Pro Talk: Tips for Winter Charleston Redfish

Posted by Capt. Ross Gallagher on

15 Minutes with: Capt. Tucker Blythe

Here’s what we learned…

Location: Charleston, SC

Tides: All Tides

Approach: Locate winter schools of reds by searching shallow oyster mud flats at low tide when the fish are most concentrated. Look for surface disturbances, bottle nose dolphins, or mud clouds in the water. These dolphins will change their diet to juvenile redfish in the winter. Often they will give away schools of reds. Once you locate a school, fish location at all levels of tide to pattern where the fish are coming and going. Higher water can be excellent fishing if you find where they like to hang. In general these winter schools will not change their daily routine until the water warms in the spring and the schools break up. Tiny creeks with deep water holes and plenty of live oysters will also hold winter reds. Search creeks on low incoming tides working as far back as the creeks allow. Most times the fish are in the very backs of creeks.

Rigging Selection: X-Strong Swim Bait Hooks – Weighted and Unweighted

Bait Selection: 4″ Bunny, 6″ Skinny, and 7″ original

Why this bait? The Hogy Bunny and 6″ Skinny are perfect imitators of juvenile mullet and menhaden that the reds prefer. The 7″ original is better suited when conditions are windy. This bait will cast better into the wind and sink below the surface. Lighter baits will sometimes skip across the top in heavy winds.

Colors: Bone, Rainbow Bunker, Electric Chicken

Retrieve: The retrieve on the Bunny can be a slow steady retrieve allowing the paddle tail to give the action or can be fished similar to the 6″ skinny with a slow sporadic twitch retrieval. With the 7″ Original I will speed up the retrieve with a walk the dog action.

Rod: Fast action St. Croix Rod,  rated 6 – 12-pound test
Reel: Shimano Stradic CI4
Line: 10-pound test Power Pro braid with 20-pound test fluorocarbon leader.

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