Fish really starting to bite
It’s March and the fishing has really started to pick up the last few weeks despite the weather. The bait has really arrived in the creeks and in Charleston Harbor. I’ve seen both menhaden and mullet around the local waters.
The great thing about this time of year is the trout and sheepshead are starting to really show back up inshore. The redfishing is getting better and better.
We’ve been catching alot of sheepshead around the dock pilings and other structured areas. Trout have been feeding really good on artificials.
When targeting sheepshead. You still want to be targeting them around docks, pilings and other structures where there is a lot of barnacle and oyster growth. Make sure to target them at the last of the falling and tide and the beginning of the rising tide.
Don’t forget to bring something to knock some oysters or barnacles into to the water to chum for the fish. Make sure to check your regulations on sheepshead. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has within the past year put a minimun size limit on the species. Look for trout this time of year using artificials around the oyster bars and grass lines the last two hours of the incoming tide and the beginning two hours of the outgoing tide.
You can also find a feeder creek and float the popping cork along the ripping current. Trout like to sit down in this area and ambush the bait that is flowing over the structure below. You may have to vary your leader length to reach the depth where they are holding. Try three to four feet in length and go longer if needed. So far, the bait of choice for me under a popping cork has been the Zman ShrimpZ in Holographic. I’ve also been having very good success using the Zman MinnowZ in Redbone and Bad Shad on a 1/8-3/8 ounce jighead.
Vary the size of the jighead on the depth and current to make sure you are consistently getting deep enough to reach the lower water column near the bottom.
The redfish have started to break out of their schools. Start using a Carolina rig around docks with deep holes. I’ve already seen several tailing redfish on the flats, so don’t forget to get up in the grass flats at high tide.
The preferred bait of redfish have been quartered blue crabs the last few weeks. With the menhaden and mullet really starting to fill the creeks, they’ll be keying in on those two baits very soon. Zman PaddlerZ in Redbone, Bad Shad and Houdini on 1/8 ounce flutter hook have been producing some really nice redfish as well at all stages of the tide.
Like I always say, just remember that any day on the water fishing in the Charleston area can bring many a smile. Whether you’re catching fish or enjoying the beautiful weather, it’s always nice to be on the water.
I’d love to get you out on the water to enjoy the great resources we have here in Charleston.
You can reach me at 843-200-9795 or 843-388-5093. Don’t forget to visit the website at www.reeldealcharters.com for more information or to book your time on the water.