December is here and can anyone tell me where the time went? We just keep getting busier and busier here at the shop but that is a good thing. We were able to get on the water several times in November and have a few reports and tactics for you.
Ralph and I had a great day of trout fishing with Jeremy Mehlhaff (charlestonshallows.com) in mid November. Jeremy is one of Charlestons best fly fishing guides but doesn’t do a whole lot of trout fishing. We scouted a new creek that Jeremy had a hunch about. On the phone I told him we would find the pattern pretty quickly. And it wasn’t long before we were into some heavy trout. Man, that was fun! We do this by getting a feel for the likely best spots based on Google imagery, then drifting and methodically covering an area. When we find trout we stop and peel back another layer of the onion, so to speak, to find the spot within a spot, and repeat on down the creek. We were able to find three areas where the trout were holding. When we finished a stretch we would go back and focus on the areas where we found them. The most effective lure that day was Z-Man Swimmin Trout Tricks in Shrimp Po’ Boy and Festivus colors. The water temp at that time was around 60F so the presentation did not need to be very slow to work. I’m guessing we caught 25 over 18″ and triple digits overall.
I took my brother in law Glen out on Black Friday and we had a great day in the brackish water. One thing I sometimes try to shoot for in the fall is a Margarita Slam (redfish, trout, flounder, striper, largemouth). Well, I didn’t get that (couldn’t find a flounder to save my life!) but if I could have caught two flounder, I would have set a personal best double Margarita, as I had at least two of everything else. I was able to substitute a flounder for a nice black drum – something I have not caught in years on artificial bait. That was a nice surprise. Glen had a great day and while I had the numbers and variety, he had the quality, with a 19 inch trout and 26 inch redfish. A great day spent with family…
Every year at the Summerville Saltwater Anglers End of Year Oyster Roast, we raffle off an Educational Fishing Trip. This is not really an emphasis on catching as much as technique and where to find fish. We usually catch our share as well. This year the trip was down to the final two cards (its a deck of cards drawing, and when your card is pulled from the hat, you are out) and it happened to be a Mother / Daughter. We called it a draw and had the pleasant fortune to take June Bunch and Maggie Kindt out with us. They come from an old Charleston family and they are very tight knit. It was gratifying to literally start with helping Miss June with simple casting to an hour later see her laying out casts right to the grass line. By the end of the day they were slaying them! Very fun day that we will remember for a while.
In Other News….
Our retail shop is up and running, we invite you to drop by and check it out. We will give you a tour of the shop (Its a very short tour!) Our address is 7341B Peppermill Parkway, 29418. We are off of Ashley Phosphate Road. Please note that our signage is in progress, and we currently have None! Go to the back of the lot and we are the last door on the right. Our official hours are Tue/Thu 2-6pm but feel free to give me a call at (843) 324-4272 and come in any time. Bring your fishing club membership card and we will give a 10% discount.
We are stocking a few new unique items that you may be interested in.
Hand made Wooden Tackle Boxes – These are one of a kind boxes made from exotic woods and are great for a man-cave or fishing room. They are too nice to put on the boat! Each one is different and they really have to be seen to believe.
WoolPower Thermal Wear – This line is made in Sweden and imported locally in Summerville. Its the highest of high end in base layer wear. Instead of layering up like an eskimo, you can put on a base layer, a thin mid layer and a shell and be warm in the coldest of winter. One kind of unique product is the Survival Kit which has a full upper and lower part and a neck gaiter. It comes in a little pouch that can be kept in a dry bag on a boat or kayak – ready for you when you really need it! When wool gets wet it actually gets warmer. Check it out.
We have put together a few Holiday Gift Paks. These are a sample of every jig size and color within a family, along with a Trout Eye hand towel and a selected Z-Man ElaZtech matched to the size of jigs. We have three Paks: Trout Eye, Redfish Eye, and Striper Eye.
With the current cold snap, the water should be getting into the mid to lower 50’s. If you are fishing solo, always wear a PFD and lanyard. Do it for your family! And, now is the time to use smaller baits, long leaders and slower presentations. Fish the deep holes in the mornings and sunny flats in the afternoons.
Thanks and Merry Christmas from all of us at Ralph Phillips Inshore!
A video of our day with Maggie and June can be found here