Can anyone else believe that here we are in the first week of Feb and we have water temps pushing the upper 50’s in the afternoons right now? Crazy, but welcomed! Though the redfish are probably a little confused as to what time of the year it actually ia right now, it has not slowed down their feeding habits at all. Have had several reports in this week of anglers finding schools of reds numbering in the hundreds, and the fish were feeding as well. Some anglers were producing 25-35 nice reds in only a couple hours. The larger schools are still being found around low tide on the shallow mud flats, and when working these mud flats look for areas of the flat that have a few oyster points mixed in…this is typically where the reds will stage up. Throw live minnows, shrimp, or a chunk of blue crab if you like to fish natural baits.If you like to throw artificials, throw a ZMAN ultra shrimp or Gulp swimming mullet. I know this sounds like a broken record lately, but the sheepshead bite is still going well on fiddler crabs and live shrimp fished around heavy structure in 8-15ft of water as well as the Charleston Harbor jetties. Have also heard several encouraging reports this week of anglers finding a fair number of trout here and there in 6-12ft of water Try free-lining a DOA shrimp with a rattle in it, hard to beat this technique and bait when the trout get a little sluggish during the cooler months.
While most of the offshore anglers are spending most of their free time getting all their equipment ready for spring right now, a handful of boats have slipped out in the last week during some good weather. Reports of good numbers of blackfin were coming in from the south (southern edisto banks, deli, etc), with many of these tuna being caught jigging butterfly jigs after marking the fish down deep along the ledge. Even had a gentleman in yesterday that was saying he got into a fantastic topwater blackfin blitz during the late afternoon just a few days ago around the northern end of the Deli. Did not hear of any real consistent wahoo bite, though there were a few caught from 140-300ft of water, most of which were in 30-45 pound range Sheepshead reports from the nearshore reefs seemingly slowed the past week and half, with most of the anglers who ventured out to the reefs saying they could not get a bait past the black sea bass long enough for a sheepshead to be able to take it. My recommendation if looking to fish one of our many artificial reefs would be to target the shallower reefs right now until we get a little closer to March, meaning the reefs in 25-35ft of water. You should be less likely to get over-run by sea bass on these shallower reefs, and there should be good numbers of black drum and sheepshead ready to take a fiddler or live shrimp at these type reefs.
Manager – Haddrell’s Point