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May 17 2017

Fishing Season Begins

By Captain Geoff Bennett for Island Eye News

Laura Norris from Madison, Wisconsin with a 3lb. trout caught on cut mullet in Charleston Harbor.

What a great time to be fishing. With our waters now teeming with bait, the fish have strapped the feedbags on and are eating heartily. All the summer seasonal species have arrived and when combined with our traditional gamefish, provide a whole host of options for an angler. If your fishing season hasn’t yet begun, there’s no better time to start.

As the water temperatures climb, redfish are becoming more active and attacking artificial lures. Jerk shad lures rigged on flutter hooks are my go to option.

These artificial lures, usually 4″- 5″ in length, imitate small baitfish. Flutter hooks have a weight on their shank that let you cast a far distance and also put motion on the lure. I use flutter hooks in size 3/0 with a ⅛ oz. weight. Make sure to cast to the edges of the schools, if you cast right into the middle you stand a good chance of spooking them.

Per usual, it’s that time of year for topwater trout action at first light. Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in their silver mullet color works great but my favorite is the chartreuse and black. Vary retrieve speeds as you work these lures back to the boat. This is a lure that you should reel tight to the fish before raising your rod tip. Good luck with that as a violent boil erupts around your lure! Once the top water bite fades, suspended twitch bait lures can keep things going for a little while longer.

Sharks have returned to our waters and several species like bonnetheads, sharpnose and black tips are already prevalent.

You’ll start to see the fins of sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey in skinny water and also find them foraging along drop offs in the harbor and inlets. Chunks of blue crab, cut bait and live shrimp both work well on these predators. I favor 7/0 circle hooks and just put the rods in the holders. Fishing for sharks can be a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up great fights. See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle fishing charters. Clients choose from a full menu of options with charters tailored to their desires. USCG licensed and insured, Capt. Bennett is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable charter to anglers of all skill levels and ages. For more information, call Capt. Bennett at 843.324.3332, visit his website at charlestoncharterfishing.com or email him at captain@charlestoncharterfishing.com.

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