Fishing had been steady out of the gates with lots of smaller reds and trout. All that changed quickly when Mark’s cork dropped and the drag started humming! What I thought would be a nice redfish made us all do a double take when it turned out to be a 22″ trout. One of the biggest so far this year. Great job!
With just a couple reds in the boat, we were looking to pick things up a bit on our morning charter. As low tide exposed lots of structure, we kept working popping corks in the current. Wick got bit and the action let us know it was most likely a flounder. Little did I know it would be a boat record! Wick’s fish weighed in at 6.5lbs and measured 25″. Needless to say, that was the daymaker!
Great fishing conditions are finally consistently here! Days full of sunny weather and warm temperatures have made our fishery come alive. Bait is abundant and eager fish are chasing it down. A whole host of options is now available to anglers through the combination of seasonal species and the traditional targets of redfish and trout.
In July, there will be a number of very high tides in the evening. Redfish can access areas usually unavailable on normal tides and fishermen can see the tails and backs of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to hunt for fiddler crabs. These tides are called “tailing tides” and provide amazing sight fishing opportunities. Watching a redfish explode in skinny water when you set the hook is truly a sight to behold.
While popping corks are always a go to option for trout, don’t forget that artificial lures can be very productive as well. Trout have been crushing lures that mimic small baitfish. The Z-man 3 ¾” streakz in smoky shad is a great choice. Paired with a 1/4oz. jighead, these lures work best bumped slowly along the bottom. Trout will usually strike when the lures rise as you lift them up in a jigging motion.
Spanish mackerel are showing up! These fish are especially present in the harbor and can be best found at first light. If you find schools of fish knifing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs (1/2oz. or smaller) and reel them quickly through the school. If you know fish are present but not up top, try trolling Clark Spoons at different speeds and depths. Remember to always check your leader as it only takes catching a few of these toothy fish to make it fray.
In the summertime, sharks are pervasive in our waters. Menhaden and cracked blue crab are great for bait but chunks of fresh cut ladyfish and bluefish work very well too. Look to fish ledges where there is a sharp change in water depth. As an added bonus, you also stand the chance to find a large bull redfish at the end of your line!
See you on the water!
Ray came to town for his 9th trip during which we fish three days in a row. Once again the weather cooperated and more importantly so did the fish! Caught a full mix of reds, trout and flounder. His son, Adam, joined us for the first time and showed that it was in the family blood as he caught reds up to 12lbs!
At our first stop, Melissa let me know that she had never cast before much less caught any fish. On her first cast, her popping cork got hit and things just built up from there. After landing many trout, she proved just as skilled with the bigger fish making quick work of sharks too. Great start!
It’s a fantastic time to be fishing here in Charleston! The usual suspects, redfish and trout, are now complimented by a host of seasonal species including spanish mackerel, ladyfish and sharks. Combined with warmer temperatures, the fishing conditions are now excellent.
Redfish have been making quick work of any well placed bait. Make sure to carry your cast net and try catching some menhaden or finger mullet. We’ve been having the most success around rock walls, docks and other structures while fishing live bait on a carolina rig. Make sure to use a weight heavy enough to hold the bait stationary, otherwise your rig will slide along the bottom until it snags.
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.
Anglers focused on flounder have been reporting good numbers being caught. Work finger mullet along the bottom around structures. Move the bait slowly along and when you think you have a bite wait a few seconds before setting the hook. We’ve been picking up quite a few flounder with mud minnows under a popping cork as well.
My favorite summer time fish is the ladyfish. With the warmer weather, ladyfish will flood our waters. These exciting fish will smack bait under a popping cork and make your drag zing. Their acrobatic jumps and hard runs make these fish so entertaining. You’ll find them in some of the same spots that you find trout.
See you on the water!
After catching one shark after another, Ryland decided he would like to spend the rest of the charter casting. We switched over to popping corks and mud minnows and let them fly. Constant cork dropping action for the rest of the charter. Ryland showed us how it was done by putting this 18″ beauty in the boat!
As part of a birthday celebration, Shar and Char joined me for a morning on the water. A lower than forecast tide gave us an extra hour on the flats. Things slowed down and as I picked up a rod to make a move, it whipped over. A few minutes later Shar had a 29″ red in her lap. Happy birthday!
Tried fishing the big water as well as popping corks to start the charter without much luck. Fortunately, the tide was dropping out quick and let us get up onto the flats. Lots of action as reds smoked cut mullet. Brian’s first redfish ever turned out to be the biggest of the day at 29″. You can tell by his smile how happy he was!
What a great time to be fishing! With our waters now teeming with bait, the fish have strapped the feedbags on and are eating heartily. All the summer seasonal species have arrived and when combined with our traditional gamefish, provide a whole host of options for an angler. If your fishing season hasn’t yet begun, there’s no better time to start.
As the water temperatures climb, redfish are becoming more 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 small baitfish. Flutter hooks have a weight on their shank that let you cast a far distance and also put motion on the lure. I use flutter hooks in size 3/0 with a 1/8oz. weight. Make sure to cast to the edges of the schools, if you cast right into the middle you stand a good chance of spooking them.
Per usual, it’s that time of year for topwater trout action at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in their silver mullet color works great but my favorite is the chartreuse and black. Vary retrieve speeds as you work these lures back to the boat. This is a lure that you should reel tight to the fish before raising your rod tip. Good luck with that as a violent boil erupts around your lure! Once the topwater bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going for a little while longer.
Sharks have returned to our waters and several species like bonnetheads, sharpnose and black tips are already prevalent. You’ll start to see the fins of sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey in skinny water and also find them foraging along drop offs in the harbor and inlets. Chunks of blue crab, cut bait and live shrimp both work well on these predators. I favor 7/0 circle hooks and just put the rods in the holders. Fishing for sharks can be a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up great fights
See you on the water!