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Beaufort, SC March Fishing Report

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Water temperature is one of the key factors that determines the movements of fish and this is true for the smallest of bait fish all the way up to our apex predators. Overall, I would classify many fish as being either tropical or cold water fish. A good example of a tropical fish would be a snook (not found in South Carolina) as they would die quickly in cold water, whereas stripers would be considered a cold water fish. On the other hand, if you look at a species such as redfish we will see that they are found anywhere from Texas, around the gulf coast and up the east coast from Florida to Virginia so these hardy critters may be considered either warm or cold water fish. In many cases, water temperature will directly coincide with the migration of fish and this may be a north – south migration or even an inshore – offshore migration. Lets look at a few examples: during the winter months many of our flounder and sheepshead migrate from inshore waters to offshore waters primarily because the deeper offshore water offers slightly warmer and more stable water temperatures. An example of a north – south migrator might be the mighty tarpon, these fish visit our waters during mid summer and spend their winters in the tropical waters of south Florida. The point is that each species of fish will react to water temperatures differently and the key for us as fisherman is to study these behaviors and movements to better understand when and where fish will be during different seasons.

Inshore:

We are coming to the end of the winter redfish season. Throughout most of the winter we have been finding the reds schooled up on the flats in huge numbers, but as temperatures start to rise these schools will start to break up and the fish will become more mobile. Moreover, reds that were sluggish to take a bait will be looking for something to eat and readily take a well placed offering. As the fish start to change their behaviors we need to make changes as well. We will still be looking for fish on the shallow flats but also be paying more attention to the grass edges, creek channels and oyster bars with moving current to pitch soft plastics, flies and live baits.

Nearshore Wrecks:

Right now the nearshore wreck and live bottom fishing should be firing off with good numbers of fish and a lot of action! The prime targets on the wrecks throughout March will be sheepshead, sea bass and flounder. In particular, flounder will be staging up on the wrecks in good numbers as they get ready to push back to the estuary. These fish are often overlooked by many anglers but armed with the right tactics and a little patience these fish can provide a great day of fishing. The key thing to remember about flounder is that they will not lay on top of the wrecks…in fact, in many cases they will be 30 feet or more off of the structure. I generally like to drift fish for them dropping buck tail jigs or live minnows on a flounder rig over the slack tide.

Beaufort Cobia Fishing

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Next lets turn our attention to cobia. These fish should start to show up in the spring and stay around through early summer and for what ever reason they do like to pop up to the surface and swim around like they own the place…well I guess they do. Once again this gives us a great opportunity to sight fish. As with most sight fishing, looking for cobia involves hours of boredom followed by moments of adrenaline rushing panic! The biggest difference in sight fishing for cobia from other fish is that we need use heavier tackle. For spinning rods I use Ugly Stick Custom 12-20 pound rods with Penn 6500 reels and for fly fishing I use 10-12 weight St. Croix Legend Elite rods with Sage 6000 reels. The heavier rods are needed to present larger baits but also to handle a powerful cobia and the biggest thing about the reels is to ensure that the drags are silky smooth.

Beaufort Cobia Fishing Charters

Beaufort Fishing Report | February Fishing Action

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Well, we are smack in the middle of the winter fishing season and you might be wondering what to fish for but not real sure if it’s too cold to get a bite but I can assure you that the fish still bite when it gets cold. In fact, we have been enjoying some really good fishing both inshore and on the nearshore wrecks over the past few months.

