Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fishing the Hog Island Shoreline

This trip was the second area choice for scouting for a fishing area for the upcoming IFA Kayak Fishing Tournament in Charleston. Hog Island is on the Mt Pleasant side of the Wando River/Charleston Harbor facing the Charleston Peninsula. This area is a huge area that expands from Remley Point Landing to the U.S.S. Yorktown. The Ravenel Bridge crosses this area dividing the Hog Island Shoreline in half.

This shoreline can be hot for redfish, flounder, and ladyfish during June, July & August. By the end September the ladyfish leave this area but the redfish and flounder bite will remain strong till November.
On this journey Lewis and Greg accompanied me along on this trip. Lewis and I stayed on the side of the shoreline prior to the Ravenel Bridge; while Greg continued the paddle to the U.S.S. Yorktown side of the Hog Island Shoreline. The water temperature was around 80 degrees. This area the water appeared dirtier when compared to the water clarity from the Cooper River and the Coal Docks. We also started out at low tide as well so we were expecting to be fishing an incoming tide.

Fishing started out really slow. I paddled up to the Mt Pleasant Fishing Pier to start a drift back to a small creek. While I drifted I used mud minnows as live bait and fan casted a D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad and the D.O.A. C.A.L. Airhead. By the time a got to the small creek I did not catch anything or even get a bite; uff da.
I decided to paddle the small creek with the tide coming in. While in the creek I thought that I would stand in the Jackson Big Tuna looking ahead of me for signs of a redfish; like cruising reds, redfish consuming bait, shrimp, small blue crabs, or whatever they will find tasty, some tailing action, or even some backs of fish partially out of the water. The further up the creek the thoughts of not doing any catching was really setting in. All of a sudden I see a copper colored swirl in the creek about 10 feet in front of me. Uff da; I could not believe what I saw. Then again the creek in the same area boiled with copper. So I selected my weapon the TFO rod & Penn Fisher V 3500 reel with the D.O.A. C.A.L. Airhead in the silver rush color pattern on a 5/0 weedless hook. Now I would like to you that my cast was flawless but it was not. Every cast had a uff da; I would cast into the right side of the creek into the spartina grass and then into the grass on the left. I think about the fourth or fifth cast; I finally had the perfect cast.

The lure hit the right spot and one slight jerk of the lure the red boiled the water and it was uff da; fish on. This was a first for me to cast to known redfish and hook that same fish. The red fought hard and I could see him swimming away pulling line off the spool. This part was another first; fighting a fish in a kayak standing. As the battle started to show some defeat I decided to sit down and get the Ego Landing Net. But of course this red decided he was not ready to be landed. Eventually he was netted and in the Big Tuna.
Putting the red on the YakAngler Hog Trough and uff da; a nice 25 inch redfish, took a few photos and revived the fish to fight another day. Maybe at the upcoming tournament he will be in this same spot so we can have a visit in the Big Tuna. So I continued up the creek to see if he had any more buddies that might be interested in a game of tug of war. Unfortunately I did not see any of his buddies. Then the challenge came about.

The challenge was to turn the Jackson Big Tuna around in a creek that has to be as wide as the kayak as long. After a bit of turns or short paddles; I managed to get the Big Tuna pointed in the direction to get out of the creek so that I could get back to Hog Island Shoreline flats.
Lewis reported that he had caught a nice 25 inch redfish in the same small creek except to the right fork of the creek.  His story is really unusual and funny. He is sitting in his new Hobie Pro Angler 14 and this redfish swims up and thinks that it is hiding in the grass next to the PA. Lewis basically just dangles the curly tail in front of the fish and boom; he has fish on. Uff da what a story he has.

Greg reports that he saw tailing redfish down towards the area around a submerged hull and the U.S.S. Yorktown but could not get them to eat what he was presenting.
Both Lewis and I started fishing the again Hog Island Shoreline since the water level had increased. I was look for reds but Lewis took out the popping cork to try for some speckled trout over some old oyster bars. He managed to pickup one 14 inch trout on the popping cork with a D.O.A. Shrimp. Now the only success that I have had with the same setup is a very small flounder in the past. So I decided to give it a try. After about 30 minutes or so by doing the rhythm of pop, pop, and wait; then pop, pop, and wait; etc. the cork went under the surface. This technique resulted in my first trout, just less than 14 inches with a popping cork and a white colored D.O.A. Shrimp.

On this trip also had some mud minnows in the bait well of the Jackson Big Tuna. Although the minnows survived and were set free I did not get any hook ups with the live bait. Again the Big Tuna performed flawlessly.
On my next kayak angling journey maybe I will see you on the water fishing.

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