Category: TroutEye Jigs

March Fishing

If I had to pick a least favorite month to fish in Charleston, it would be March. The rapidly fluctuation, and mostly warming, water temps seem to have the fish in between patterns. The trout are not quite yet getting ready to spawn so they are not super aggressive. I seem to struggle more in March than any month.

I’ve had a lot going on recently and can’t fish this coming weekend, so I decided to play hooky and fish yesterday. Forecast 80F and windy: 15 kts and gusty. You can always hide in the creeks and that was my plan. I had low expectations and hit the water with a plan to enjoy the warm air and catch just one fish.

My first 2 hrs on the water resulting in not even one bite. I kept moving and trying to find a pattern, and eventually caught a rat-red. From there on, things improved. Shortly thereafter I caught a 22″ red and after that I got a nice ‘tick’ and a screaming run. It turned out to be the fattest striper I have ever seen (or caught). It was 24″ and 7 lbs, now that’s a football! Turns out it was not a full belly as I had originally thought, but rather it’s a male fat with sperm (thanks to my friends who striper fish the lakes for this information). He hit a gold TroutEye jig on a Gulp jerk shad.

Striper1 Striper2 Striper with Jig

I threw a bucktail tied on a TroutEye jig in this same hole and caught a 25″ red on it. We have been experimenting with the classic bucktail tied on our jig heads and they seem to work really well! We are not sure if we are going to make this a product or not – we’ll see.

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Around another corner I had 3 strikes and misses on trout. I tried a variety of baits and guess what sealed the deal? Yep- a bucktail. Ended up catching 6 trout – all keeper size. I kept one and released the rest.

This has proven to be a “killer combo” – our Gold TroutEye paired with a Z-Man 3.75 StreakZ in Ralphs Shad color

Totals for the day:

  • 5 reds (to 26″)  4 reds tagged and released.
  • 6 trout (to 17.5″)
  • 1 football striper (24″, 7lbs) fin-clipped and released.

Needless to say, my expectations were far exceeded!  It was a fun day despite the strong winds and dirty water.


In other news, we have delivered our first order to Z-Man and you should start seeing Z-Man branded TroutEye jigs in stores and media soon.

Joey from Z-Man spent a day fishing in Tampa with C.A. Richardson from Flats Class TV recently, and they had some good things to say about our jigs.

flats class

Tight Lines Everyone

No way!

As if catching a sheepshead on our gold TroutEye jighead last week wasn’t surprising enough, this weekend our friend Martin caught an even rarer catch while fishing with Captain Willy Le of Native Fly Charters in the Mosquito Lagoon. Martin was fishing a Z-Man MinnowZ rigged on a gold Trout Eye jighead and hooked a 4 lb Mullet! It was hooked clean in the mouth meaning he was eating it. Crazy stuff! Great catch Martin!



Here is a list of species that we have caught on our jigheads

  • Spotted Seatrout
  • Southern Flounder
  • Red Drum
  • Striper
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Sheepshead
  • Gar
  • Arkansas Blue Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Mullet
  • Pinfish
  • Ladyfish
  • Spot
  • Oyster Toadfish
  • Black Sea Bass
  • Bluefish
  • Jack Crevalle

I may be forgetting some, but needless to say they have wide appeal.  Let us know if you have a notable species catch not listed!


Trout Eye Jigs and Z-Man Fishing Products



We are very excited to announce an alliance with Z-Man Fishing Products.  Z-Man branded Trout Eye jigs will be a part of their product line in the upcoming year.  Z-Man is a Charleston based company that happens to be one of the premier fishing tackle companies in the world!  We are honored to be a part of their line and believe that we have a winning combination.  Coming soon.


Zman Packaging

We will continue to sell our self-branded jig heads in 5-packs at retail locations as well as in bulk quantities online.

Most unusual catch on a blustery day

I promised my friend Scott a trip before he heads back home to the cold winter in upstate NY. Our planned day’s forecast went from bad to worse, with a high of 48F, water temps at 45F, and 10-15 NE winds. Ugh.

Well, we layered up and headed out. As we are making the run I have to admit I was thinking of other places I would rather be! We hit several spots at the typical “right” time and not even a bump, so just kept moving and trying, moving and trying.

