Recently, I have been experimenting with a couple of finesse lures. The Z-Man TubeZ and Trick ShotZ. Being smaller profile lures, it is critical to match them with a jig that will let them perform their best. After weeks of experimentation, I have settled on the Z-Man NedLockZ jig. This combination has been highly productive on Redfish and Trout. Especially, in post cold front situations. On windy days or when fishing in deeper water with current, the 1/5 ounce NedlockZ gets the nod. On calm days or when fishing shallow, the 1/6 ounce jig is preferred.
It takes a little finesse to consistently catch fish!
Thanksgiving week was all about family, food and fishing. When I was not eating, I was fishing with my family. The bite was good all week if you adjusted your techniques to match the weather conditions.
Early in the week, the weather was warm and the barometer was steady. My niece, Sarah, did great sight fishing Redfish in the shallows.
The next day, a cold front passed through bringing with it a light rain and cooler temperatures. The falling barometer had the Trout feeding actively. My brother in law (Mike) and nephew (Lee) released over 100 fish casting Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 on Finesse Jigs.
The next day brought blue skies and post cold front conditions. My brother (Dave) and son (Elliott) doubled up On the Fly with a couple of nice Redfish. The water was very clear and the fish were very easy to see.
Today, my wife (Amy) and I got out of the skiff to enjoy the perfect weather. After a picnic lunch, we released a bunch of small Trout. Post cold front had the Trout in deeper about (10-15 feet). Once located, vertical jigging a Z-Man TubeZ on NedlockZ jig kept us in steady action.
Yesterday, I fished with my old friend and longtime fishing buddy Ben. Back in the day, when I used to guide, Ben was one of my favorite fishing clients. Now, we are good friends that like to fish together.
Ben got this one on a Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 (Blue Back Herring) on a Finesse jig. When I get to be Ben’s age, I hope I can fish like he does!
Salt Marsh Heron
Over the past few weeks, I have fished the Heron in a variety of conditions. From super shallow on calm days to submerged ledges in a nasty chop, in all situations, the skiff performed flawlessly. Thus, I declare the new skiff Rigged and Ready to Roll!
Finesse Techniques Producing Fishing
Yesterday, was windy and cold. Post cold front conditions made producing fish a bit of a challenge. However, by using my fish finder to locate Trout holding on a ledge in 10 feet of water and vertical jigging a Z-Man TubeZ on a NedlockZ jig, I put together a pretty good day. The bite was very light and it took a good bit of concentration to feel it. On days like yesterday, a light and sensitive tackle system made a big difference.
As winter approaches, post cold front conditions will become the norm. If you want to consistently catch fish in the winter, I recommend finesse!
Cold and Windy Trout On the Fly
This week, one of the first cold fronts of the season passed through the Lowcountry. Leaving behind, strong northeasterly winds and lower water temperatures. These conditions are a mixed blessing for anglers. When the wind is blowing against the tide, the Wando River can be downright nasty. However, anglers willing to brave the rough conditions will often find ravenous schools of Trout and Redfish.
On Friday and Saturday, the nasty conditions kept me off the water. On Sunday, conditions were not much better but Elliott and I decided to go fishing anyway. The Wando River was rough but my new skiff handled the chop extremely well. After a short run up river, Elliott and I began fishing on a shallow flat with a slight channel running through it. I cast a Z-Man TRD TubeZ on a 1/5 ounce NedlockZ jig into the channel and erratically hopped the lure back to the boat. Halfway through my retrieve, a Redfish crushed the lure. While I was fighting the fish, Elliott staked the skiff with the Power Pole Micro and fired a cast into the channel. He hooked a Redfish as well. We released our fish and then immediately caught two more. After releasing the second set of fish, we decided to put away the spinning tackle and switch to flyrods. Given the strong breeze, casting was a bit of a challenge. It took me a few tries but I eventually made a long cast into the channel. The fly, a chartreuse Clouser Minnow, was eaten immediately. Elliott and I figured it was another Redfish but when it came to the skiff it was a nice size Trout.
We continued to work the channel with our flyrods and enjoyed steady action with Trout and Redfish. The fish were still biting when a strong gust of wind caught my front cast and the fly hit me in the arm. Good thing the fly was tied on a barbless hook. It came right out and only hurt a little bit. Just enough to convince me it was time to stop fly-fishing.
Conditions on Sunday were not optimal but Elliott and I managed to catch a good number of fish. I even caught myself!
More Redfish on the Salt Marsh Heron
After a few of more trips on the Salt Marsh Heron, I even more impressed with how it performs. My low cruise speed at 4,200 RPMs is 25 MPH. When I am in a hurry, the fast cruise speed at 4,800 RPMs is around 30 MPH. The Evinrude ETEC 60 is a great match for the Heron. Recently, the Redfish and Trout have been on a post cold front pattern and are holding a little deeper. So, I have not been in the ultra-shallow water that I normally fish in. However, I have been surprised by how well the skiff handles open water. In the chop, a little bit of trim tab smooths things right out. The skiff is dry as well. So far, the Salt Marsh Heron is exceeding my expectations.
This week, the fishing slowed down a bit but it is still very good. The post productive technique (for the post cold front conditions) has been erratically bouncing a Z-Man Trick ShotZ on a NedLockZ jig down depth transitions. My new favorite Trick ShotZ color is Twilight. It seems to be what the Trout and Redfish want.
Trout on a Z-Man Trick ShotZ
Like Halloween, the fishing this week was scary good! On Saturday, I experienced perhaps the best Trout bite ever. My brother Dave and I were fishing a submerged oyster bar in the harbor. The bar was about 2 feet deep and directly adjacent to deeper water. We cast Z-Man Trick ShotZ on 1/5th ounce NedlockZ jigs on top of the bar and let the incoming tide sweep the lure into deeper water. Our retrieve was a slight jigging action. Trout in the 14 to 20-inch range were crushing the Trick ShotZ before it could hit the bottom. We caught fish on almost every cast.
After releasing 15 to 20 Trout each, we put away our spinning tackle and began casting flies into the area. Results were the same. More Trout! We literally got tired of catching them. So, we left them biting and went deep hole shrimping. The shrimp tricked us. After several casts of the deep hole net, we had zero shrimp. Dave and I debated catching more Trout but decided to target Redfish in the flooded marsh instead. A quick run run up the Wando, put us on a small school of Reds hanging around a shallow marsh channel. I cast a Trick ShotZ ahead of the first fish and it slowly swam forward and ate it. The fight was spirited and the Redfish won. Dave was still making fun of me when the school came back into casting range. He picked up his fly rod and made a quick presentation. A Redfish inhaled the fly as soon as it hit the water. Unfortunately for me, this one did not get away and I was reminded of it for the rest of the day.
Fishing is really good right now. REALLY GOOD! So, treat yourself to some Halloween fun and go fishing.