For me, the holiday season is about spending time with friends and family. One of my favorite holiday gatherings is the Daniel Island Inshore Fishing Club Christmas Party. When friends gather to share a meal and talk about fishing, it is always a great time. The club is a great way to meet your neighbors and have some fun. If you have an interest in fishing, give yourself a Christmas present and join the Fishing Club.
While attending the party, Julian Levin and I decided to go fishing on Sunday morning. Our plan was to fish during the last half of the falling tide. Targeting Trout as the tide fell and Redfish at dead low tide. On the day of our trip, a thick layer of frost covered my skiff. So, I moved it to a sunny area of the boat landing and let it defrost. While the forecast was for a warm afternoon, it was quite chilly in the morning. When I launched the skiff, the surface water temperature was 48 degrees. When the water is in this temperature range, the shallow water bite is figuratively and literally cold. Knowing this, Julian and I focused our efforts on deeper water. After a chilly run to Boone Hall Creek, we idled around looking for Trout on the depth finder. When we located a school, Julian and I would vertical jig Z-Man TRD TubeZ on 1/5 ounce NedlockZ jigs. As is often in the case in cold water, the strike was extremely light. In this situation, light tackle is a definite advantage. I was using a Shimano Zodias 6’8” light action rod paired with a 1000 frame Stradic reel. This set-up helped us to catch fish in tough conditions. Even with the high tech light tackle, Julian and I struggled to catch and release 23 fish.
Back at the boat landing, other anglers reported low or no catches for the day. All of them fished in the shallows. While Julian and I did not have a banner day, we made the right call by fishing in deeper water. As I reflect on the day, it would have been a great trip regardless of the fish release count. When fishing with your friends and family, time is the greatest catch of all.
For months, I have been wanting a Shimano Asquith 8 weight for the winter Redfish season. The other day, I finally pulled the trigger. On the same day, I rigged it up and took it fishing. At the time, the tide was not optimal for Redfish. So, Trout were my target of the day. Thankfully, I got this guy right off the bat. The first of hopefully many.
The Asquith is effortless to cast and added several feet to my casting distance. So far, I love it!
Went fishing on the Clinch River over the weekend. Drove through a snow storm to get there but it was worth it. Completed a Clinch River Trifecta, releasing a Rainbow, Brown and Brook. Thanks to Mike Bone for braving the elements and putting us on fish.
Years ago, there was a commercial with the tag line “Don’t Fool with Mother Nature”. This weekend, I was reminded of such. After weeks of catching fish, seemingly at will, Mother Nature reminded me who the boss really was. Unusually warm weather and full moon tides confused fish and anglers alike. All weekend long, the things that were biting the most were Gnats.
It was not particularly difficult to locate fish, especially Trout. Using the depth sounder, we could clearly see the Trout holding on channel ledges in 15 to 20 feet of water. Getting them to bite was the real challenge. Each time we located a school, we would get a couple Trout to bite. However, the bulk of the fish were not eating. Downsizing our lures and slowing our retrieve cadence helped to get more strikes. Z-Man TRD TubeZ (PB&J) and TRD (Bubblegum) were the most productive lures. Given the strong full moon tides, we fished the lures on 1/5 ounce NedlockZ jigs. At times, when the current was really strong, we resorted to quarter ounce jigs. I never use quarter ounce jigs. Thankfully, we found one pack in the bottom of my tackle box.
After a tough day on Saturday, I called several friends. All reported similar results. We thought we would easily catch 50 to 100 fish and struggled to release 20. I keep telling myself, that catching 20 fish is not bad. But, after the hot bite we have enjoyed for the past several weeks, it sure feels like it.
Hopefully, Mother Nature is done teaching me a lesson.