Small Fish New Friend

Daniel Island is growing. As such, new residents are arriving daily. Bill Price is one of the new arrivals. Bill is also an avid angler, so it was only a matter of time before we met and went fishing. On the day of our trip, a strong breeze was blowing against the tide. This created standing waves in the Wando, making the river unfishable in my skiff. Late in the summer, I prefer to fish larger bodies of water on the incoming tide (because the water temperature is cooler and the fish feed more consistently). On my trip with Bill, this was not an option. So, we tucked into Beresford Creek to seek shelter from the wind. Turns out, shelter and fish were hard things to find.

We were casting Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 lures (Blue Back Herring) on Finesse Jigs. The wind made accurate casting a bit of a challenge. This (along with uncooperative fish) made for a slow start to our trip. When we finally found fish that would eat, they were small. Of course, when you are not catching many fish, you are thankful for the small ones!

With conditions against us and the bite being slow, Bill and I had a lot of time to chat. It was fun sharing the natural beauty of the Lowcountry with someone new to the area. We managed to catch fish but not many. Regardless of our meager catch, Bill and I had a great time.

Fishing is a great way to meet your neighbors. You may not catch fish but you will make new friends.

Slowing Down

For the last few months, pretty much every time I go fishing, a couple of dolphin follow my skiff around.  It seems they have figured out that I prefer to catch, photo and release fish.  So, they follow me around, hoping for an easy meal.  Initially, I thought the released fish could evade the dolphin.  Turns out, a fish that is not in a school has a low chance of survival when dolphin are around.  It is illegal to feed dolphin under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a federal law that’s been in effect since 1972.  Dolphin are wild animals and we should help to keep them that way.  As such, I have resorted to keeping the fish I catch in my skiff’s release well.  When the dolphin leave, I release the fish.  The pair of dolphin continue to visit my skiff.  Even if it is just to say hello.

Recently, fishing has been a bit slow.  However, given the intense heat, perhaps it is just me who has slowed down.  When the heat index is hovering around 110 degrees, some of the fun goes out of fishing.  Wait, did I just that?  I really am slowing down.  To beat the heat, I have been fishing mostly in the early evening.  Unfortunately, strong thunderstorms have been cutting many of the evening trips short.  So, time on the water has been minimal.

At dusk, the top water bite for Trout and Ladyfish has been good.  However, the most consistent action has been freelining a Z-Man EZ Shrimp on a Mustad 4/0 sixteenth ounce keeper style hook.  This combination is simple to fish.  Just cast it near a current seam and let it slowly sink and drift with the tide.  No retrieve cadence is necessary.  It is a slower style of fishing than I usually employ.  Perhaps, I really am slowing down.


Father and Son Fishing

For months, my son (Elliott) has been restoring his grandfather’s skiff.  The boat was old and in rough shape but Elliott’s efforts have made the boat “fishable” once again.  While there are still a multitude of things yet to done (there always is with a boat), we used it on a fishing trip with Jon Carmain and his son Jon A.  On the day of the trip, it was windy and there were whitecaps on the Wando River.  To make matter worse, several inches of rain made water quality and clarity poor.  All of this added up to a tough afternoon of fishing.

When you are not catching many fish, it leaves a lot of time to talk.  It was fun getting to know Jon and Jon A.  Super guys.  Given the tough conditions, we started out using live shrimp on lead head jigs.  We cast the shrimp to Redfish that we could see moving along a slight depth transition on a shallow flat.  While we were around the fish, bites we few and far between.  Fishing was slow, of the few fish we did catch, Jon A caught most of the them.  This started a friendly banter between father and son.  Jon smiled and told me he was just letting Jon A get a head start.  I replied, that I do that all the time when fishing with Elliott.  We all shared a good laugh.  While we did not catch a lot of fish, Elliott and I made some new friends.  Perhaps, that is the best catch of all.

Stayed tuned for the follow up to this trip.  Jon A and Elliott have challenged Jon and me to a fish-off.  A no holds barred Fathers vs. Sons fishing contest.  We may not catch any fish but we will have a great time!

One More for the Road

Quality product and great customer service leads to loyal and repeat customers.  At least that is the case for me and Charleston Trailer.  When I needed a new trailer for a skiff that I have been restoring, Rod and the Charleston Trailer team were my first and only call.  Once again, they exceeded my expectations!


Break The Routine

Summer is a time of plenty.  Our local waters are now filled with a multitude of fish species to choose from.   Currently, the biggest angling challenge is deciding which fish to target.  Now is a great time to break your routine and catch something different.

For me, it has been a long time since I set out to catch a Sheephead.   So, on Friday, I picked up a pint of fiddler crabs at The Charleston Angler (West Ashley location).   Rather than re-rig my rods specifically for Sheephead fishing, I simply removed the Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 (Blue Back Herring) from my finesse jig and replaced it with a fiddler crab.  Turns out, simplicity works. Sheephead readily ate fiddler crabs on the finesse jig.

While fishing for Sheephead, a school of Spanish Mackerel began busting Glass Minnows nearby.  I quickly put the StreakZ 3.75 back on the jig and cast to the feeding school.  For the next 30 minutes, it was non-stop Spanish Mackerel action.

Summer is a time of plenty.  Plenty of fish and plenty of opportunities to break your routine.