Spottail bass and seatrout feeding with “wild abandon”
While many of us are whiling away the hours waiting for a big buck to walk in front of our tree stand, Charleston’s charter captains are tearing it up out on the water.
Capt. John Irwin of Fly Right Charters (843 860-4231) said late last week that the inshore fishing has been phenomenal.
“The bass (redfish) bite has been insane. It’s been awesome. The trout have been unbelievable, too. Huge numbers.
“Last week I had one day where I had a little over 40 bass, and then I really got into the trout in the afternoon. I have no idea how many we caught — I lost count.
“Last week was just silly.”
Spurred on by the recent cold snap, the fish seem to be gorging on shrimp before winter sets in, he said.
“It’s kind of reckless abandon with the feeding.”
Irwin said he was fishing a DOA shrimp under a popping cork along the edge of the marsh when a group of large redfish charged out of the flooded grass and repeatedly tried to eat the cork.
“I think they’d eat your car keys if you threw them in there,” he said with a laugh.
Irwin said he’s been finding the hottest action up on mud flats, during high incoming tides when the water starts to cover oyster bars.
“You know how you’ll see those long fingers of oysters coming out from the bank? If you know where that type of stuff is, when it gets covered, that’s where you’ll find the bite.”
When he’s chasing the spottails, Irwin throws soft-plastic grubs on 1/8- or 1/16-ounce jigheads. Though the bass don’t seem to be very picky right now, Irwin recommends trying DOA paddletail grubs in the black-and-gold and “glow-and-gold” color patterns.
For trout, Irwin’s fishing live shrimp under corks and DOA shrimp lures, also under corks or just “straight up.”
Topwater lures are also hot right now, for both redfish and trout, Irwin said. “We had one day last week when we caught 21 (redfish) all on topwater.”
Reach Matt Winter, manager of niche content and design and editor of Tideline magazine, at 843-937-5568 or firstname.lastname@example.org.