A Cold Snap Changes Everything

Here we are, mid-December and our first couple hard frosts have really cooled things off.  On the water yesterday it was actually a really nice day, but the air temps did not climb above the 40’s so it was really chilly.  I hate being cold (which is kinda funny because I’m originally from western NY, you know, near Buffalo), so I have learned to invest in really good clothes to fish in.  One of my native southerner friends told me “you’re a southerner by choice, it just took you longer to get here”!

If you do it right, you won’t have to wear so many layers you can’t move.  Get a real good base layer long underwear, one or 2 mid-layers and a nice Gore-Tex jacket and you will be comfortable.  We offer the best of the best of base layers at our shop (Wool Power) – its expensive stuff, but worth the money.  There are plenty of other options for a budget also, cold-pruf is one.  

A cold water redfish with a SCDNR tag. Note the life jacket!

Another thing I always like to emphasize this time of year is safety.  If you are fishing solo, do yourself and your family and friends a favor by always wearing a life jacket, and use your tether!  Every year it seems we hear of a fisherman being killed by the cold water.  You have literally seconds to survive in the cold water, because your muscles will seize up, keeping you from being able to swim.  Wear your PFD, it will save your life.  

OK, enough lecturing ūüôā  

I’m gonna talk a little about cold water redfish. 

Another over-slot red on the chartreuse trouteye and pearl minnowz

Everyone knows this time of year they bunch up on the flats in huge schools.  So much fun to see and to catch them.  The fight ain’t much, it’s more like dragging in a log pretty much.  I’m not a huge fly fisherman but I’ve done my share and learned by trial and error that a killer offering for these fish is a simple unweighted deceiver.  I just tie a sparse amount of buck tail on a hook with a little dab of adhesive and you will find it lands super light and sinks very slowly.  Often you just need to let it suspend as a school passes by and one will pick it up.  

Another thing reds do is collect on deep structure.  Sometimes you would not believe how many fish can fit in a 10 foot diameter spot.  I’ve personally seen 50 fish caught out of the same spot several times.  Of course, if you miss the spot you will never know they were there.  Find the spot and its on!  Things to look for is deep rubble, rocks or concrete.   Also, fallen trees or shrubs.  Maybe a slight hole nearby any of the above.  These fish will often be in 10 to 20 feet of water.  Use your sonar to find likely spots and drop down and jig around.  This time of year I always ask SCDNR to double up on my tags as I can easily go through 25 in a single day.  To present your offering to these fish you need to go REALLY slow.  Think 2″ hops.  The pickup will be barely perceptible sometimes.  The best way to describe it is that it feels “weird”.  Count to 2 then set the hook.  Try it!

It’s a whole lot of fun, and remember conservation – handle them with care and release them to be caught again.  A fish is too valuable to be caught only once!

Trout are still biting. That’s a subject for another post!

Fishing Big Tides, or Winds (or Both!)

Yesterday I ducked out of work to get a quick session in before the coming big cold front and 3 consecutive days of rain and cold.  Usually a pre-front day results in a strong trout bite.  I knew we were coming off a super-moon and the tide would be strong, but the winds were also really strong.  It made for a really tough time to fish with artificials.  Some of the challenges are:

  • Getting the bait down into the strike zone
  • Managing the huge bow in your line
  • Feeling the bite and/or reacting in time to set the hook

This being said, the fish don’t seem to care that you’re having a hard time fishing!  I’ve had some really great catching on really windy days.  In fact, yesterday I was rewarded with a true trophy – more on that later.

The average size fish caught yesterday

So, here are some tips that can help you improve your catching on such days.  It’s gonna be a struggle, but you can still do okay… I’ll break it down into big tides, then big winds.

Big Tides

  • In order to get your lure down into the strike zone, generally go with a little more weight on your jig – the most I will go is 1/4 oz.  Beyond that I feel like you are messing with the presentation of the lure – it just doesn’t look natural on the fall.
  • Cast far up-current from your target zone in order to give the lure enough time to sink to the zone.  
  • Look for areas that have less current – these will be more productive.  With the exception of Striper, most fish don’t want to waste energy fighting a ripping tide to eat.  These areas will be in bays, areas where the river is wider, or back-eddies.

