Redfish at First Light

As we approach Thanksgiving, Fall is giving way to Winter. Several consecutive cool days and cold nights have dropped the water temperature below 60-degrees. While I am not much of a cold weather person, the cooler water is welcome. It has the Trout and Redfish feeding like me on Thanksgiving Day. Nothing is safe. If I can fit it in my mouth, it is going to get eaten. Regardless, of how much I may have already eaten. This gluttonous behavior was on display early Saturday morning. I launched the skiff 30-minutes before sunrise. The short ride to my first fishing spot was brisk. I pulled back on the throttle and deployed the trolling motor a good distance from my fishing area. The water was slick calm and I did not want my boat wake to disturb the shallows. As I slowly and quietly approached a submerged oyster bar, the water above the bar erupted. Finger mullet were jumping and running for their lives. I picked up my favorite bait casting outfit and cast a Shimano Colt Sniper top water lure towards the feeding activity. Before I could impart any action to the lure, a Redfish ate it. If you heard hooting and hollering before sunrise on Saturday, it was me. Until the sun cleared the horizon, it was cast, catch, release and repeat. The epic top water bite stopped soon as the sun’s rays hit the surface of the water. I thought the Trout and Redfish were still in the area but unwilling to strike a surface lure. So, I put the bait casting outfit away and un-racked my fly rod. On my third cast to the oyster bar, a small Redfish ate my fly (a brown and white Whistler pattern). While fighting the fish, I noticed the light was perfect for a picture. When the small Redfish came to the skiff, it posed for a quick picture and then swam away. Rather than make another cast, I sat down, admired the view for a few minutes then went to breakfast a Honey Comb. Why should the fish be the only ones to eat a hearty breakfast? Speaking of eating, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Redfish On Foot and Fly

  Fishing is very good right now. The water temperature is in the middle 60-degree range and the days are much shorter. These conditions make fish school together and eat. Over the next week or so, fishing and catching will truly be synonymous. Given the abundance of hungry Redfish and Trout, it is a great time to target them “On the Fly”. This weekend, that is exactly what my brother (Dave), son (Elliott) and I set out to do. The only rod we loaded into the skiff was my Shimano 8 weight Asquith. As we launched the skiff, a strong wind had us questioning our fly rod only plan. Undeterred, we headed out to the Wando River, where we encountered truly awful conditions. Especially for fly fishing. Our decision to stay with the plan was made simple because between us, we had one fly rod. There was some debate as to which one of us came up with this brilliant plan. The consensus was me. So, I heard a lot of complaining and abuse on the long, wet ride to our fishing spot (a super shallow creek that was out of the wind). Upon our arrival, we played a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who got to fish first. Dave won. So, he grabbed my fly rod and stepped onto the bow casting platform. I climbed up on the poling platform. Elliott, reminded me of what a stupid idea this was. I poled the skiff into the falling tide. All the while calculating how much water would be left in the creek at low tide. After some high-level math, the answer was not much. A fact that I did not share with Dave and Elliott. The water level kept dropping and the skiff began scraping over oyster bars. Elliott inquired if we would have enough water at low tide. I replied, no problem. Knowing that we were already trapped in the creek. Thankfully, a large school of small Redfish was trapped in the creek with us. They moved up the creek into 3 inches of water. Beyond casting range and the draft of my skiff. I was happy that the sight of many Redfish just beyond our reach kept Dave and Elliott from realizing our true situation. We were stuck. Elliott looked at Dave and told him to jump out of the boat and wade into casting range. To our surprise, that is exactly what he did. After Dave caught and released a Redfish on the Fly, Elliott jumped in. A few casts later, Elliott released a Redfish and it was my turn to wade. When I was fighting my Redfish, Dave said, I think we are stuck. We had a good laugh when Dave reminded us that it was his turn with the fly rod.