By Captain Chad Hayes
HOT, HOT, and HOT again. That’s the only way I can describe the weather here in the low country this June. I don’t recall this month ever being sooo hot! What in the world is July going to be like? We all cope the best we can by drinking lots of fluids and staying indoors during the hottest part of the day. I can promise you I am not looking forward to the electric bill for this month!
Unfortunately, fishing inshore has not been as hot as the temperature but near shore reef trips have been awesome! Inshore we have been catching a few nice trout around structure, redfish under docks in the shade, and more bonnet heads than you can shake a stick at. Thank goodness for those sharks!
The near shore reefs have been smoking! Clear, cooler water seems to be the ticket. Spadefish, cobia, barracuda, and sheepshead have been caught on all the charters I have taken out this month! Clients have had lots of fun catching the spades near the surface using cut jellyfish, shrimp, and squid. I have also taken a few on the fly as they seem more than eager to feed on artificials as well. A ten pound spadefish is like a bream on steroids and will give you one of the best fights around. The fish almost seem to greet the boat as we anchor on the structure, rising to the surface to see what we have to offer them. The schools number in the hundreds and will stay active for hours as long as you have a buffet of items to keep them happy. The schools have only disappeared when the barracudas rise to see what’s going on. I actually had a barracuda cut a spade nearly in half as we brought it to the boat. Once the spades disappear, it’s time to play fetch with the barracudas. They seem to prefer anything with flash and fish-like movement. I have been had much success casting Top Dogs and other shallow running crank baits to them. A 20 lb cuda is an incredible fight on light tackle and not too bad on the table as well!
Dolphin activity has been great in the rivers and inlets. I have noticed several new calves in the resident pods and everyone seems to be happy and healthy. Strand feedings have not been as numerous as past summers and I am still trying to figure out why. I will keep you posted as more information is collected.
Until next time, share your love of the outdoors with someone YOU love, and PLEASE stay cool!
We’ll see you ON THE WATER!
Captain Hayes, a South Carolina native, is a seasoned naturalist and fishing guide. A graduate of Presbyterian College with a degree in Biology, he is a former Fisheries biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and host of the “South Carolina Wildlife” television show. His is also ESPN’s 2006 Ultimate Outdoorsman. His knowledge of local history, ecology, dolphin behavior and fishing techniques will provide hours of enjoyment for you and your family or group. Captain Hayes is USCG licensed and insured. For more information, call the Kiawah Charter Company at 276-1832, visit their website at www.kiawahchartercompany.com or email Captain Chad at email@example.com.