Just an assortment of photos from last week’s flood tides that I thought were worth posting. For some reason unknown to me, the fish tailed better on this set of tides than they have all season. I tried a new bait by Berkley Powerbait that was pretty effective in the grass – its the 5″ jerk shad in mullet color. It looks exactly like a small finger mullet.
If you’ve never eaten a soft shell crab before, you need to do yourself a favor and call your local seafood market. Every spring, our blue crabs go through a molting phase and shed their hard shells, leaving behind an entirely soft body. The entire blue crab is edible after the crab has molted – even the legs and claws. There’s very little prep involved…just remove the gills or “dead man’s fingers” and cut off the eyes and mouth with a pair of culinary scissors. Dredge the crab in your favorite seafood breader and drop it in the fryer.
Unfortunately, once spring redfish in SC have had a taste of a softshell crab, they basically go lock-jaw for a short period of time and won’t eat anything else. I will tell you from experience, it HURTS to put a soft shell crab on a hook and fire it off into the sea. However, you won’t find a more effective redfish bait on a spring day when the fish won’t cooperate. Here’s one Carl was forced to feed a crab to this weekend – the crab barely settled to the bottom before this fish came along and roped it. Thank God the redfish are back on a mullet diet and things are normal again – no more fishing with culinary delicacies.
Capt. Jay Nelson
Wish I could have made it to Tampa this weekend for the Salty Fly – looks like a good time was had by all. Congrats to all of the winners and to Sam for coordinating such an impressive tournament. Here in SC, we had another round of 30+ mph winds that made fly/sight fishing near impossible for the weekend. Instead of sitting on the couch, we piled in the boat with a bucket full of minnows and went fishing the old-fashioned way.
Winter is one of the best times for wildlife viewing here in the Low Country. I snapped a pic of this great egret and realized once I got home that it was sporting a radio transmitter. After talking to one of my buds at the wildlife refuge, it sounds like this bird may be one the gulf oil spill birds. Nice to know it is doing well. One of them has already been tracked as far north as Detroit.
Jay Nelson www.winyahguide.com
We had our first taste of fall this weekend as temps dropped into the 40′s at night and didn’t climb much above 70 during the day. We headed out with jackets and blue jeans to enjoy what may be one of our last good “tailing tides” of the season. The winds picked up with the cold front, but the fish didn’t seem to mind – they were happily tailing and cruising the spartina flats for fiddler crabs. As we were searching the flat for tails, a dozen blue winged teal decided to take rest in the flooded grass. As we poled closer to the ducks I commented to Douglas that it would be “awesome if a tail popped up” – well sometimes you get what you wish for. Watching a fish tail its brains out alongside a group of migratory ducks is a pretty cool way to ring in the fall season. This is my favorite time of year without a doubt – football, family, food, happy fish, and a cool breeze in the air.
Jay Nelson www.winyahguide.com
We’re in the middle of another set of summer flood tides in the Lowcountry. When the water gets hot in the summer, the flooded grass is where its at. The fish have been tailing hard and eating every crab and grass shrimp in site. My client tonight finally talked me into keeping a slot fish for dinner. When we opened this fish up, I thought it had a monster tumor or something. Nope – that was his stomach stretched to the max with fiddlers and blue crabs. The picture below is just some of the stomach contents from one 23″ redfish. I would definitely keep tying those crab patterns folks.
You’ve got to love seeing a fish feeding nose-down, completely oblivious to everything else around. The full moons of summer bring high tides that flood the spartina grass flats, enabling us to search high in the marsh for tailing redfish. The “redneck” in me really digs being able to hunt and fish at the same time. The fish weren’t tailing as much as usual tonight, but we spotted several fish gorging themselves enough to get a few shots.
Perry, an excellent fishing mentor and a good bud. It had been awhile since we last chased redfish on the grass flats.
Chad had the mojo tonight – he managed one on fly and another on spinning tackle.