KayakSC guide Justin Carter said his outings over the past few days have produced just as many trout as he caught last fall.
"I couldn't say for sure that the trout bite ever cut off," said Carter. "In the winter, everyone concentrates on schools of redfish when they school up tight, so the trout tend to be put on the back burner. Well, they're pretty hot now."
Carter's most productive patterns for speckled trout focus on casting Z-Man soft plastics rigged on quarter- and eighth-ounce jigheads around exposed oyster bars and points that contains some type of structure. He prefers to fish the last couple of hours of the outgoing tide and through the low tide, then work the incoming tide on the other side.
"It's unbelievable what I'm seeing on my graph," said Carter (843-725-8784), who runs state-of-the-art down-imaging sonar on his kayak. "I'm seeing large schools of fish hanging right off the edge of the drops. A lot of anglers in general, and especially kayakers, tend to focus on the shoreline because it gives them a visual reference, but that first drop is where the fish are."
Though he can launch just about anywhere he can find water, Carter prefers to launch from Remley's Point on the Cooper River and Paradise Landing on the Wando for his kayak charters. His float plans take advantage of the tides, not only for fishing, but allowing him to ride the current away from the ramp, then back to it, without having to do too much paddling."The wind doesn't always play by my rules, but on a decent day, 20 to 30 trout with a few reds and flounder mixed in is possible for someone who is comfortable fishing from a kayak," he said. "The schools of reds have broken up, but the good thing is I'm starting to see individual reds push back up against the grass as the tide gets back up, so that adds the opportunity to fish a complete cycle for trout, then put in some time sight fishing for reds back in the grass at the end of the trip."