Typically, January and February bring the coldest water temperatures to our local waters. However, Winter has yet to make an appearance in the Lowcountry and the water is unusually warm. So, the fishing pattern is more like Fall than Winter. This is good news for anglers. Trout and Redfish are schooled up and feeding aggressively in shallow water.
On Saturday, it was super windy and rainy. With gale force winds blowing against the tide, there were some big waves in the Wando River. On the run to my first fishing location, I was thinking I should have brought by surfboard. Some of the waves look rideable. No worries for my Pathfinder 2500. The run to Hobcaw Creek was fast and dry. On breezy days, Hobcaw Creek is a good option because it has lots of trees that provide protection from the wind. After pulling up to a wind sheltered shoreline, I deployed the trolling motor and began systematically casting a Z-Man Finesse TRD (Hot Snakes) on a 1/5-ounce jig to oyster bars and irregularities in the marsh. Trout and Redfish were both in residence. They were not particularly large specimens but on such a windy and rainy day, they were most welcome. Nearly all of the strikes were aggressive and occurred in shallow water. The long-term weather forecast is for more warm weather. If the forecast holds true, fishing should be very good in the shallows.
The Cold-Water Fishing Class is full. The response has been overwhelming. Perhaps at some point this Winter, we will actually have cold water!
Fishing Report from 01/05/2020
On the afternoon of New Years Eve, Elliott and I invited our good friend Trey to fish with us. Conditions were not optimal. The wind was brutal, and the Wando River was like a giant washing machine. Undeterred, Elliott, Trey and I did our best to catch the last fish of the decade. With “try” being the operative work. After an hour or so of fishing, we had not caught a single fish. Things were not looking good.
Thankfully, as the tide fell, the creek banks began to provide a bit of shelter from the wind. Water clarity improved and the Trout began to feed. This improved the vibe in the Pathfinder considerably. We began catching fish, giving each other a hard time and laughing. Lots of laughing. I thought to myself, this is a great way to end the year. Then, Elliott and Trey decided we should end the decade catching Redfish. So, we left the Trout biting and made a quick run to some shallow water docks that were somewhat protected from the wind. With the sun getting low on the horizon, we began fishing in earnest. Elliott and Trey are outstanding anglers and they systematically picked each dock apart. I marveled at their casting skills. However, all the perfect lure presentations did not produce a single Redfish. Soon, we arrived at the last dock. Elliott made his last cast of the decade and hooked a Redfish. Trey fired a cast into the area and a Redfish ate his Z-Man Finesse TRD. I decided to make a cast and another Redfish pounced on my lure. The boat erupted with hooting, hollering and laughing. After landing the fish and a boisterous round of high fives, we took our last fishing selfie of the decade. A great way to end the year.
The Cold-Water Fishing Class is filling up. But there are a few seats still available at the Daniel Island Library on January 21 from 6:00PM till 8:00PM. Please confirm your seats with an email to email@example.com. If you want to learn more about locating and catching fish in cold-water conditions, this is the class for you.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. However, the weather does not feel like it. Several days with temperatures in the 70-degree range has the Trout and Redfish actively feeding in the shallows. I expect that the hot bite to continue until a strong winter cold front drops the water temperature. Until that time, fishing will be great. Think of it as a Christmas present from Mother Nature.
For the next two weeks, Elliott (my son) will be home from Japan. Upon picking him up from the airport, we plan to eat an Orlando’s Brick Oven Pizza and then go fishing. Over the course of his visit, we will repeat as necessary. Food and Fishing. Food and Fishing. Food and Fishing. Well, you get the picture.
Depending on weather conditions, we will be fishing shallow inshore waters or vertical jigging bottom fish offshore. Right now, the long-term forecast looks like mostly inshore. Given the warm water and hungry fish, that is OK with me. Recently, a Z-Man Finesse TRD (Hot Snakes) has been the lure of choice for shallow water Trout and Redfish. Both species are holding in slight channels at the base of oyster bars. When the current is washing over the bar, it is a pretty good bet that predators will be feeding there. So, when your family gathers for food, don’t forget the fishing!
Thanks to all that expressed interest in the Cold-Water Fishing Class. Given the great response, the free fishing class will be held at the Daniel Island Library on January 21 from 6:00PM till 8:00PM. Seating is limited. Please confirm your seats with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Daniel Island Inshore Fishing Club will be participating in the class. So, there will be a lot of help available during the knot tying session. If you want to learn more about locating and catching fish in cold-water conditions, this is the class for you.
My son, Elliott, is home for the holidays. So, Elliott, Brody (the amazing fish finding dog) and I are making up for lost fishing time together. Thankfully, the weather has been warm, and the fish have been hungry. With surface water temperatures in the upper 50-degree range, Redfish, Trout and Flounder are patrolling the shallows looking for easy holiday meals. This makes them predictable and much easier to catch. Elliott and I have been using the trolling motor to quietly search oyster laden creek banks and casting Z-Man Finesse TRD (Hot Snakes) lures to the base of oyster bars. When Brody barks, we slow down and fish the area thoroughly. Elliott and I are unsure if Brody knows were the fish are or if the fish are literally everywhere and we simply catch more fish when we slow down. Personally, I am betting on Brody.
On one of our trips, I was running the trolling motor on high, quickly moving the Pathfinder to the next set of oyster bars. Brody jumped up on the deck and barked a couple of times. I laughed and told Elliott there were no fish in this featureless section of the creek. He cast to the bank anyway and hooked an upper slot limit Redfish. As Elliott and Brody posed for the picture, I thought it was good to have Elliott home and perhaps Brody really was an amazing fish finding dog.
The Cold-Water Fishing Class will be at the Daniel Island Library on January 21 from 6:00PM till 8:00PM. Seating is limited. Please confirm your seats with an email to email@example.com. If you want to learn more about locating and catching fish in cold-water conditions, this is the class for you.
Fishing Report 12/15/2019
Winter in the Lowcountry is pretty random. One day, the weather is 70-degrees and beautiful. The next day is super windy and cold. Unfortunately, Saturday was more of the latter. A strong (and cold) northerly wind made for rough and tough fishing conditions. The wind was so strong that I found myself fishing in marginal areas that were sheltered from the gale. While these areas are good for comfort, they did not produce a single fish. After a couple of fishless hours, I decided to go where the fish were (as if I actually knew where the fish were).
Conditions in the Wando River were a bit sporty. But, my Pathfinder 2500 Hybrid eats up the rough stuff and I was able to comfortably run upriver at 40 miles per hour. Upon my arrival at a dock with reasonably clear water and lots of oysters, I cut the main engine and deployed the trolling motor. The wind was howling, and the constant wave action made water clarity extremely poor. Without much hope or confidence, I fired a cast to the base of the dock. To my surprise, a Redfish ate the Z-Man Finesse TRD. It was a tiny Redfish, but I was ecstatic. I had officially exceeded my expectations by one fish! Of course, that Redfish ended up being the only fish on Saturday. It was a really rough and tough day.
Thanks for the tremendous interest in the cold-water fishing class. Brody and I are looking forward to sharing a few cold-water techniques in January. Will provide more details next week.