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Reports

Charleston Fishing Report: June 4, 2018

It has been a long time coming but sustained sunny days have brought our fishery back to life after a cold Spring. Redfish and trout are both active and chasing down the bait that has filled our waters. They aren’t the only hungry ones as Spanish mackerel, shark and bluefish have made their way into town. Fishing season is undeniably here, so get out there!

Redfish have become much more aggressive now that the fishery has heated up. Artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish swimming in the water are a great option. Bigger lures like the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz would be my pick given the large mullet around. You will want to pair these with a flutter hook that will make the lure look realistic as it swims. Gamakatsu 4/0 or 5/0 EWG flutter hooks in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights are your best bet.

It’s topwater time! There’s nothing more exciting than watching fish blow up on your lure at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. is one of the reliable standards. My favorite is the chartreuse and black but the silver mullet color works well too. Vary your retrieve as sometimes a change in pace will trigger a strike. Once the topwater bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going. Try the MirrOLure 17MR in green back and white belly and enjoy fishing for even longer.

Ladyfish are my favorite summer seasonal species. They strike hard, run fast and make one acrobatic leap after another. Sometimes referred to as the poor man’s tarpon these fish are wildly entertaining. I will target these fish with live shrimp or mud minnows under a popping cork. I prefer the D.O.A. oval corks. They come in a two pack that costs the same as most single corks and they fish great. Pair them with a size 1 Owner circle hook and get ready for a good time.

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 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: May 1, 2018

As we enter May, few can remember a Spring with so many windy days combined with lots of rain. Our fishery is a few weeks behind but is now poised to come alive! Water temperatures have been jumping higher and summer seasonal species have begun to appear. Put a line in the water and you won’t be disappointed!

As redfish begin to feed in earnest, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. From the popping cork, I attach a 18”-24” fluorocarbon leader to a size 1 circle hook. Should smaller fish make short work of your live bait, try using D.O.A.’s 2.75” shrimp in their Glow colors.

Trout have been slowly coming around after a challenging and chilly few months. Artificials have been producing the most consistent trout action. When worked slowly in the water column, smaller plastic artificials that mimic baitfish have been getting crushed. Z-Man’s Finesse TRD lures are a go-to choice in their Mud Minnow color. St. Croix Avid and Premiere rods are excellent choice to work these rigs as these rods are not only light weight but super sensitive.

Spanish mackerel are already slashing around the harbor and can be best found at first light. When you find schools of fish knifing across the surface, throw reflective casting jigs (1/2oz. or smaller) and reel them as fast as you can through the school. Spanish are toothy critters so no matter how fast the action remember to pause and check your leader frequently for cuts and nicks.

With warmer waters, sharks have begun to arrive. Of all the different species of shark we see, bonnetheads are not only among the most common but also the most accessible. These sharks can be caught in a foot of water or in the middle of the harbor. Live menhaden, chunks of blue crab or cut mullet can all be used as baits. These great fighters are good fun for young and old anglers alike.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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: April 2, 2018

At the beginning of March, Charleston had begun to shed the effects of a chilly Winter. The bite improved noticeably and then two weeks of storms and windy weather slowed things down again. Redfish are available and trout can be found too if you work the right lures. Temperatures will surely rebound in April and with it so will the fishing!

Somewhat surprisingly given the water temperatures, decent size mullet have already made their way into our waters. You can see birds diving aggressively on these fish especially at low tide. Anglers would be well served to use artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. A great option is the Z-Man 5” Jerk Shadz in their Houndini color. I will rig this lure with a Gamakatsu 3/0 flutter hook in 1/8oz. to 1/4oz. weights. This lure fishes weedless, can be thrown a mile and makes very little noise when it lands. Work one of these around a school of redfish and you will find success!

With fish still moving slowly, the most effective tactic we have found is tossing Trout Eye jigheads rigged with mud minnows around structure especially docks. Take the hook through the minnow’s bottom lip and out through the top lip. We are using a 1/4oz. jighead to help get the bait down close to the bottom. Methodically work this rig back to the boat by popping the bait up twice and letting it fall. When you feel any resistance set the hook hard!

Docks have been a go-to option on these windy days and per usual are quite productive in early Spring relative to other options. Besides working the Trout Eye jigheads described above, we often fish cut bait on the bottom around the docks. Prepare a heavier rod with pinch on weights and an Owner 3/0 circle hook. Use just enough weight to keep the bait stationary. While cut mullet and blue crab are always popular, frozen shrimp has been working best. Just put the rod in a holder and let the circle hook do all the work for you!

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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: March 1, 2018

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!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of 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 – February 2018

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

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