Wiimbee Creek is one of the creeks above Lady’s Island in the Beaufort area that doesn’t get a lot of fanfare. It’s an unsung hero of sorts for inshore anglers, and March is a good time to focus on trout in the creeks leading into the main waterway.
Ridgeway’s Thomas Kinsley said he loves fishing this time of year because the trout bite turns on enough that he can catch them throughout the day using two different tactics. He uses topwater plugs part of the day and fishes on the bottom with cut shrimp the rest.
“My favorite fishing this month is throwing topwater lures at high tide, no matter what time of day it is,” he said. “I go into the smaller creeks and anywhere there is water covering oyster rakes (and) cast topwater lures there. Some people say you can only catch them on top early in the morning, but I disagree. And sometimes it’s dead low early in the morning and the oyster rakes aren’t covered. I think that’s the key. Whenever those oysters are covered, I’m throwing topwater lures.
“Once low tide sets in, I pull my boat over to one edge of the creek, then I use a Carolina rig with a 1/2-ounce weight. I use shrimp for bait,” he said. “Most of the secondary creeks here are narrow enough that you can cast all the way across. I cast across with one rod, and let that shrimp sit on the bottom near the bank. I cast another one out and put that shrimp on the bottom in the middle of the creek, then I put a third one out near the bank I’m sitting closest to.”
On cold days, Kinsley catches most of his trout in the middle of the creeks in the deepest waters. On warmer days, or even on the warmest part of relatively chilly days, most of his trout will come from his baits that are in shallower water closest to the banks.
“The majority of these trout are in the 16- to 17-inch range. I’ve caught bigger ones on whole shrimp, but this water is brackish enough that there’s plenty of blue catfish here, and once you start putting whole shrimp on the bottom, you’re going to start catching those cats,” he said.
On particularly warm days, Kinsley also catches trout on the bottom with soft-plastic lures like Z-Man Trout Tricks and Vudu Shrimp.
“When using those soft plastics, if the water is cold, just work them really, really slow. Painfully slow. On warm days, you can work them a little faster,” he said.