Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Sheepshead Fishing Provides A Heated Fight!

     As the water temperatures start to fall into the upper 50's, area sheepshead leave their warm summertime creeks and rivers and start to make the migration offshore.  The migration usually consists of fish 2lbs and up. Many rocky and barnacle encrusted areas near the ocean become a temporary refuge for some of these striped critters.   Since sheepshead are omnivores, they often are happy eating pretty much anything from sea lettuce to frozen shrimp.   They often run in schools so if you hook one, there are usually more around.  Fishing for this species is both frustrating and rewarding. Pound for pound sheepshead provide one of the best inshore fights.
     The Charleston Jettys are one of my favorite ambush points for these fish.  Anywhere with a bunch of barnacles and oyster deposits will hold these fish. The best depths with consistent luck inshore is usually 3-15 feet.  Offshore you can find these fish anywhere from 15-70 feet on rocks and wrecks lining the bottom. You usually have to pick your days in the wintertime, the calmer the better.  If the water is too rough it makes it very hard to feel such a sensitive bite.  Rough water also makes it hard for the fish to see your bait.

     Your rod is key for feeling such a subtle biting fish.  I like to use a 7' medium fast action graphite rod.  The long graphite rod provides the sensitivity necessary to feel the bite, as well as a quicker hook set.  I often team the rod with a medium sized reel with spooled 20 lb braid.  The drag set on your rod is key for catching these fish.  I normally put 7-8 lbs of drag on my reels. This provides enough pressure to move these creatures to the surface without the chance of losing a barely hooked fish.  Some of my bigger fish have only been only hooked in the lip.  Keep that in mind when you are reeling a big one in.  Also always bring a net.

     I often find that the simpler the rig the better.  A 1' 15lb fluorocarbon leader with a #1 mosquito hook is perfect for these fish.  For weight all you need is a 1/4 oz split shot 6" from your hook (rig shown below). You can add more weight for higher current areas as well.   The #1 mosquito hook also bends straight whenever you get snagged.  Just bend it back, re-bait and you're good to go.  Make sure to bring a lot of extra tackle.  Prepare to get snagged a lot.  I usually spend half of the time tying rigs on my charters.  Its something that just happens.  You also can use a bobber or popping cork with 2' of leader if you get a little frustrated from rigging so much.

     Every sheepshead fisherman has a certain way to work their baits on the structure they are fishing.  Always keep try to keep your rod at a 90 degree angle.  Fishing right on top of your structure is necessary for a positive hookup.  I prefer a soft up and down rhythm every 5-10 seconds.  Just bouncing the bait up and down a foot or two off the bottom.  This method is most effective when you are dealing with bigger fish that have a soft bite.  You really don't feel the bite too much when using this method. You feel more of a pressure on the line and then you set the hook. This type of fishing involves fishing next to, on top of, and sometimes inside structure.  These fish find refuge in cover and love highly oxygenated (moving) water.

     The usual bait for sheepshead is fiddler crabs.  Many other people use cut clams, oysters, ghost shrimp, cut shrimp, and even barnacles.  I have found that all of these baits work but the easiest and most readily available is fiddler crabs.  Hook your fiddler crab through the center of the bottom their abdomen with the hook barely exposed out of their carapace (see picture below).  Make sure to buy at least double of what you think you need if you plan on fishing all day.  It may seem like a lot but you can go through a pint in an hour if you really get on these fish.  You never want to run out of bait.

     With the right rods and bait sheepshead fishing is pretty simple. If you combine all of the techniques mentioned you should have great success landing many of these striped bait bandits.  Remember, don't forget that net!!!

     For more information on booking a sheepshead fishing charter please feel free to check out my website http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com or send me an email for any other questions  exclusivefishingcharters@gmail.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Trout Bite On Artificals

The usage of soft plastics is key around this time of year.  As the surface temperature drops trout swim deeper and soft plastics are key to getting in that strike zone. I prefer gulp baits rather than traditional grubs.  In my opinion the trout will actually hold on longer and even try to swallow the bait before you even know they are hooked. The key to finding the big ones this time of year is deep creeks, holes, and water clarity.  Trout are usually in the same spots as summertime just deeper.  These deep holes and creeks hold heat.  You honestly can warm up your hands with a trout caught deep this time of year.  A 1/4  oz jig head with a 2'15lb fluorocarbon leader provides perfect flutter action. 

