Article By: Nick & Thomas Kirby
Spots n’ Slots Blog
I decided to check out some new water south of Charleston Friday and Saturday April 26 and 27. The weatherman promised decent wind and partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday morning. By midday Friday the wind was blowing 15-20 mph steady….
The good news is that before the wind kicked up too bad I was able to get a little fishing in. My first stop was on a little flat with some flooded grass. The full moon Thursday night left me hoping to see some tailing fish on high tide. I got my wish, well, kind of. I found plenty of fish up in the grass, but I think because they had eaten on the full moon high tide the night before, they were not interested in anything I had. I saw 20-25 fish in the grass, but they were not interested in biting anything I had on the end of my line. The fish were cruising around enjoying the warmer water with full bellies from the night before.
I was only able to catch one mid slot red that was around some structure I found near the flat. Friday’s fishing was fun getting to see all of those fish up in the grass but it was also very frustrating not being able to do anything with them!
Once the wind picked up a little after lunch the water got muddied up and I decided to call it a day.
Saturday started with gray skies and light wind. I thought this would surely be a good day on the water as long as the wind held off. Again, we had good weather until around lunch time, when the wind kicked back up. Surprise, surprise…
Saturday I decided to fish in the Charleston area, I started the day of with the high tide and followed about 12 or 15 red fish up into the grass. With the full moon high tide I was hoping to be able to find some more fish tailing, this time they were feeding big time!! There was just one problem; I could not get to the fish. My Ranger Ghost drafts 9 inches, the fish were in 6. It was fun to watch, but I just could not get to the fish.
The next spot I tried was a stretch of 10 or 12 docks in a small creek, after an hour and a half of “eliminating water” or as most would call it, wasting time I decided to try one more spot.
By the time I made it to my third spot for the day the tide was starting to pour out pretty good and I was hoping this would finally pull the fish out of the grass. Sure enough the fish were moving out of the grass, but their mood was lazy at best… The water was dirty thanks to the full moon high tide and the fish were again not interested in eating… I had 3 or 4 blowout under my boat before I finally hooked the one fish of the day. It was a good fight and the fish weighed in right at 7 lbs.
After a little time to assess the trip and how everything went I learned a couple of things I want to share that might help next time you face a full moon high tide.
There are several important elements that are out of our control that have to be accepted:
The outgoing tide water is going to be much dirtier than normal.
If the skies are even relatively clear, fish will feed at night.
The low tides will be lower than normal, which usually means the fish will be more exposed to dolphins at low tide. With this danger, they will be less likely to feed on low tide.
Of the things that we can control I think the key is to slow everything down. When reds are actively feeding they will chase bait down, but with a full belly from feeding all night they will not be very aggressive. You have to put the bait in front of the fish and let them eat it on their terms.
Be patient! If you are seeing fish stick with them…
That is one of the more challenging things about fishing for me. If I am on fish that are not aggressively feeding I will leave them and try to find other fish which may or may not be the right decision.