Lots of cold days and nights during March kept thoughts of traditional Spring fishing on the back burner. With highs in the 70s forecast over the next ten days, let’s hope we have turned the corner. Warmer water temperatures should bring out the trout bite while anglers can still target redfish in big schools.
Unlike most years, redfish remain in their wintertime schools that can number as many as a hundred fish. They are still spooky but becoming more aggressive as the arrival of bait turns them into predators again. The easiest way to target these reds is using cut bait or better yet freshly cracked blue crab fished on the bottom. Be patient and let the schools come to you. If they think eating is their idea, they’ll most likely take the bait.
As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows and live shrimp. I usually use a 18”-24” leader and a size 1 circle hook. When working the popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel tight to set the hook. You’ll find that the circle hook will do most of the work for you.
For both redfish and trout, mud minnows paired with a jighead have been working well especially around docks and structure. I’ll use a 1/8-1/4oz. jighead and hook the mud minnow under the bottom lip and out through the top lip. Work these baits slowly and try to bump them along the bottom where oftentimes you’ll get hit as you lift the rod tip.
Redfish remaining in big schools has been a boon to flyfishermen eager to stalk these fish on the flats. To avoid spooking them, we’ve sometimes been casting well in front of a moving school and only begin moving the fly with quick small strips once the school is almost on top of it. On recent charters, black wiggler flies have been the most productive.
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.