Wow! What a winter Charleston has had and seems to still be in.  January seemed to be the longest month ever in history due to the extreme cold, snow, and windy weather.  Many have inquired about the cold temperatures and what that has done to the fishery.  I have to say it felt like we got hit hard with a negative low tide at the time the snow came through and how fast it approached Charleston.  The fish typically move out of the shallow creeks to deeper water as the water temperature drops.  Due to the “sneakiness” of the cold front it took several fish into fish heaven.  Speckled sea trout would encounter the biggest hit with some redfish, sheepshead, and black drum seen floating.

With all that being said, we don’t know the extent of the fish kill.  The SC Department of Natural Resources will continue to do trammel net surveys to grasp a better idea of the extensiveness of what the cold did.  One of their nets captured several redfish and a handful of trout that swam off healthy, and this was just a week after the cold snap.  As for an actual fishing report I have talked to several different guides and recreational anglers that have been out and caught several redfish and some trout.  Most of the trout have been caught on artificial baits such as the Z-Man TRD on a light jig head(Ned Lockz 1/6oz) and Vudu shrimp in cajun pepper color.  These baits definitely need to be worked along the bottom at a snails pace.  Would work slightly deeper water in the 8-12’ range.

Reds have been schooled up but I have heard of several guys finding them in different areas than they normally do this time of year.  Our new employee, Wes, caught 28 reds on the fly last Wednesday!!  Captain Robert Olsen did really well on the sheepshead in the past couple of days.  Didn’t see much size to them but seemed that the numbers were there.  We are now carrying the mesh bags to better wrap up the clams so you can fish for the sheeps a little easier.   SC Department of Natural Resources is asking (meaning this is not law) that you release any trout that you may catch for a few months.  Again, they are concerned with the trout population and any difference anglers can make would be appreciated.

The offshore trolling bite this time of year can be limited to your wahoo BUT that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good fishing trip!!  The last couple of weeks have produced several nice wahoo.  High Speed trolling has definitely been a go-to and its working!  Would highly encourage anglers to look at sea surface temps this time of year and look for that 68-74 degree water temperature to give you better odds on finding that HOO DADDY!!  Bottom fishing is on point in anywhere from 70 feet of water out to 135 feet.  Cigar minnows and squid will definitely work for the grouper and snapper.  Don’t hesitate to try the Shimano Flat Fall jigs for your slightly deeper water stuff and the new Shimano Colt Sniper jigs.  Those things work for everything!!!!

What’s going on at Haddrell’s!  You may have come in and seen the Mt Pleasant shop in a little bit of disarray and that’s because we are expanding.  We are extremely excited to be moving our fly fishing, hunting, and rod and reel repair into the shop next door.  What was the East Cooper Sporting Goods will now be Haddrell’s Point.  We will be able to better serve our customers with their fly fishing and fly tying needs as well as improve our hunting selection.   With this move next door means that we will also be able to expand our fishing selection in our current shop.  Lookout offshore anglers because we are going deep into the offshore game this spring!  As we continue to work we are in hopes of opening the new location in early March so be sure to stop in and see all the new rods, reels, lures, and more!

Capt Mike Able Jr – Manager
Haddrell’s Point Tackle & Supply