Posts Tagged ‘redfish’

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

Bull Redfishing

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Bull Redfishing

By Capt. Charlie Beadon

When we talk about bull redfish we are referring to the largest of redfish, a true trophy fish for any angler. These fish are not only sought after for their great size but also for their power as a great fighting bottom fish. This is the last large fish to push into our inshore waters before winter so get out and enjoy a day on the water fishing for the big bulls.

Redfish Biology 101

beaufort sc bull redfish - monster redfish1. First we need to know what a bull redfish is. Basically speaking a bull redfish is a sexually mature adult redfish that has moved out of the estuary and lives most of its life in open water.

2. Redfish are very long lived fish, living as long as 60 years. Considering that fish never stop growing an old redfish will also be a rather large fish. In fact, the South Carolina state record for the red drum is 75 lbs; this fish was caught in Murrells Inlet, SC in 1965.

3. When talking about redfish most people think of inshore shallow water fishing. This is where most redfish are caught but these are typically smaller juvenile fish. As Juveniles redfish live in shallow water estuaries feeding on crabs, shrimp and small fish. At about the age of four they become sexually mature adults and move offshore where they live as bottom fish for most of the year. In South Carolina adult redfish move into the surf to spawn during the summer months and then spread out to the sounds and near shore wrecks in late fall.

Tackle and Techniques 

bull redfish caught in beaufort south carolina1. When targeting bull reds we generally fish on the bottom in deep water (20-50 feet deep). Anchor your boat up current of where the fish are and fish 2 or 3 rods with the bait directly on the bottom.

2. As with many other fish we use the good old Carolina rig and bait. In the deeper water I generally use an 8 oz lead and 3 feet of 50 lb leader. In most all cases where you fish with natural bait circle hooks should be used and for redfish your hookup ratio will be near 100% if you use the hooks properly. For bull reds I prefer a 4/0 Eagle Claw Sea Circle.

3. When choosing a rod and reel for this type of fishing I prefer a 20-30 lb class outfit. Conventional or spinning rods will both get the job done, however conventionals are easier to work with (as with most bottom fishing).

4. The best bait for bull reds will include live or ½ crabs, cut or live mullet, cut or live menhaden, and large shrimp.

5. There are a few rules to follow when fishing for redfish, and for the most part all bull reds will be to large to keep. All redfish must be between 15 and 23 inches, only 3 fish can be kept per person per day, and no fish caught past 3 miles offshore (federal waters) can be kept. Good Luck and Tight Lines

Captain Charlie Beadon

www.hiltonheadfishingadventures.com

www.beaufortsportfishing.com

 

Baked Fish Recipe

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Baked Fish Recipe

Ingredients:

8 sea bass filets

2 tablespoons horseradish

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon old bay

2 lemons

 

Directions:

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

2. Mix horseradish, mayonnaise and old bay

3. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and lay out sea bass fillets

4. Using a brush or spoon cover filets with mayo mix

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until fish flakes with a fork)

6. Sprinkle with fresh lemon and serve

 

note: this recipe works well for all white fish such as redfish, trout, sea bass and flounder

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/

Beaufort, SC Redfish and Sheepshead

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Redfish or Sheepshead?

Running down the river we could feel the cold chill of winter seeping through our jackets, but damn the cold, we’re on a mission to catch dinner. We pull up to the old sheepshead dock and you can still see the clusters of barnacles growing on the pilings as the tide slowly rises to cover them up. I set the anchor to get us in the right position and we start to ease our fiddler crabs slowly to the bottom…bam…bam…bam, were tripled up! I think this may be the quickest sheepshead triple that I’ve ever seen; they must be thick down there. After an hour of steady sheepshead action one of my buddies hooks into something big, I mean really big and we start the “piling shuffle”. How we managed to keep this mystery fish on as it weaves in and out of the dock pilings is beyond me, but somehow we get it into open water. After a thirty minute fight on light tackle we finally get a good look at the bruiser, “it’s a big red fish” my buddy cries! A big redfish indeed, this sucker weighed in at 35 pounds before we released it. How about that to finish up a sheepshead trip. To hear more tails of whoppers and mishaps give me a call and let’s put together a fishing trip and until then “catch em up”!

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/

104_0799_edited

Beaufort Fishing Forecast for February

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Fishing Forecast Beaufort, SC

Cooler temperatures and clear water generally push most of our inshore fish into deeper water and our offshore fish into a feeding frenzy. This time of the year we look for calm clear days to sight fish the flats or to bottom fish the near and offshore wrecks.

