Fall is upon us! The heat of the summer has broken. The days are shorter and there is a crispness in the air. What an awesome time! Seatrout are running and redfish are fattening up! Fishermen are catching dozens of small seatrout most slightly under size but plenty in the 13 to 15 inch range as well as the big boys. The primary bait of choice during the fall is live shrimp. One tip for big seatrout is to switch from a live bait to a plastic. Offer something different. Large (10 inch) floats while once the norm are can still effectively produce seatrout. These big floats will bob in water and continue to bob when popped. The result is a jumping shrimp that’s hard for a seatrout to resist. Another old rig fashion is a carolina clacker style rig under a small adjustable float. This rig will produced plenty of redfish and seatrout as well as few flounders and sheepshead. Is it all in a rig? Probably not. Then main ingredient do you enjoy fishing the rig and do think it will produce. The adjustable float rig can help fishermen stay on fish as the water gets higher(by sliding the slip knot up the main line). A little flash and noise which can draw in fish can be helpful!
Most fishermen are staying this should be a good fall! Looks like plenty of bait and lots smaller fish have already shown up. The previous week we had unusually high tides due to a persistent east, northeast wind. During that more challenging period with one tide that peaked at 9.5 feet. We still caught good fish with fishermen staying on two consecutive trips that this was best fishing ever! Pretty strong statement given the conditions. My thought if we able to fish when the fishing is supposed to be shut down then is likely going to be a good year!
Small Tides Big Tides?
Typically fishermen want to fish the smallest tides. In theory this sounds good. What’s the best time to fish? The short answer when it works in with your schedule. If you wait for the ideal conditions likely you wont fish much. On days with less than ideal conditions fish with what nature gives you. You’ll likely catch some pretty nice fish. Youll likely fine yourself doing more enjoying and less concerned about how many fillets. Despite conventional wisdom small tides can look great but sometimes be some of the most difficult to fish. Imagine water flowing. The flow is greatly reduced. This also mean the number fish moving is also reduced. Granted it is easier for fish to feed and frolic in gentler currents but when the currents become very slow fishing can become very challenging. In general try to avoid the extreme tides. When fishing small tides try light artificials and long casts.
Fishing should be good this week and into the weekend. Plenty of bait in the rivers and creeks. Nice catches of seatrout and redfish have reported. Typically late summer, early fall produces some large flounders. This year no exception with large flounder last week being landed south of Savannah. Those seeking large shrimp should target the high incoming and high outgoing.
Hope this of help. Remember practice and release. Keep only what you plan to eat.
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan