Charleston Fishing Report – May 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

O Menhaden, Where Art Thou?

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Isle Of Palms Fishing

Found big schools of menhaden flickering at first light in the ICW and knew we were setting up for a great day. Cut them up into chunks and fished docks as the tide rose from slack low. Rods stayed bent over for the whole charter with redfish crushing our baits. Broke off plenty but ultimately landed seven pigs with the heaviest at 13lbs. as well as plenty of slot fish. Fresh menhaden make fishing so good!

Folly Beach Fishing Charters

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Folly Beach Fishing Charters

A blown up reel, shredded leaders, pulled hooks……….it was perfect! Jeff had seen enough of my pictures with big redfish and wanted to go hunt some himself. Spent the day fishing docks and structure. While many got away, we caught reds as heavy as eleven pounds and as long as 31″. A few fish were so large that Jeff could barley move them much less gain line when they made their runs. A great time!

Johns Island Fishing Charters

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Johns Island Fishing Charters

All year I had been waiting to get my hands on some blue crab thinking no redfish would resist. Turns out they couldn’t care less but smoked cut mullet. Spent most of the charter fishing docks and tangled with reds that shark rods and 60lb test simply could not turn. Fortunately, we had tons of chances and Chuck ended the day with this 13lb. beauty!

Charleston Fishing Report – April 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report

Weather remained cooler than average in March. The recent cold snap over the last few days is hopefully the last one of the year. Looking ahead we have forecasts of sunny days in 70s and 80s which should really bring the water temperatures up. Bait, however, has been showing up in increasing numbers and this will improve the bite and get the fishery moving!

The large schools of redfish found throughout the winter are breaking up as these fish become more active.  Anglers should think about using artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that have become very popular and come in a variety of colors. I’ve been finding that white has been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor. These lures work best rigged on a size 3/0 fluter hook.

Trout have just started to appear in deeper water. For now, live bait will be the ticket when targeting them. Working docks and shell beds with a mud minnow on a 1/4oz. jighead can be very productive. Focus on getting this bait deep enough to get in front of the trout and move the jighead slowly along the bottom. As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with live or artificial shrimp.

Flounder, perhaps our tastiest fish, are becoming active. We’ve been catching them mostly when fishing with mud minnows on the bottom or mud minnows under popping corks. You’ll need to focus on structure when targeting flounder. Docks and pilings are good places to prospect. Flounder will hug the bottom in hopes of ambushing their prey, so you’ll need to keep that bait down on or close to the bottom as well. One of the bonuses of the jerk shad mentioned above is that flounder on the flats will strike these surprisingly often.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle 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.

 

Sullivan’s Island Fishing

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Sullivan's Island Fishing

Visiting from France, Cedrik refused to let winds gusting 30+ out of the NE to keep him from catching redfish. We motored slowly over to one of the few corners with shelter and began to work the docks. Found a surprisingly strong bite given the conditions with cut mullet and mud minnows on jigheads both working. Good call Cedrik!

Charleston Fishing Report – March 2015

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Charleston Fishing Report - March 2015

Temperatures have been all over the place this Winter with a string of nice days followed by days in the 30s. Throughout it all though, it was possible to catch redfish especially on the sunny days. Expect the fishing to markedly improve as the arrival of Spring brings warmer water temperatures as well as the emergence of bait fish.

Having laid low the last few months to avoid dolphins, redfish will transform from simply surviving to becoming predators. With schools containing up to hundreds of redfish, the best fishing will be at low tide when they are exposed. These fish will still be spooky so stealth is of upmost importance when approaching them. It pays to anchor up when you find a school and wait for them to return to you instead of chasing them down.

During this time of year sometimes these big schools of redfish don’t want anything to do with artificial lures. When this happens, it’s time to soak some cut bait. I’ll put chunks of frozen mullet on size 3/0 circle hooks and wait until the schools of redfish swim over it. Put your rod in the rod holder and leave the rod alone when you see a fish begin to eat. The circle hook will do all the work for you and when your reel starts to sing you are in business.

With the end of February being quite cold, we’ll have to see if the trout bite will start in March. Working artificial lures slowly across the bottom will be your best bet. Plastic lures that imitate small minnows are a good choice. For color, stick with grey and silver hues that most resemble bait. Paired with a 1/8oz. or 1/4oz. jighead, the combination should work well when the trout return.

It’s hard to be stealthier than with a flyrod. This is one of the times of year when fly fishing can be a very effective way to target redfish. When a fly is cast well, it will make only the slightest splash. Right now, we are using smaller flies especially the tried and true white/chartreuse clouser minnow pattern. Cast to the edges of the schools and bring the fly slowly across their noses. The redfish may be somewhat sluggish but you’ll still elicit some dramtic strikes!

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle 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 For Charleston Redfish

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Fly Fishing For Charleston Redfish

Planned well in advance to fish a nice low tide in the late morning. We were treated to almost no wind and glassy water. Saw literally a couple hundred redfish moving lazily along the flats. Fly of the day was a small white and green clouser minnow. If the reds wanted it, they attacked with speed. Good January fishing.

Charleston Fly Fishing

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Charleston Fly Fishing

With a wicked cold snap on the way, we thought we might find happy fish ahead of the front. Sure enough the flats were full of lots of eager eaters bunched together in big schools. Simon’s new hand tied fly patterns drew plenty of aggressive strikes!