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Charleston Fishing Report – March 2024

By Fishing, Fishing Report

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Chilly days are quickly fading away with temperatures rising well into the 60s and sometimes pushing into the 70s. Warmer water temperatures will wake the fish up and get them feeding! Trout should be ready to go in mid-March. It’s time to break out your reels and rods and get ready for a great season!

Having spent the last few months laying low and avoiding dolphins, redfish are now focused on eating instead of simply surviving. Low tide will be the best time to target large schools of redfish that can number in the hundreds. These fish are still skittish, so a quiet and subtle approach is quite important. On many days, it pays to stay in one spot when you find a school and wait for them to come to you instead of scaring them away.

As these reds are nervous, I’ll try to disturb them as little as possible by minimizing my casting. This is a great time to fish with bait on the bottom.  I’ll put a chunk of frozen mullet or blue crab on a size 3/0 circle hook and just let it rest until the redfish swim over it. Make sure the barb of your hook is fully in bait and the point is cleanly exposed. Place your rod in the rod holder and get ready for it to whip over once the circle hook sets itself!

As trout begin to feed, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet with mud minnows attached. I usually pair a 18”-24” fluorocarbon leader with a size 1 circle hook. While there is no shortage of options, I use oval shaped corks that are heavier and can cast further. When using a popping cork, do your best to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops under just reel without lifting the rod tip. You’ll find that the circle hook rarely misses as long as your line is tight.

See you on the water!

Charleston Fishing Report – November 2023

By Fishing, Fishing Report

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Fishing this Fall has been great so far and we can expect more of the same in November!  Colder mornings remind trout and redfish that they better eat soon or it will be a long few months without any food. Artificial lures have become very productive as natural bait leaves our waters. Make the most of sunny days and go catch some fish!

As water temperatures decline, redfish have begun their regular Winter habit of forming large schools. Schools of fifty redfish or more will become common and they can swell to be as large as 100-150. Redfish are more skittish this time of year and lures can spook them on the flats. As opposed to casting directly at the schools, we will cast out as many as three lines with chunks of frozen mullet on 3/0 circle hooks. Eventually the redfish will find the bait and bend your rods over with some astonishing hits!

For trout, artificial lures are working just fine. Trout hang together and when you catch one there will likely be others in the area. Lures in hues of gray and blue are performing the best when paired with a 1/4oz. jighead. Remember to move your lure slower than usual as the fish don’t move as quickly with the cooler water temperatures. Try to bounce the jighead off the bottom and wait until you feel the pull of a striking fish.

Popping corks are still great options for both trout and redfish. I’ll attach a two to three foot leader to the cork and a size 1 circle hook on the other end with a split shot a foot above the hook. Cast along grass banks, over oyster beds, and at creek mouths and watch for that cork to drop! It can be difficult, but when that cork disappears, reel as fast as you can and let the circle hook set itself. A big hook set can rip your bait right out of the fish’s mouth!

See you on the water!

Kiawah Fishing Charters

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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.

Isle Of Palms Fishing Charters

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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!

Charleston Fishing Report – October 2023

By Fishing, Fishing Report

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Fall has arrived with cooler weather and shorter days. We’re about to experience the best fishing of the year so don’t put away your boat just yet! Fishermen can continue to succeed with live bait but artificial lures should become increasingly effective. Make some time to get out fishing, you won’t regret it.

After a couple of tropical storms, the weather has settled down and water clarity is improving. Redfish have begun to form larger schools and sight fishing should be great. We are casting jerk shad artificial lures about 4″-5″ in length and in hues of silver and blue. I pair these lures with size #3/0 flutter hooks that provide great action in the water.

Artificial lures have begun to really produce for trout. I’ll fish a 1/4oz. jighead and tie a loop knot to give the lure even more action. As you search for pockets of fish, vary your rate of retrieve. Just like the jerk shad, we’ve been staying with artificials whose color mimics the baitfish in the water. Try putting a piece of shrimp on the hook to make your lure even more attractive,. You can try pieces of live or frozen shrimp and it will add a scent trail on your lure that is hard to resist.

Even with artificials becoming more productive, keep using those popping corks. Live shrimp, mud minnows and artificial shrimp have been working fine when suspended about 18″-24″ below the cork. Trout and redfish alike will eat these baits as they pass by suspended in the water column. Corks have been working best cast along grassy banks at mid and high tide.

See you on the water!

Fishing Sullivan’s Island

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Jake and Kim booked me again almost exactly on the same date as last year. They knew to expect some great Fall fishing. As it turns out, that’s exactly what they got! Tons of smaller reds, trout and ladyfish with the occasional bruiser in between. Kim’s red was the biggest of the day and it fought so hard it pulled us off anchor! A truly beautiful ten pound red…….hopefully the duo will be back next year!

Fishing Folly Beach

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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 Fishing Report – September 2023

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The Fall is the best time to fish in Charleston as cooling water temperatures let fish know that they better eat up because food will begin to disappear. Time remains to catch summer seasonal species like Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and shark. Although, by mid-September they will begin to head out in search of warmer climates. To top it off, lots of anglers will turn their attention to football and hunting which will leave you plenty of space on the water!

Redfish will begin to aggressively take artificial baits during this time of year. Plastic lures that resemble the baitfish in our waters are quite productive. Zman’s 3 ¾” streakz in smokey shad is a great choice. I pair this with a 1/8oz. jighead, however conditions sometimes call for a heavier weight. Vary your rate of retrieve as you work this lure. Just speeding up or slowing down the pace of the lure can make the bite come to life!

When focusing on trout, popping corks remain a great option. While live shrimp are a good choice, small fish will often demolish that shrimp in seconds. To counter this, we have been sticking with mud minnows paired with size 1 Owner circle hooks. When hung up on shell rake or structure, popping corks can be hard to recover. While it’s rare you will get all the pieces back, there is a simple trick that will save you money and time. Attach 20-pound test line to the top of the cork and attach a 15-pound test line to the hook from the bottom of the cork. When you tug hard, the line will snap at the hook and you will get your cork back.

Anglers are consistently catching bull redfish (36” inches plus) currently at the jetties or at nearshore reefs. Increasingly, these same fish come more into the harbor and inlets as they follow schools of large baitfish. A great set up for these fish will have a stiff rod paired with a heavy test braided line connected to a 50-60lb. leader and 7/0 circle hooks. Fresh chunks of menhaden, mullet or smaller fish are very effective. Look for spots where there are marked changes in depth and wait for the huge strikes!

See you on the water!

Seabrook Island Fishing Charters

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Things were a bit slow as we fished both sides of slack high tide. We caught some trout but when the current started running the fishing took off too! As the water dropped and the bait was pulled out of the grass, the redfish started eating. Our corks kept dropping as redfish bit our mud minnows. Michele not only caught her first redfish but with lots of coaxing even agreed to hold it!