Fishermen looking for a big redfish bite are finding it in the inshore waters around Beaufort, and according to John Long, a part-time resident of Lady's Island, convincing them to bite has not been a problem.

Any of the small creeks near the Russ Pointe Landing and the Station Creek Landing are always hot spots this time of year, but this year they're also still biting well along the rock walls in Fripp Inlet and the Fripp Island Jetty, Long said.

Long, who runs East Columbia Sport Shop (803-776-8320) has had a tough time getting away from the shop the past few years, but he always makes sure to get on the water in November.

 

"I've had my best luck with big redfish in November for the past few years, and this year has been no exception," said Long, who has been catching redfish in the 40-inch-plus range, using mainly cut mullet on a Carolina rig. The surprising thing is, Long said he doesn't target big fish at all.

 

"I'm really trying to catch some fish in the slot, but by the time I have my limit of 3 slot fish, I'll usually catch five or six big redfish that are in the 40-inch range," Long said.

 

When Long can't seem to catch anything but the big ones on cut mullet, he uses a different method for sacking his limit of keepers.

 

"I learned this by accident several years ago while sheepshead fishing, but it's worked for me ever since – I use fiddler crabs close to sheepshead haunts like rock walls and barnacle-encrusted trees and other submerged structure. I don't drop it straight down like I do when sheepshead fishing but I cast it just a few feet away from that type of structure and let it sit on the bottom," he said.

 

Long's favorite times to fish are at dead-low tide and on the rising and high tide.

 "I've never had much luck at ebb tide, but both of the extremes usually work well for me," said Long, who fishes from a 16-foot Duracraft jonboat and mainly fishes the backwaters of small creeks where he targets narrow, funnel-like areas with a little more depth than the rest of the creek, then heads to the rock walls and jetties as the tide starts coming in. "It's probably not what you would call fishing by the textbook, but it works for me," he said.