By Captain Geoff Bennett
Well, Spring is finally here! The last week has had days full of sun and temperatures holding in the 70’s. Our fishery is rapidly changing with many new signs of life. Anglers are starting to catch the first trout and flounder of the season. While an increasing amount of bait in the water bodes well for all types of fishing.
Redfish are transitioning from a period focused simply on preservation to now becoming predators again. Redfish will hone in baitfish as well as small shrimp. The large schools of redfish characteristic of the winter are breaking up as these fish become more active. Anglers should consider using artificial plastic lures that mimic these baitfish. One good choice would be “jerk shad” lures that have become very popular and are available in a wide variety of colors. I’ve been finding that white has been working best although I’ll occasionally throw a darker color when water clarity is poor. Work these lures with your rod pointed down and use the tip of the rod to put motion on the lure.
The trout have at long last appeared. Our long winter and its colder water temperatures kept trout from arriving as usual in March. Fishermen should focus on oyster beds and grassy banks when targeting these fish. While they may have not gotten much use over the last few months, it is time to break out the popping corks again. Try fishing a 3” D.O.A. plastic shrimp lure suspended two feet underneath a popping cork. The D.O.A. shrimp come in several weights but I prefer their 1/4oz. model. The colors red glitter and silver glitter are performing best. These rigs can be deadly for trout right now.
Flounder, perhaps our tastiest fish, are becoming increasingly active. We’ve been picking them up mostly when fishing with mud minnows on the bottom or mud minnows under popping corks. You’ll need to focus on structure when targeting flounder. Docks and pilings are good places to prospect. Remember that flounder will hug the bottom in hopes of ambushing their prey, so you’ll need to keep that bait down on or close to the bottom as well. One of the bonuses of the jerk shad mentioned above is that flounder will strike these surprisingly often when you fish them slow.
It’s an exciting time as we now have several species to target instead of just spooky redfish. It really expands the fishery and offers up a lot more opportunities.
See you on the water!
Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, artificial and live bait fishing options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843-324-3332, visit his website at www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.