Charleston’s fall fever

Capt. Stephen Flook catches redfish on artificial lures and live bait this month. (Photo by Brian Cope)

Trout, redfish catch fire as fall weather comes on

For Capt. Stephen Flook of Unashamed Adventures in Charleston, this is a month he looks forward to all summer.

“I love fishing in October, when the first true signs of fall make it to the lowcountry’s inshore waters,” said Flook (864-430-8830).

Summer typically holds on stubbornly into October, and tropical weather disturbances often start the cooling trend. Flook said those that stay out to sea are the best ones. They do little damage, but they can really turn the fish on.

“A hurricane can cool the water temperatures quickly and bring the fall bite into full swing. When it drops the water temperature into the mid 60s, the trout bite will be off the chain,” he said.

And when targeting specks, Flook said pretty much any Z-Man soft plastic swimbait will do the trick. He has his favorite colors, but he said on most days, color is not really a factor. The main thing he worries about is using bright colors when the water is dingy, and more natural colors when the water is clear.

“I recommend using anywhere from an 1/8-ounce, Eyestrike Trout Eye jighead, up to a 1/4-ounce jighead. Almost any color in Z-Man’s arsenal will work. Some of my favorites include Rootbeer, Fried Chicken and Slam Shady. Their EZ ShrimpZ and PaddlerZ both work well.

Don’t ignore live bait

Even when warming trends push the water temperatures back into the low 70s, the fish generally stay in a feeding mood this month.

The redfish bite is just as hot – if not hotter – than the speckled trout bite.

“The redfish will chew well at low tide on the Z-Man Kicker CrabZ. The Red Bone color is a good one. And the live mullet bite is usually on fire for redfish this month,” he said.

Flook likes using three different live bait rigs when fishing with live mullet.

“I like to have one on a bottom rig, even if I’m in shallow water. I also like to have one suspended under a cork. And I like to have one freelined with no weight,” he said.

One trick that Flook said can make a big difference when the fish are being finicky is to trim the tail of the mullet. This puts them in a distressed mood, which turns gamefish aggressive.

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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