Charleston Fishing Report – April 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Charleston Fishing Report - April 2014

Lots of cold days and nights during March kept thoughts of traditional Spring fishing on the back burner. With highs in the 70s forecast over the next ten days, let’s hope we have turned the corner. Warmer water temperatures should bring out the trout bite while anglers can still target redfish in big schools.

Unlike most years, redfish remain in their wintertime schools that can number as many as a hundred fish. They are still spooky but becoming more aggressive as the arrival of bait turns them into predators again. The easiest way to target these reds is using cut bait or better yet freshly cracked blue crab fished on the bottom. Be patient and let the schools come to you. If they think eating is their idea, they’ll most likely take the bait.

As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. I usually use a 18”-24” leader and a size 1 circle hook. When working the popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel tight to set the hook. You’ll find that the circle hook will do most of the work for you.

For both redfish and trout, mud minnows paired with a jighead have been working well especially around docks and structure. I’ll use a 1/8-1/4oz. jighead and hook the mud minnow under the bottom lip and out through the top lip. Work these baits slowly and try to bump them along the bottom where oftentimes you’ll get hit as you lift the rod tip.

Redfish remaining in big schools has been a boon to flyfishermen eager to stalk these fish on the flats. To avoid spooking them, we’ve sometimes been casting well in front of a moving school and only begin moving the fly with quick small strips once the school is almost on top of it. On recent charters, black wiggler flies have been the most productive.

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.

Charleston Fishing Report – March 2014

By Fishing Report, Uncategorized

Charleston Fishing Report - March 2014

It has been a long cold Winter but warmer times have started to come around. During many charters, it never got much out of the 30s and those were hard earned fish. After a run of days with highs in the 70s, it’s easy to get excited about fishing again! Rising water temperatures and the return of bait should provide plenty of action.

Redfish remain in massive schools numbering in the hundreds as they try to avoid dolphins and stay warm. You’ll find these schools on mud flats as well as shallow banks that provide cover. On sunny days, redfish are especially drawn to the flats as the mud retains an extra few degrees of warmth. You’ll find the best fishing tends to be around low tide when these reds are balled up tight together.

During this time of year, these big schools of redfish can be wary and spook when a lure hits the water. When this happens, it’s best to soak some cut bait. I’ll put chunks of frozen mullet on size 3/0 circle hooks and just let it sit on the bottom until the redfish swim over it. Put your rod in the rod holder and resist the urge (if at all possible!) to set the hook 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.

It will be interesting to see if the trout bite starts in March based on how cold the past two months have been. Working artificial lures slowly across the bottom will be your best bet. Plastic lures that are 3″-4″ long and imitate small minnows are a good choice. For color, stick with grey and silver hues that most resemble bait. Paired with a 1/4oz. jighead, the combination should be very effective when the trout return.

This a great time of year for fly fishing as a softly presented fly won’t send a school of redfish fleeing for cover. Sight fishing abounds and stalking a school of a hundred plus redfish is so exciting you almost fall off the bow with anticipation. Smaller flies in lighter colors are working best and a clouser minnow is a fine example. Remember when the fish hits, resist the temptation to lift your rod tip and strip strike instead.

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.

 

Greatest Catches 2013

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Charleston Charter Fishing’s Greatest Catches 2013 is a compilation of the past year’s fishing charter trips in the waters surrounding the Charleston low country including Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. We look forward to having your photo included this year on your charter fishing trip!

 

Trout Below Freezing

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Trout Below Freezing

The temperature on the dashboard read 31 degrees and as I launched the boat I chipped some ice away from the bow hatch. With a decent wind out of the West, it was clear the duration of the charter would be run with a negative wind chill. Michael and Jodee were ready to go and we set off at low tide. Found dolphins making a mess of the first two schools of reds we were looking to fish. Moved over to docks and structure with popping corks and mud minnows. After lots of casts, we found a great bite where Jodee put this beautiful trout in the boat. Caught eight reds as well and were very happy with that outcome on our chilly day.