15 Minutes with Captain Tucker Blythe
What we learned…
Location: Charleston, SC
Tides: Low incoming
Approach: One of the great things about the marsh here in the Low Country is the vast system of tiny creeks that are rarely fished. These creeks can be a savior on those windy days when the flats are blown out. A combination of Google earth and time spent learning these creeks can equal great success on un-pressured fish. Two features that the best creeks share are ample oysters and deep holes. This gives the fish and bait fish cover and protection during low tide from their number one predator, the bottle nose dolphin. I usually start with a few creeks that I want to try during an incoming tide. Start at low tide and work with the tide up the creek. Poling a skiff or paddling a kayak ensures that you won’t spook any fish on your way in. Focus on the bends that hold deeper water and any oyster bar that you encounter. Make multiple casts on any likely spot before moving further up the creek. Many times these redfish will hold in a deep hole way in the back of a creek. If you hit a dead end oyster that you can not pass, don’t give up on that creek. Wait for the tide to come in enough to fish all the way to the end. Once you have located creeks holding fish, you can then experiment with different tides and figure out sweet spots to target these creek reds.
Rigging Selection: Hogy X-Strong Swim Bait Hooks and Jig Heads.
Bait Selection: Hogy Bunny Swim Bait Series.
Why this bait? The Hogy Bunny is a very versatile bait. Rigged on a swim bait hook, it can be fished in the middle to upper water column. It will also offer a weedless presentation. Rigged on a jig head, you can cover the holes if fish are holding deep.
Retrieve: When fishing the creeks I like to fish with a slow and steady retrieve. The oversize paddle tail on the Hogy Bunny has a tantalizing swimming motion that drives the reds crazy when rigged with the swim bait hook. If paired with a jig head, I will use vertical rod twitches and fish fairly slow the cover the deeper holes.
Rod: Fast action St. Croix Rods 6-12#
Reel: Shimano Symetre FL 3000
Line: 15# Power Pro
Leader: 20# Fluorocarbon