Water temperatures have fallen in the last couple of weeks in Beaufort's waters, but that has been good news for trout and redfish anglers. Both species are biting, and Capt. Rick Percy of Reel Chance Charters said the secret to catching them is to stay on the move and fish with a painstakingly slow retrieve.
A number of different lures are working, but Percy said what works one day may not work the next, so it's important to have a variety of live baits and artificials available and to watch the weather. On warmer days, the fish seem to spread out more; on colder days, they often stack up in large schools.
Mud minnows on Carolina-rigs, soft plastic grubs on jigheads, jerkbaits on flutter hooks, Norton sand eels, Vudu shrimp, and Gulp! soft plastics are all producing trout – as long as they’re worked very slowly The incoming and outgoing tides have both been good, and Percy said trout have been holding both in deeper holes in creeks and shallow flats. As far as numbers go, Percy and his clients have had some banner days, catching more than 30 trout on half-day trips over the past week.
Percy said redfish are schooling in large groups, and that catching them can be fruitful on day, but frustrating the next. The schools are wary, and anglers can spend a lot of time casting to one group with no luck. Percy (803-535-6166) said anglers shouldn't spend too much time on one school though. Sometimes finding another school in a different creek will net results quickly because that school is in a feeding mood.
When targeting these large schools, it's common for the group to break into smaller groups once you catch a few fish. This is often a good time to seek another fishing hole for a little while, giving the smaller pods a chance to group back together. Vudu shrimp, soft plastic grubs, and jerkbaits are all working on the redfish.