Big Winds

  • Line management is a big issue.  Try to position your boat so you are casting directly upwind or downwind.  If casting upwind with a baitcaster – you’re gonna probably backlash unless you’re careful.  I did this 2X yesterday – flinging a perfectly good lure off my line when the line stopped abruptly.
  • Keep your rod tip close to the water.  In general, it’s hard to work a jerk shad this way.  In these conditions I will use a paddle tail such as a Z-Man MinnowZ, because you can slowly swim it along the bottom with a low rod tip. 
  • Look for banks that have a close tree line upwind, as they will provide a wind-shadow.  This one is obvious, but many smaller twisty creeks are good places to go in high winds
  • At lower tides, you can often get down in a creek and the wind will be over you – it’s surprising how fishable they can be in high winds.

Hope this helps – 

So, anyway, I was generally frustrated fighting big tide and big wind and catching decent 15-17″ trout here and there.  Missed a bunch due to line-bow, etc.  Tried an area that had produced in similar conditions in the past and had a large strike.  Pulling drag in short aggressive runs, and I’m saying out loud “please be a trout”.  Managed this true gator trout – way over 20 inches, so took a quick timer pic and got her back in the water.  What a thrill!  

Gator trout caught on a Z-Man MinnowZ (Pearl) on a chartreuse Trout Eye jig

My personal upper-slot on speckled trout is 20″, so she was released

See you on the water!

The Spot within a Spot

Last Thursday was simply the best trout bite I have ever experienced.  I had a great friend I have had since high school with me, and it was a day neither of us will ever forget.  In November, you can get on that kind of bite if you find yourself in the right place at the right time. 

I got reacquainted with Scott about 6 years ago via Facebook (maybe the only useful purpose for FB in my opinion) when I found out his mother lives in Murrells Inlet.  Back then, he really didn’t know how to fish and over the year’s since we have made maybe 20 fishing trips together.  You should see him now!  Dude can fish!  He has since relocated to Murrells and soon will have his own boat – no doubt. 

Scott’s personal best trout – 23 inches (released)

Anyway, I had the Whaler tied off to a clump of spartina (poor man’s cajun anchor!) and we were on a fish-on-almost-every-cast kinda bite, from both sides of the boat.  It was outgoing tide and we were in an unfamiliar area, so we really had no idea about the bottom contour.  This kind of situation is really cool because you can experiment and try different lures, and presentations to see what works empirically. 

After a while, we learned where the best strike zones were.  If you cast 3 feet too short, nothing.  Too far to the right or left, nope.  Land your lure in a 8 foot diameter and let it drift with the tide and if you brought it through a narrow zone – tick!  Fish on.  We had about three of these situations within casting distance we discovered through trial and error.  Once we were dialed in, we would make maybe 1 cast in 20 that didn’t result in a trout to the boat.  With 2 guys doing this constantly – well, you do the math. 

Yours truly with a 21.5 inch trout (released)

As the tide continued out and the water got lower, the strike zones changed accordingly, as ambush points shifted.  But, the bite never really diminished until almost slack low tide.  What was really cool was that low tide revealed the bottom contours in the creek and when you observed them you said “uh-huh”.  The strike zones were all where a dropoff in the creek channel was.  As most creeks do, there is a deep channel on one or the other side, maybe with some undulations.  With the water gone, the strike zones became visually pretty obvious, but we were able to find them by experimentation at high tide. 

No doubt, next time we go there we will be armed with the new found knowledge of the bottom contours, but this goes to show that you don’t really need to know – you can figure it out by trial and error. 

Conservation Note:  We caught hundreds of fish and kept only a few, while carefully releasing the rest, and all fish over 20″ of which there were maybe 25.  Mimimize handling of trout to preserve their protective slime.  We pinch them carefully behind the head to control them and otherwise do not handle them.  Wetting your hands prior to touching them helps also, as well as using a rubber net. 

Hot colors for the day were Pearl and Festivus

During this day, I witnessed something I have never before seen.  A school of 18 inch-class trout numbering in the hundreds came up under the boat and scattered.  I could see their spots clear as day in the clear water.  This explains how we were able to boat so many fish in the same spot.  The sheer numbers of trout on that day was amazing – and a great sign for our fisheries.   


