Charleston Fishing Report – September 2018

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The Fall is the best time to fish in Charleston as cooling water temperatures let fish know that they better eat heartily because food will begin to disappear shortly. There is still time to catch summer seasonal species like shark, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish. However, by mid-September they will begin to head out in search of warmer climates. To top it off, lots of anglers will turn their attention to hunting and football which will leave you plenty of open water!

Redfish will begin to increasingly take artificial baits as usual during this time of year. Artificial plastic lures that resemble the minnows in our waters are quite effective. Zman’s 3 ¾” streakz in smokey shad is a great choice. I pair this lure with a 1/8oz. jighead but conditions sometimes call for a heavier weight. Vary your rate of retrieve as you work a spot. Just slowing down or speeding up the pace of the lure can make the bite come to life!

When targeting trout, popping corks remain the best option. While live shrimp is an excellent choice small fish will often eat that shrimp in seconds. As a result, we have been sticking with mud minnows paired with size 1 Owner circle hooks. Once hung up on structure or on a shell rake, popping corks can be hard to recover. While it’s rare you will get the whole rig back there is a simple trick that will save you time and money. Attach 20-pound test line to the top of the cork and attach a 15-pound test line to the hook from the bottom of the cork. When you pull hard, the line will snap at the hook and you will get your cork back.

Anglers are regularly catching bull redfish (36” inches plus) currently at the jetties or at nearshore reefs. During this time of year, these same fish come increasingly more into the harbor and inlets as they follow schools of large baitfish. A great set up for these fish will have a stiff rod paired with a heavy test braided line connected to a 50-60lb. leader and 7/0 circle hooks. Fresh chunks of mullet, menhaden or smaller fish are effective baits. Target spots where there are marked changes in depth and wait for the massive strikes!

See you on the water!

Charleston Shark Fishing

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With a very low tide to start the trip, it was the perfect opportunity to fish for sharks in the inlet. Once set up on a ledge, the rods started whipping over as soon as the cracked blue crab hit the bottom. Got to the point where we couldn’t even keep two rods out at one time. Everyone on board was into the hot action. Fantastic way to start a charter!

Fishing Kiawah Island

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John booked three mornings well in advance to make sure we had the best low tides for sightfishing on the flyrod. We were able to find agreeable fish every day but the bar was set high right out of the gates. In the first hour of the first day, John fought a fish for such a long time I thought the drag on his reel was set too light. I was very wrong as the fish turned out to be a 31″ redfish, the biggest on a flyrod so far this year. Great work!

Charleston Fishing Report – August 2018

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Our fishery is in full swing with lots of bait and an incredibly diverse mixture of fish to target. During August, it will be key to get out early to beat the heat. You’ll not only be more comfortable fishing in the morning but also more productive. The high temperatures in the afternoon can put species like trout down. You may lose some sleep but launching at first light has plenty of rewards.

Popping corks are very effective this time of year. You can catch so many different types of fish: redfish, trout, flounder, ladyfish, shark etc. I use a weighted popping cork so I can increase the distance of my cast. I run an 18″-24″ fluorocarbon leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook. When your cork drops under water, reel until you feel the weight of the fish and then lift the rod tip. Mud minnows, shrimp and artificial shrimp all work well as baits.

Topwater is a fantastic option when you are starting early. Try to get to your spot just as it is becoming light. Fish will strike topwater lures based on the commotion they make on the surface and aren’t able to see that the lure isn’t a real struggling baitfish. These lures work well for trout, ladyfish and redfish. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. lures in chartreuse and black or red and white are the ticket.

This time of year you’ll want to carry your cast net not only for shrimp but also for baitfish like finger mullet and menhaden. Finger mullet under a popping cork are deadly for trout and can’t be torn to bits by little bait stealing fish. Menhaden fished live on the bottom with big circle hooks are great for reds and sharks. Fresh cut menhaden or mullet put out a scent trail that few fish can ignore.

See you on the water!

Folly Beach Fishing Charters

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Popping corks were the way to go today and we fished with them for the entire charter. Fish were equally happy with live shrimp or mud minnows and ate well in front of an incoming storm front. Almost all reds but one nice four pound trout surprised us all!

