The best catch in fishing is the bond that it creates between children and their parents. For me, fishing is the very definition of “quality time”. If you want to learn more about fishing on and around Daniel Island, I recommend the Daniel Island Inshore Fishing Club. If you want to begin creating a lifetime bond with your children, do not miss the 9th Annual Kids Fishing Tournament at Smythe Park Lake on June 15 from 8:30 to 10:30.
Speaking of bonds between children and their parents, I recently had the pleasure of fishing with Trent and Grant Gustafson. They are good friends, fellow members of the Daniel Island Inshore Fishing Club and a great example of the best catch in fishing. Our plan was to fish the harbor and nearshore waters, targeting Bull Redfish and Sharks. Typically, these species are pretty easy to catch. However, after fishing multiple sections of the jetties, the Bull Redfish eluded us. No worries, shrimp boats were clearly in sight just outside the jetties. Shrimp boats are Shark magnets. So, we netted up a couple of dozen Menhaden and headed towards the nearest shrimp boat. While I positioned the Pathfinder a respectable distance behind the trawler, Trent rigged a lively Menhaden on an unweighted 5/0 circle hook. Once in position, I let the bay boat drift and Grant cast the Menhaden into the wake of the trawler. This process usually results in an immediate bite from a Shark. Not so, on that day. We moved from shrimp boat to shrimp boat until we finally got a bite.
Grant held the rod as the Shark rapidly peeled 150 yards of 30-pound braid from the 6000 frame Shimano Saragosa spinning reel. The fight was on. For about 30-minutes the outcome was in doubt. Throughout the battle, Trent stood next to Grant and provided encouragement. I thought to myself, this is what fishing is really about. Eventually, Grant wore the Shark down and brought it boat side. Where it thankfully released itself.
By all accounts, we had a very slow day of fishing. Yet, Trent and Grant made the best catch of all, quality time together.
In my mind, Fathers deserve more than a day. So, the bulk of last week was dedicated to me! Thankfully, my children Elliott and Maddie were willing participants. Probably, because they declare “Birthday Week”.
Of course, “Fathers Week” includes lots of fishing. On Saturday, there was a negative (extremely low) tide. Elliott and I decided to fish in small creeks, targeting Redfish that were concentrated into small areas due to the very low tide. This can be a dicey plan. Fishing in small creeks on negative tides usually equals getting stuck. However, my new Salt Marsh skiff was able to navigate through water less than six inches deep. We slowly and quietly moved into a tiny creek and spotted a couple of big Redfish milling around an oyster bar. Elliott said since it was Fathers Week, I could take the first cast. Once cast was all it took. I presented the Z-Man TRD (Geko rigged) and hooked up immediately. Fighting a big Redfish in a shallow creek can be a messy affair. With no place to run, the fish frantically sloshes about the shallows and splashes mud into the skiff. This one was particularly adept at splashing mud. For some reason, Elliott and I found this to be very funny. Eventually, the Redfish got tired of splashing us with mud and came to the skiff.
After a quick picture, we took several minutes to revive the fish. As it swam away, Elliott wished me a Happy Fathers Week. Upon returning to the boat landing, Maddie greeted us and took me to lunch (while Elliott cleaned up the skiff). Fathers Week was pretty good. I highly recommend it!
Rough seas and tough fish combined to put a hurting on me this weekend. On Monday, I was feeling so beat up that I actually skipped fishing! Fighting Amberjack on 30 pound class Shimano jigging tackle is a pretty good work out. Note to self. Go to the gym more often.
Casting accuracy and efficiency are instrumental to consistently catching fish. On March 24, I will be sharing casting techniques that will help you catch more fish. Please join me at The Charleston Angler Saltwater Experience in the Shimano Experience Center located at
9550 Palmetto Commerce Pkwy.
The Charleston Boat Show was this weekend. Thanks to Erin and Mel from Ankona / Salt Marsh Skiffs for letting me hang around the booth and talk about fishing! Also, thanks to everyone that dropped by to see me.
While at the show, I had the opportunity to speak with several guides and anglers. The frigid water temperatures brought on by the recent snow storm, definitely moved our fish around. Thankfully, temperatures have returned to a more typical range for this time of year. Redfish are back in their normal late winter haunts. However, Trout have yet to do so. Hopefully, they will show up (in good numbers) soon.
Given the situation, I plan to target Redfish on the fly for the next week or so. This will give the Trout more time to get back into their normal winter pattern and me more time to cast my 8-weight Shimano Asquith.
As a Christmas present to myself, I picked up a Shimano Asquith 8 weight fly rod. The Asquith has significantly enhanced my casting distance and accuracy. It is by far, the best fly rod I have ever owned.
After a few days of catching Trout during higher stages of the tide, I put the Asquith to work on Redfish in shallow water. Being by myself, I poled the skiff looking for schools of Reds. Once located, I used the Power Pole Micro to hold the skiff within casting distance (50 to 70 feet) of the fish. The Asquith made covering that distance a breeze. It was easy to cast then pick up and shoot the line again. Quick follow up presentations to passing fish paid big dividends. All of the Reds I caught were on follow up casts.
The Asquith is the best gift I ever gave to myself!
Fishing on New Years Day is a family tradition. Some years it is warm and other years it is freezing cold. This year, it was definitely the latter. With the temperature well below freezing and the wind chill in single digits, Elliott and I considered not fishing. After a short debate, we felt is was important to uphold tradition and off we went.
The water temperature was 47 degrees and the Trout bite was slow. However, we kept casting our Z-Man TRD lures on 1/5 ounce NedlockZ jigs. It is hard to detect a subtle winter Trout bite when you can not feel your fingers. Elliott and I missed several fish but eventually I got lucky and nailed this one. Our first fish of 2018.
Fishing was tough on New Years Day but Elliott and I were glad we kept the tradition going.
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!