Kiawah Island – The Waller Report Nov 16



November is already here! In past years, this month has been one of the most productive and pleasant months in which to fish. Winter is coming, the water temperatures are dropping, and our inshore and reef species are eating well and putting on weight to get them through the winter months that will arrive shortly. There is still plenty of bait in the water including shrimp, mullet and minnows. However, once the cold winter water temperatures arrive, the bait will be harder to find.

This month, sheepshead will be your best bet for a good fishing trip at low tide. If you are out on high water, trout and reds should be your target fish. Inshore fishing for sharks is usually over by now, but you may find a straggler here and there. Fiddlers work best for the sheepshead around docks and pilings that have some growth on them. A new dock may hold fish, but one that is covered in barnacles and oysters would be a better choice. We use a simple Carolina rig with a short leader of no more than 6 to 8 inches. Typically, we use a 1-ounce barrel weight, but other sizes will work just fine. The goal is for your rig to be straight down in the current when vertically fishing. On the higher tides, live shrimp or mullet, under a popping cork along the shoreline, should produce trout and reds. Casting grubs, trout tricks or ZMAN plastics will also work well this time of year.

The reefs off the coast hold fish all year, and the cooler waters should trigger a good bite as well. We fish the nearshore reefs and do well with black sea bass, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, ladyfish, bluefish and weakfish this time of year. The same gear used inshore works fine on the reef, but you want to fish in the bottom of the water column. Later in the year like this, the surface activity one sees in the summer generally does not exist in the winter. The spades and Spanish have moved on to warmer or deeper waters by now. Watch for a forecast of light and variable winds for the best conditions and try to go in the morning for the calmest water. Tide does not matter on the reef, as long as there is movement one way or the other.

Capt. Michael Waller  |  SaltFisher Charters  |  (843) 224-8197 or  |  (843) 343-7538

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