This month’s feature is Lowtide Redfishing

fly fishing for beaufort, sc redfish

As the water temperature drops, redfish will start to school up on crystal clear 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. 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 large part of their 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. This is a great time of the year for us to take shots at redfish using both spin and fly fishing gear.

Inshore Fishing

Short days and cooler air drive the water temperature into the low 50s this time of year. Not only does the water become cooler but also crystal clear. As the water cools most fish move into deeper water with the exception of schooling redfish which will huddle together on low tide flats in large numbers. This creates a good opportunity for shallow water sight fishing.

Near and Offshore Wreck Fishing

Some of the best winter time fishing can be done on the wrecks which are located six to twenty miles offshore. On an average day look to catch a variety of fish to include: sheepshead, weakfish, bull redfish, flounder and sea bass. Not only are these fish a lot of fun to catch but also great to eat. Due to the fact that these wrecks are located in open water we generally look for light winds and calm seas to go offshore.

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/

Beaufort Fishing Report – Winter Redfish and Sheepshead

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Of all of the changes that we are seeing with the oncoming winter fishing, the one thing that will make the greatest difference in our efforts is the water clarity. Over most of the year we are basically guessing as to whether or not we are casting to fish or lifeless shoreline but throughout the cold season we will generally be able to see the fish before ever making a cast. This is a two way street however…if we can see them then they can surely see us so a stealthy approach will pay big dividends while fishing over the next few months.

 

Inshore Fishing

 

For the most part, over the upcoming months our fishing will consist of redfish, redfish and more redfish as many of the other inshore species that we normally see have either gone deep or migrated south. This is not such a  bad thing considering that the redfish action will be world class to say the least as we will primarily be sight casting in crystal clear water using light spinning tackle and fly fishing outfits. Moreover, the reds will be schooled up in tight balls on the flats which makes for some very exciting fishing. These fish will be super sensitive to any disturbances in the water so a slow quiet approach and good bait presentation is extremely important. During this time of the year I downsize everything from my leader to hook size and tend to move my baits at a snails pace to elicit a strike. A super stealthy approach will be just as important as the terminal tackle that we use. In some cases I will lead the redfish schools by better than 20 feet to ensure that the bait does not spook them as it hits the water. Furthermore, fly fishing can be especially effective with spooky redfish because a properly presented fly will generally land softly on the water as most flies are much smaller and lighter that standard casting lures.

 

Nearshore, Wreck and Bottom Fishing

 

In my opinion one of the tastiest fish that swims through our waters is the sheepshead. These black and white bait stealers will be staging up over most any hard structure off of the beach and will range in size from one to fifteen pounds. Sheepshead have very hard teeth plus their inner mouths and throats are lined with hard crushers used to scrape barnacles and crush crabs. Considering the armored mouths of these fish, sharp hooks are the key to putting them on the end of the line…basally if you run you hook point across your fingernail and it does not easily catch then the hook is not sharp enough. Outside of sheepshead the local wreck sites should also be holding a good number of black sea bass, flounder, bluefish and the occasional bull redfish. As we move out to the live bottom areas look to catch black sea bass, grouper, snapper, triggerfish, porgies and I have even taken a few cobia over the deeper spots during the winter months. Is it too cold to fish this month? Not really; just look for calm clear days and bending a rod shouldn’t be an issue!

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/

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

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

Beaufort Fishing Forecast for January

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Fishing Forecast, Beaufort, SC

Cooler temperatures and clear water generally push most of our inshore fish into deeper water and our offshore fish into a feeding frenzy. This time of the year we look for calm clear days to sight fish the flats or to bottom fish the near and offshore wrecks.

This month’s feature is Trolling for Trout

speckled sea trout fishing in beaufort, sc

For most of the month we will enjoy cool northerly winds and crystal clear waters. This can be a great time to target speckled sea trout in deeper off of oyster bars and more specifically by slow trolling small rapalas and jigs. Just put her in gear, sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Inshore Fishing

Short days and cooler air drive the water temperature into the low 60s this time of year. Not only does the water become cooler but also crystal clear. As the water cools most fish move into deeper water with the exception of schooling redfish which will huddle together on low tide flats in large numbers. This creates a good opportunity for shallow water sight fishing. Given good conditions don’t be surprised to get shots at large schools of fish (sometimes 100 plus fish per school) with light tackle and fly fishing gear.

