With our second warm winter at our back we have a great trout population in Charleston. Now that the water is warming above the 60F mark it will rise quickly and this brings the topwater bite, something we look forward to all winter. The trout are gearing up to spawn, as evidenced by egg sags in a few fish we have cleaned lately. This means the food bag will be strapped on!
Ralph has not been able to fish too much this spring, as he is preparing a move back to Summerville, but I have been applying the lessons he has taught me and having some of the best trout fishing I have ever experienced (so far!). On the last few trips, I have caught at least a 19″ trout each time. If you trout fish here much, that 19-20″ size seems to represent a year-class of fish that were born after the last deep freeze. Many trout of that size were caught over the past winter.
Last Saturday, however, was my best trout day to-date. The topwater bite was not quite yet on, as the water temp in the AM was only about 58 F. But, later in the morning I tried a suspending jerk bait and the big fish were hammering it. In the span of 30 minutes we put 4 fish over 18″ in the boat, with my personal best fish of 23″ and 4 lbs (below). What a thrill catching that monster! I handled this fish carefully and released it as quick as possible (I release all trout over 20″).
A little later, I hooked another gator, at 21″ – also on the suspending lure.
It’s definitely worth giving one of those lures a try next time you are fishing for trout. Soon, the topwater bite will be in full gear and we will post some reports on that as well. Hopefully we can get Ralph away from his house project and catch some of these monsters soon…
Until then, “Get off the couch and go fishing!”