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.

Charleston Shark Fishing

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Charleston Shark Fishing

Last year Brittnee swore she would return for sharks on their next charter and she was true to her word! Had an action packed day with sharks keeping our rods doubled over. Had hoped to net some menhaden but there were none to be found. No worries though as the Sharpnose ate cut bluefish and ladyfish while Bonnetheads smoked blue crab. Brittnee pledged to return next year for even bigger sharks….I believe her.

Charleston Fishing Report – June 2014

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Charleston Fishing Report - June 2014

After a few cold and slow months, our fishery has turned the corner and the bite is back. The water is full of bait and the fish are on the attack. Whether you are casting lures and popping corks or just fishing bait on the bottom, you are sure to run into something!

When you see the flickers of baitfish on the surface, stop and grab your cast net. Menhaden can be found everywhere and redfish love them. Using a carolina rig, we’ve been fishing with both live and cut menhaden. Make sure to use a heavy enough weight to hold the bait stationary, otherwise your rig will tumble along the bottom until it snags. Try fishing docks and other structure immediately around where you netted your menhaden, you’ll be sure to find plenty of reds!

Trout seemed to have been affected the most by our cold Spring. They are now finally active again. Popping corks remain the most effective way to target them. Mud minnows and shrimp on a size 1 circle hook are the ticket. When little toothy fish make short work of your live bait, switch over to an artificial shrimp and keep on working. If you find one trout, there are sure to be more nearby.

Ladyfish are present and so much fun to catch. They are without a doubt my favorite summertime fish. These lively fish will make your drag zing. Their acrobatic jumps and hard runs make these fish very entertaining. You’ll often catch them in the same spots you target trout. Mud minnows and shrimp under popping corks are the way to go here.

Sharks have returned in droves and the bite has been very strong. Atlantic Sharpnose have been especially prolific and cut bluefish or whiting work well. Bonnetheads have started to come around and chunks of blue crab are the go to bait. Use carolina rigs combined with size 3/0 circle hooks. Put the rod in a holder and wait for it to snap over!

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.