Schools of reds north of Charleston offering anglers great opportunity

Capt. Addison Rupert shows off a nice over-slot, Charleston-area redfish.

Downsize if fish are finicky; live bait and artificials working

The redfish bite is hot in Charleston’s inshore waters, and Capt. Addison Rupert of Lowcountry Outdoor Adventures is putting his clients on them in the maze of creeks, flats, and deeper holes north of Isle of Palms Marina.

“Fishing for redfish this time of year is pretty basic,” Rupert said. “Find the schools of redfish near shell banks, grass lines, feeder creeks, and docks, then pitch the right lures or baits to them.”

However, Rupert occasionally has to adjust a little to fit the mood of the fish.

“Let’s scale down the size of that jig head,” he said, replacing a quarter-ounce lead head jig with an eighth-ounce version, slipping the point of the hook through the lips of a live mullet minnow.

One cast and a few seconds later, a 30-inch redfish hit the smaller offering and fought the drag of the Penn spinning reel. Hoisting the fish onto his flats boat, Rupert (843-557-3476) said sometimes such a small change is all it takes to get finicky fish to bite.

One of Rupert’s strategies lately has been fishing docks.

“Redfish have been ganged up around docks lately, and some of these are bigger bulls. Quartered sections of blue crabs are great baits for these fish,” said Rupert, who likes to pitch these baits under docks using the lightest weight possible, depending on the current or tide cycle. “It may seem like overkill, but when fishing like this, I prefer 40- to 50-pound braided line with fluorocarbon leaders. If a bull red wraps you around one of these dock pilings, you’re going to want that extra strength and abrasion resistance needed to land these fish.”

Jigheads with live mullet minnows and Gulp! shrimp or Swimming Mullet artificials are also producing. When fishing the flats, creeks, and near – but not under – docks Rupert prefers 10- to 12-pound braid with an 18- to 24-inch fluorocarbon leader of 20-pound test. He uses spinning reels in the 2000 to 4000 size range with medium-heavy rods.

While Rupert prefers fishing the incoming tide, he said the outgoing tide is also productive.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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