Finally I get a nice thump and its a 23.5″ red. Scott followed with a 25.25″er and we found the small pocket where they were located. We doubled up on some nice upper slot reds, and ended up with 9 from 15.5″ to 25.25″. A pretty good result for such a cold day.   The wind gusts were literally blowing the Whaler all around, making holding us in our spot really difficult!  The only time we could really cast with accuracy was to time our casts between the gusts.


The icing on the cake was when I changed over to a white with green speck paddletail rigged on a gold TroutEye jig. I get a slight bump and was VERY surprised to catch a sheepy on it! First ever for me, and though I have read of folks catching them on arties, I have never heard of any of my friends or acquaintances doing it. Pretty cool! Maybe he thought it was a runaway oyster or that the gold eye was a pearl 🙂 Who knows?


We have caught all inshore species on our jigs, including several freshwater species, but I would never have thought we would catch a sheepshead!

Tight lines everyone! -Dave


In other news, we finally have real packaging for our jigs, and this is how they should look in our retail shop displays, so keep an eye out for them!


At the bottom of the curve

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 ( 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

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Announcing a fourth TroutEye jig color: Gold

Gold Eye Rigged

Our newest jig color closely matches both speckled trout and redfish eyes.  As you know, specks are cannibalistic – they eat their young.  Many popular plugs, such as the Skitter Walk, come in Trout color for this reason.  When you pair a gold head with a 3.75″ Zman StreakZ in Ralphs Shad color, you have a perfect imitation of a small trout, a combo that is sure to be a killer!

Compare the gold eye with trout and redfish eyes


Our new color lineup is shown below (left to right):  red, pearl, glow and gold

Trout Eye Jigs 4 Colors Iso

Our new color is available immediately online at and will be available at both Haddrells Point Tackle locations any day now.  When ordering in bulk online, you will still have the option of “mixed”, meaning you can divide up the colors as you wish.  Hope you like them!

Wintertime creek fishing tactics

Reflecting on my last two fishing trips, I think they represent the best tactics for fishing the creeks in the upper reaches of our rivers this time of year.  Maybe some of what we experienced will help you improve your results.  In general, the trout and redfish will be schooled up this time of year.  When you find them, the catching can be great.  When you don’t actively search for them, you can easily get skunked.

Reds will often be schooled tight to heavy structure in deeper water.  They can be clustered in a spot no more than 15 x 15 ft.  Cast in there, fish on.  Cast away from it, nothing.  Often I have wondered what it must look like under water because its very possible to pull 30+ fish out of the same hole.  That’s a dense pack of fish!  They will often be tight to gnarly stuff, so be prepared to lose some rigs getting your bait into the strike zone.

Trout will also be schooled up, but not always tight to structure.  True to their “tide-runner” nickname, they will move about.  You will catch 3 or 4 then it will stop.  Often if you drift a bit you will come back to the school and catch a few more.

New Years Day I took my good friend Ray (BOSN on out for a much needed day of fishing.  We hit a few of our favorite cold water spots and at first did not find the fish where we were expecting.  But we made some fan-casts around the area and found the fish much deeper than expected, in 15-20 ft of water.  A very slow presentation worked.  We caught about 10 fish out of this spot and then it shut off completely.  We moved around a lot.  In our efforts to find the fish I decided to try a shortcut to the back of a creek.  It’s a pretty skinny creek but the Whaler floats in a puddle.  So, I put the screws to it and ran high speed through the marsh.  We rounded a corner and my lower unit started bumping bottom.  Going 30 mph, by the time I stopped we were 200 yards in.  In 5 inches of water, tide still going out!   No worries, I pulled up the motor and Ray went to back and I went to the front.  I didn’t even have room to turn the boat around.  Huffing and puffing, I poled us out to deeper water and narrowly avoided a long wait in the marsh grass.  Funny stuff! 🙂


We made our way to a creek and started pitching to lay down trees and other structure.  I made a pitch and got a hard strike.  It was a 28″ redfish.  We spun around and held in the current with the trolling motor and proceeded to land about 15 more nice size reds in this one spot.  We ended the day with around 30 reds, with the vast majority coming from only 2 very small areas.

