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Delta Guides
8/13/01 01:42 AM
South Carolina Weekly Shallow Saltwater Report [Post#: 376 ] Reply to this post

South Carolina Weekly Shallow Saltwater Fishing Report
Week of 08-05-01 through 08-11-01

Whew! This was a really hot week to have to sit in a boat, out in the sun, with no cover, and not much breeze. We did manage to catch some trout using jigs in deep water. They were in 15' of water, and were feeding on any color we used. Most were small males but there were a couple of larger ones. Several times, we found the reds in the grass beds, at high tide, but they wanted nothing to do with our artificial baits. The fish didn’t seem to want to leave the area, but they were not moving or feeding, so, I anchored out of the way, and rigged up for live bait. We normally will keep several dozen mullet minnows in the bait well for just such picky fish. Since these seemed to be bigger fish, I chose the rods with the 20# Fireline and rigged them with our basic, heavy grass, float rig. The rig is made by putting a simple 3" Styrofoam float on the main line. Next we tie on a 30# test black swivel. And then, to the lower loop on the swivel, I’ll tie on about 12" to 14" of 30# Trilene XT monofilament with a rigid knot, slip on a 1/4 oz. pointed worm sinker (point up) and then tie the hook (a 4/0 Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Bronze) with a loose loop knot. The loose loop connection at the hook (and the weight directly above it) allows the minnow to swim around but the weight just above the minnow keeps it from tangling the line in the grass so badly. The mono leader serves two purposes. The first is that it’s harder for the fish to see than the Fireline, and the second is if the fish gets the hook deep, it’s easy to clip the mono; the Fireline is really hard to cut. The first bait didn’t last 3 minutes before it was grabbed by a nice 9# red. It fought long and hard, but we finally got it to the boat and swam it a bit (held by the Boga Grip) before lifting and photographing it. I held it around the base of the tail for nearly 5 minutes before it was strong enough to be safely released. The release took more time than the fight, but I enjoy looking at and admiring a big fish like that while it’s up close. Had that fish been released immediately, and in open water, he would almost surely have died or been eaten by sharks or crabs. Nearly all of the larger fish (8# and over) required a lot of reviving before they could swim off on their own. The anglers applied all the pressure they could, and I grabbed the leader as soon as I could, but the fish were still exhausted from the fight and lack of oxygen in the warm water. I like to hold them in the upright swimming position using the “Boga Grip” and pull them around in circles until I’m sure they are fully revived. In this really warm water, that can take quite a while. I can tell I’ve done it right if they throw a splash of water in my face when they leave! That lets me know they are strong enough to be released safely. And, if there are dolphins or sharks nearby, I’ll normally hold them even longer to make certain they’re revived and ready.

Totals for the week were: Reds totaled 9 with the largest being 12 ½# and most of the others around the 5 to 8 pound size. Trout totaled: 17 with most being small males. We had several days where we caught some nice flounder and blue fish, and several lady fish.

Thanks, Gene Dickson
Delta Guide Service
Georgetown, SC

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