The Drop has Begun

Cold Water Tips

Since our last update we finally had a break in the weather and it seems we are now in a more regular November pattern of weekly cold fronts.  In the past two weeks the water temp has dropped from around 70F to the mid sixties.  This should amp up the bite, for those days when the wind will allow getting on the water.

On that note, PLEASE be careful fishing in the winter.  Every year we have deaths caused by falling in the water.  A must is to wear a PFD, especially if you are fishing alone.  The first thing to fail is  your muscles ability to tread water, followed by drowning.  A PFD will greatly increase your chances of survival.  Secondly, wear your kill switch if fishing alone.


We all know that trout school up when the water gets cold.  This means that you must keep moving until you find the fish.  If you never find them, it’s not unusual to get skunked on the trout.  But when you do find them, you can have a double or even triple digit catch day.  Many people choose to troll grubs.  If you troll, then catch a fish.  Stop and fish there!  So many people keep going… We prefer to drift with the tide using the trolling motor and casting.  Often you will find a school, then the bite will die off.  Usually it means the school moved up or down the creek a little bit.  Just probe around until you locate them again.  We have plenty more tips on cold water trout fishing – but I will save that for later posts.

Robert Red

Redfish will also be schooled up tight in cold water.  Sometimes, it seems there are 100 fish piled on top of each other in a 12 foot diameter area.  Catching 50+ reds off the same piece of structure is a definite possibility in the cold water.  These fish will tend to be concentrated in a hole or among trees or deep rocky structure.

Ralph Red 1

With all these numbers of catching, please practice conservation – as you can really do some damage to fish populations by keeping your limit each time.  As a recreational tagger, I have learned that fish do not move very much.  They will spend the majority of their lives within a mile of a creek or river.  Fishermen can definitely clean a stretch of river out – no question.  Keep a few for dinner, but let the rest go.

Charity Oyster Roast

In 2011 Ralph founded the Summerville Saltwater Anglers fishing club, and I was one of the lucky ones to be in attendance at the interest meeting.  I volunteered to serve on the founding board of directors, and its awesome to see what the club has become.  It is focused on families, fishing, and helping the community.  We had our End of Year party on Nov 13th and it was an amazing night.  SSWA includes a Youth Advisor on the board of directors which has been a great thing to witness.  It has become a leadership and growth opportunity for some of our youths.  Our first Youth Advisor, Megan, had the idea to include a charity auction for our party each year.  She was just 11 years old when she suggested it at a board meeting.  Well, it has grown every year, and this year the club raised over $9,000 for our charity.  The club also unanimously approved naming the event “Megan’s Gift” in her honor.  It’s been rewarding seeing her grow and become successful (She is now attending the Governer’s School as a Junior in High School).  Our current Youth Advisor, Emery, is a similar young leader, and I also see him doing great things in the future.

Ashley River Cleanup

Something I have spearheaded in the past two years is a cleanup of the upper Ashley River.  This is something that I am passionate about, as it is one of the most beautiful places in Charleston, yet the river is full of trash that keeps coming back.  Carolyn Tomlinson from Keep Dorchester County Beautiful came to the SSWA party to present an award in appreciation for our efforts.  It reads “Keep Dorchester County Beautiful thanks the Summerville Saltwater Anglers for Participating in the GAC 3.2 tons of litter was taken out of the Ashley river on March 21, 2015”.  I was glad to accept this award on behalf of the club, but I want to point out that since our historic flooding, the river is worse than ever, unfortunately.  I will be promoting the event as much as possible in an effort to try to get as many volunteers with boats to help us clean up this coming March.  Below are some pics taken last week to illustrate my point.  PLEASE HELP US!

Ashley 2

Ashley 1

Ashley 3

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