Hook up a live shrimp on a split-shot rig or under a popping cork in the North Edisto River of any of its tributaries and, according to guide Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters, it won't live long

Bennett said the fishing of the past two weeks has been the best of the year for redfish and speckled trout, with some flounder and black drum on the side.

"The reason they're biting so good is that the majority of shrimp have left, but the fish are still here, and they want to feed," said Bennett (843-367-3777). "Depending on the spots you fish, you can catch all of them on all tides."

Bennett has had several "inshore slam" – red-trout-flounder – days recently, and he's been sacking a few 3- to 5-pound black drum to go with 50 reds and/or trout on a typical half-day trip.

 

Bennett has been doing most of his damage on reds with live shrimp fished on a split-shot rig. He's been catching most of his trout on live shrimp under float rigs, but he said that trout are starting to hit soft-plastic artificials fished on jigheads, with electric chicken being the hot color.

 

"When you find the trout, they'll hit artificials just as well as live shrimp," he said. "And we're still finding some live shrimp in some pockets off Leadenwah, Bohicket and Privateer creeks."

 

The trout have mostly been up on oyster flats, but Bennett has found an occasional school of specks on bluff banks.

 

"The most-consistent trout fishing has been on oyster flats and oyster points, especially around the mouth of Adams Creek," said Bennett, who said the water temperature is hovering around the 60-degree level. "We'll have the trout through Thanksgiving, and I've caught them in Church Creek on into December. For some reason, there's a great bite there.

 

"As the water gets cooler, you'll find more trout up the river as the water cools."

 

Reds have been ganged up in bigger schools as cooler weather approaches, on oyster flats and around docks. Bennett's party caught 50 reds – most of them between 18 and 21 inches – from one spot this past Monday.

 

"Truthfully, you can catch redfish almost anywhere right now," he said.