We will have a Black Friday sale, 20% off store wide using code BF20.  We have also added a Holiday Gift Pak that will make a great gift at $19.99 for the avid angler in your family.  

Happy Thanksgiving from Eye Strike Fishing!

A day to remember

It’s November, so, you need to make any excuse you can to get on the water.  At least that’s the way we think of it.  Ralph and I hit the water this weekend despite pretty raw conditions;  42F on the thermometer, blustery 10 – 15 mph winds out of the NE.  A recent couple cold fronts have the surface water temp down to approx 62F and this is prime time for trout.  

We started out throwing topwater plugs at dawn with a bit of a lackluster bite.  We did, however, have a few good strikes.  I was using the same red/white Skitter V plug used with much success as documented in my last post.  While we were casting I was looking at Ralph and talking about something when I had an eruption and a true gator trout on the line.  What a beauty!  Made up for numbers with quality.  I’ve tried a lot of plugs, and keep coming back to just a couple because they simply produce.  I think this Skitter V has found a permanent place in my tackle bin based on the last two trips.

We hit a second spot and had slightly better numbers but slightly poorer quality.  Any topwater bite is a good one though!  

As the sky turned brighter we switched to Trout Eye jigs and various Elaztech profiles and colors.  Our first stop produced a quality slam with an overslot redfish and gator trout included.  The gator hit a “Fladd-Shad” aka Pearl MinnowZ on a Chartreuse Trout Eye.  Being an optical engineer I believe in contrast and this is counter to the old saying “light-light”, “dark-dark”.  I like contrast, and this means “light-dark”.  I’m not saying the legions of “dark-dark” anglers are wrong, it just doesn’t compute for me.   This particular spot had very dark water, I almost forgot to mention!  

As the day went on, we found quality fish in every spot we tried – typical for November.  We did some exploring way up a creek and didn’t seem to find good numbers of trout up there as of yet.  On the other hand we did find 3 true gators in the big waters, so there you go!  

To end our day, we found a perfect Fall trout bite in shallow water with good aggressive bites coming on schooled up fish.  I was lucky to get another gator trout in this last spot.  A great day with Ralph – one that we will play back in our memories for a while.

For the day we both had traditional slams, and in addition:  Largemouth Bass, Grey Trout, Lady Fish (that was a surprise), and Lizard Fish.  Plastic color of the day was Festivus.  If you don’t have them in your tackle box, you need to.  We stock them in our shop, FYI.

See you on the water!

 

You Gotta Love November

Ask me what’s my favorite month to fish in the lowcountry of South Carolina and I will tell you without hesitation…November.  Bait is pushing out of the estuaries and the fish are starting to panic a little bit.  That’s awesome for us artificial bait aficionados.  It makes for stupid good fishing pretty much everywhere.  

Pre-dawn in the fall can be breathtaking

On 11/2 I made a solo trip and stumbled upon one of the best topwater bites ever for me.  That’s kinda saying something because I love me some topwater fishing!  I found a broken grass line where some finger mullet were gathering and you could see them getting blasted periodically.  I had tied on a Skitter V, a plug we recently heard about through our friend Daniel Nussbaum – President of Z-Man Fishing.  It was my first time trying it, and the fish really killed it. 

A solid trout on top

There are a couple small annoyances about this plug.  One being that the front hook is kind of close to the nose so it often gets wrapped around the leader.  Another is that you need to kind of finesse it into it’s cadence.  It will sometimes act as though its wrapped up but its not.  Just needs to get in the rhythm.  Once going, it has a little wider walk-the-dog pattern and what really matters is the fish were charging it hard.  I’ll put up with the annoyances for a plug that works any day!

So anyway, this morning the trout bite was on fire from pre-dawn until the sun was high enough to lighten up the water.  Good trout too, 16″ – 20″ all of them.  Don’t know about you but when I’m by myself I talk to myself a lot.  Several times I found myself saying “no way!” or “oh my god that was awesome!”.   

