Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lowcountry Fishing Report - 5/1/21012

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:

Tyler Harrison with a G'town giant redfish
Charleston Inshore Report: Bart at the Market Street location of The Charleston Angler proclaims that May is here and the waters temps are now consistently around 70-degrees. Fishing has picked up since the last cold front in April and the next couple of weeks should bring favorable tides for tailing redfish, with the first week in May being particularly good. Fly fisherman, this is the time to throw some patterns with a little flash, especially ones that resemble any live bait you might see busting the surface.  Anglers with conventional tackle should continue to throw plastics like Z-Man Minnowz in new penny coloration. For those who like live bait, the old standby of mud minnows under a popping cork is hard to beat for simplicity, but also try putting on a cracked crab. Reports on the trout bite have been even better than the previous report, with some reports of catches just off the Battery downtown, especially by our Sunday fishermen. For best success with trout use light-colored lures, especially white. The best rule of thumb is that if one color doesn’t seem to be working, switch it out, and Bart has a crayon box full of colors in his store to tempt you with! For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet.

Scott Hammond at Haddell's Point West has had a wonderful turkey season and has begun to weigh-in dolphin at their Trident Tournament certified scales. Scott says that with the arrival of May the time has come to ask WHAT do you want to catch?! While redfish continue to be steady and available around docks at low water and grass edges near high water, they are only one of dozens of options to target right now. Spanish and bluefish have begun to school in the harbor and along the front beaches, and flounder are showing up in our inlets. The trout bite has really turned on lately. Trout numbers are good and specks are being found around shell rakes and creek mouths in 3 to 6-feet of water using live shrimp under popping floats, DOA shrimp or Zman Paddlerz. Sheepshead are still biting well and they continue to feed on fiddlers and shrimp fished along rock piles and pilings. The spanish mackerel and bluefish are chomping almost anything silver you can rip through the water quickly. Scott’s preference is a #00 clarkspoon with a 3/4 oz trolling lead in front of it. If you are into the flounder fishing side of things, you owe it to yourself to come by and check out the new flounder weighted hooks and jigheads at Haddrell’s since they have been getting rave reviews from all that have tried them! For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Georgetown Inshore Report: Captain Steve Roffs reports that the fishing in the Georgetown area has been great.  They have been doing well with the sea trout, flounder and redfish. To locate the larger schools of active sea trout look for gulls and terns feeding near structure. The trout will often be under the birds in a feeding frenzy. We’ve been fishing for flounder near points where the tide is pushing bait into path of these stealthy predators. Soft-bodied Gulp shrimp and white fluke baits have produced some nice 3 to 5-pound flounder. Most anglers have enjoyed casting jigs to the trout and flounder then moving out near the jetties and catching some nice 30-pound trophy reds. Most of the big reds have hit a half of blue crab or live mullet. Try rigging up with a short leader and circle hook to reduce the odds of gut hooking these spawning size fish. To read more about Captain Steve Roffs consult the Internet at Barrier Island Guide.

Charleston Offshore Report: Much like the inshore report, Scott says that the offshore season has hit full swing with solid catches of good dolphin, a steady wahoo bite, blackfin tuna hanging around, and sails and blues already showing back up. Though everyday is a different day on the big pond, we have been hearing about good dolphin catches anywhere from 110-feet of water all the way out to 1300-feet. The majority of the wahoo and blackfin tuna are still being found along the ledge in that 150 to 250-feet range. Don't forget that while May marks some of our best offshore trolling of the year for pelagics, it also marks the start of grouper season opening back up! Vermillion snapper are being found in great numbers in 80 to 110-feet of water along live bottom and artificial reefs. Scott is looking forward to hearing the first grouper reports of the season this week as the boats begin to head out with their live baits and butterfly jigs at the ready.

Bart tells us that the offshore results have been good. The dolphin bite has really picked up, and the wahoo bite still continues to be strong.  For wahoo, using dark colors like black, purple, and orange while trolling at slower speeds with an Ilander lure and ballyhoo combo. Some cobia have been spotted in the nearshore fishery, and we shoud hear some positive reports on catches throughout May. For cobia, cast with plastics like Hogy jigging baits.

To view past Fishing Reports of the Lowcountry click here.

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