Month: November 2017

The Spot within a Spot

Last Thursday was simply the best trout bite I have ever experienced.  I had a great friend I have had since high school with me, and it was a day neither of us will ever forget.  In November, you can get on that kind of bite if you find yourself in the right place at the right time. 

I got reacquainted with Scott about 6 years ago via Facebook (maybe the only useful purpose for FB in my opinion) when I found out his mother lives in Murrells Inlet.  Back then, he really didn’t know how to fish and over the year’s since we have made maybe 20 fishing trips together.  You should see him now!  Dude can fish!  He has since relocated to Murrells and soon will have his own boat – no doubt. 

Scott’s personal best trout – 23 inches (released)

Anyway, I had the Whaler tied off to a clump of spartina (poor man’s cajun anchor!) and we were on a fish-on-almost-every-cast kinda bite, from both sides of the boat.  It was outgoing tide and we were in an unfamiliar area, so we really had no idea about the bottom contour.  This kind of situation is really cool because you can experiment and try different lures, and presentations to see what works empirically. 

After a while, we learned where the best strike zones were.  If you cast 3 feet too short, nothing.  Too far to the right or left, nope.  Land your lure in a 8 foot diameter and let it drift with the tide and if you brought it through a narrow zone – tick!  Fish on.  We had about three of these situations within casting distance we discovered through trial and error.  Once we were dialed in, we would make maybe 1 cast in 20 that didn’t result in a trout to the boat.  With 2 guys doing this constantly – well, you do the math. 

Yours truly with a 21.5 inch trout (released)

As the tide continued out and the water got lower, the strike zones changed accordingly, as ambush points shifted.  But, the bite never really diminished until almost slack low tide.  What was really cool was that low tide revealed the bottom contours in the creek and when you observed them you said “uh-huh”.  The strike zones were all where a dropoff in the creek channel was.  As most creeks do, there is a deep channel on one or the other side, maybe with some undulations.  With the water gone, the strike zones became visually pretty obvious, but we were able to find them by experimentation at high tide. 

No doubt, next time we go there we will be armed with the new found knowledge of the bottom contours, but this goes to show that you don’t really need to know – you can figure it out by trial and error. 

Conservation Note:  We caught hundreds of fish and kept only a few, while carefully releasing the rest, and all fish over 20″ of which there were maybe 25.  Mimimize handling of trout to preserve their protective slime.  We pinch them carefully behind the head to control them and otherwise do not handle them.  Wetting your hands prior to touching them helps also, as well as using a rubber net. 

Hot colors for the day were Pearl and Festivus

During this day, I witnessed something I have never before seen.  A school of 18 inch-class trout numbering in the hundreds came up under the boat and scattered.  I could see their spots clear as day in the clear water.  This explains how we were able to boat so many fish in the same spot.  The sheer numbers of trout on that day was amazing – and a great sign for our fisheries.   

We will have a Black Friday sale, 20% off store wide using code BF20.  We have also added a Holiday Gift Pak that will make a great gift at $19.99 for the avid angler in your family.  

Happy Thanksgiving from Eye Strike Fishing!

A day to remember

It’s November, so, you need to make any excuse you can to get on the water.  At least that’s the way we think of it.  Ralph and I hit the water this weekend despite pretty raw conditions;  42F on the thermometer, blustery 10 – 15 mph winds out of the NE.  A recent couple cold fronts have the surface water temp down to approx 62F and this is prime time for trout.  

We started out throwing topwater plugs at dawn with a bit of a lackluster bite.  We did, however, have a few good strikes.  I was using the same red/white Skitter V plug used with much success as documented in my last post.  While we were casting I was looking at Ralph and talking about something when I had an eruption and a true gator trout on the line.  What a beauty!  Made up for numbers with quality.  I’ve tried a lot of plugs, and keep coming back to just a couple because they simply produce.  I think this Skitter V has found a permanent place in my tackle bin based on the last two trips.

We hit a second spot and had slightly better numbers but slightly poorer quality.  Any topwater bite is a good one though!  

As the sky turned brighter we switched to Trout Eye jigs and various Elaztech profiles and colors.  Our first stop produced a quality slam with an overslot redfish and gator trout included.  The gator hit a “Fladd-Shad” aka Pearl MinnowZ on a Chartreuse Trout Eye.  Being an optical engineer I believe in contrast and this is counter to the old saying “light-light”, “dark-dark”.  I like contrast, and this means “light-dark”.  I’m not saying the legions of “dark-dark” anglers are wrong, it just doesn’t compute for me.   This particular spot had very dark water, I almost forgot to mention!  

As the day went on, we found quality fish in every spot we tried – typical for November.  We did some exploring way up a creek and didn’t seem to find good numbers of trout up there as of yet.  On the other hand we did find 3 true gators in the big waters, so there you go!  

To end our day, we found a perfect Fall trout bite in shallow water with good aggressive bites coming on schooled up fish.  I was lucky to get another gator trout in this last spot.  A great day with Ralph – one that we will play back in our memories for a while.

For the day we both had traditional slams, and in addition:  Largemouth Bass, Grey Trout, Lady Fish (that was a surprise), and Lizard Fish.  Plastic color of the day was Festivus.  If you don’t have them in your tackle box, you need to.  We stock them in our shop, FYI.

See you on the water!


You Gotta Love November

Ask me what’s my favorite month to fish in the lowcountry of South Carolina and I will tell you without hesitation…November.  Bait is pushing out of the estuaries and the fish are starting to panic a little bit.  That’s awesome for us artificial bait aficionados.  It makes for stupid good fishing pretty much everywhere.  

Pre-dawn in the fall can be breathtaking

On 11/2 I made a solo trip and stumbled upon one of the best topwater bites ever for me.  That’s kinda saying something because I love me some topwater fishing!  I found a broken grass line where some finger mullet were gathering and you could see them getting blasted periodically.  I had tied on a Skitter V, a plug we recently heard about through our friend Daniel Nussbaum – President of Z-Man Fishing.  It was my first time trying it, and the fish really killed it. 

A solid trout on top

There are a couple small annoyances about this plug.  One being that the front hook is kind of close to the nose so it often gets wrapped around the leader.  Another is that you need to kind of finesse it into it’s cadence.  It will sometimes act as though its wrapped up but its not.  Just needs to get in the rhythm.  Once going, it has a little wider walk-the-dog pattern and what really matters is the fish were charging it hard.  I’ll put up with the annoyances for a plug that works any day!

So anyway, this morning the trout bite was on fire from pre-dawn until the sun was high enough to lighten up the water.  Good trout too, 16″ – 20″ all of them.  Don’t know about you but when I’m by myself I talk to myself a lot.  Several times I found myself saying “no way!” or “oh my god that was awesome!”.   

A few highlights:

  • Caught a “Zombie Trout” with one eye that still was able to charge my plug.
  • Had a trout knock the plug out of the water 3 times before a redfish pushed him out of the way and took it.
  • A nice size trout came up in clear water pushing a big wake, whacked the plug, then took off to the side.  Never did get that one but what a cool site.
The “Zombie Trout”

I ended up with almost a Margarita Slam.  Had redfish, trout, flounder, striper, so I went way up river to try to find a largemouth bass but ran out of time before I had to give up.  

Evidence of the great catching to be had in November.  Now is the time to get out there!

In other news:

We are almost completely out of Original Trout Tricks.  We bought out Z-Man of their entire remaining inventory and we have exactly 380 of them left.  They can be purchased on our online store or here at the shop.  At this point there are no plans to make any more.