A few highlights:

  • Caught a “Zombie Trout” with one eye that still was able to charge my plug.
  • Had a trout knock the plug out of the water 3 times before a redfish pushed him out of the way and took it.
  • A nice size trout came up in clear water pushing a big wake, whacked the plug, then took off to the side.  Never did get that one but what a cool site.
The “Zombie Trout”

I ended up with almost a Margarita Slam.  Had redfish, trout, flounder, striper, so I went way up river to try to find a largemouth bass but ran out of time before I had to give up.  

Evidence of the great catching to be had in November.  Now is the time to get out there!


In other news:

We are almost completely out of Original Trout Tricks.  We bought out Z-Man of their entire remaining inventory and we have exactly 380 of them left.  They can be purchased on our online store or here at the shop.  At this point there are no plans to make any more.

Goat Island

Every year I plan a guy’s trip with some of my best friends.  Often, we camp at Caper’s Island and surf fish, drink beer, and eat.  It’s a great time and we have been doing it for years.  This year I had a little surprise in store for them.  Some fans of our products are the owners of a house on Goat Island.  I discovered them on Instagram when they would tag pics of them holding up fish caught on Trout Eye jigs.  If you’re not from Charleston, Goat Island is a really cool and unusual place.  It’s an island just across the ICW from Isle of Palms and is only accessible by boat.  The houses range from very rustic to very nice.  I contacted them about possibly renting their place for my trip and we picked a weekend and it was on.

Dave with a “reverse push” flatty that was actually a pretty good one!

Well, their house “Goat Island Getaway” was really cozy and full of character.  It has plenty of decks, porches, hammocks and is a great place to chillax.  The fishing was not on fire, I believe due to the water temperature still being 80F in the middle of October.  Usually by this time of year we have had a few cold fronts, dropping the water temperature and turbo-charging the catching.  

Al with a nice inshore speck

Regardless, we searched around for a pattern that worked and eventually found a few fish here and there.  We even went to the jetties a couple times and everyone had a chance to be on the rod end of a freight train.  Unfortunately our landing ratio was not great…ok it was awful!  But exciting nonetheless!  

Kevin with a topwater trout

We ate like kings, as a few of our friends are great cooks and even enjoyed trout ceviche made with trout caught the same morning.  It was an awesome trip and I took a survey of who wanted to re-up for next year and it was a unanimous YES!

This 28″ topwater redfish was a blast on light tackle

If you have never visited Goat, you should give it a try.  I think I’ll be back with my wife to spend a weekend away – a vacation in our home town.

Jeff on the way to getting nearly spooled on an 8000 Penn Battle by a jetty giant

See you on the water!

My Love Affair with Riverine Striper

Shortly after I first met Ralph, he shared a pic of him and a friend from the summer time holding up a nice striper.  I couldn’t believe it!  I’d fished here in Charleston for years and only once or twice heard of one caught and the details were always a mystery.  He had been catching them for many years and so this was nothing special for him.  Ever since, I have been on a personal mission to catch them and learn more about their behavior. 

What do I mean by “riverine” striper?  Well, these are different than striper caught in the lakes in SC.   These striper exist in our coastal rivers that start as fresh water and end in the salt at our coast.  They are either stocked by SCDNR or self sustaining. 

In years gone by, the Ashley river had a strong self sustaining population of striper, and probably due to development far upstream where the water is fresh, the population has died out completely.  Any striper you catch in the Ashley has been stocked by SCDNR.  In the past many years, there has been a program to try to bring the stock back, but for mysterious reasons it has failed.  I’m paraphrasing a DNR biologist friend of mine, but they seem to last approx 2 years after being stocked, then they disappear.  When they are there, its fun because you can easily catch 10 in a trip, but they are all pretty small, generally under 14″ or so.  Last year, I heard of exactly 1 striper caught in the Ashley.  They haven’t been stocked in 2 or 3 years…

Same is true I believe for the Wando river.  The Wando is unique because it isn’t fed by a large source of fresh water so its much saltier.  But, when the fish are stocked you can catch a bunch way up at the top of the river (above Paradise Landing).  I once caught a tagged striper below the 41 bridge and DNR told me that was as far down as they had had a recapture.

