|Cole and Neal Whittaker from Tennessee|
Photo by AffinityCharters.com
Bart Manly at The Charleston Angler, in their new Market Street location, reports that water temps remain variable in the lower 50's - which isn't too shabby for fishing! The redfish are schooling up on the flats, following their instincts to avoid the predators which can use the clear waters of winter to their advantage. Once located, cast a Z-man Streakz curly-tail in black and gold flake at the channel bass schools. If you want to make your bait disappear quickly, ask Bart about the new Houdini paddle tails! Another bait option is the Berkeley Gulp jerk shad in sapphire shine color. Fly fisherman should continue to use darker fly patterns in hopes of not spooking the schools. A good tactic is to try and anticipate where the school will be moving to and cast there well ahead of them, then wait for a well-timed TWITCH. To target trout Bart recommends a DOA shrimp under a popping cork like the glow color with chartreuse tail. Look for strong currents that trout favor and switch to Gulp jigheads with white curly tails if you need to keep your bait down. For the latest seminar information visit their website.
Scott Hammond at Haddrell's Point West states that while a few bitter cold days may have slowed down the number of anglers hitting the water, it has not slowed the fish down at all. Fantastic numbers of redfish, including schools of 100 fish, have been found on low tide flats and are eager to eat an assortment of baits. Gulp jerkshads, Gulp swimming mullet, Zman paddler series, and Zman ultra shrimp with pro cure scent have all been deadly on the schooling redfish. In addtion, old standby baits such as mud minnows and cut mullet are also effective this time of year. Sheepshead are still feeding heavily along structure in 8 to 20-feet of water with fiddler crabs, oysters and barnacles the best baits. Often over-looked by anglers, black drum can often be found with consistency in the same areas that sheepshead are found. Using cut shrimp is hard to beat for black drum. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet.
Charleston Offshore Report:
Scott repeats that with grouper season closed as of January 1, opportunities for offshore anglers are fairly limited. However, good reports of triggerfish continue, especially in water 60 to 90-feet deep. The nearshore reefs can be a great option this time of year to target sheepshead, weakfish and black drum. Scott recommends the shallow reefs in 25 to 35-feet of water. Drop your favorite color 4-inch grub on a .5-ounce jighead to get on those weakfish!
Bart says there is not alot of offshore activity with the grouper and black sea bass closures. There are still a few scattered sailfish and wahoo to be found though. For sailfish, use small sea witch lures in either blue and white or pink and white combinations, paired with a dink ballyhoo. For wahoo, high-speed trolling with Black Bart san sal candy lures is always a good bet.
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