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Chilly Water Bringing Bigger Schools Of Fish

By Geoff Bennett for Island Eye News

Angler Lisa Pape of Austin, Texas shows off her 7 pound redfish caught with a mud minnow under a popping cork.

Fishing this past month was great and we can expect November to be just as productive!  Chilly nights remind redfish and trout that they had better eat now or it will be a long few months ahead without any food. Artificial lures have become very effective as natural bait leaves our waters. Take advantage of sunny days and go catch some fish!

As water temperatures fall, redfish have begun their seasonal phenomenon of forming large schools. Schools of fifty redfish will become common and they can swell as large as 100-150 during the winter. These fish are more wary this time of year and artificial lures can spook them on the flats. Instead of casting at the schools, we will throw out as many as three lines with chunks of frozen mullet on #3/0 circle hooks and let them sit. Eventually the redfish will find your bait and bend your rods over with some astonishing hits!

For trout, artificial lures are working very well. Trout hang together and when you catch one there will likely be others in the immediate area. Lures in hues of blue and gray are performing the best when paired with a 1/4oz. jighead. Remember to move your lure slower than usual as the fish slow down with the cooler water temperature. Try to bounce the jighead off the bottom and wait until you feel the pull of a striking fish.

Popping corks are still great options for both redfish and trout. Live shrimp can be used again with the bait stealers gone. I’ll attach a two to three foot leader to the cork and a size 1 circle hook on the other end with a split shot a foot above the hook. Cast along grass banks, over oyster beds, and at creek mouths and watch for that cork to disappear! It can be difficult, but when that cork drops, reel as fast as you can and let the circle hook naturally set itself. A big hook set can sometimes rip your bait right out of the fish’s mouth.

 See you on the water!

For over a decade, Capt. Geoff Bennett has operated Charleston Charter Fishing providing light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of artificial and live bait fishing 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 or email him at

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