Unlucky Flat Fish

The other day, I was working a school of Redfish in ultra shallow water.  The Reds were very spooky so I was casting my lure (a Z-Man StreakZ on a Trout Eye Jig) onto the bank then pulling it into the water.  This stealthy presentation was working well.  After releasing a couple of decent size Redfish, I made another cast onto the bank.  As I pulled the lure back into the water, I foul hooked this Flounder.  As if that was not bad enough, the unlucky flat fish was keeper size.  Typically, I release most of the fish I catch. However, this one was invited home for dinner.



1st Top Water Red of the Season

For me, Summer begins when Redfish begin feeding on the surface.  Last week, small pods of Redfish were chasing bait in the shallows.  So I knew it was time to give top water a try.  For the past few weeks, Trout have been crushing the new Rapala Skitter V.  Turns out, Redfish like it too!

The top water bite is on.  Summer is here.  Next up, Tailers on the fly.


Fishing for a Grade

Last week while speaking at the Summerville Saltwater Anglers meeting, I was introduced to Grant Allison.  Turns out Grant was working on a school project that required him to catch a Trout, Flounder and Redfish.  The project was due this week and Grant needed a little help catching the fish.  So I invited him to fish with me on Monday.  It was blowing 20 knots when we launched the skiff.  Rather than fight the elements, we tucked into a small creek and began casting Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 lures on 3/16th ounce Trout Eye finesse jigs.  The bite was slow but Grant managed to release a few Trout and a Flounder.  However, the Redfish eluded us.  As the sun set, the wind finally let up.  With just a few minutes of daylight left, we moved to a wind sheltered shallow area and immediately spotted a school of Redfish.  It took a little doing but Grant finally got a Redfish to eat his StreakZ.  Using the last rays of sunlight, we took a quick picture and released the fish.

Grant is an excellent student.  Based upon our trip, he is an even better angler.

Daniel Island News – April 9

Great weather, warm water and hungry fish are a proven recipe for excellent fishing. This weekend we hit three out of three. While on occasion, it was a bit breezy, the fishing was off the charts (good). In the morning, before a lot of boats got on the water and their wakes diminished water clarity, I sight fished for Reds in the flooded marsh. They were not tailing (hopefully they starting doing this in a week or so) but they were actively feeding. Pretty much every fish I saw ate a 5-inch Z-Man StreakZ (Pearl) on a sixteenth ounce Mustad 4/0 keeper hook. This lure combination is weedless, so it works well in the flooded marsh. A slight switch was all it took to trigger a strike.

After an hour of great fishing, it was time to pick up my son (Elliott) at the dock. Upon our return to the area, the tide was falling and the Redfish were filtering out of the marsh. We saw a school of slot-size Redfish leave the marsh and take up feeding stations near an oyster bar. Elliott cast a Z-Man MinnowZ (Bad Shad) on a quarter ounce jig to the base of the bar and hooked up right away. I immediately cast a StreakZ 3.75 (Blue Back Herring) on a 3/16th ounce Trout Eye finesses jig into the same area and had similar results. Doubles! The hot bite continued until the tide fell to the point that the bar became too shallow and the school moved to deeper water.

Having caught our fill of Redfish, we switched our attention to completing our Inshore Slams. This required each of us to catch a Trout and Flounder. We checked Trout off the list by fishing a feeder creek that was draining over an oyster bar. Like the Redfish, the Trout ate both the MinnowZ and StreakZ equally well. At the same spot, Elliott picked up a Flounder to complete his slam. I spent the rest of the day targeting Flounder but to no avail. However, I did catch a bunch more Trout and Redfish.

Last week, I was out-fished by (12-year old) Luke Bishop. This week, the beat down was administered by Elliott. I need to start fishing with less talented anglers!

Daniel Island News – April 5

Thanks to everyone that supported the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund by attending the fishing class on Saturday. I want to give a special shout out to Anthony at Sea Tow Charleston for the gift buckets. Kids and parents alike loved them!

After the class, I went fishing with Luke Bishop (who lives down the street from me). Luke is 12 years old and an avid angler. Occasionally, he stops by the house to share fishing information. We chat about what is biting and the lures that are producing the best results. He is polite, well-mannered and a great kid. If Luke is representative of the future of fishing, the future is very bright.

The tide was not optimal when we launched the boat. However, the weather was perfect. Light winds and warm temperatures made for great conditions on the water. Given the unusually high tide, we started out sight-fishing Redfish in the flooded marsh. We saw a bunch of fish but could only get a couple to bite. Unfortunately, they also got away. As the tide began to fall, we switched to creek drains and turned our attention to Trout. We fared much better. Luke was casting a Z-Man MinnowZ (Mud Minnow) on a ¼ ounce Trout Eye jig. I was using a StreakZ 3.75 (Blue Back Herring). While we both were catching fish, Luke was on fire. He was using a swim and stop technique (a slow steady retrieve with a stop every so often). The Trout could not resist it. We ended up releasing 40 or so Trout (I even kept a few for dinner). Luke caught significantly more fish than I did.

About mid-tide, we switched our focus back to Reds. However, all of the boat traffic (and wakes) made the water clarity poor. So, the fish were having trouble locating our lures. We did manage to release one before calling it a day.

On Saturday, I was out fished by a 12-year-old. It was great fun!

Longer Days

Longer days bring more opportunities to fish.  Late in the afternoon, the winds tend to diminish.  Creating great conditions for casting flies or top water lures.  Recently, both have been highly successful.  Given warmer water temperatures and the return of baitfish to the creeks, Trout and Redfish are feeding aggressively.  Especially, later in the day.  So, get out catch a few!

My favorite late afternoon lure has been the new Rapala Skitter-V.   It casts well (like into the next county well) and is very easy to walk.  For flies, it is hard to be a Gurgler.

The days are getting longer.  Take advantage of the opportunity and go fishing.