Well, its been a pretty typical March here in Charleston, SC. We've had big temperature swings, with some days in the 70's to some blustery cold and windy days in the 40's. Overall, this is pretty normal for early Spring here in the Lowcountry. Recently we have been fishing for Redfish with both fly and conventional spinning gear. Using soft plastic lures and also live mud minnows and shrimp. The water temperatures have also been going up and down as the weather changes daily. We were seeing some water temps in the mid 60's and recently it has been in the mid 50's. Along with daily temperature fluctuations, the changing water temperatures really really affect the activity of the fish. The fish aren't the only ones that are ready for some warmer consistent weather patterns!
On our most recent trips out, FishWater Outfitters Captain Braden Powell, has been fishing the early morning low tide. We have been going out just before sunrise and poling the flats around creek mouths and oyster beds. The Redfish will congregate not only in and around the small tributary creeks but especially where these creeks dump back into a larger flat or river. Often times as the tide is falling, the redfish will slowly make their way out of the creeks and onto the flat to feed with the tide. The fish are waiting as the bait also moves out of the creeks in search of more water and safety. When the water is low enough an angler will be able to see the fish push or make wakes in the water as they are feeding. This provides a great visual for sight fishing with soft plastics or a fly.
The Redfish not only use the small creeks to move on and off of the flats but also to feed. You can target these fish by casting artificials and live bait into the mouth of the creek. The fish will also be on the edges of the creek mouth using the tidal current to bring the food to them, another great place to cast while searching for redfish. Our Captains at FishWater Outfitters like to use popping corks with live mud minnows or shrimp underneath while we are live bait fishing. If we are not sight fishing with a fly rod or blind casting soft plastic artificial lures, then we are using a popping cork to find the fish. Using a popping cork works well when searching for fish and also when you are on the fish. The copper beads on the bottom of the cork help to hold it upright when not twitching or popping the cork. Also, the beads on the top and bottom help to make a noise to draw attention to your bait. This is a great technique for covering water where you haven't seen any fish activity but you know they should be around. We like to rig our corks with 15-20lb fluorocarbon and around 18" from the cork to a number 2 circle hook. This will allow the fish to eat the live minnow or shrimp and be hooked in the corner of the mouth instead of swallowing the hook. We always like to practice catch and release when fishing our inshore waters around Charleston, SC.
Targeting points and oyster mounds is another very important aspect when fishing for Redfish. Casting your artificial or live bait within a few feet of the oyster mounds can be a very productive way to catch fish. The fish will use the mounds as a form of structure to not only find food but to also protect themselves from becoming food for the bottlenose dolphin. Points on any island or creek or in a back bay or flat will also provide great holding water for the fish. They can use these points to ambush their prey as the current rips around. Not only are the fish feeding but also trying to protect themselves in all of these situations. Remember to always try and target small tributary creeks, oyster mounds, points and any other structure that may provide a vantage point and a safe place for the Redfish to hold.
Whether you are in Charleston, SC for business or a family vacation or you live here and just want to get out on the water, FishWater Outfitters offers great fishing charters for the beginner angler or child to the most experienced fly fishing angler! Please contact us today to schedule your inshore fishing charter.
Also, remember that Captain Braden Powell spends his summers floating The Madison River in SouthWest Montana and offers full day and half day fly fishing trips from Ennis, MT!