Offshore Wreck and Bottom Fishing

Some of the best winter time fishing can be done on the wrecks which are located six to twenty miles offshore. On an average day look to catch a variety of fish to include: sheepshead, weakfish, bull redfish, flounder and sea bass. Not only are these fish a lot of fun to catch but also great to eat. Due to the fact that these wrecks are located in open water we generally look for light winds and calm seas to go offshore. We have some of the best bottom fishing in the world and it all comes together in the winter time. It is not uncommon for everybody on the boat to be bowed up on fish all day long…the only question will be “how big is it?”. On our live bottom spots look to catch vermillion and red snapper, grouper, sea bass, cobia, jacks and kingfish.

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/

Beaufort Fishing Report

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

As winter approaches we will see far fewer pleasure and fishing boats out on the water but for us die hard fisherman the quest continues. As far as I’m concerned I look forward to the late fall and winter fishing all year long but the key is to pick your days and look for the right conditions. I will generally be looking for light winds and mid day tides to allow the fish to warm up a little bit. Moreover, with overall cooler water temperatures the water clarity will significantly increase giving us some prime sight fishing conditions.

 

Inshore Fishing

 

The inshore waters will continue to fire off this month with speckled sea trout and redfish. These fish will still be feeding heavily as they feel the water temperatures dropping which in turn will give us some of the finest fishing action of the year. With clearing water the specs will have no trouble finding your baits, and though I will still be using a fair amount of live bait under corks, soft screw tails and twitch baits will also be a good choice to fool these hungry fish. Over most of the month I will be concentrating my efforts around the grass edges and shell rakes on both sides of the mid tide for trout and redfish. While we will still be taking quite a number of reds around the mid tides these fish will also be congregating into tighter schools over the mud flats which will give us some excellent opportunities for light tackle spin and fly fishing. Given the clear water and schooling fish this means one thing…it’s prime time for sight fishing. I am often asked “when is the best time to go fly fishing?” well guys this is it!

 

Nearshore, Wreck and Bottom Fishing

 

Around the near and offshore wrecks we should be able to get into some really good bull redfish action through about the middle of the month and as the bulls start to push out to deeper water look for the sheepshead to take their place. For the sheepshead I like to set up a carolina rig on medium action spinning gear using a 2 ounce egg sinker, 18 inches of thirty pound leader a 2/0 hook and for bait a live fiddler crab is hard to beat! These fish can be a little tricky to hook but once you get the hang of it get ready for a down and dirty fight because these fish pull hard as they try to dig back into the bottom structure. If you decide to venture out a little further to the deep wrecks and live bottom areas get ready for some excellent black sea bass, flounder and grouper action this month. Good sized black sea bass should be plentiful around most all structure and hard bottom along with a number of flounder and broom tail grouper. You should also find a few nice gags, snapper and jacks around the deeper wrecks and live bottom areas.

Kids Fishing in Beaufort, SC

Beaufort Trout and Redfish Report

Monday, November 12th, 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, SC Redfish

 

Captain Charlie Beadon

843-592-0897

Beaufort Fishing Forecast for November

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Fishing Forecast Beaufort, SC

As the days become shorter and the temperature slowly drops many fish go into a feeding mode to fatten up for the winter. Some of the best shrimping and fishing of the year is here so let’s sharpen our hooks and mend our nets to get after them.

This month’s feature is Shrimping

beaufort sc shrimping

Coolers and coolers of shrimp! You can boil em, bake em, broil em; put em in a stew…you name it. Shrimp are the fruit of the ocean and we have some of the world’s best shrimping here in our back yards. We generally fish for shrimp by throwing a cast net around the estuary creeks or when the conditions are right we will toss into local deep holes, known as deep hole shrimping. This is a true low country tradition and if you have not had the opportunity to go shrimping I would put it high on the list of things to do.

Inshore Fishing

Bull red fishing is in full swing, these bruisers are everywhere. Look to catch redfish in the 25-40 pound range along good numbers of whiting. Speckled sea trout will be feeding heavily; it’s not uncommon to catch 20-30 trout on a half day trip this time of year. Also look to catch good numbers of red fish as they start to school up on the flats. As the water continues to cool down the deep hole shrimping will be in full swing. Spend a few hours with us catching shrimp the low country way…with a cast net on a pristine fall day.

Wreck Fishing

Bull reds will be all over the wrecks this time of year. Also look to catch good numbers of weak fish (summer trout) and sea bass. This is also one of the best times of the year to fish the live bottom areas for big snapper and grouper, sea bass, jacks and cobia. If you’re looking for a trip with non-stop action this is it. Due to the fact that these wrecks are located in open water we generally look for light winds and calm seas to go offshore.

http://www.beaufortsportfishing.com/