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On The Water

By Geoff Bennett for the Island Eye News

There are lots of options of how to spend your free time during this season. Fishing now competes with football and hunting as top choices for things to do. I assure you that fishing is so good right now that a decision to cast a line is worthy of your consideration. Knowing that food will be disappearing in a matter of weeks, trout and redfish are feeding aggressively and anglers are putting tons of fish in the boat!

The schools of redfish just grow bigger and bigger. Groups numbering in the 40-50 range are not uncommon and these will surely continue to expand. Sometimes after one fish eats an artificial lure the rest of the school will become more cautious and refuse more artificials. We’ve been putting chunks of blue crab on #3/0 circle hooks and waiting for the schools to settle down and come back to us. Put the rod in a holder and wait for the drag to start screaming.

Trout have really been responding well to artificial lures but don’t forget to use your popping corks. Live shrimp under a cork are great but mud minnows have been working just as well and are more durable. I use a fluorocarbon leader 18-24” below the cork paired with a size 1 circle hook. When that cork drops, resist the urge to raise the rod tip to set the hook and just reel instead as the circle hook does the work for you.

We have been having epic days sightfishing on the flyrod. On morning trips around low tide, it has been common to get up on the flats to see redfish with their backs and tails out of the water as they bust shrimp and other bait. Seeing 15-20 tails within a short cast of the boat makes your knees weak. The basic clouser minnow in chartreuse/white has been working great and even outperforming the go-to EP fiber mullet flies.

See you on the water!

Capt. Geoff Bennett operates Charleston Charter Fishing providing fly fishing and light tackle charters. Clients choose from a full menu of fly rods, 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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