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.
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.
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.
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!