Leaving under the cover of darkness, we rolled up on a flat where we could barely make out the shell rakes. At dawn, you could see the backs and tails of redfish as they busted shrimp. Lobbed in half a blue crab and a 7lb. red was on before I could even put the rod in a holder. Bite was so strong during the falling tide we could barely keep one bait out at a time and caught reds up to 10lbs. Once the tide turned, the fish were more hesitant and we had lots of pickups and drops but still kept putting fish in the boat. Awesome morning!
Vetted regulars, Doug and Chip, drove all the way from Charlotte, NC the morning of the trip and were still right on time at 7am. The cold snap the night before dropped water temperatures by three degrees and the bite slowed. It didn’t stop the duo from catching reds up to nine pounds! Almost all fish caught on mud minnows following the trend of the last few weeks.
We had one goal for our charter: catch Kerri’s first redfish. We started with a modest flounder which was her first fish ever. As the winds picked up, conditions deteriorated. Not to be denied, Kerri kept at it and eventually a rod snapped over! A few minutes later Kerri had her prize for the day, a beautiful upper slot redfish.
David had booked a charter in Janauary to see some of the huge schools of redfish building in the Winter. The fish sure didn’t disappoint today! Spent most of the charter at one spot as pod after pod made its way down the bank and over our baits. Whether we had cracked blue crab or cut mullet on the bottom, the rods would snap over every few minutes. The action was so fierce that we even called the trip early and headed back to the landing with good memories and tired arms.
It turns out your can still catch plenty of redfish when the water temperature is in the 60s! We spent the day putting mud minnows out on circle hooks and letting the redfish schools swim over to us. For every fish that hooked up, there were at least ten that nosed the bait and the line. Both Noll and Pat caught their first redfish ever. Pat set the bar high for his personal best with this 12 pound beauty!
Having looked at the tide charts, Beezer gave me a call when he realized we could have a morning of sight fishing on the flats. The winds were light and you could see the schools moving all around us. Even thought the reds were feeding aggressively on shrimp they wanted nothing to do with artificials. So, we put out fresh cut mullet and mud minnows and waited. Mud minnows were the choice of the day and the rods snapped over again and again as the circle hooks did their magic. Put lots of reds in the boat and headed home after a successful morning!
Left the dock at first light driving into a stiff breeze at 15-20 out of the Northeast. Tried topwater for half an hour with success getting strikes and follows but no hookups. We took shelter on bank that offered protection from the wind and the chop. We caught trout, ladyfish and bluefish with mud minnows under popping corks. Most importantly, as far as Sam was concerned, we caught sharks on blue crab!
The Harris family joined me for a kid’s fishing trip with a focus on sharks. We found a few bonnetheads in deeper water right on the ledges but moved to shallower water to see what would happen. One of the rods with half a blue crab quickly bent over and the drag started screaming. Ian told me he thought it was a ray as it surfaced a few times. Once it was close to boat we realized it was a huge redfish! The fishing gods were kind and let us get the fish in the boat where it taped out to 39″. Makes me really excited for the Fall run of bull reds!
Every year Ray and Marv drive up from Florida for three days of fishing. Despite all the options available, they want one thing: big redfish under docks. So bring out the shark rods, 60lb. test and chunks of blue crab and away we go! Had our best year yet with hot action every day. Rods would snap over and Ray and Marv would have those few pivotal seconds to get that fish out from under a dock before it wrapped around a piling. Good times. Lots of redfish ten pounds or more. Can’t wait until next year.
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!