Feb 29 2012

March Fishing Report

What a winter! Or rather, what winter? Day after day of unseasonably warm weather has been an angler’s dream. Our fishery has remained active throughout the last few months and is building towards what should be an awesome spring.

Redfish remain in massive schools numbering in the hundreds as they try to avoid dolphins and stay warm. You’ll find these schools on mud flats as well as shallow banks that provide cover. On sunny days, redfish are especially drawn to the flats as the mud retains an extra few degrees of warmth. You’ll find the best fishing tends to be around low tide when these reds are balled up tight together.

Artificial jerk shad lures are a very popular option when casting to these schools. Bigger 4”-5” lures in darker tones that imitate the natural bait in the water have been quite effective. We’ve been particularly lucky with grey lures that have some sparkle or pearl white. I always pair these lures with a flutter hook, usually size 3/0. The flutter hook when combined with a loop knot provides great action and really entices those redfish.

For trout aficionados, this winter has been a welcome change to the past two winters that had very cold temperatures that pushed the trout bite back weeks if not months. We’ve been catching trout in modest numbers and often while targeting reds. It really feels like trout will be flourishing in March as opposed to May this year.

As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows. 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.

This a great time of year for fly fishing. Sight fishing abounds and stalking a school of a hundred plus fish is so exciting you almost fall off the bow with anticipation. Smaller flies in darker colors are working best and a black clouser minnow is a fine example. Remember when the fish hits, resist the temptation to lift your rod tip and strip strike instead.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle charters. 

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