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Charleston Area - February 10th, 2012
supplied by: The Patient Angler RECORDED:70 °FISHING: Great
Just got back from a great trip to Charleston, S.C. to visit a good friend on mine and to fly-fish for Redfish. I had never been to Charleston before and was looking forward to exploring the city as well as the Red fishing.
The weather was great for us, with above average temperatures and plenty of sunshine, which you tend to appreciate more when you live in a place that’s much colder during the winter months. We did have a good amount of wind that we had to deal with while fishing. Not only is it harder to cast in the wind, but the wind also tends to churn up the water & muddy bottom making for poor visibility and spotting fish more difficult. You can still find fish, but you have to look for muds (dirty spots where feeding fish have stirred up the bottom), or nervous water (a disturbance on the surface caused by moving fish below).
We fished most days and found fish on every occasion. We were casting & stripping baitfish patterns to small schools of Redfish in open water or along grass flats depending on the height of the tide. During the summer months, you would target fish that were tailing on the grass flats feeding on crabs.
Redfish are a big-shouldered saltwater fish that can run in size from a juvenile fish of a couple pounds (called a rat), to upwards of 40 lbs. or more. They readily take flies when presented properly and put up a bulldog of a fight when hooked. Our most productive fly was an Enrico Puglisi baitfish pattern tied on a 1/0 hook, although we did catch a number of fish on other deceiver style patterns. Casting accuracy and presentation seemed to be more important than the actual fly pattern used.
We caught lot of Redfish that ran between 5 and 15lbs, and enjoyed being able to see most of the takes. On the worst of our water visibility days, we would spend a lot of time blind casting to where we thought the fish were based on muds and nervous water, but the best was when the water was clear enough to sight cast to small schools of feeding fish.
We were fishing Winston 7wt. BII-MX fast action rods with floating Redfish lines & 16lb. Redfish leaders, which was the perfect set-up for the size of fish we were catching and fighting the wind.
The amazing thing about this great fishery is that it’s available right in town or just minutes from anywhere. You can hook up the boat at home, drive to the water, launch and be fishing for Redfish in less than 30 minutes. Now that’s urban angling at its finest.
The Patient Angler
Beaufort and Hilton Head - January 3rd, 2007
supplied by: Capt. Mike Upchurch FISHING: Fair
It's supposed to be winter but its been more like late spring with temperatures in the mid to high 70's for a number of days.
Speckled Trout dissappeared for a few days after we had 5.5 inches of rain in a three day period but have returned to their usual haunts. We smoked 'em over the last two days on small artificial shrimp. Working the baits slowly over the bottom near shell points produced mucho strikes.
Redfish were a little tougher on the flats mainly due to poor sightfishing conditions. Heavy cloud cover and rain gave us zero visibility under the surface. We still managed some good numbers though my guys had to blind cast about 8 bazillion times.
A cold front is now upon us so it's back to heavy jackets and bibs. The bite should continue to be good as the water temperature is still in the high 50's so let's go fishing................................
Myrtle Beach to Charleston - September 11th, 2004
supplied by: Delta Guide Service FISHING: Good
Even with two hurricanes making a direct hit on us, we still managed to have some really good fishing. When these storms visit us, the wind and wave action causes quite a bit of silt to be stirred up into the water. The real problem however, is that with that much rain, all the fresh water coming down our five rivers brings us some really muddy fresh water. As the runoff water got here, one of the things that happened was that many of the shrimp that were growing in the estuaries left because of the big fluctuation in salinity. After the shrimp left, the reds and trout were hungry and searching for food and we were there to offer them something to eat! When we have such muddy water, not much will beat a live mullet minnow for bait. There are several reasons we prefer the "finger mullet" over either mud minnows or shrimp. When you put a mud minnow on a bottom rig, he will do his best to hide himself by getting under a shell, or in a crevice of some sort. A shrimp will not continue to move a lot after it has been hooked for a short time and will not attract much attention. On the other hand, the finger mullet is typically a surface swimmer, and will constantly swim towards the surface. They are normally strong and durable baits. One of our favorite rigs is to simply tie a hook on your line, and then hook-up a big mullet minnow (around 3"), gently toss the bait in the area of the fish, and hold on! We see it time and again, even when there are hundreds of minnows in an area, when your hooked minnow swims and is slowed by the line’s drag, he becomes the target of choice of all the predators. He is literally the “injured minnow” that most all lures attempt to mimic. Some times when the water is 5 or 6 feet deep, we’ll add a 00 split shot about 16" above the bait in order to get him down a little deeper. An added feature of the mullet is that his side scales are like a mirror where even the smallest amount of light and movement will cause a bright flash of light. Since he is constantly swimming upward, the effect is something like a flashing neon sign saying "EAT HERE"! Also, since they are normally so active, they produce sound waves that alert fish to their location. We normally hook our baits from the bottom rear of the jaw up through the cartilage plate just in front of their eyes. This way, their mouth can work properly and they don't have a problem getting a good flow of water over their gills. My favorite hook is a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook. Some people think that hook is much bigger than is needed but, I disagree. The point of a small hook can easily get lost in the bait as a fish turns it to eat it. As the fish turns the bait head first, the hook shank will turn under the bait, and the hook point will turn over the top of the baits head. Smaller hooks can wind up stuck in the bait, and not in the fishes mouth. With the larger hooks, when the bait is turned, the point is up and well clear of the bait and is in a position to hook the fish. This hook and method also does not require you to let the fish run with the bait before setting the hook. Mullet minnows can be caught by using a cast net and are easily kept in a floating bucket, or an aerated tank. Our typical day produced around 5 to 10 reds and we also had another day where we caught over 50 reds on a trip. Unreal for August!! Conservation does pay!! Good fishing!
Gene Dickson Delta Guide Service http://www.deltaguideservice.com/index.html Georgetown, SC 843-546-3645