Posts Tagged ‘beaufort fishing guide’

Winter Redfishing

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Winter Redfishing

Captain Charlie Beadon

During the winter months most fishing activity slows down due to cold water temperature. Fish are cold blooded animals meaning that they can not regulate their body temperature, and will take on the same temperature as the surrounding water. As the water becomes colder, a fish’s metabolism slows down and the fish become lethargic. This is where the problem comes in for fisherman; when fish eat less and becomes less active we generally get less shots at catching them. Armed with a little bit of knowledge however, you can pick the best times to go after winter redfish and have a very successful trip.

Where do you go to catch redfish in the winter?

winter redfishWhen water temperatures drop (typically below 55 degrees) redfish will start to school up on shallow water mud flats. Flats are areas that have very little bottom contour (flat bottom) over a particular area, and generally offer food and shelter for redfish. During this time it is not uncommon to see schools of 100 or more fish huddled together in a tight area. If you find a school of redfish early in the season you can go back to that same spot through out the winter and find the same group of fish lying in the same spots. When redfish are schooling on shallow mudflats they will generally move in and out with the tide trying to stay in roughly a foot of water. This is where you will want to concentrate you efforts when looking for fish, and also keep an eye on points, shell mounds or any raised structure on the flat.

Why do redfish school up on shallow mud flats in the winter?

The main reasons that redfish school up on shallow mud flats in the winter are for protection, warmth, and safety in numbers. During the winter much of the food that dolphins feed on (such as menhaden and mullet) are gone, therefore redfish become a larger part of the dolphin’s diet. To keep away from the dolphins redfish will stay in shallow water where the dolphins can’t enter. During midday mud flats also offer warmth as the sun heats up the dark mud bottom. Finally, by grouping up in a school, redfish have many eyes to look for predators; if one fish sees something out of place it will alert the rest of the school.

How do you locate Redfish in the winter?

There is no clear cut answer to this question. The best way to find these fish is by spending time on the water looking for them. The good news however, is that when you do find a school of fish you can generally go back to that same area through out the season and find the same group of fish. If you spend enough time with a particular group of fish through out a season you can learn their habits, what they do under various weather conditions and how they move with the raising and falling tide. The best way to get started is to look at a map and locate some flats. Generally, you will find that the flats are most productive when there is a foot or so of water on them. Many of the mud flats in this area will run from the shoreline outward for 150 or more yards and the fish will move in and out with the tide to stay out of reach of the dolphins. Knowing that the fish will be in this area you can use a trolling motor or push pole to ease down the shoreline and scan for redfish moving around or pushing off as you go over them. When you find a school of fish the best thing to do is to anchor or stake up near the fish and try to catch them from a stationary position.

redfishingHow do you catch a winter redfish?

Though a redfish’s metabolism slows in the winter they still have to eat. The two main things to keep in mind when presenting bait to winter reds are to make a good presentation and then work the bait slowly. It is imperative that you make a good presentation to these fish because if you spook just one fish the whole school will take off. I generally like to lead these fish by four or five feet when I cast to them. Secondly, because these fish are cold and moving slowly you have to work your bait the same way. A slow retrieve or dead bait on the bottom will generally work best for these fish.

What are the best conditions to target winter redfish?

The three main factors to consider when targeting winter reds are tide, temperature, and wind conditions. The ideal conditions would be a low tide on a warm day with very little or no wind. Unfortunately, we can’t always have these perfect conditions, but we can try to line them up as close as possible, and if you can get out on a day when conditions are ideal it will be well worth it. Since these fish school up on the shallow water flats, low tide will be the best time to target them. Generally these fish will feed on warmer days thus getting out when the temperature warms up will increase your chances of getting the fish to eat. Warmer days will also cause the fish to be more active, and allow you to see them pushing around on the flats. The main reason that you want to fish on calm days, or fish a flat that lies in the lee of the wind, is that it makes seeing the fish a whole lot easier. Good luck and “catch em up”!

Captain Charlie Beadon

www.hiltonheadfishingadventures.com

www.beaufortsportfishing.com

Shark Fishing

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Shark Fishing in Shallow Waters

By Capt. Charlie Beadon

On the shallow water flats we often overlook one of the hardest fighting and most explosive fish…sharks. These guys may not be good for eating, but they provide great action on light tackle often making long runs and hard head shakes. The best part is that sharks are numerous on the flats and are always willing to take bait. On the shallow flats look to catch bonnet heads, black tips and duskies.

