With its blustery and rainy days, spring roared into Charleston over the last few weeks. This change in season will trigger lots of great things in our fishery. Redfish will be more active and aggressive. The trout bite will strengthen. Anglers can also expect the arrival of a whole host of seasonal species including shark, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish. If you haven’t been already, you need to get out on the water!
It’s time to break out the cast nets. Menhaden have become prolific and make excellent bait. Those same redfish that might have been ignoring your frozen mullet will devour a fresh chunk of this bait fish. Try fishing structure like docks and pilings at low tide. I’ll use size 3/0 circle hooks and leave the rods in the holders. Make sure to dial your drags way down because you will hook into some beasts!
As trout begin to feed in earnest, popping corks cast over oyster beds and along grass banks will be a good bet paired with live shrimp and mud minnows. I usually use a size 1 circle hook and a 18”-24” leader. When fishing with a popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel tight to set the hook. The circle hook will do all the work for you.
With the warmer water temperatures, sharks have returned to our waters. Watch along the banks and you’ll see the fins of bonnethead sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey. These sharks can be caught in a foot of water or in the middle of the harbor. Chunks of blue crab as well as live shrimp are go-to baits. Younger anglers love fishing for sharks as they not only tend to be eager eaters but also are great fighters.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.