Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report - 6/24/2014

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:
Sunrise Fish Photo - The early bird gets the 'Worm'

Inshore: Scott Hammond from Haddrell's Point West cracks that it's time to 'walk the dog'. Hot weather during the day has really turned on the topwater bite at dawn and dusk using a Yo-Zuri Pencil. Scott's Pro Tip is to be sure and have a second rod rigged up and ready with a suspending bait like a MirroLure 17mr to mimic a wounded baitfish. More times than not if you miss a fish on the topwater, you can then hook up on the suspending bait. Another tactic this time of year is to use a popping cork with a DOA shrimp, live shrimp or mud minnow underneath it. Fish your baits 3 to 4-inches under the popping cork at creek mouths and shell rakes for best results. Big bull reds continue to be found around the jetties and are readily taking chunks of mullet, blue crab, or live menhaden. Spanish are schooling up in great numbers along the front beaches, and a solid flounder bite is on using Zman jerk shadz near rock piles and other structure. For the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Craig Lupton from Buck Bass and Beyond shares that redfish
 remain the steadiest species to chase after. Fishing cut mullet and quartered legal size (5 inch point to point) blue crabs under corks seems to be the best bet. Try setting up in the mouths of small feeder creeks which drain the spartina grass flats,  placing your baits along grass edges in small coves, indentations, points and visible oyster bars. Venture onto the flats for tailing and fining redfish as the water floods the grass throwing the same baits as well as your favorite sight casting lures till the tide turns then set up again on the outside of the grass edge and ambush them on their way back off the flats via the feeder creeks. Up the creeks closer to fresher water is also holding large numbers of reds where mud minnows and cut bait has been working well. Present the baits in areas where water is flushing in or out of smaller creeks and rice field dike blowouts and old flood gates. Trout seem to be illusive as ever with few being reported. The only reports of keeper trout are near Fripp Island area, and fishing topwaters is a great way to target big trout. In low light conditions and high water toss the Heddon Super Spook Jr., Storm Chug Bug and the  Rebel jointed minnow in silver with a black back. If the water is choppy try something bigger and with a rattle. Fish them over submerged oysters and grass. A few keeper cobia are being caught on the highway 170 pier. It was caught on a live Greenback Herring and no chum. A few tarpon are being jumped but I have not heard about any being landed. Cobia fishing methods work well for tarpon. I like to stay close to bait pods so the beaches are a good bet this time of year and work back into the creeks as the bait moves back and water temps increase. Craig's best tarpon ever was caught in Chowan creek in the Orange Grove area. It fell for a live Menhaden fished under a balloon. Estimated weight around 150lbs. The fishing rips between  Bay Point and Joiner Banks seem to hold some nice Tarpon especially early summer, and live menhaden, mullet and live blue crabs all work well. Don't forget that the D.O.A. BFL size soft plastic lure can also be effective on tarpon. For the latest store information visit the Internet at Buck Bass 'N Beyond.
Surf Zone: Craig adds that the surf may be the place to be right now. Good reports of monster redfish, trout and founder are being bagged. Cut mullet, blue crab quarters, pin fish and live mud minnows are working for the surf fishermen. Make sure you are presenting your baits in the whitewater. The crashing waves disturb the bottom washing up and disorienting small crabs, pin fish and minnows making them easy targets for predators. If casting plugs and soft plastics is your thing, then try some of my favorite lures in the surf, the Mirrolure Mirr-o-Glass twicth bait, a 1/4 oz. jig with a Zman Paddlerz in pin fish color or Zoom Jerk Bait in pearl white. If Sand Fleas are present in the sand on the beach then definitely use those for bait. Look for a group of small V's as the waves recede off of the sand. Scoop them up with your hands or a small shovel pin them on a small # 4 hook on a Carolina Rig and cast them into the surf. If you are equipped for it there is always the chance at a King, tarpon, red drum and sharks of off the beach this time of the year. You would be surprised what's out there!

Near Shore: Craig says it's normal this time of the year for the near shore wrecks and reefs to produce nice catches of flounder, weakfish, Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, black sea bass as well as the occasional cobia, King mackerel and grouper. Live mud minnows on Carolina rigs or heavier jigs tipped with a mud minnow or a Gulp Swimming Mullet in chartreuse or pearl white have been working well for the smaller species. I'm hearing that the cobia being caught are a little on the shorter side but the fishermen are expecting one more wave of bigger ones to come through. If you are seeing and Spanish the kings are around too. Reports of kings even all the way up onto the beaches are coming in. Try slow trolling live menhaden, bluefish, greenies, and Spanish around schools of bait, structure, ledges and live bottom or try anchoring over some structure or live bottom and free line the same baits and chum like crazy.

Offshore: Scott tells us that some good size dolphin are still available in the deep blue anywhere from 200 to 1200-feet of water, with fish in the 40 to -55-pound class hitting the Trident-certified scales at the store. The sailfish bite has turned on lately, with many boats reporting back similar numbers to what Capt. Emerson read had when he released four sails and had several shots at more. The bottom fishing in 65 to 110-feet of water is jigging up some triggerfish, bee-liners and a few quality grouper too.

To view past Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Reports click here.

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