The redfish bite is hot under docks

Live bait on jigheads producing good catches

The redfish are biting along the coasts of both Carolinas. And right now, anglers are catching a lot of these fish under docks along saltwater creeks. While many of the big winter schools of redfish have begun breaking up, they’re still playing hide and seek from flipper. That will continue until more species become available to the dolphins as the inshore waters warm up.

Many anglers swear by Carolina rigs when fishing for redfish, but when fishing under docks, jigheads are preferable. The extra leader material on a Carolina rig makes it difficult to cast around the dock pilings. It also makes it easier for a hooked redfish to wrap an angler’s line around the posts once hooked.

And with all the barnacles on these pilings, it’s easy to see why you want to pull those fish out from under the dock as quickly as possible.

Capt. Ben Powers of Reel Time Charters in Charleston prefers the Ralph Phillips jighead with a mud minnow or live shrimp.

Accurate casts are important in tight quarters

“You can cast very accurately when using bait on a jighead. You don’t have that long leader to worry about that you do when using a Carolina rig. The jighead allows you to cast right to a specific spot. And these Ralph Phillips jigheads have a unique eye that stands out from other jigs,” he said.

The Side Imaging feature on the Humminbird Solix helps Capt. Ben Powers locate redfish on docks.

Powers (843-475-9660) said anglers can expect to find redfish under most any dock with barnacles on the pilings. But he’s got another weapon that cuts down on his search time. He uses a Humminbird Solix with Side Imaging that allows anglers to actually see the redfish on screen as Powers passes by a dock.

And these aren’t arches or curves that may or may not be a fish. You can actually see an image of each fish on screen.

This piece of technology not only allows Powers and his anglers to literally count the number of redfish under a dock, it also shows them which side of each piling they are more likely to get bit on.

Check out the attached video where Powers shows what it takes to defeat a redfish in close-quarters under a dock. Great catch Capt. Ben!

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1292 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.