Inshore:

Right now our target inshore fishery is by far redfish and they have been biting very well. These fish are still schooled up on the shallow flats which have been providing us with excellent sight fishing opportunities over the past few months. Though we have been doing well with light spinning tackle the fly fishing has been exceptionally good so let’s take a deeper look at what it takes to have success with the fly. The three most important factors to consider while fly fishing for winter redfish are: Tackle, Presentation and Fly Selection. As for tackle; I generally use a 9 foot 8 weight fly rod which is pretty standard for most inshore saltwater fishing. For winter fishing you need to pay special attention to the line and choose one that is specifically designed for cold water fishing (I generally change out my summer and winter lines when the air temperatures start to hover above or below 75 degrees). Additionally, try using as longer leader to keep from spooking these fish in clear water. Presentation is equally important and being proficient with the saltwater quick cast will pay off big in getting the fly to fish quickly before they see you or the boat. In practice; work on dropping the fly at 50-60 feet with no more than three false casts. As for fly selection I generally like to use smaller flies (3-5 inches) with more natural colors such as olive, black and brown because of the ultra clear water clarity…remember the fish can see better in this clear water too!

Nearshore and Offshore Wreck:

Right now the best action around the nearshore wrecks is sheepshead fishing. On the other hand, many of the fish that we would generally like to target during this time of the year have been closed down. These species would include: grouper, red snapper, bee liners and black sea bass…what can I say, there are plenty of them out there but all restricted to harvest. I have always been a very conservative fisherman (as have most of us) but have been left scratching my head as to why many of these fisheries have been completely closed. One backlash that I can see because of these regulations are that they will ultimately put more pressure on the fish that we can still keep such as sheepshead and even inshore fish. In the end, I feel that it will be up to each of us as recreational anglers to stay with in the law considering closed fisheries while still showing restraint with the fisheries that are still open.

Captain Charlie Beadon

www.beaufortsportfishing.com

Fly Fishing for Bull Redfish

 

Beaufort Trout and Redfish Report

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Well the days are starting to get shorter and it looks as though it is time to put another summer fishing season behind us. As much as I enjoy the summer fishing, I always look forward to the fall. Not only does the crisp cool weather make boating more enjoyable; but the fall fishing, shrimping and crabbing is unmatched across the board! Right now you can head out at any time of the day, over any tide, and catch something.

 

Inshore Fishing and Nearshore Fishing

The inshore action right now is as good as it gets and will stay this way over the next few months. This is the season that I look forward to all year, and for good reason…the fish are plentiful and they are feeding hard. Most of the backwater creeks are loaded with shrimp and baitfish which is providing an abundance of food for the redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder to fatten up on. With daylight becoming shorter and mild cold fronts pushing through these fish know that the next few months will be their last opportunity to feed hard before the winter season. In other words, they are in what I like to call “feeding mode”. If you want to make things simple just rig up a popping cork with a live mud minnow or shrimp and you will surely find some solid action around the creek mouths, oyster bar and grass edges. This is also a great time of the year to fish a with variety of artificial lures on light tackle spinning gear and fly rods. Generally, I like to use soft plastics which may include weightless jerk baits and tube lures or in deeper water I may fish the same baits behind a 1/4 oz jig head. When it comes to fly fishing you may want to consider the abundance of shrimp that are moving into and out of the marsh and focus on various shrimp patterns. As the water begins to clear we will also have some excellent sight fishing opportunities for redfish while poling the shallow flats. In the shallow water these fish will still be spooky, but with a proper approach and good presentations you should get some explosive strikes!

 

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing

Let’s jump right in and look at one of my all time favorite fisheries: Bull Redfishing. What is a bull redfish?…basically a very large redfish. The South Carolina state record redfish was caught in Murrells Inlet, SC and weighed in at 75.0 pounds. Now thats a big red drum!  As these fish are finishing up their spawn they will flood the sounds and nearshore wrecks through out Beaufort County. We are generally fishing for them in deeper water and with larger tackle. I like to use 20 pound spinning or 30 pound conventional rods with a carolina rig and either a live mullet or menhaden for bait. While fishing for the bull reds also look to catch a variety of other species to include weakfish, bluefish, whiting and black sea bass. In closing, please remember that our fisheries are finite resources and though we all like to take a few fish for the dinner table, a fish released is a fish that can be caught another day.

Beaufort Fishing | Redfish

Captain Charlie Beadon

843-592-0897