The Cooper river, however, is special.  As is the Combahee and Edisto (but, alas, I have yet to target them in those rivers so I can’t comment on experience).  Striper are fairly prevalent in the brackish portion of the Cooper and based on my personal experience, the numbers seem to be improving over the last several years.  I base this on my personal catches, and also the fact that both the Youth (27″ by Grant Allison, caught on my boat) and Adult SSWA club records (29″ caught recently by your’s truly) for striper have been broken in 2017.  

Grant Allison and his Youth Record 27″

 

Here are a few observations I have made over the years

  • They are very hard to pattern, as they are kind of “marauders”, meaning they move around a lot – chasing bait fish schools around I believe.  They don’t hold on particular structure on particular tides like redfish and trout do.  For this reason, in the Fall, I never fish there without a rod with a topwater tied on and readily available.
  • In the spring time, around March, they spawn.  I have caught a male that was as fat as a football, and it wasn’t eggs or food he was full of!
  • They seem to move down into the lower reaches of the river in the Summer.  I’m not sure why, but it might be because of lower oxygen levels upriver due to the extremely hot water.
  • Fall time is prime time.  If you are in the right place at the right time, you might see an acre of fish push a bait fish school up and the water erupts with breaking fish.  If you are prepared (see above) you can have an absolute blast catching them while it lasts.  While it lasts, is the key phrase here
  • Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the aggressive explosion of a striper topwater strike in October, inshore anyway.
Dave Fladd’s Adult Record 29″

Well, they are an amazing sport fish, and I’d like to make a case for conservation.  It’s my dream that riverine striper are made illegal to keep, at least until their numbers are much, much higher and sustainable.  The lower slot is 27″ and I’ve only seen or heard of 3 or 4 taken at 27″ or above.  This suggests that all keepers are kept, and I wouldn’t be surprised.  Just because there are legal catch and creel limits doesn’t mean we can ignore them and release all fish regardless of size. These fish are truly too important to keep.

For the past several years I have fin-clipped the striper I catch for analysis by SCDNR. They analyze the DNA to tell if the striper are stocked and if so, when and where.  If you would like to get involved, go to dnr.sc.gov and get a kit.

Lastly, it’s time for an annual challenge that I call the “Margarita Slam”.  It consists of Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Striper, Largemouth.  It’s a brackish water super-slam that is a real challenge and quite rewarding to accomplish.  To count, it must be completed on the same trip.  Plus 100 points if you do it using the same artificial lure setup.  I’ve accomplished the latter exactly once ūüôā

Jetty Sheepshead with Trout Eye Finesse Jigs

Ralph and I recently had the good fortune to be “schooled” by Mark Deschenes of VIP Adventures on jetty sheepshead fishing.  Mark has a series of managed lakes that he manages for trophy bass in Summerville, SC.  Needless to say he is a great fisherman.  He was telling us about how he has been using our new Trout Eye Finesse jigs to catch sheepshead at the jetties.  This was a completely new application for our jigs as far as we knew.  We have caught a few sheepies on our jigs and Z-Man plastics in the dead of winter but this was something new.  He offered to show us how so we eagerly agreed.

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Mark hooks a nice Sheepshead while Ralph grabs the net

The traditional setup is to use a short Carolina rig which is basically an egg sinker, swivel, approximately 8″ of mono, and a small hook to which is attached a fiddler crab.  If you have ever fished for these “convicts” you know that you must set the hook before they bite!  Really, that means that they will suck in the bait very softly and crush it.  If you feel a small vibration you are 99.9% of the time too late.  It’s a learning curve for sure.   The Carolina rig makes it a little difficult to sense the bite since the hook is free below the weight.

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Sheepshead on Trout Eye Finesse Jig

We arrived at the jetties a little early and the tide was still rolling pretty good.  It was the end of the outgoing tide and we used the traditional setup at first.  It wasn’t more than a couple minutes before Mark slung a 3 pounder in the boat.

Once the tide slowed we broke out the Finesse jigs and hooked a couple fiddlers on them.  The weight being in contact with the bait definitely helps sense the bite, and Ralph and I started hooking up too using them.  What a blast we had!  We caught 25+ all good size and our family and friends all ate well that day!  

