Fishing in the Port Royal area couldn't be any hotter. Fluctuations in air and water temperature are making a difference in how active and concentrated fish are, but they are biting regardless, and Capt. Larry Teuton of Cracker Built Custom Boats said it isn't just one species keeping him and his friends busy.
Redfish, speckled trout, black drum and sheepshead are all biting, and Teuton has been catching them on live shrimp. His key to success has been launching out of Lemon Island and finding some deep-hole shrimp for bait. He sometimes casts into two or three fruitless holes before he hits paydirt, but when he finds a good hole, the shrimp are stacked in it, providing enough to fill the bait tank.
Teuton then looks for a small creek, preferably with downed trees or other structure, and fishes Carolina rigs in the deepest holes along outside bends. His best luck is coming on the incoming tide in holes about 20 feet deep. Teuton said the fishing is about numbers, rather than trophy-sized fish, but he said many of the fish he's been catching are keepers. Redfish are in huge schools and are making up the majority of the catch, with trout a close second, followed by black drum.
Teuton is not specifically targeting sheepshead, but he has caught enough "by accident" to let him know they are present and willing to bite. Other anglers are having plenty of success using small clusters of barnacles, whole clams or whole mussels and fishing straight down. A pinch with a pair of pliers will create an opening big enough for a size 3/0 hook to be threaded into it and buried all the way to the hook eye. Most anglers who switch to using mussels or clams find they have a higher hook-up ratio than they do with fiddlers.