Fall is in the air. Recently, the mornings have been comfortable (almost cool) and the long days of summer are on the wane. For the first time in months, the water temperature is below 80 degrees. It seems the fish know that summer is over too. They are schooling up and feeding aggressively in preparation for winter. This makes fishing almost synonymous with catching.
Last week, the tides were optimal for fishing in the late afternoon and early evening. With the weather being nice and me feeling kind of restless up after Irma, I went fishing a lot. Each day, the bite was outstanding for Trout, Redfish and Flounder. Inshore slams were easy and it was not unusual for everyone in the boat to have a fish on. On one trip, Elliott (my son) and Sean (my niece’s husband) joined me. We fished marsh points and oyster bars swept by the falling tide. Elliott spotted a school of Redfish approaching our location (in about a foot of water). He cast a StreakZ 3.75 to the school and hooked up. Sean and I followed Elliott’s lead and hooked up as well. Fighting 3 fish at the same time was a bit of a challenge. But, not as challenging as trying to get a picture of the 3 three of us holding our fish. Thankfully, Elliott figured out the picture timer on his phone and we managed to get the shot.
Fall brings a multitude of activities to Daniel Island. My personal favorites are Park Day and Fishing Day (which is pretty much every day). Don’t miss either one!
The Lowcountry took more of a beating from Irma that I thought we would. However, nothing on the scale of what our friends in Florida endured. Thinking that the fish would be hungry after the storm, I went fishing shortly after Irma passed through the area. There was a lot of floating debris in the water but the water clarity was good. The bite was good as well. Trout, Redfish and Ladyfish provided steady action on my favorite lure (a Z-Man StreakZ 3,75 on a Finesse Jig). After catching several of both, I switched to a Shimano Cold Sniper top water lure (as I have been wanting to try it out). On the first cast, a big Redfish crushed the lure and cut me off on an oyster bar. I was bummed but picked up another rod rigger with a Zara Spook. The top water bite was outstanding.
After fishing pretty much every day for 20 years, I caught my first piebald Flounder.
Summer is officially over. College football is back and shrimp baiting season begins on Friday. For me, these are sure signs that Fall is here. In preparation for the start of shrimping season, I brought a 12-foot deep hole cast net on a recent fishing trip with my son (Elliott) and brother (David). Our plan was to catch Spanish Mackerel and Trout in the harbor on the falling tide then to cast the deep hole net a few times before heading home.
Turns out, catching Spanish Mackerel and Trout was pretty easy. The Spanish were busting schools of baitfish near the Yorktown. Elliott, David and I caught several casting Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 (Blue Back Herring) lures on 3/16th ounce finesse jigs. A rapid and erratic retrieve produced a strike on almost every cast. With Spanish Mackerel checked off the list, we left them biting to search for Trout. A quick run to a submerged ledge put us on a really good Trout bite. Most of the fish were small but there were a few big ones mixed in. The Trout (like the Spanish) found the StreakZ 3.75 to be irresistible. We decided to try and catch (and release) 30 Trout before going deep hole shrimping. It did not take long. As the water cools, the Trout bite will get even better. I expect Trout fishing this fall to be nothing short of epic.
When we started deep hole shrimping, I picked up the net and it felt a lot heavier than I remembered. David and Elliott had a good laugh when I said that the net gained 20 pounds since last season. It took a few tries before I got into the swing of casting the big net. About that time, I remembered that deep hole shrimping was a lot of work and turned the net over to David. As he took the net, he said it felt about the same weight as always and perhaps you are the one that gained the weight. Shrimping was delayed for several minutes because David and Elliott found this to be extremely funny. When we finally got around to casting the net, the shrimp were very spread out. However, the few shrimp we caught were large.
On Friday evening (opening night of shrimp baiting season), I will be casting the net on the bow of my good friend Julian Levin’s boat. I hope he does not make fun of my weight!
On September 5 at 6:30, I will be speaking at the Charleston Angler (West Ashley Location). My topic will be Fall Fishing Patterns and Techniques. Please join me. Hope to see your there.
Details available on the link below.