Beaufort and Hilton Head SharkTo get started let’s look at the tackle that you will need. Most of the sharks in shallow water will be 2-15 pounds so you don’t need heavy tackle. Use a 10-12 pound class spinning outfit and hang on! For fishing on the bottom I generally use a 1 ounce egg sinker on a Carolina rig, 2 foot of 40 pound monofilament leader and a 2/0 circle hook. The circle hook is great because the fish hook themselves and because they almost always get hooked in the corner of the mouth you rarely get cut off by the shark’s teeth. For sight fishing I use a straight 40 pound monofilament leader tied directly to a 2/0 circle hook.

Next let’s look at the various bait that you may use to catch sharks. For the most part sharks are scavengers. They will chase down a live fish, but prefer to take dead fish. You can use a lot of different baits to include: mullet, menhaden, shrimp, crab and squid. The key to using dead or cut bait is to allow the bait to lie naturally on the bottom or to drift it freely in the current. No self respecting shark will touch a dead bait that is moving up current along the bottom.

Shark Fishing in Beaufort, SCWhen and where do we need to go to target sharks in shallow water. The sharks are always there, but the best time to go after them is around the low tides. At this time most of the bait fish are pushed out of the marsh and concentrated around creek mouths, grass edges and oyster bars and this is where the sharks will be as well. On some flats the sharks will cruise around the shallows with the top third of their bodies exposed in search of food. This provides a great opportunity for sight fishing; simply position yourself in front of the cruising fish and pitch a bait to him. If the sharks are not cruising the shallows simply anchor up along the edge of the shore line and soak cut baits on the bottom in 2-8 feet of water.

Remember that sharks do have razor sharp teeth and are wild animals so be careful when handling them. Many times I recommend cutting the leader close to the hook rather than trying to remove the hook and take a risk of being bitten. If you take this approach ensure that you use tin hooks that will rust within a few weeks and leave the fish unharmed. Do not use treble hooks, as these can catch both the upper and lower jaw, sewing the fishes mouth shut in which case it would be unable to feed. Good luck and tight lines!

Captain Charlie Beadon

www.hiltonheadfishingadventures.com

www.beaufortsportfishing.com

July Nearshore Fishing Report

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

As the cobia migrate out the rivers and sounds tarpon will be migrating in to take their place. These fish average over 100 pounds and put up a spectacular fight. Also known as the silver king, tarpon are most well known for their aerial acrobatics when hooked. Along with tarpon we will see some of the best shark fishing of the season. Most of the sharks that we catch range in size from 20-100 pounds and may include species such as bonnetheads, black tips and lemon sharks. On the other hand sharks such as hammerheads, tigers and bull sharks may go over 500 pounds…not for the faint of heart! Around the rivers and off of the beach look to catch good numbers of spanish mackerel by using live bait and trolling tactics. Moreover, if you are looking for a true drag screamer then you might want to head out to catch king mackerel. These fish are most commonly found around the offshore wrecks and live bottom areas and can be caught by bump trolling live bait. As you can see there is no shortage of fishing options right now so let gear up and hit the water. Until next tim, Catch em Up!

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Beaufort Fishing Report for July

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

July Fishing Report

One of the most common questions that I get throughout the year is “are we going to be fishing in saltwater?”. My answer is always “Yes but more specifically we are fishing in a Saltwater Tidal Estuary”. Moreover, the Beaufort and Hilton Head areas are unique in the way that our estuary receives very little freshwater influx and thus we have virtually no brackish water. Basically speaking all of the water that we see moving back and forth each day is tidal water that is flowing to and from the ocean. Our estuary provides food and safety for juvenile fish such as redfish, specked sea trout, flounder and sharks to grow and also provides us with a wonderful playground to enjoy the outdoors and wet a line.

 

Inshore Fishing:

July fishing gives us a real mixed bag of different species to fish for. Our top inshore targets will be redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder. These fish can be caught using a number of techniques to include: walking topwater plugs, jerking soft plastics, jigging, fly fishing and drifting live baits under popping corks. As for redfish, we are at the top of the tailing season which is by far the most exciting way to chase reds! As the high tide spills over marsh grasses and onto hard packed sand the redfish will push in to feed on small fiddler crabs…a redfish in no more than a few inches of water with its nose stuck in the bottom and tail waiving high is quite a sight to see. We will also be seeing schools of ladyfish, jack crevalle and bluefish in shallower water throughout the month. These fish might be feeding on anything from glass minnows to menhaden and can be a blast to catch on both light spin and fly fishing tackle.

