Speckled trout and flounder are biting like mad in the saltwater portion of the Combahee River. Bob Sanders of Barnwell said the river is loaded with trout willing to take a well-presented lure, but he said on some days, anglers need to look around a bit before they find a hungry school.
"Many anglers sit in one spot too long when fishing for trout, but the trick to catching them is to not sit still without a bite for more than five minutes or so. There is too much productive water to spend more than that without catching something," said Sanders, who isn’t just an avid fisherman. He invented the Trout Trick, a soft-plastic lure designed to catch specks. And he said the lure is the way to go right now on the Combahee. He threads it onto a 1/8-ounce jighead and bounces it slowly across the bottom.
And Sanders said the lure is the way to go right now in the Combahee.
"Make sure it's rigged with the hook exposed," said Sanders (803-300-2780).
Anglers are catching trout along current breaks, in flats near grasslines, around oyster rakes, and in deep holes. Sanders said it's important to try all these areas until you can determine what pattern is working on any given day.
Flounder are also common targets on the Combahee, and Sanders said anglers are catching them further upriver than they are catching trout. It's not uncommon to hook into a largemouth bass on one cast and a flounder on the next, but Sanders said the lower portions of the river are somewhat more productive for the flatfish.
"I start fishing for flounder 3 hours before low tide, and focus on reel narrow cuts in the river. These will hold water as the tide drops, and flounder will take cover there. I'll make 20 casts in a cut, and if I don't get any bites, I will find another narrow cut to try," said Sanders.
While some anglers have success with live mud minnows for flounder, Sanders said they bite soft plastics just as well, and it saves time because you can catch several flounder on one lure.
"A 5- or 6-inch white Zoom Fluke on a 3/16-ounce jighead is all I use, unless the current is really ripping," said Sanders, "and then I will use a ¼-ounce jighead."
Sanders said anglers can increase their chance at hooking flounder by letting the lure sink, bounce it up, reel in the slack, then repeat. Different speeds will work on different days, so Sanders said to experiment until the fish tell you how they want it.