Skip to main content
Tag

Charleston Fishing Reports | Charleston Charter Fishing

July Fishing Report

By Fishing, Fishing Report

charleston-fishing-report

Could there be a better time of year to fish? There are so many species available to target and so many different ways to fish for them!  Anglers will always find something exciting to do on the water. As the days become progressively warmer, fishermen will want to fish early before the heat of the day arrives.

While the large schools of redfish have now broken up, you can still find pods of dozens of fish roaming the flats and grass banks. In order to get their attention, we have been using baits that leave a hearty scent trail in the water. Cut menhaden or cut mullet are all effective choices.  Try using size 3/0 circle hooks and just let the fish hook itself.

This season we have been catching many more “keeper” trout (over 14”) than in recent years. While popping corks are a great option, we’ve also been fishing mud minnows on jigheads. These jigheads allow us to get our bait in front of fish holding in deeper pockets. We use 1/8oz. jigheads and make sure to vary the rate of our retrieve. Bumping your bait along the bottom can be deadly.

As always, sharks are pervasive in our waters during the summertime. Cracked blue crab and menhaden are great for bait but chunks of fresh cut bluefish and ladyfish work very well too. Look to fish drop-offs where there is a sharp change in water depth. As a pleasant surprise, you also stand the chance to find a large bull redfish at the end of your line!

There will be a number of significant high tides in the evening this month. As redfish access areas usually unavailable on normal tides, fishermen can see the backs and tails of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to forage for crabs. These tides are called “tailing tides” and provide awesome sight casting opportunities. Watching a redfish explode in skinny water when you set the hook is truly a sight to behold.

See you on the water!

June Fishing Report

By Fishing, Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

Great fishing conditions are finally consistently here! Weeks full of sunny weather and warm temperatures have made our fishery come alive. Bait is everywhere and eager fish are chasing it down. Anglers have a whole host of options now that our seasonal species have arrived to compliment the traditional targets of redfish and trout. It’s little wonder our waters are now full of fishermen waiting for “the strike”.

Fishing for redfish remains very productive. Blue crab fished on the bottom is deadly. Remove the shell and legs of a blue crab and cut the body in half. Put a size 3/0 circle hook through the hole where the flipper fin used to be and make sure the hook point is exposed. No need to hold the rod, instead put it in a rod holder. Once that rod starts to bend, don’t touch it until the drag starts screaming!

We’ve found the most consistent trout action to be on artificials instead of the traditional popping corks. Small plastic artificials that mimic small baitfish have been getting crushed. The Z-man 3 ¾” streakz in smoky shad is an excellent choice. Paired with an 1/8oz. jighead, these lures worked best bumped slowly along the bottom. Trout will usually hit when you lift them up in a jigging motion.

The flounder bite has been better than seasons in recent memory. We’ve been picking up lots of flounder with mud minnows under a popping cork. Of course, the more traditional method of fishing finger mullet along the bottom around structures is still a go-to technique. Move the bait slowly and when you think you have a bite wait a few seconds (if you can) before setting the hook.

My favorite summer time fish is the ladyfish. Ladyfish are becoming increasingly present with the warmer water. These lively 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 often catch them in the same spots you target trout.

See you on the water!

May Fishing Report

By Fishing, Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

Our fishery is really cooking now! The arrival of seasonal species like ladyfish, bluefish and shark now compliment our redfish and trout. Look around you on the water and you’ll also find plenty of baitfish including mullet and menhaden. You have more reasons now than ever to get fishing!

Recently, we’ve been making the most of live bait when fishing for redfish. Menhaden is a favorite choice whether fished live or as cut bait. Fishing chunks of menhaden under docks has produced some very large redfish. I’ll use a carolina rig with just enough weight to keep the bait pinned to the ground so it doesn’t get snagged. I use size 3/0 circle hooks and let the redfish hook themselves.

It’s that time of year to start thinking about topwater trout action at first light. My favorite lure is a Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in chartreuse and black. Their silver mullet color works well too. Try a variety of retrieval speeds as you work these lures. When that trout strikes, try to resist the temptation to lift the rod tip and reel the fish tight instead. It’s hard to beat those explosive strikes!

As expected, sharks have returned to our waters with the warmer water temperatures. Look along the shoreline and you’ll see the fins of bonnethead sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey. Live shrimp and chunks of blue crab both work well on these predators. Fishing for sharks can be a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up great fights.

Flyfishermen will begin to focus on big high tides or “tailing tides” when the redfish are way up in the grass. This produces very exciting fishing as anglers can see the backs and tails of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to forage for crabs. Dupre’s spoon flies have been particularly effective and I like their root beer color. When casting to redfish, remember to lead the fish by several feet, hitting them square on the head will cause them to spook and race away.

