Live bait and patience will produce lowcountry redfish
Capt. Dylan Rohlfs of RedFin Charters (843-277-5255) in Charleston, S.C. made a cast, set the rod in a rod holder, then started explaining his expectations for the day. But before he could finish his thought, the fishing rod doubled over.
Sullivan McElveen of Mt. Pleasant grabbed the rod, which was stuck hard in the rod holder. She finally lifted it free and the fight was on.
Within a few minutes, Rohlfs eased the net under the fish and brought it aboard. It was a nice keeper-sized redfish.
“This time of year, it’s tough to beat live bait around docks and other types of structure,” said Rohlfs. “We like to get into the smaller creeks around the lowcountry and fish those structures.”
He advises anglers to anchor down within casting distance of a dock, put a live mud minnow or shrimp on the hook, make a cast toward the structure, place the rod in a rod holder, then wait.
“You want to have a little patience. They don’t always hit right away. But there’s plenty of redfish around right now and they’re going to eat live bait,” he said.
Be patient but don’t waste time
Rohlfs said anglers should recognize the difference between being patient and wasting time though.
“You want to give it 15 minutes, maybe 20. If you don’t catch one or at least get a good, strong bite by then, you should move on,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean making a long run. Sometimes just moving down to the next dock is all it takes.
“Especially if a dock has something like a small trickle of water coming in from even a tiny feeder creek, that’s a good place to try,” he said.
In between working the docks, Rohlfs also likes to pitch live shrimp under popping corks along grass lines.
He prefers to fish the outgoing tide, especially on days that it coincides with sunrise.
“The docks near smaller feeder creeks are especially good on the outgoing tide because the fish are leaving those creeks, moving toward the dock rather than away from the dock and into the creeks as they do when the tide is coming in,” he said.
Rohlfs suggests anglers use spinning rods and reels with 15- to 20-pound test braid with corresponding fluorocarbon leaders tied to 3/0 circle hooks. ■
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