days will make fishing much more pleasant doesn’t hurt either!

We often mention popping corks in our reports. Why? Because they work so well! Redfish, trout and flounder will all attack bait that’s suspended in the water column ready to be swallowed. I’ll attach a 18”-24” leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook. When fishing a popping cork, it’s very important to keep the slack out of your line so you can set the hook quickly when the cork drops. I keep my rod tip pointed at the cork and just reel when it drops. You’ll find your hookup rate improves when compared to keeping your rod tip high and trying to set the hook by jerking back on the rod.

It will soon be time to bid farewell to the summer seasonal species who will likely be gone by the end of the month. Meanwhile, sharks are still providing plenty of entertainment. When fishing in deeper waters, it is important to use enough weight to keep your bait pinned to the bottom. Baits that are surfing in the current usually won’t get hit. Instead of using one large 4 or 6oz. weight, I’ll stack 1 or 2oz. weights on my line to get the desired effect. It makes casting easier and provides more flexibility.

One of the benefits of fishing for sharks these days is you’ll occasionally hook into the bull redfish that are beginning to appear. With the mullet run in full swing, these beasts will make their way inshore. Cracked blue crab and fresh cut mullet make great baits. You’ll find these fish on drop offs and ledges in the harbor and inlets. Fishing can be slower than with corks but with redfish measuring into the upper 30” class its well worth your time.

Tailing redfish are associated mostly with summer months but the action certainly continues for the month of September. Little can make a fly fisherman happier than seeing redfish tails flapping away as they root around for food. Spoon flies have been particularly effective and we’ve been using Dupre’s spoon fly quite often. When casting to redfish, remember to lead the fish by several feet, hitting them square on the head will cause them to spook and race away.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait 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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Fishing Kiawah On A Windy Day

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Fishing Kiawah On A Windy Day

Left the dock at first light driving into a stiff breeze at 15-20 out of the Northeast. Tried topwater for half an hour with success getting strikes and follows but no hookups. We took shelter on bank that offered protection from the wind and the chop. We caught trout, ladyfish and bluefish with mud minnows under popping corks. Most importantly, as far as Sam was concerned, we caught sharks on blue crab!

Bull Redfish

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Bull Redfish

The Harris family joined me for a kid’s fishing trip with a focus on sharks. We found a few bonnetheads in deeper water right on the ledges but moved to shallower water to see what would happen. One of the rods with half a blue crab quickly bent over and the drag started screaming. Ian told me he thought it was a ray as it surfaced a few times. Once it was close to boat we realized it was a huge redfish! The fishing gods were kind and let us get the fish in the boat where it taped out to 39″. Makes me really excited for the Fall run of bull reds!

Folly Beach Sharks

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Folly Beach Sharks

After catching 20 or so small redfish, Debby said she was ready for something bigger. Off to the Stono Inlet we went. Put two rods out the back with cracked blue crab and got hit very quickly. Fighting to take in line in heavy current, Debby got her big fish fix when she boated this nice bonnethead shark! Caught several more and even had a double before it was time to head home.

Charleston Fishing Report – August 2014

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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 also still available.

We’ve been targeting redfish with artificial lures especially around low tide. The longer jerk shad lures that worked so well in the Spring are still productive. However, we have had better luck throwing smaller artificials like Zman’s 3 ¾” Streakz in smokey shad. With both, we have been using flutter hooks to put more action on the lure. Remember to vary your rate of retrieve until you find what works best.

Popping corks and trout remain perfect together. Local shrimp are still relatively small so we have been sticking with mud minnows paired with size 1 circle hooks. Popping corks can be hard to recover once wrapped around a dock piling or hung up on a shell rake. I’ll attach 20 pound test line to the top of my corks and attach the bottom of my corks to the circle hook with 15 pound test line. If all goes well when you pull hard, the line will snap at the hook and you will get your cork back.

For a species that fishes well irrespective of the temperature, sharks fit the bill. Even in the middle of the afternoon, they will be cruising and eagerly eating. With so many bait stealers around, we have at times been fishing an entire live blue crab on a 7/0 circle hook. You’ll find that sharks will drop such a large bait more frequently than smaller baits, but the sharks that hang on are the big ones!

Fly fishing has been quite good. The best patterns now seem to be shrimp imitations with or without epoxy. Especially at low tide, you’ll be able to see redfish streaking down the banks with their backs out of water as they try to corral live shrimp. Cast your fly in front of a charging redfish and hold on! The shrimp patterns work very well even when you can’t see redfish working the banks.

See you on the water!

 

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait 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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Fly Fishing New Mexico & Colorado

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Charleston Fly Fishing

Spending the better part of a week in New Mexico and Colorado chasing rainbow and brown trout on the flyrod. Great conditions with clear water and lots of activity. Trout are eating the usual suspects like prince nymphs, royal wulffs and grasshopper patterns. The nights are cool down into the 50s and a welcome respite from the Charleston heat. Don’t want to come home.

Isle of Palms Sharks

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Isle of Palms Sharks

We left a little later than usual on Sunday morning to start with water at slack high tide. Sure enough the bonnetheads were thick and hungry for blue crab. Time and time again the rods would snap over with sharks feeding in 30ft. of water. Renee is pictured here holding one of the bigger sharks of the day. Kevin gave her a little help at the end to qualify for the assist!

Charleston Fishing Report – July 2014

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Charleston Fishing Report - July 2014

Could there be a better time of year to be fishing? Anglers have many different species to target and many different ways to fish for them!  There’s just no way you won’t find something exciting to do on the water. As it becomes progressively hotter, anglers will increasingly want to fish early before the heat of the day arrives.

For redfish, we’ve been focused on docks where reds become concentrated as the water drains out around them. Using a carolina rig, we’ve been fishing with cracked blue crab, mullet and menhaden. Try using size 3/0 circle hooks and putting the rod down in the holder. When a redfish strikes, wait until the drag starts to scream and you will have a solid hookup for sure.

Not much has changed when focusing on trout. The popping cork remains the way to go. Fish these corks over shell rakes, in front of creek mouths and along grassy banks. Look for places trout can sit and ambush prey. Live shrimp and mud minnows are choice baits. With so many small bluefish and bait stealers in the water, we have been using almost exclusively minnows.

Sharks are pervasive in our waters and best of all eager eaters. The Bonnethead bite continues to become stronger. You can use the same carolina rigs mentioned above for these creatures. Cracked blue crab and shrimp are great for bait but if you can put out chunks of fresh cut ladyfish, you’ll really be in business. Look to fish drop-offs where there is a sharp change in water depth. Don’t forget this is a great way to introduce younger fishermen to the sport.

While fly fishing, we’ve been seeing excellent tailing action from redfish in the grass. This hasn’t been just an evening tailing tide phenomenon either.  There have been plenty of sightings during morning high tides as well. Spoon flies with a good weed guard have been the way to go. There have been some real heart pounding moments watching redfish follow our fly and the ensuing explosive strikes!

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle and fly fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait 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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Dock Fishing

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Dock Fishing

Dock Fishing

Every year Ray and Marv drive up from Florida for three days of fishing. Despite all the options available, they want one thing: big redfish under docks. So bring out the shark rods, 60lb. test and chunks of blue crab and away we go! Had our best year yet with hot action every day. Rods would snap over and Ray and Marv would have those few pivotal seconds to get that fish out from under a dock before it wrapped around a piling. Good times. Lots of redfish ten pounds or more. Can’t wait until next year.