Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report - 1/21/2014

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:
Stalking winter redfish in the shallows using stealth is a good game plan for success
Inshore Report: Shane Clevenger at the West Ashley location of The Charleston Angler wishes everyone to acknowledge that the New Year brings the best inshore fishing of the year! He shares that we all know that wind is key when it comes to spreading seeds, pollinating plants, and flying kites, but can we all agree that it serves no purpose on the water. That said, there’s nothing worse than white caps inshore but that’s what we had this past weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday brought us cool temps and bone chilling gusts in the 20mph range. Now, do these complex casting conditions keep you on the couch…OF COURSE NOT. You know why, because this is the time of year when the water is crystal clear and the redfish are ready! Now that water temps are in the mid to low 50’s we’re seeing these reds congregate in their massive wintertime schools. There’s not a prettier sight in the Lowcountry than seeing a couple hundred redfish pushing down a mud flat at low tide. When fishing these schools, the last thing you want to do is splash the pot by casting right in the center of the group. Instead, toss a Zman Minnow (darker colors work best this time of year) on an eighth ounce jig head just outside of the school and let the fish come to you. This way you can fight the fish off to the side instead of spooking all of his friends. Only a few more weeks of this cooler weather to deal with and it’ll start to warm up again. You won’t find many places in the U.S. that have an all year round fishery like we have right here in the Lowcountry. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at The Charleston Angler.

Scott Hammand at Haddrell's West Ashley reports that COLD water does not always equal a slow fishery here in the lowcountry! Late January provides a great time of year for the avid fly angler who likes to sneak up in the shallows to sight cast to schooling redfish. Those redfish push onto the shallow water mud flats on sunny days to warm themselves, since water temps there may be 4 or 5 degrees warmer since the dark mud absorbs the heat from sunlight. Conventional anglers can use mud minnows or Gulp 3-inch shrimp on spinning gear near those same shallows, and they might be surprised at how strong the bite is this time of year. A solid sheepshead bite is going on at the jetties, bridge pilings and nearshore reefs using live fiddlers and live shrimp, but even a freshly shucked oyster can serve to tempt the toothy sheepshead to chomp down on your hook. The trout begin to get lethargic when water temps hit the low 50's but they can still be found in deep holes at low tide casting and retrieving lures VERY SLOWLY. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Offshore Report: Scott adds that winds from the West have been howling lately, causing the fleet to sit in port. On days when the wind allows, a few anglers have been out bumping along the bottom for sea bass and triggerfish in 60 to 90-feet of water. Others are still high-speed trolling for wahoo along the ledge, with some HOO in the 60-pound class being caught. The wahoo fishery off the S.C. coast in winter is like the energizer bunny - it just keeps going ON and on and on and ON!!

To view past Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Reports click here.

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