The fall presents Lowcountry fishermen with one of the best opportunities to catch an “inshore slam” of redfish, flounder and speckled trout on the same trip, and Morgan Watt of Lady’s Island said small creeks that become isolated from incoming water during low tide are great places to do just that.
One of Watt’s favorite places is Turtle Creek, a small creek just south of Fripp Island that has everything anglers need to get their inshore slam. The trick, Watt said, is to have a full day set aside for fishing.
"You'll have to enter the creek at high tide and be prepared to have your boat stranded throughout low tide and part of the incoming tide," said Watt, who suggests leaving out of Russ Point Boat Landing on Hunting Island, passing behind Turtle Creek through Trenchard's Inlet, cruising in front of the creek on the Atlantic Ocean side, then motoring into Turtle Creek. "You can get in with about any size boat, but you've got to get there before low tide or even the smallest of boats will bottom out."
Once in the creek, abandon the boat, which will be high and dry before long, and focus on fishing. All you need is a cast net and a rod and reel. Find a small bait hold cut off from the creek and one cast of the net will usually result in plenty of bait.
"The current really rips through here on the incoming and outgoing tide," Watt said, "but at dead low, it becomes a pond."
Redfish, flounder and speckled trout stay in this pond and gorge themselves on baitfish. The creek is several hundred yards long but is narrow enough to cast across at low tide, allowing anglers to cover lots of water quickly by simply walking and casting. A typical Carolina rig with a 3/0 hook is all anglers need for all three species, which will bite a variety of baitfish or shrimp.
An even narrower ditch feeds into the main creek, and this ditch is often stacked with redfish this time of year.
"You can stand on top of the ditch and see masses of redfish, and they are wary of movement, but if you're careful you can catch plenty, including slot fish and bulls," Watt said.