Fall is a special time here in the Lowcountry for many reasons.
The weather is better, the crowds are thinner and the bull redfish swarm inshore waters.
The bulls, ranging from 20 pounds upwards to the 50-pound mark, are here or offshore all year. However, at this time of year, they come close in big numbers, with catches of 20 or more fish in a trip not at all uncommon.
The strength of these fish is incredible, rivaling any other fish of its size, short of an amberjack or tuna.
I usually fish heavy spinning reels with 50-pound braid and, even with a heavy drag, they will strip a line off at an alarming pace. Incredibly, they often do it several times in a battle.
I have fished with lighter tackle, but the lengthy battle takes a toll on these big fish and they must be released. The law requires that everything over 23 inches must be returned to the water.
The smaller redfish also invade the creeks this time of year, offering the best light tackle sport fishing available. Shrimp (live or dead), cut mullet and menhaden all are favorite baits when fishing inshore.
Coloration is usually a deep burnt orange or copper across the back with a single spot at the base of the tail.
Some fish have multiple spots from the tail to the middle of the fish. A strong broad tail and thick shoulders give it all the horse power it needs to make an angler’s day.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Whether you want to light tackle redfish in the creeks or chase the big bulls, now is the time.
By Capt. Miles Altman, Bayrunner Fishing Charters
Capt. Miles Altman of Bayrunner Fishing Charters has more than 48 years of experience fishing the waters surrounding Hilton Head Island. Contact Capt. Miles at (843) 290-6955 or visit bayrunnerfishinghiltonhead.com to book an unforgettable inshore or offshore charter fishing trip.