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Dave with one of his fish
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Ralph with a nice one on the Chartreuse eye

The highlight of the trip was a 10 pounder that Mark caught using the Trout Eye Finesse jig.  If you look at our Instagram page (@eyestrikefishing) you can see a short video of the hookset and fight.  It’s pretty funny!

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This was the day-maker – a 10 pounder! See jig in mouth

Mark prefers the Pearl eye because he feels that it looks like a chinaback fiddler crab.  He also feels like the 1/0 hook is the perfect length for the sheephead’s mouth.  We used 1/4 oz jigs for this trip because it helped get the bait to the bottom as quickly as possible.  In general, we would let the jig hit bottom and get ready instantly because the jig got hit almost as soon as it hit bottom.  The action was quick and fun! 

Try it!  Trout Eye Finesse jigs can be purchase directly from us in bulk at trouteye.com or at certain tackle shops in 3-Packs. Haddrell’s Point will have them as soon as next week.

By the way, Mark runs charters for jetty sheepshead, so if you are interested in giving it a try and learning what its all about, look him up at VIP Adventures.

Eye Strike Fishing

You may have noticed that we have changed our business name to Eye Strike Fishing. ¬†We did this to better align our name with our products, and help with marketing, etc. ¬†For our logo’s we turned to non other than the designer of the original Trout Trick packaging, Jay Fletcher. ¬†He has won awards for that design, and I have long admired his Instagram account, which features his work. ¬†It is simple, creative and just amazing. ¬†We had a few discussions about what we were looking for and what he came back with was just perfect. ¬†Hope you like it!

EYE-STRIKE-11 EYE_STRIKE-04EYE_STRIKE-15

So, first let’s do a report. ¬†Once we got into May, the bait moved in with a vengeance and the artificial bite improved so much. ¬†The fact that we had our first major trout spawn of the year didn’t hurt. ¬†The trout were fattening up for the spawn and the bite was great! ¬†Topwater has been strong in the usual spots as well. ¬†I have been experimenting with our 1 oz Striper Eye jigs paired with a 6″ Z-Man SwimmerZ. ¬†This combo is proportionate and a great mullet imitation. ¬†I’ve been deep jigging this by dropping down to the bottom, anywhere from 25 to 40 feet, winding up a couple feet, and vertical jigging. ¬†When you get a strike you will know it! ¬†It feels like someone dropped a 10 lb weight on the end of your line. ¬†What a blast!

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Here is a big redfish I caught this way. ¬†I texted this pic to Daniel Nussbaum at Z-Man and he replied “Is that a flounder?” ¬†It wasn’t till ¬†I looked at the pics that I noticed the flounder it has just eaten sticking out of its mouth! ¬†How cool is that?

This is something that is fun to try, and it has worked really well at the jetties, for example. ¬†It’s a lot more fun than soaking bait. ¬†I will say, please don’t fish for them unless you have a venting tool handy and have read up on how to do it. ¬†OHero sells an inexpensive venting tool that I recommend. ¬†You can purchase one here. ¬†These fish are old and valuable and should be respected by handling properly, venting them (if needed) and reviving them long enough for them to kick away strongly.

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That particular day was notable for the trout as well.  The big girls were chewing and I had 5 over 20 inches that day (all released to spawn).

I recently took a crew fishing in our Summerville Saltwater Anglers May tournament.  It was one of those days where everything seemed to click and we did very well. We had many memorable things happen.

  • First, I was reeling in a small trout and noticed another larger trout chasing it. ¬†I kept it in the water and the larger trout didn’t leave. ¬†I told Ray to drop a lure down there. ¬†He did, and instantly hooked up! ¬†It was a good 3 inches longer than mine. ¬†I have seen this with largemouth bass and even cobia but never trout.
  • Second, I went up a small creek on a whim, as I knew from the past that a lot of bait was in that creek. ¬†We went all the way to the end until my Whaler was just about stuck (6″) and found a school of reds belly crawling around and feeding. ¬†That’s always exciting to see! ¬†One cast with a Trout Eye Finesse jig with a Pearl MinnowZ and I was hooked up to a 27″ red. ¬†After that, we had them pretty spooked and did not get another. ¬†A fly rod would have been deadly there.
  • Lastly, we all had nice trout and redfish sent in (we have a CPR format) so we needed flounder. ¬†On our second stop by a dock, Ray hooks up with an 18 inch flounder instantly, Josh gets a 15 incher right behind him. ¬†I went up front and made a few casts and put one of my own in (the smallest) the boat. ¬†We swept the flounder category in a span of 10 minutes. ¬†That was a great end to the day.