Beaufort Redfish

Beaufort Wreck Fishing

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

The best action around our nearshore waters right now is cobia and shark fishing. These fish generally frequent the same areas so it is not uncommon to have a shark hooked up on one line while fighting a 40 pound cobia on the other. These fish are large and in charge so you had best be prepared if you plan on bringing them boat side. Everything starts with matching your tackle – I use 20-30 pound class spinning and conventional rod combos (larger for big sharks) lined up with 50 pound braid and a beefy monofilament or wire leader. Along with cobia and sharks we will also be catching good numbers of whiting, black sea bass, blue fish and spanish mackerel. What more can I say…everything has sprung to life. Until next time, Catch em Up!

 

Beaufort Fishing Charters - Cobia

Beaufort Inshore Fishing Report

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

As we get deeper into the spring fishing season we will see an abundance of life all around us while out on the water. You might notice that the water clarity has gone from gin clear to “dirty” green-brown…this, in fact is not dirt or mud but rather microorganisms such as algae and plankton that are growing in our warm ocean water. These microbes form the base of the food chain for all other species by providing food for small baitfish and shrimp which in turn provides food for larger fish, birds and even us. I generally look at the warmer months as a time for life to flourish here in the Lowcountry and that in turn can equate to some red hot fishing!

 

Inshore Fishing:

On the inshore waters there is a lot of action right now. The redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder will be on the prowl and feeding heavily around most any “fishy looking area”. When I say fishy, I am talking about spots that have a combination of four things: spartina grass, oyster beds, feeder creeks and moving water. The spartina grass and oyster beds provide cover and/or structure for the fish conceal themselves while the water flowing in and out of the creeks provide a constant flow of food – to – and – from the marsh. As the water moves in and out of the marsh predator fish such as trout, redfish and flounder will hold up to feed on the abundance of baitfish that are moving with the current…its like a baitfish buffet. We will also be catching a number of other species around these same areas to include: bluefish, jack crevalle lady fish and small sharks. Speaking of sharks, June is one of the best months to catch bonnet head sharks in shallow water. These sharks average between 10-15 pounds and are a blast to catch on light spinning rods and even fly fishing tackle. My favorite tactic to catch bonnet head sharks is to quietly pole the boat near them while they are pushing around in shallow water and sight cast using shrimp, crabs and fly patterns.


Beaufort Fishing Guide - Redfish

Beaufort Fishing Report

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Spring is finally here and with the exception of a possible late cold front we should be moving out of our winter fishing patterns and into our summer patterns. With longer days and raising temperatures the fishing should be firing up on both our inshore and offshore waters. By mid month look for the water temperature to start to hover around 70 degrees and with the warming water there will be plenty of hungry redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder around looking for something to eat. Moreover, by mid April we should see the first of our cobia start to arrive so lets get ready for some red hot action this month!

 

Inshore Fishing:

This is a great time of the year to be an inshore fisherman. The water is still relatively clear so sight fishing is a strong possibility while at the same time the redfish are eating more aggressively plus the trout and flounder are starting to move back into the grass to feed. Need I say more? For the most part I will start to concentrate most of my fishing efforts around the oyster bars and grass edges and especially concentrate on fishy looking areas where there is a lot of moving water…these fish are looking to feed-up right now and the best place to find food is in areas where bait fish are being swept through with the moving current. This is a great time of the year to play around with different types of lures and flies and if you are looking for an explosive bite try working a topwater bait such as a zara spook or gurgler near the grass edges. I have have such explosive surface bites during April that I nearly fell out of the boat!

 

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

The nearshore and wreck fish should only continue to get better and better as we move through April. This is one of my favorite months to catch sheepshead and they will be staging up on both the nearshore wrecks and around inshore docks and pilings. If you are looking to catch sheepshead a live fiddler crab on a sharp 2/0 hook is hard to beat. We will also be looking for the arrival of the cobia. These are migratory fish that start to come into our waters around mid April and stay though about July. These are large powerful fish with a veracious appetite and if you plan to tangle with a cobia I would recommend that you beef up your gear to 20-30 pound class spinning and conventional rods. We also catch a good number of cobia on the fly rod, for this I generally use a 10 wt for smaller fish and a 12 wt for larger fish. April is an excellent time of the year to enjoy the outdoors so lets take advantage of the weather and head out fishing!