If you have any questions or would like to go on a fishing charter feel free to check out my website http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Fishing Is Charleston's Finest

For the next month inshore fishing charters are about to be phenomenal.   The redfish and trout bite is starting to become more steady.  These cooler temperatures should put these fish into a feeding frenzy.  Artifical baits as well as the old trusty popping cork are bringing anglers great success.  It's the prefect time to go inshore fishing! I hope to see you out there!
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Call and book a charter today for this amazing time of the year (843)709-6859 or visit my website http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Great Fishing This Month

The last month of fishing in Charleston, SC has been phenomenal.  The bull redfish bite couldn't have been any better.  Cut bait was key to landing these giants.  As long as the weather cooperated every trip was productive! http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September is all about trout and every size of redfish

     The month of September has proved to be successful for fishing charters thus far.  The redfish and trout bite has been a little crazy the last couple of days.  The big sharks are here as well.
     Cut bait and structure for big redfish is key this time of year.  Low tide at creekmouths and other ambush points prove to be successful for both rat reds as well as bulls.  The bite hasn't been better.  It seems like the bull redfish have headed furthur inland rather than sticking to inlets.  The presence of bait is everywhere. 
     Trout fishing has not been better in Charleston, SC.  The trout seem to be following the vast schools of finger mullet.  The key to filtering through those smaller trout is definitely bait size, the bigger the better. Sometimes you have to add a little more weight to hold the baits down deep.  As long as you can find clear moving water, there should be trout around this time of year.
      Fishing charters have never been better this time of year.  Call and book a fishing charter today!!! (843)709-6859. http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Great Last Couple Weeks!!!

The fishing is really starting to pick up.  Schools of trout are definitely starting to get a taste for creek shrimp this time of the year.  Popping corks are definitely working their magic. Although some voodoo shrimp are working pretty well also.

Big bull redfish are being caught in double digits on 4 hour fishing charters. The fights are spectacular an my tld 15's.   

The tarpon have showed up in small numbers.  A few other guides are catching them at this time.  I personally have missed 3.

It's a great time to get out on the water and see a side of Charleston, SC that only locals know.  Check out our site http://www.exclusivefishingcharters.com for more information.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fishing Charter Forecast for June 2014

The month of June is an awesome time to fish inshore! Big bull redfish are starting to move into coastal areas of the Charleston Harbor.  The trout bite is hot in the cooper and wando rivers.  Schools of spanish mackerel are making their move to inlets and rivers.  Tons of sharks are being caught.  Black drum and flounder are also being caught daily.
The month of June is a great time to go fishing, especially with a local experienced fishing guide!  Call captain John and book today! (843)709-6859

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fishing Charter 5/22

The black drum and sheepshead bite is on fire right now! Keepers are caught daily.  Chunk bait and fiddler crabs are are proving to be successful!  Charter fishing in Charleston, SC is amazing! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fishing Charter Forecast for May 2014

fishing charter
The month of May is a great turning point for inshore fishing.  The bite is on!! Water temperatures are starting to rise.  This causes many inshore species to feed more often due to an increased metabolism.  You can expect to catch: redfish, trout, sheepshead, flounder, bluefish, spanish mackerel and sharks.  Many large trout are starting to be caught in the Ashley, Wando, and Cooper rivers. Big redfish are starting to become more structure oriented and are heading to the Jettys from offshore.  The Sheepshead are starting to move inland from their offshore sanctuaries.  Schools of spanish mackerel are starting to make their way inland chasing schools of glass minnows.  The month of May is a great time to fish especially with a local experienced guide. Call and book with Capt. John today!(843)709-6859
fishing sheepshead

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Inshore Fishing Charters 4/10-4/13

   The bigger redfish bite is starting to become very steady. I found that most of the bigger schools are on the flats following the schools of mullet.  Cut mullet and blue crabs are still their preferred bait.  Although mud minnows will work fine as well. 
   The trout are still a little finicky but are starting to show up.  They are also still loving those mud minnows.  Dead high tide seems like the only time you catch trout steadily.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Inshore Redfish 4/10/14

Had a great day today fishing with a fella from Nebraska.  It was a blast.  I thought the small tides today would have had the fish a bit deeper than on the usual flats.  Not the case....the reds were schooled up and attacking the newly arrived mullet.   The bite was slower than expected.  We landed 3 fish and had one break off.  All of them were in the 25"-30" range.  My customer had a blast reeling in 3 nice redfish and looking at the schools of them swim by.  I would have to say today was a good day to be on an inshore fishing charter.