January can be a tricky month at the pier as fishing success relies mainly on having cooperation from Mother Nature. A few years ago the winter was brutal on the trout population, but they have come back strong around the pier.
If mild temperatures prevail this winter, the trout action seen in November and December should carry over into January; Target trout during the last two hours of the outgoing tide and the first two hours of the incoming tide.
Artificials like Billy Bay, Vudu, and Bass Assassin are all popular among trout fishermen. Red drum will still be active at times and so target them along the grass line or the large flat adjacent to the pier.
Cut mullet or artificial grubs are the ticket to catching reds if they’re biting during the winter. Many sheepshead move to the near-shore reefs during the winter, but the pier has a resident population that sticks around the pilings all year.
During the cold winter months, pier anglers have better luck with clams or barnacles, but fiddler crabs still produce if you have the patience to sort through some small sheeps. Each time the pier record for sheepshead has been broken it’s been between November and February. The current record stands at 13 pounds and was set in February 2012.
Charleston County Parks welcomes all anglers to our Winter Sheepshead Challenge from December 1st to February 28th. To be eligible it must be a legal sheepshead caught on the Mt. Pleasant Pier. The biggest three fish will be awarded a gift card. Within the first week we’ve already weighed some just under 10 pounds so come on out and try your luck.
For any additional information about the pier or what’s biting this week feel free to call the shop at 843-762-9946.
Chris Pounder, CPRP
Mount Pleasant Pier