Beaufort, SC Redfish Charters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on these topics visit the following links:

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/beaufort-fishing-charters-beaufort-fishing-guides-beaufort-south-carolina

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/fly-fishing-guide-fly-fishing-charters-in-beaufort-sc

 

Beaufort, SC Fishing Report

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Beaufort Fishing Report

With a most of the winter season behind us, we should be looking at warmer days and raising water temperatures throughout March. This is one of those times of the year that we generally look at as a transition period. Many of our inshore species such as redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder will start to become more active and the nearshore fishing should only continue to be excellent with sheepshead, bluefish and drum holding over the wrecks and live bottom.

 

Inshore:

Throughout most of the winter we have primarily been sight fishing for schooling redfish in shallow water. Early in the month this pattern should hold true but as temperatures rise these schools should start to break up. Though we will still be looking for large groups of reds we will also start to turn our attention to fishing around the oyster bars and grass edges with moving water. Live bait under popping corks will again be a great choice to hook up with these fish but fan casting with lures and flies will work as well. Along with redfish the specs and flounder should start to get active again…in many cases all three species can be caught in the same spots using the same baits and tactics. The key to inshore fishing this time of the year is to change tactics regularly to keep up with the changing patterns of the fish. For example; you might find that during the colder mornings the fish will be a bit sluggish, thus you will want to work your baits at a snails pace but as you get later into the day the fish will become more aggressive allowing us to cover more water while looking for harder reaction bites.

 

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! One of my prime targets on the wrecks throughout March will be sheepshead. Sheepshead are also known as “convicts” due to their vertical black and white stripes and stealthy bait stealing ability. These fish are a blast to catch and also make for great table fare. The only issue that we have been having in sheepshead fishing this year has been the huge number of black sea bass that have taken over the bottom. In some cases the sea bass have been so thick that catching anything else has become near impossible. Though fun to catch, sea bass are closed to harvest so in most cases when these guys take over it might be best to change locations. Moreover, it never hurts to keep a big minnow or cut bait on the bottom around the wrecks and ledges as there are a good number flounder, grey trout, blue fish and drum out there right now.

With a most of the winter season behind us, we should be looking at warmer days and raising water temperatures throughout March. This is one of those times of the year that we generally look at as a transition period. Many of our inshore species such as redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder will start to become more active and the nearshore fishing should only continue to be excellent with sheepshead, bluefish and drum holding over the wrecks and live bottom.  Inshore: 	Throughout most of the winter we have primarily been sight fishing for schooling redfish in shallow water. Early in the month this pattern should hold true but as temperatures rise these schools should start to break up. Though we will still be looking for large groups of reds we will also start to turn our attention to fishing around the oyster bars and grass edges with moving water. Live bait under popping corks will again be a great choice to hook up with these fish but fan casting with lures and flies will work as well. Along with redfish the specs and flounder should start to get active again…in many cases all three species can be caught in the same spots using the same baits and tactics. The key to inshore fishing this time of the year is to change tactics regularly to keep up with the changing patterns of the fish. For example; you might find that during the colder mornings the fish will be a bit sluggish, thus you will want to work your baits at a snails pace but as you get later into the day the fish will become more aggressive allowing us to cover more water while looking for harder reaction bites.  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! One of my prime targets on the wrecks throughout March will be sheepshead. Sheepshead are also known as “convicts” due to their vertical black and white stripes and stealthy bait stealing ability. These fish are a blast to catch and also make for great table fare. The only issue that we have been having in sheepshead fishing this year has been the huge number of black sea bass that have taken over the bottom. In some cases the sea bass have been so thick that catching anything else has become near impossible. Though fun to catch, sea bass are closed to harvest so in most cases when these guys take over it might be best to change locations. Moreover, it never hurts to keep a big minnow or cut bait on the bottom around the wrecks and ledges as there are a good number flounder, grey trout, blue fish and drum out there right now.  For More information on these topics please check out these links:  http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/beaufort-fishing-charters-beaufort-fishing-guides-beaufort-south-carolina http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/redfishing-and-redfish-charters-in-beaufort-sc

 

 

 

 

 

 

For More information on these topics please check out these links:

 

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/beaufort-fishing-charters-beaufort-fishing-guides-beaufort-south-carolina

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/redfishing-and-redfish-charters-in-beaufort-sc

 

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