Saturday, June 8, 2013

Grice Cove Kayak Angling

On Saturday the day before the Charleston IFA Kayak Fishing Tournament in Charleston, we decided to check out Grice Cove by the Fort Johnson DNR on James Island. This area is normally great this time of the year for speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and ladyfish. Also Grice Cove is a diamondback terrapin research area. When fishing Grice Cove you are actually just off of the Intracoastal Waterway/South Channel.

Before Grice Cove the DNR protrudes out on a point, which is your landmark when launching from the Melton Peter Demetre Park located next to James Island Yacht Club. The park was formally known as “Sunrise Park”. The park does not have any type of canoe/kayak launch except for a two nice sandy beaches at high tide. At low tide expect to get a little muddy. So I would recommend either some type of tight fitting shoe/boot. A wading/flats boot would be the correct choice. I would not recommend going barefoot as there are clams in the mud and various types of old shells that provide a great risk at slicing your feet.
When you get to the DNR and the cove ensure that you concentrate on the rock rip rap areas for fishing. On this trip the rocky shoreline did not pay off for us even though I has some hits that felt more like small bluefish, oyster toad fish, or maybe even a puffer fish. All the hits felt short of the hook.

As you work the rock rip rap you will come to a small creek that feeds a large marsh. So we continued along the path of the creek. We fish a big open area of the creek/flat. But no hook ups. I paddled to the end of the creek in this marsh and observed a lot of small shrimp, mullet, and even some menhaden.
There were no big fish activities from my observations. When I got back to that area that looked like a flat that the creek cut through the tide was starting to go out. I decided to go into a section that had numerous small grassy patches. First cast, the gold color D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad on a red jig head the rod bent over and the line started screaming off of the Penn Fisher V reel. Uff da the drag was set way too light. Tied to set the hook not only line came off the reel. I decided to adjust the drag and when I made this choice the fish decided to throw the hook. Uff da I had lost a nice fish more than likely to my stupidity. Did a little more fan casting and continued to work my way across the flat.
In the mean time my buddy Greg decided to try the area. In no time he had a 19 inch redfish.  I made my way back to join Greg and he informed be that there was a small school of reds just off to his left. We presented a lures but no more action. The water in this area was getting pretty skinny so we worked our way off the flat back into the break.

At this time Greg switched to a float with a mud minnow; made the presentation to the far spartina grass line and bang he was fighting a nice fish. I keep commenting to him that it looked like a nice 30 incher that he was fighting. He made the remark that the fish that I was watch was not on his line. So I paddle into the area and started to cast the D.O.A. C.A.L. Airhead in the silver rush color pattern on a 5/0 flutter hook towards the redfish but no hook up. When Greg managed to land his monster and measured; he ended up tying his personal best redfish at 28 inches.
Greg decided to continue up the creek to see what else what might be feeding. I remained in this general area. Just studying the area and making a few casts in front of me. At one time I noticed a redfish swimming along my fishing line that I was retrieving. I keep looking for the lure but it was way behind the fish. Then later I noticed another redfish approach from behind me. There must have been some bait fish or shrimp next to me because He charged right into my kayak. Then I started noticing some head wakes out in front of me. Made a cast out in front of a moving wake; uff da something felt like something swam either over or under my fishing line. Then all of a sudden that rod just bends over, this time the drag was just right, the hook set, and uff da. This redfish was fighting like a bull. In fact for a while he decided to swim towards me. When he saw the kayak and the net he exploded away from me. Eventually he got tired and came to rest into the net and then into the Jackson Big Tuna for measuring. This fish measured a just short of 25 inches with tons of muscle; in my opinion from the battle that we had before he surrendered.

I missed several more reds in the skinny water but the action stopped. They must have gone into deeper water. At this time the creek appeared to be really low so we decided to head back to Grice Cove so we can make it make to the launch site. You know I bet that you are wondering about my other fishing buddy Lewis. Well he was with us but decided to head over to Plum Island. We had lost radio communication with him. When I got to the point that the DNR buildings sit on I managed to make contact with him. He was still at James Island Creek when we communicated; this is about 2.75 nautical miles from the DNR. Uff da my West Marine VHF155 Floating radio to manage to reach my fishing buddy to let him know that we were heading back to the launch that is impressive.
This area worked out to be a great fishing spot. So maybe someday our paddles will cross at this great fishery and while you are out there enjoy the numerous diamondback terrapins that will pop up near you while you are sitting there fishing for the huge redfish.

1 comment:

  1. Uff da! Sounds like you are getting some nice fishing action. Good luck in the tournament! We are back in Minnesota. Should get my line wet tonight hoping for a walleye breakfast tomorrow. Much smaller size scale on the fish from what you are catching.....