By Geoff Bennett for The Island Connection
Fantastic fall fishing is about to begin thanks to a perfect storm of conditions. The combination of lower water temperatures, tons of bait and fewer fishermen on the water makes for an ideal scenario. The fact that cooler days will make fishing much more pleasant doesn’t hurt either! We often suggest popping corks in our reports. Why? Because they are easy to fish with and work great! Redfish, flounder and trout will all eat bait suspended in the water column. I’ll attach an 18- 24 inch leader from the cork to a size 1 circle hook. When fishing this rig, it’s very important to keep the slack out of your line. I keep my rod tip pointed at the cork and just reel when it drops. You’ll find your hookup rate improves compared to keeping your rod tip high and trying to set the hook by jerking back on the rod. We will bid farewell to the summer seasonal species who should be gone by the end of the month. Meanwhile, sharks are still providing plenty of action for the next few weeks. It is crucial to use enough weight to keep your bait pinned to the bottom. Baits that are swinging around will usually slide until they snag. Instead of using one large 3 or 4oz. weight, I’ll use 1 or 2oz. weights attached to a slinker slide and add weight as needed. The odds of catching bull redfish these days as you fish in the big water are rapidly rising. With the mullet run in full swing, these beasts follow the bait inshore. Cracked blue crab, live menhaden and fresh cut mullet make great baits. You’ll find these fish on drop offs and ledges in the harbor and inlets.
With redfish measuring into the upper 30-inch class it is well worth your time to soak some bait.
See you on the water!
Capt. Geoff Bennett, owner of Charleston Charter Fishing, is a local fisherman who knows all the angles.