We are at the bottom of the temperature curve, historically, and from here on out the water temps should slowly rise out of the danger zone for trout mortality. That being said, just this morning my friend Jeremy Mehlhaff (charlestonshallows.com) reported seeing a dead trout, and I have seen lots of cormorants up in the creeks so surely there is some mortality going on as I write. I’ve heard SCDNR and others speculate that when the water temps slowly decrease (as has been the case this year) that trout work their way toward deeper waters. I have to believe this is true because in some creeks where trout were abundant a month and a half ago, those same creeks are mostly devoid of trout right now. There are a a few stragglers, as shown below, but not many. I tend to believe they are not there, rather than not biting, because I have not seen any sign of them sunning on a flat nor hugging the bottom using my depth finder.
Redfish on the other hand, are stacked up in certain spots. We have found them in some traditional spots, and some spots that were on fire last year are barren. This seems to be common – you just have to learn the new pattern, and that is the fun and rewarding part! Once you find the pattern they are on this season (fun), it should be pretty consistent if you go back on the same tide (rewarding).
Ralph and I have fished separately the last few trips, and we both have been fishing the new gold TroutEye jigs exclusively to give them a good test. They are definitely popular with the fish 🙂 Overall, the size of the reds we have been catching have been increasing recently with 28-30 inch reds almost every trip. Remember to let the redfish eat this time of year. When I sense a redfish bite, I literally count to 2 before setting the hook. It will help your hookup ratio. We have been consistently catching 2 or 3 trout in the creeks but not many. A small bait such as the Zman 3.75 StreakZ in Ralphs Shad color is a great combo for the trout. The small size well matches the smaller baits in the creeks such as glass minnows.
See you on the water! – Dave