Periods of calm weather between fronts has provided good fishing! Most redfish have been caught on plastics. Numbers of fish are good! During the winter catching a few fish can be tricky. One day fishermen can catch a couple of dozen fish only to be blanked the following day. A typical question is when do fish bite best? What is the barometer doing? This question can provoke lots of conversation and speculation. The short answer (to when do fish bite the best) is when fish are being caught. Just before the front and even when the weather deteriorating the bite will likely be on. Nature is taking care of itself: fish, birds and all wild life will feed prior to poor weather. Typically, the best winter bite is just before a front. A classic example was last week fishermen did well with both seatrout and redfish as the front approached. As the poor weather settled in fish hunkered down.
Striper action has been slow but in recent days the striper bite has picked! A couple of fishermen landed 15 on the fly! Sounds like the good old days! Most stripers have been taken on finger mullet. Reports of plenty of bait: small menhaden and shrimp up the Savannah River as well as lots of seatrout. So far seatrout have not been very active but as conditions warm anticipate the seatrout action to heat up!
The sheepshead bite has been good inshore and offshore! The offshore bite has garnered most of the attention. Nonetheless, the inshore bite has been respectable. Normally flounders are though of as summer time fish in coastal waters. That being said a few have been caught in deep water creeks as well as on the flats. These fish are the exception and not the rule for winter inshore fishing.. A few whiting being caught by persistent die hard whiting fishermen. Again as temperatures warm the whiting bite will heat up!
What’s going on up river? Locals are saying this has been a very unusual winter. Areas that would typically hold fish in the Back and Middle River have been void of fish. One statement that is repeated is the Savannah River is experiencing the highest salinity on record. This has been definitely been a cold winter. Exactly why fish and bait are in one river as opposed to another who knows. It does appear there is a late winter run of stripers which to date have been scant. Some fishermen believe the stripers are in the more salty reaches towards the sounds in waters the DNR is unable to detect them in. Other believe that these are not moving all the way down river to the coast. For now good number of stripers in local waters!
As the weather continues to warm heading into the weekend tides and weather should be nice providing for good fishing! Striper, redfish, seatrout and sheepshead fishing could be good!
Hope this of help! Capt. Jack McGowan
Only keep what you intend to eat and release the rest! Fish On!