By Capt. Geoff Bennett for The Island Connection
Warmer weather is arriving in the Lowcountry, and we’ve already seen a few days in the 70s. As the water temperature rises, trout and redfish will become more active. For all of you eager to get out on the water, the time has come!
Though they are starting to break up, redfish will still be in huge wintertime schools, where you can easily find 50 to 100 fish in closely knit pods. To be successful, anglers will often have to be patient and fish bait on the bottom. Casting anything on these schools can send them fleeing! I’ll alternate between cracked blue crab, mud minnows and cut mullet on a size #3/0 circle hook. Set the drag lightly, leave your rod in the holder and let the fish set themselves.
It depends on the year as to when trout reappear.
However, it has been so warm over the last few months, the trout bite is already in full swing.
Popping corks cast over oyster beds and along grass banks will be a good bet when paired with mud minnows. I usually use a 24-inch leader and a size #1 circle hook. When working the popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line.
When that cork drops, just reel tight to set the hook. Again, the circle hook will do most of the work for you.
This a prime time of the year for fly-fishing.
Sight fishing abounds and stalking a school of a hundred plus fish is so exciting it can be nerve wracking! Smaller flies in darker colors are working best, and a black wiggler fly would be a good bet.
Remember: When the fish hits, resist the temptation to lift your rod tip and strip strike instead.
See you on the water!
For over a decade, Capt. Geoff Bennett has operated Charleston Charter Fishing, providing light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of artificial and live bait fishing options. 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 843-324-3332, visit www.charlestoncharterfishing.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.