September Fishing Report
It was one of the cooler Augusts in memory with high temperatures in the 80s during many days. This was great for fishing as the heat did not put down the fish per usual and even afternoon fishing could be productive. Anglers can expect the fishing to improve as the water temperature trends further downward and we move into traditionally what is the best fishing of the year.
Redfish have been responding well to live bait and cut bait. Mullet and menhaden are pervasive in our waters and can be easily netted. We’ll rig the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook often on a carolina rig. You can use this tactic under docks as well as on the flats. Just put the rod in the holder and wait for the reel to start screaming as the fish hook themselves.
Trout and popping corks remain a perfect pair. We are finding trout feeding more aggressively and in greater numbers. Even better we’re starting to catch multiple fish in the three pound range along with the abundance of smaller fish. I’ve been using mud minnows as bait almost exclusively as shrimp just get shredded by bait stealers. We’ll often throw artificial shrimp instead and you’ll be surprised how well this works.
This year the ladyfish bite is the best I have ever seen. We’ve spent many charters watching ladyfish blow up balls of bait heading toward the boat. A popping cork thrown in their path just gets destroyed and sends these acrobatic fish flying into the air. These fish produce quite a fight for their size and are very entertaining. Expect these fish to fade as the water cools but we should still have a few more weeks of action.
Fly fishing can be challenging during this time of year with water clarity sometimes minimal. Often we will drive to several spots until we find favorable conditions. To help improve our odds, we have been using dark flies or flies with lots of flash that the redfish can pick up in murky water. A black wiggler or a gold spoon fly are both good options.
See you on the water!
Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle charters.
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