Seabrook Island Fishing Charters

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Things were a bit slow as we fished both sides of slack high tide. We caught some trout but when the current started running the fishing took off too! As the water dropped and the bait was pulled out of the grass, the redfish started eating. Our corks kept dropping as redfish bit our mud minnows. Michele not only caught her first redfish but with lots of coaxing even agreed to hold it!

Charleston Fishing Report – July 2018

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July is one of the most productive months of the year for fishing. The combination of traditional targets like redfish and trout and summer seasonal species like shark, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel make for a very active fishery. Anglers can expect lots of different opportunities during all tides!

Don’t leave the dock without your cast net. Menhaden and finger mullet are readily available and choice baits for redfish. Target redfish while fishing these baits around structures like docks and rock walls. You can hook the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook going up through the lower lip and out through the top. Place the bait on the bottom with a Carolina rig using enough weight to hold your bait stationary so it doesn’t snag.

As for trout, popping corks paired with live bait is the way to go. We have been using mud minnows as pervasive little fish will steal live shrimp right off your hook. Choose a popping cork that you can easily throw and see. Oval corks weigh more and cast farther. Orange can be easier to see than green or yellow when there is chop on the water. Throw your cork in an area with current and you will be catching loads of trout.

All species of shark have appeared. Sharpnose and blacktip sharks have been present for over a month and bonnetheads are becoming more present. The same menhaden mentioned above make for great shark bait. We still use circle hooks but go up to size 7/0. Try fishing one line with a live menhaden and a second with a chunk of menhaden. You’ll find out quickly which one is preferred!

This is the strongest season in recent memory for Spanish mackerel. We have been finding them in heavy numbers in places where they have rarely been seen. These fish are great fun for all anglers and easy to catch. Cast reflective jigs through schools of busting fish and reel as fast as possible. Expect dynamic action as these fish knife through the water chasing your lure!

See you on the water!

Fly Fishing New Mexico

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Enjoyed a week of perfect conditions with no rain and low water with perfect clarity. Rainbow and brown trout were both very active feeding below and above the surface. With fantastic visibility, it was easy to watch trout coming up to eat your dry fly or chasing your nymph. Only fished big bushy dry flies with smaller nymphs dropped off the back. Great family fun and a chance for me to go fishing for a change!

Fishing Sullivan’s Island

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With school having just ended, the Bowden family decided to make a fishing charter part of their vacation to Charleston. Apparently they packed plenty of good luck! Started with nine sharks and then went inshore. Caught redfish, trout and flounder under popping corks for a lowcountry slam. Great way to start the trip!

Charleston Fishing Report – June 2018

By Fishing, Fishing Report

Charleston Fishing Report

It has been a long time coming but sustained sunny days have brought our fishery back to life after a cold Spring. Redfish and trout are both active and chasing down the bait that has filled our waters. They aren’t the only hungry ones as Spanish mackerel, shark and bluefish have made their way into town. Fishing season is undeniably here, so get out there!

Redfish have become much more aggressive now that the fishery has heated up. Artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish swimming in the water are a great option.  Bigger lures like the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz would be my pick given the large mullet around. You will want to pair these with a flutter hook that will make the lure look realistic as it swims. Gamakatsu 4/0 or 5/0 EWG flutter hooks in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights are your best bet.

It’s topwater time! There’s nothing more exciting than watching fish blow up on your lure at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. is one of the reliable standards. My favorite is the chartreuse and black but the silver mullet color works well too. Vary your retrieve as sometimes a change in pace will trigger a strike. Once the topwater bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going. Try the MirrOLure 17MR in green back and white belly and enjoy fishing for even longer.

Ladyfish are my favorite summer seasonal species. They strike hard, run fast and make one acrobatic leap after another. Sometimes referred to as the poor man’s tarpon these fish are wildly entertaining. I will target these fish with live shrimp or mud minnows under a popping cork. I prefer the D.O.A. oval corks. They come in a two pack that costs the same as most single corks and they fish great. Pair them with a size 1 Owner circle hook and get ready for a good time.

See you on the water!