See you on the water!

Charleston Fishing Report – March 2018

By Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

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 captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

 

Charleston Fishing Report – November 2017

By Fishing, Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

Fishing in October was fantastic and we can expect November to be just as good, if not better!  Chilly nights remind redfish and trout that they had better eat now or it will be a long few months ahead. Per usual, artificial lures become very effective as natural bait leaves our waters. Take advantage of sunny days and go catch a bunch of fish!

As water temperatures decline, redfish have begun their annual phenomenon of forming large schools. Schools of fifty redfish will become commonplace and they can grow as large as 100-150 in the depths of winter. These fish do become more wary this time of year and artificial lures can spook them on the flats. Instead of casting lures at the schools, we have been setting out as many as three lines with chunks of frozen mullet on #3/0 circle hooks. Eventually the redfish will find your bait and whip your rods over with some ferocious hits.

For trout, artificial lures rigged on a jighead are working very well. Trout hang together in pockets and when you catch one there will likely be others in the immediate area. Lures in darker hues of blue and gray are performing the best when paired with a 1/4oz. jighead. Remember to move your lure slowly as the fish are beginning to move slowly as well with the colder waters. Try to bounce the jighead off the bottom and wait until you feel the resistance of a striking fish.

Popping corks are still very effective for both redfish and trout. Live shrimp can be used with confidence now that the little bait stealers are gone. I’ll attach a two foot leader to the cork and a size 1 circle hook on the other end. Cast over oyster beds, along grass banks and at creek mouths and watch for that cork to dive under! It can be so hard to do but when that cork drops, reel the fish tight and let the circle hook do the work. A big hook set can sometimes rip the bait right out of the fish’s mouth.

See you on the water!

 

Charleston Fishing Report – September 2017

By Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

With a perfect set of conditions in place, anglers can be confident that inshore fishing will really pick up in September. The combination of lots of bait, cooler water temperatures and less traffic on the water should make for great fishing. While most people will turn their focus to hunting and football, fishermen who save some time for wetting a line will be well rewarded.

As usual during this time of year, redfish will begin to increasingly take artificial baits. Plastic lures that mimic the minnows in our waters are very effective. Zman’s 3 ¾” streakz in smokey shad is an excellent choice. I pair this lure with a 1/8oz. jighead but conditions may call for a heavier weight. Make sure to vary your rate of retrieve as you work a spot. Sometimes just slowing down or speeding up the pace of the lure can make the bite come to life.

We continue to find our best trout bite by fishing topwater lures first thing in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Our perennial favorite lure remains the Super Spook Jr. with a black head/chartreuse body. Something about the contrast in colors seems to really get the trout fired up. As the topwater bite fades with the rising sun, try switching over to MirrOLure suspended lures and you can usually find more eager fish.

It’s not uncommon to catch bull redfish (36” inches plus) during the summer time at the jetties or at nearshore reefs. During the Fall, these same fish come increasingly more into the harbor and inlets as they track down large baitfish. Rods rigged for these fish will have 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 Fishing Report – April 2017

By Fishing, Fishing Report

Charleston-Fishing-Report

Charleston was set to bypass Winter and cruise straight into Spring up until the last two weeks. Abnormally chilly weather sent the water temperatures plummeting and made the bite slow down. Redfish hung in there but trout seemed to go back to their normal slumber. With April however, rising temperatures combined with the arrival of baitfish will get things cranking again!

While redfish remain in large schools, they will begin to break up as the water warms. These fish will leave survival mode and become active feeders once again. Over the last few weeks, redfish have been finicky with artificial baits but this should improve. Jerk shad rigged on flutter hooks as well as paddle tail grubs on jigheads will both be effective. Try colors that mimic the natural hues of baitfish like such as silver, grey and translucent blue.

When redfish are hesitant, a great solution is to throw chunks of freshly cracked blue crab. Blue crab is simply redfish candy and bait that is rarely refused. Remove the top of the shell, the pinchers and the legs and cut the remainder down the middle. I use size 3/0 circle hooks and put the hook through the bottom flipper hole. This setup will work on the flats, under docks and anywhere redfish are holding. Put the rod in the rod holder and don’t pick it up until the reel is screaming!

The trout bite will begin in earnest this April. The preferred rig of live bait under a popping cork is hard to beat. Live shrimp is now available and will give you another option than mud minnows. It’s a good idea to start carrying your cast net and see if you can find some finger mullet. Finger mullet under a cork is just deadly. Remember to vary the rate of your retrieve and don’t be afraid to let the current take your cork well past the back of your boat.

See you on the water!