The recent rollercoaster weather is disrupting the typical weather habits of inshore fish, and that’s been great for fishermen like guide Rob Beglin of Inshore Xtreme Fishing Charters, who has been on the redfish in the McClellanville area.
Reds have been in a fall-like pattern and ready to chow down on anything that looks like, smells like or tastes like something on their typical lunch menu, but with live bait long gone, fishermen are taking advantage.
“The redfish have been biting really good,” said Beglin (843-375-6366). “Even with the cold weather, the water temperature is warmer than it should be, and the majority of the bait is gone leaving the fish without much to eat.”
It is almost the perfect storm, with very few baitfish around and lots of hungry fish roaming in huge schools with massive appetites. Beglin hasn’t had much trouble finding them, because they’re where they should be in January – just hungry.
“They are hanging in their typical winter spots along the waterway and in big schools,” he said, explaining that reds from Bulls Bay head inland during the winter and gang up in the ICW between Sewee Bay and the South Santee River, typically associating with flats covered with oysters and shell.
Beglin is having the best successes staking out on the downcurrent side of the schools and waiting for the fish to come to him.
“Look for the fish on the bank, and then let them drift to you. They are drifting with the tide,” said Beglin, who is using a variety of lures, with a Gulp! shrimp rigged on a 1/8-ounce Owner Twist Lock flutter hook among his favorites. But a lightly weighted hook with a chunk of shrimp or frozen mullet will work, too.
For the best results, try to keep the boat away from the schools and make long casts.