Saturday, March 15, 2014
Kayak Fishing with Black Sheep Kayak Charters
Lewis Brownlee and I decided to fish with fellow Pluff Mud Pirates team member Chris Kirby in Beaufort, SC. Chris is owner/guide of Black Sheep Kayak Charters. He is also a member of the Hobie Fishing Team through Higher Ground of the Low Country. He just started guiding in the Beaufort area about seven months back. He has been very successful getting anglers on flounder, trout, sheepshead, & the hard fighting redfish.
When asked if he had named his kayak guide service after the famed hip hop duo from Queens, NY, he replied back in a choice word that ended with ‘… No!’ Being a Marine from his previous career; he was putting some identity of the US Marines into his business. Now I’m not sure if he has never been stationed in Yuma, AZ but I would have to believe that he is honoring Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyinton’s Black Sheep Squadron of WWII by using that great WWII fighting squadron.
On this trip with Chris, we would be fishing with a client (Brian) from Texas fishing for his first redfish. The launch site will be on Parris Island at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Actually the launch site is just past the golf course near an area that has hiking trails through an old 1562 French settlement known as Charlesfort and a 1566 Spanish village of Santa Elena. There are also remains of the Spanish forts San Felipe and San Marcos. Our launch will be just on the other side of the ruins of Fort San Marcos on a small creek that makes it way to the Beaufort River. Once in the Beaufort River we paddled to the south heading towards the Parris Island Point to target some redfish.
Parris Island Point is a huge flat that is shared with the mouth of the Beaufort River and the Broad River/Port Royal Sound. At high tide this area is approximately one to two foot maximum in depth and contains a few shell reef fingers. Once the tide starts turning you will need to move to deeper water as this huge flat will become a muddy area for several hours. What is great about this area at low tide is that the redfish become concentrated in the deep areas that will hold water throughout the low tide. Besides the redfish there are opportunities to catch speckled trout and black drum during certain times of the year on this flat at high tide.
Chris prefers fishing plastics on jig heads on his trips but does bring along some live bait either mud minnows or shrimp just in case his clients are not catching any fish. As with all fishing guides he will work hard to get you an opportunity to land a fish in a kayak. On this trip we all managed to get fish in the kayak. Even Brian from Texas had explained to me that he has never caught a fish on a rod even in freshwater. I thought to myself that this will be a challenge for Chris. By the end of the trip, Brian was hooping and howling as if he was on a bull ride and in no time he had a slot size redfish (17”) in the kayak. Chris had done his job well. Lewis had caught three redfish of which two were over slot with the biggest at 27”. Chris landed one that measured 25”. Myself a single slot size spot tail at 18”.
So with the trip complete we headed back to the launch site. Since it was still low tide the launch site definitely was a challenge. When we arrived there was a solid wall of mud about six feet high with a 50 – 60 degree incline. Chris be the marine that he is and a guide concerned about the safety of his clients landed first and dragged the Revo up the incline. Then he came back to the water’s edge to assist each of us out of our kayaks one at time including helping drag the kayaks on the muddy incline.
If you are ever in the Beaufort, South Carolina area and need the services of a kayak fishing guide I would encourage you to book a trip with Chris Kirby of Black Sheep Kayak Charters. For more information on Black Sheep Kayak Charters check out his facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Sheep-Kayak-Charters/1467657426793614 or his website at http://blacksheepkayakcharters.com/.