Ralph and I fished the ICW on Saturday out of Garris Landing. We had an absolutely beautiful sunrise with zero wind. The early morning bite was a little slow, but that turned around when we found a few really nice size trout to 20 in at our third drop. The bite was fairly aggressive, and it was great to catch some heavy trout. At dead low tide we decided to do some scouting. We went up a side creek and started to notice large blooms of yellow coral. This makes for excellent trout habitat, and we found the trout out in the middle of the creeks among the coral. These trout were all in the 14-17 inch range but still fun to catch. We had approx 30 trout in this creek. One of the most gratifying things for us is to find trout in a new creek on a new pattern in an unfamiliar place. Once the tide started rolling in we hit a few more spots and caught a few more, including a couple bluefish – that was a surprise in this cold water (and a new species to add to the list of species caught on our jigs). A great day to be on the water! All fish caught on TroutEye jig heads with a variety of soft plastics. We caught a bunch on a strawberry flaked paddle tail after experimenting with a variety of colors. The best method was to slowly work the paddle-tail just above the bottom, giving it a bump every second or so. Water temp was 52F, and a perfect “trout-green”. Wind stiffened a bit toward the early afternoon. We met a DNR officer at the landing and gave him a few jigs to try on his next outing.
We also made a brief trip to the Ashley to see if anything was up. The water is 49F and it’s very slow for catching. We managed a few smallish reds, a small largemouth and a small striper. The coloring on the biggest red was truly beautiful from the dark tannic water.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. Be careful on the water with the cold water. If solo, make sure you wear a life jacket and kill switch lanyard!