Flat-out Reds

Capt. Ben Alderman wrestles a hefty red to the boat at low tide. Alderman seeks out deeper holes of water where reds will congregate when the tide drops. Note exposed oyster rocks.

December brings spot-tail bass into extremely shallow water and offers anglers a variety of thrilling fishing action.

Anglers who haven’t sampled the hot redfish action at Charleston during the cold month of December have missed a big part of an excellent fishery. Throughout the month and continuing into the dead of winter are prime times to fish the shallow-water flats of coastal South Carolina for spot-tail bass. Not only can anglers catch big redfish, they can do it in water so shallow it’s easy to see their backs they scour the bottom, looking for an easy meal.

The beginning of winter is a prime time for hot redfish action, said Capt. Ben Alderman, who fishes from his special flats fishing boat the Superfly.

Alderman is a full-time professional guide and spends most of his days on the coastal waters near Charleston, taking clients to sizzling fishing areas for a variety of species. But his first love is redfish.

“The redfish is so exciting to fish for, especially during the cold-weather months,” he said. “They’re very aggressive and strong fighters.

“There are a lot of reasons why I love to fish for them; part of it is that you can catch them year round. Plus, they’re susceptible to many different types of fishing and, during this cold weather time of the year, they school in huge numbers. It’s not unusual to see 50 or more fish in a single school.

“When you see the wake made by a huge school of redfish in mere inches of water as they push through the flat, its super exciting.”

Alderman said to see that many fish with the “V“ wake pushing along in his direction is akin to being in the midst of a wild striper jump at Lake Marion — maybe better.

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About Terry Madewell 809 Articles
Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.

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