Saturday, July 20, 2013

July SC Kayak Fishing Association Meet and Fish

The July Meet and Fish for the SC Kayak Fishing Association was held at the Folly Landing. Normally our Meet and Fish events are conducted on the first Saturday of the month. These events provide a great way for a group of kayak anglers to gather for a common purpose. This common purpose is to go kayaking and angling. It is also a great way to learn new areas and fishing techniques, meet new friends, fish with old friends, and tell fishing tales on the fish that got away. These events are primarily announced on the forum site of CharlestonFishing.com under the category of Kayak Fishing (http://charlestonfishing.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=35). Occasionally, the events will also be posted on YakAngler.com in their Yak Social where the special interest groups are located. We have a special interest group for folks that live in South Carolina called ‘SC Kayak Fishing Association’ (http://www.yakangler.com/yaksocial/groups/viewgroup/40-sc-kayak-fishing-association). We also have a face book page titled ‘SC Kayak Fishing Association’ for participates of the Meet & Fish events to post their catches (https://www.facebook.com/pages/SC-Kayak-Fishing-Association/369357436410874).

These meet and fish events do not just concentrate on saltwater but we also do some freshwater as well. Most of the time the anglers do prefer the saltwater events over the freshwater angling; for me then events just need to deal with kayaking and angling. For this event in July the Folly River was selected in the search of redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and sheepshead. Before everyone heads out we introduce each other, some anglers share some information of where they have caught fish in the past, maybe some techniques or thoughts on bait to be used. Occasionally some of the yak anglers check out the other equipment for suggestions on rigging of accessories like crates, rod holders, fish finders, where or how to mount transducers, etc. Lastly we ask everyone to provide some type communication when they elect to return to the launch to head home, so that the angler in charge knows who is still fishing and who as gone home.
So at launch time we had a couple of yak anglers head to the right going under the bridge towards a few tidal flats that Oak Island, Long Island, Rat Island, and Folly Island surround. This area has a lot of oyster mounds in these flats making it ideal for reds, speckled trout, and flounder. The majority of us headed to the left towards the Stono River. Unfortunately because of the weather on this day we elected to paddle only as far as the Folly Creek and then into Oak Island Creek.

My hope for this trip was to target sheepshead at a few pilings along the way. The first stop was a few pilings that I have had some success with. Unfortunately on this day I did not lose any bait nor had any bites. Uff da! I did manage to snap a photo of a nice blue crab resting on a piling that I had anchored.

After a while I decided it was time to move on in the search for some speckled trout and redfish along the opposite bank from the initial area that I started fishing. Fishing along this back one of the anglers managed to catch a nice ladyfish on a D.O.A. Shrimp jigging the lure along the bottom. He managed to get the ladyfish into the kayak but once the hook was released the fish could not stop doing it aerobatics and made a jump from his hands back into the water.

Eventually we made our way to the mouth of the Folly Creek. Right in this area there is a nice flat on the right with some great looking oyster rakes that could hold some nice fish. Uff da; not on this day there was no action. At this point you can decide either to continue to paddle further up the Folly Creek or take the small creek to the right known as Oak Island Creek. I decided to travel up Oak Island Creek check out this area for some fish. Along this creek I eventually meet up with some of the yak anglers on the meet and fish. They reported catching some small sharks and one managed to hook into a nice red. The red broke off and the popping cork went bobbing down the creek. The unfortunate angler paddled after the redfish and his popping cork. The good news is that the redfish throw the hook and the angler got his popping cork back.

There is a small bridge up the creek that has some reports of sheepshead being caught from the shoreline. As we approached the bridge there are some anglers fishing from the bank on the right hand side. One of them caught a nice whiting. I stopped under the bridge and tried some sheepshead fishing at a couple of the bridge pilings. Uff da; no luck, I continued up the creek to a small sandy flat that had some reports of some nice flounder being caught. In this flat there were hundreds of shrimp and bait fish. I worked this area for a while with some artificial lures. No luck there either; uff da the fish were not cooperating for me at all.
It was getting close to noon and I decided to head back to the landing along with the rest of the yak anglers on the meet and fish. This event truly was the best South Carolina meet and fishes that I have been on. So if you have never been on a meet and fish; I would encourage you to try one in your area. If you cannot find a meet and fish, organize one in your area. Like I stated earlier they are a great way to try out new fishing areas, meet new fishing buddies, and learn new techniques.

See you at the next Meet and Fish.

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