Ray with a pumpkin
This one went 28″

Yesterday I fished with Ralph.  We went to one of our favorite creeks.  We met up with an old friend in another boat who was solo.  We both just drifted out the creek with the outgoing tide, casting to structure.  We would find some trout, catch 3 or 4, then instruct our friend where they were.  As we got 50 yards away he would drift through and catch some himself.  It was calm, and we could hear each other clearly from a long distance.  We just relaxed chatted and told stories, laughed and caught fish.  To me, this is my happy place.  We saw a bald eagle, a few osprey, wood storks, egrets, etc.    The trout bite varied from a subtle “pick up” to a very aggressive bite – indicative of an oncoming front.  We didn’t catch any gator trout today (biggest were around 17″) but the day maker was rounding a corner and getting a hard, drag pulling take.  It was a 25″ riverene striper.  Once we landed it and got pics, Ralph cast into the same hole and pulled out a second one.  All in all, an excellent day fishing in January in Charleston.

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As usual, all fish caught on TroutEye jigs with various soft plastics.  Tight lines!

Water temps are around 52-55F.  Air temp on Jan 3rd was 66F!


Are you a fair weather fisherman?

Thinking back, I think about 3 of my top 5 fishing trips were in really bad weather, usually rain. Hard rain. Back when I used to fish bait occasionally, I had a day in June when the weatherman had it a little wrong and it started raining cats and dogs. Buckets of water were spilling off my bimini top and the bilge was pumping constantly. But the bite was off the hook. I recall being at the front of the Whaler trying to release a 30-ish inch red and hearing two rods in back peeling drag. It was a fire drill and at one point I tripped over the middle bench as I’m holding a bent rod.

Another day I had two good friends with me and a line of T storms filled in around us. We took cover in a covered dock pier (and almost got struck by lightning. The strike was about 200 feet away, bark landed near us and we could smell burning wood – yikes!). Since we knew it was going to be a while before it ended, we made a run back to the boat for beer and fishing rods while waiting it out. Well, we caught fish after fish, it was great. There is more to the story, but I will leave it at that. I will never forget that day!

This was another of those days. We have three days of rain forecast, and Christmas a few days away. My sister arrives from out of town tomorrow and I knew I would not be able to get out until at earliest next weekend. Forecast was light winds and steady rain. So, I layered up, put the rain suit on and hit the water. I’m not bothered by rain too much if dressed for it, but I don’t like lightning. Little chance of that this time of year. This time of year, when fishing solo, you should always wear a life jacket and use your kill switch lanyard. There are so many stories of fisherman drowning in the cold water when wearing a life jacket could have saved their life. Don’t be proud, do it for your family if for no other reason.

This 2.5 lb trout ate a glow TroutEye jig and Zman 3.5″ in Ralphs Shad

So anyway, I hit a few spots I haven’t fished in a while and caught two small trout and one decent one about 16 in. Then I decided to do some scouting. I tried a new creek and fished structure similar to other areas in other creeks that are productive. Things like: undercut banks, fallen trees, creek mouths, points, rocks, eddies. I did lose quite a few jigs in structure, not having the benefit of low-tide scouting this area, but the trout were there, and heavy trout at that! All of the trout I caught were over 15 in and I had three over 2.5 lbs. Mixed in the batch were several decent upper slot reds, one of which was leopard spotted.

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The tide today was huge. The heavy north winds had pushed an extra foot of water inshore, and the predicted 6.5 high was really 7.5. Needless to say when the tide started out it was like whitewater rafting. This killed the bite so I left to seek fish elsewhere. When the tides are this strong, you will generally only catch fish when the water slows around high and low tide. I had a few cutoffs and a few fish here and there and the rain started getting heavier and heavier. I started to think about heading in when I saw a flash and rumble of thunder. On Dec 22nd! That sealed the deal, and I high-tailed it back to the landing. All fish were released. Water temp was 49-52F. Another great foul weather day of fishing!  – Dave

If you look carefully you will see shrimp antennae coming out of the throat
The best shot I could get using a self timer of the daymaker – a 21″ trout over 3 lbs. Fell for a pearl TroutEye jig with an original Trout Trick

ICW Trout

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.


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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.

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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!