While fishing for reds and trout in the Charleston area has been great, you don't want to forget about the abundant Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

Right now seems to be a great time, according to Jonathan Harpe, manager at Charleston Angler, with both Spanish and blues schooling in Charleston Harbor as well as the shipping channel.

"We've been catching both species with spinning rods and using Got-Cha plugs," Harpe said. "They look like a small baitfish and are a real durable artificial bait. Not to mention they tend to cut down on the short strikes, which will help you land more fish, too." 

The fish have been schooled together in the harbor but have been more separated in the shipping channel, Harpe said.

Tackle is the basic inshore setup: a 6-foot-6 to 7-foot, medium-action rod topped with a 3000 series reel and braided 15- to 20-pound test line. If trolling is more to your liking, Harpe suggests using silver Clark Spoons.  

"They're ranging from 16 to 23 inches in size, and if you find them schooling, it's not uncommon to catch 40 or 50," Harpe said. "Basically you can stick with them and catch them as long as you feel like it." 

To find the fish all you have to do is look up. If you find the birds diving on bait fish, that's where you'll find the Spanish and blues, too.

Best times to land a limit is also the same as inshore: early in the morning and late in the evening. Harpe suggests checking out the shipping channel, Castle Pinkney and Drum Island for your best chances of finding a school or two.