Seasonal fishing tips make for success on the water

Sponsored by: Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply
By: Ellie Maas Davis

Fishermen are always looking for a way to get their new big catch – whether it’s a new spot where the fish are sure to bite or the latest in gear and gadgets.

Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply owner Mike Able says customers are always asking for the staff’s recommendations on where to go fishing.

“The beauty of them walking into our local shop is that we can answer that question more than most because we eat, sleep and breathe fishing,” he said. “Whether we are out on the water ourselves or hear of another fisherman’s great outing, we can usually direct them to better results.”

Because people can fish most of the year in Charleston, Able’s suggestions have more to do with the season because some areas produce better during certain times of the year.

In the winter, he recommends the Mount Pleasant Pier under the Arthur Ravenel Bridge; the rubble from the old bridge make for excellent sheepshead fishing. Fishing for sheephead is best in the cooler months because those fish are more inclined to eat, despite the colder temperatures, unlike a speckled sea trout. While a trout may still eat, it gets very dormant in colder temperatures.

This season is also a great time to use cut shrimp to catch black drum and redfish, Able said. Fishermen should cut up the bait and put it on a bottom rig for best results. Right now the juvenile black drum have been hanging around the docks in large numbers, and they will be eager to snap up the shrimp.
Pitt Street Bridge and the Shem Creek Pier also can be fished in the same manner during this time of the year.

The best surf fishing is in summer to late fall. Later this year, head to Folly Beach to fish off the beach or the pier there. Red drum, sharks, tarpon, bluefish, ladyfish, Spanish mackeral, trout, and flounder are just some of the ones that will be prevalent in the surf in the coming months.
While pier or surf fishing doesn’t require a boat, Able suggests renting a kayak.

“A kayak this time of year is sometimes even better than a boat,” he said. “With schools of red fish being very spooky, a kayak will allow you to sneak up on them. Most importantly it will get you closer to more fish this time of year versus trying to find a stray fish in the surf.”

Once you’ve picked your fishing spot, you’ll need some bait. For red fish or trout, Able recommends using smaller, darker colored baits and working them slowly. A Carolina rig with a fiddler crab or clam works for sheepshead just off the bottom, and a piece of cut shrimp on a Carolina rig will do the trick for the black drum.

An up-to-date fishing report is available at Haddrell’s Point Tackle.