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 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!
See you on the water!
It was a bit windier than forecasted yesterday afternoon making it a no go on the flats. Worked docks instead with cut mullet and found happy fish that made our drags scream. Brandon caught his biggest fish ever! Good charter in some tough conditions.
This morning’s charter had a tide that set up perfectly to fish the flats for the whole four hours. Combined with light winds it looked like it was shaping up for a great day. Sure enough the trip was fantastic! Using chunks of fresh cut mullet, we got redfish to smoke the bait sometimes as soon as it hit the water. Again and again, the rod tips snapped over as the circle hooks did their job. Darryl and his son, Mason, did an awesome job landing all those reds. It’s nice when it all goes to plan.
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!
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.
Long time regulars, Dan and Dani joined me in the morning to fish a nice falling tide. Popping corks and mud minnows were the choice of the day. Dani hooked a very nice red on her first cast and I knew it would be a good trip. Dan followed up shortly with two reds of his own, including one with five spots on one side. We also caught trout up to 18″. Before we knew it, it was time to head home. As always, great work by both and another productive charter!
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 all 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!
Spring has arrived! With days full of sun and temperatures holding in the 70’s, our fishery is rapidly changing with many new signs of life. Trout and flounder are entering the mix and anglers now have several species to target instead of just spooky redfish. Bait is filling our waters and the fish are hungry!
Redfish are no longer focused simply on preservation but are becoming predators again. Anglers should consider using artificial plastic lures that mimic bait fish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that have become very popular and are available in a wide variety of colors. I’ve been finding that silver hues have been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor.
Having woken from their winter slumber, the trout are active again. Fishermen should focus on grassy banks and oyster beds when targeting these fish. It’s time to break out the popping corks again. Try fishing a 3” D.O.A. plastic shrimp lure suspended two feet underneath a popping cork. The D.O.A. shrimp come in several weights but I prefer their 1/4oz. model. The Glow/Gold color is a great choice.
Often considered our tastiest fish, flounder are a frequent target. 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 structures when targeting flounder. Old pilings and docks are good places to prospect. Remember that 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.
See you on the water!
With wind and boat chop making the water on the flats muddy, we switched over to docks. Found redfish eating mud minnows on both sides of low tide. Bite stayed steady for several hours. Ting was so happy about one of the redfish they caught she decided to give it a kiss!