Stokes: Fishing activity prime right now in Lowcountry

rodcrafter@islc.netNovember 3, 2013 

Now is your best bet for gaining the edge you desperately wished for during the hot summer months. With the slight drop in water temperatures, many species are active and their environment is more prone to hold baitfish. However, keep in mind a fish's metabolism is slower in cooler weather and they are not as aggressive in their feeding habits.

Active species include: spottail bass, trout, flounder, whiting, sheepshead and black drum.

South of the Broad River, choice waters include the Colleton River, Calibogue, Skull Creek and Dawes Island. Several area hot spots are beginning to provide fish in large numbers and size, among them are the feeder creeks along Pinckney Island and May River.

North of the Broad River, waters of interest include the Middle Marsh off Bay Point, Generals Landing, Ribbon Creek, Marsh Harbor and the rocks along Pigeon Point, as well as those in Port Royal and along the high dock at the Air Station.

These waters are full of small sandbars, points, drops and oyster beds that attract a variety of species. This being said, you will lose a large percentage without the use of a stout leader and strong lines. This last connection with the fish should not be in question, fluorocarbon leaders are your best bet.

Offshore species bringing smiles and bragging rights have included: king and Spanish mackerel, tuna, dolphin, wahoo, a few straggler cobia and some great bottom fish from wreck and reef structures.

The Gordon has shown catches of large sheepshead and tripletail, with reports of blackfish from the Eagles Nest and the Lawrence. The best of the trolling season for many is just ahead and the start of better bottom fishing is around the next full moon with a flood tide.

The surf has yet to make a large showing, but an occasional hook-up is keeping angler interest. Working the breaks hard with strong leaders will keep language and tempers cooler.

Tidal Influence Fact

Most of the time, the moon is about 237,000 miles from the earth. As it revolves around the earth, it exerts a "pull." This "pull" causes tides -- the rise and fall of the oceans. If the moon were not at the exact distance it is from the earth, the tides would completely overflow the land twice a day.

Guaranteed lure?

If your fishing has been just so-so, perhaps a guarantee is in line the next time you purchase that fishing lure.

When buying a fishing lure, the angler gives the salesperson an extra dollar. Regardless if the cost is $5 or $20, he still pays that extra dollar. Most anglers will part with the extra charge based solely on hearsay and the recommendation that the lure is the next best thing to that proverbial magic lure. If later it is discovered the lure didn't catch fish as was guaranteed, the angler's dollar is refunded.

I tried this once amid the hope and optimism of my youth. As luck would have it, when I tried to claim my refund a different salesperson was on the floor and denied any knowledge of such a guarantee.

Tackle Tip

Back in the day when Sam Ray made his transition from the North and showed us Southerners how to do things, many well-kept trade secrets were disclosed. For example, when double-rigging live bait rigs, especially large cigar minnows, it is essential to run the hooks through both nostrils of the minnow.

The rigging includes a 14-inch section of No. 3 wire, wrapped to the eye of a No. 2 live bait hook. A second 10-inch section of No. 3 wire is then haywired to the hook. A second No. 2 live bait hook is wired to the tag end of the 10-inch leader wire. Incorporate a short section of No. 4 wire and wrap it to the eye of the second hook, and tie the tag end with a No. 6 treble hook. Adjust the length of this (stinger) wire so that the treble hook is running along the side of the minnow. Your final step is to haywire a No. 10 barrel swivel to the main leader wire.

Rigged properly, the set-up will resemble a school of minnows and will double your chance of a successful hook-up.

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