So, we have a number of new announcements to make.

  • We have added a new eye color to our jigs…Chartreuse. ¬†This color was a suggestion by Capt Justin Carter. ¬†We purchased a trial amount and fished them and sold a few. ¬†They really work well! ¬†So well, that we made them a new standard color option. ¬†We will have them available in about a ¬†week.
  • Announcing our newest product: ¬†Eye Strike Weedless Jigs. ¬†We have been working on them for about 6 months now, with various prototypes and trial and error. ¬†We now feel that we have the best of the best. ¬†These work great in spartina, turtle grass, across oyster rakes and fallen trees. ¬†Ralph and I used them to place 4th in the Southern Redfish Cup in Charleston. ¬†See our product page for more info.

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Eye Strike Weedless All Sizes Eye Strike Weedless 1-4 oz Rigged

Keepin’ it Real

I read somewhere that kids these days are the most stressed in history. ¬† It’s easy for me to understand, it’s because of social media. ¬†Being a teenager is hard enough, but add in social media and it’s so much worse. ¬†Why? ¬†Their social media feeds are filled with a constant barrage of images of other people’s “perfect” lives. ¬†Carefully selected pics of happy moments, amazing trips or experiences, modeling pics, winning races, etc, etc. ¬†You get the picture. ¬†Anyone’s real life can’t possibly compare.

The same is true in fishing. ¬†Look at instagram feeds. ¬†It’s full of record size trout, monster redfish, doormat flounder, tarpon on fly, etc etc. ¬†If you have a trip and don’t catch anything but small fish, or worse yet, get skunked, you must be a loser, awful fisherman, etc.

It’s all BS. ¬†Many TV shows take more than one attempt to get a few catch pics. ¬†Some even hook a fish, set it back out, and film it being “caught”. ¬†There are all kinds of games going on that aren’t apparent to the eye.

Let’s keep it real. ¬†Don’t compare yourself to what you see on social media. ¬†Be thankful for time on the water, time with family or friends, any fish that you catch – large or small. ¬†That’s where happiness comes from. ¬†Each of us have different definitions of a good day on the water. ¬†That might be catching one fish, catching many, catching a new species, or a personal best. ¬†Who cares what other people think!

I try to keep it real on our social media, by sharing as many of our customer’s pics as possible. ¬†My favorite are the kids pics. ¬†I will say that every pic that we post is caught on our products. ¬†We do not stick our jigs in a fish mouth when it was caught in some other way.

TW Trout
One of the best trout I have caught in several trips. The rest were not photo worthy!

On this subject, there have been a number of recent reports in Charleston about how great the catching has been recently.  Not for us!  Not on artificials anyway.  The last couple weeks have been extremely difficult fishing for us.  We have struggled to find fish in usual good spots, often passing through very thoroughly without a bite.  There may be a number of reasons for this, and it probably has to do with bait just starting to move in thick, so hopefully the bite will improve a lot soon.

I had the privilege of taking a youth member of Summerville Saltwater Anglers fishing this weekend in our member tournament. ¬†He had a good day, catching his first trout on top, and a few really nice redfish. ¬†You can’t beat that smile! ¬†Grant will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. ¬†Very skilled young man.

Grant 26 in Redfish 1

Grant Trout

Weedless Jigs – You asked, we listened. ¬†We will be announcing our new weedless jig line very soon. ¬†We have designed the head to shed grass, and added a wire weedguard. ¬†The hook is a 3/0 Mustad Ultrapoint. ¬†They work great dragging oysters, sliding through spartina or seagrass, or pulling through brush and branches. ¬†Most importantly, don’t lose as many fish as many weedless jigs do. ¬†Lots of hard work has gone into them and they have been called “The Ultimate Redfish Jig” by one of our collaborators. ¬†Stay tuned for more info.

Weedless
All new weedless jigs!