In honor of their mom/grandmom who passed away this week, Angel and David fished today as a way of spending family time together. Caught a nice mix of healthy trout and big reds on a beautiful sunny day. Clearly she was looking down from above and sending lots of good luck!
As we enter May, few can remember a Spring with so many windy days combined with lots of rain. Our fishery is a few weeks behind but is now poised to come alive! Water temperatures have been jumping higher and summer seasonal species have begun to appear. Put a line in the water and you won’t be disappointed!
As redfish begin to feed in earnest, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. From the popping cork, I attach a 18”-24” fluorocarbon leader to a size 1 circle hook. Should smaller fish make short work of your live bait, try using D.O.A.’s 2.75” shrimp in their Glow colors.
Trout have been slowly coming around after a challenging and chilly few months. Artificials have been producing the most consistent trout action. When worked slowly in the water column, smaller plastic artificials that mimic baitfish have been getting crushed. Z-Man’s Finesse TRD lures are a go-to choice in their Mud Minnow color. Tie these lures with a loop knot to give the lure extra action in the water.
Spanish mackerel are already slashing around the harbor and can be best found at first light. When you find schools of fish knifing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs (1/2oz. or smaller) and reel them as fast as you can through the school. Spanish are toothy critters so no matter how fast the action remember to pause and check your leader frequently for cuts and nicks.
With warmer waters, sharks have begun to arrive. Of all the different species of shark we see, bonnetheads are not only among the most common but also the most accessible. These sharks can be caught in a foot of water or in the middle of the harbor. Live menhaden, chunks of blue crab or cut mullet can all be used as baits. These great fighters are good fun for young and old anglers alike.
See you on the water!
For a decade, Capt. Geoff Bennett has operated Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A welcome day of sunny skies and light winds after weeks of the opposite. Started at low tide to get in front of the redfish as they headed into the grass. Strong bite as we landed seven fish over slot and the biggest at 10lbs. While Lisa swore she wanted nothing to do with reeling in fish, she eventually relented and did a great job bringing a couple to the boat!
Staring down a forecast of winds at 20 gusting to 30, Team Aquafour saddled up for their fourth annual charter. To my pleasant surprise, we found reds on the flats smoking blue crab even in one foot chop. We used shell rake to get some protection and it worked out great! Enough action that we even had a double as well as Matt’s first redfish. Great work grinding out some big reds on a windy, windy day!
We left the dock under blustery Spring conditions with the tide quickly dropping out. Peyton was on a mission to catch his first redfish ever. We worked dock after dock with blue crab and mullet with several bites but nothing to the boat. At one of my favorite spots it was quiet until Peyton simply dropped a live shrimp over the side and got bit before it hit the ground! After a great fight, Peyton landed his first redfish and promptly put on a huge smile.
Another burst of Spring time winds pushed us into the creeks. It turned out to be great! We had blue crab and the redfish were very, very interested. Rods started to whip over so fast we eventually just went to using one rod only so we could keep up. Biggest fish of the day came in at 13lbs. Great job guys!
At the beginning of March, Charleston had begun to shed the effects of a chilly Winter. The bite improved noticeably and then two weeks of storms and windy weather slowed things down again. Redfish are available and trout can be found too if you work the right lures. Temperatures will surely rebound in April and with it so will the fishing!
Somewhat surprisingly given the water temperatures, decent size mullet have already made their way into our waters. You can see birds diving aggressively on these fish especially at low tide. Anglers would be well served to use artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. A great option is the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz in their Houndini color. I will rig this lure with a Gamakatsu 3/0 flutter hook in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights. This lure fishes weedless, can be thrown a mile and makes very little noise when it lands. Work one of these around a school of redfish and you will find success!
With fish still moving slowly, the most effective tactic we have found is tossing Trout Eye jigheads rigged with mud minnows around structure especially docks. Take the hook through the minnow’s bottom lip and out through the top lip. We are using a 1/4oz. jighead to help get the bait down close to the bottom. Methodically work this rig back to the boat by popping the bait up twice and letting it fall. When you feel any resistance set the hook hard!
Docks have been a go-to option on these windy days and per usual are quite productive in early Spring relative to other options. Besides working the Trout Eye jigheads described above, we often fish cut bait on the bottom around the docks. Prepare a heavier rod with pinch on weights and an Owner 3/0 circle hook. Use just enough weight to keep the bait stationary. While cut mullet and blue crab are always popular, frozen shrimp has been working best. Just put the rod in a holder and let the circle hook do all the work for you!
See you on the water!
While on a guy’s weekend, Chris and Ryan decided to make a Charleston fishing charter part of their experience. They had never caught redfish before and we shortly changed that! Reds on the flats were happy fish on a sunny day. All fish ate cut mullet and the biggest came in at 12 pounds! Good work guys.
Another great day of folly beach fishing charters. Eric and Fay joined me for the afternoon and we raced against a rising tide. The flats didn’t offer much but the docks sure did! Rods whipped over again and again as reds smoked chunks of cut mullet. It was the first fish that Fay had ever caught! Proof again that even during windy March Charleston fishing can be very rewarding.
On the heels of a chilly January, temperatures have soared higher over the last few weeks. Warmer water temperatures made for happy fish and the Spring bite is well underway. The usual suspects, redfish and trout, will be the primary targets and both will be increasingly more active. Don’t wait a couple months, get your line in the water and start catching now!
Over the last few months, redfish have been doing their best to avoid hungry dolphins. Now they will switch modes from survivors to predators. Redfish still remain in huge schools and the most productive fishing will be at low tide when they are concentrated. These fish will be spooky so you’ll want to be quiet and slow on your approach. On many days, the best option is to post up and wait for the school to swim within range of you.
During this time of year, these big schools of redfish will often turn their noses up at artificial lures. So, instead of casting at them to no avail, we’ll fish bait on the bottom. Put out chunks of blue crab or cut mullet on size 3/0 circle hooks. Place your rod in the rod holder and leave the rod alone when you see a fish begin to eat. The circle hook does all the work for you and when your drag starts to sing you are in business!
With the end of February being quite warm, the trout bite has slowly begun. Artificial lures will be your best bet. Fish these lures slowly and try to let them sink to the bottom. These fish are sluggish as well and it pays to get the lure right in front of their nose. Plastic lures that imitate small minnows are a good choice and the Zman 3.75” Streakz in smokey shad is our go to choice. Matched with a 1/8oz. or 1/4oz. jighead, this combination will work well throughout the year.
Please strongly consider practicing catch and release of trout throughout their spawning season in the Spring. Water temperatures dropped into the low 40s in January and South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources fears there was a significant trout kill. The agency is urging catch and release and notes that putting trout back in the water as opposed to your cooler after tough winters can go a long way to protecting the fishing stock.
See you on the water!
For a decade, Capt. Geoff Bennett has operated Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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 email@example.com.