Apologies in advance, as this will be a kinda long report. We had a very busy weekend on the water…
Friday, I (Dave) was able to sneak out solo and had a great day of catching in the Cooper River. The redfish were really chewing on the incoming tide, and the bite was this way in multiple locations that I tried. This time of year, you need to let redfish eat before you set the hook. Their bite will be kind of subtle – the best way to explain it is that something feels weird on the retrieve. Then you should count to two before setting the hook. They will really chew up a gulp because of all this mouthing of the bait. But, if you set the hook too soon you will miss a lot by pulling it out of their mouth, or halfway to the boat because the hook set in a thin part of their mouth. Anyway, when all was said and done, I filled an entire tagging sheet (25 entries), caught 3 previously tagged by SCDNR (orange tags), and lost 5 for reasons mentioned above – for a total of 33 reds, all caught on TroutEye jigs in glow or pearl. For soft plastics I used a mixture of Z-man jerk shadz in Ralphs Shad, Gulp sapphire shine, and Trout Tricks, both original and the new Zman variety.
Saturday, Ralph and I fished in the annual Summerville Saltwater Angler’s “Bragging Rights Tournament”. This is an informal tourney with no entry fees, and no prizes, just bragging rights! Those of us that fish it, feel it’s the most fun tournament of the year. We make up the rules and have an on-the-water weigh in. The last few years the rules are: Must fish the Wando and tributaries, fish as boats not individuals, and each boat can weigh up to 2 reds, 2 trout and 2 flounder – total length wins. So, there is definite strategy involved. Flounder are golden, and it’s better to fill in the blanks than catch 1 real good fish of each type. The weather was beautiful but the fishing was challenging to say the least. We actually prefer this, because we feel it gives us an advantage. We like to grind it out and find the fish. Well, we were lucky to catch a short window in the early AM where we caught a few marginal trout and one small but keeper red. When the sun came out it got really hard, the fish were super negative! We knew that a flounder would be pretty hard to get for anyone, but we knew we needed one more red. After trying many different patterns we eventually found a few more to fill in our trout and red requirements. This proved to be enough to take the title, but not by a lot! Weigh in was at the dock at Remleys and as always this was a good time.
After this, we picked up club member Neal, who generously donated money for a club member’s daughter who we did a fundraiser for, in exchange for an “Educational trip” with Ralph and I. We had a short window, and as mentioned before, a day of very negative fish. But, we made the best of it and I think we squared up his artificial technique and gave him many pointers that will serve him well in the future. He was able to catch a few decent trout for dinner, and I even caught a nice flatty about 17″ that was a little too late for the Bragging Rights tourney, but I’m sure tasted good in Neal’s frying pan later!
A couple items of Note:
Ralph and I will be joining Mike Able Jr and Daniel Nussbaum of Zman for a seminar on cold water fishing at Haddrell’s Point Tackle in West Ashley, Tuesday Dec. 16 at 6pm. Come on out it will be a great time. We will be talking all things cold water trout.
Positive reports keep coming in from our customers. Ron Davis is one of the most accomplished fishermen in our area, and co-inventor of the Chatter Bait. He has multiple wins in the Lowcountry Redfish Cup. He said “Did some experimenting and your jig heads produced better than all others I fished. I rotated between 6 rods and there was definitely a difference” “You have a winner. Best trout jighead on the market”.
Daniel from Z-man sent in two trout over 20″ caught on the pearl jigs and the 3.5″ Z-man in Ralph’s Shad color.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that all our bulk jigs have free shipping on our store throughout the holidays, and we even have some sampler packs that make great gifts for fishermen in your family.
Happy Holidays, and hope to see you tomorrow at Haddrells!