Hurricane Florence churned its way through the Carolinas, dumping massive amounts of rainfall that did plenty of damage that is still having a big impact on communities in both states. But for those who have been able to fish in the salt, they’ve experienced some of the best fishing since the spring.
It’s hard to say whether the hurricane helped the fishing, or if this is just the fall bite turning on, but one thing is for sure — the bite is hot, and that’s for inshore, nearshore, and offshore anglers up and down the coasts of both Carolinas.
Redfish, trout, flounder, sheepshead, mackerel, amberjack, wahoo…you name it, and it’s biting from the beaches, the piers, the sounds, and the open ocean. And one species that has been especially hot in certain areas is tripletail, and anglers are attributing the success they’re having with that species directly to Hurricane Florence.
“One thing that storm did is pushed a lot of debris into our waters, and tripletail love to get in the cover of floating debris,” said Keenan Brasiers, who does most of his fishing near Cape Romain, SC.
Brasiers said he’s never seen so many tripletail as he has since the storm ended.
“Before the storm, I’d caught maybe 40 tripletail in my life, and I literally caught more than that on the first two days I went out after Hurricane Florence passed through. I’d see some floating decking, and there would be three or four tripletail under it. Clumps of dry grass, two or three tripletail under it. Floating tree limbs, tripletail. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
Even anglers in areas that were virtually not impacted at all by the hurricane, like Capt. Brian Vaughn of Off the Hook Fishing Charters in Hilton Head, have seen the bite pick up in the past couple of weeks. One reason for that, he said, is because the redfish are spawning. He’s been putting his clients on plenty of bull redfish, but they’ve also been catching jacks, and they’ve been catching them all on spinning gear and flyfishing gear.
“The spawn is on! We’ve been catching some good numbers inshore the last few weeks, and it should only get better as we get into October,” said Vaughn (843-298-4376).
Folks fishing out of the Outer Banks Marina have been catching plenty of dolphin with some tuna mixed in, and the crew from Chasin’ Tails Outdoors in Atlantic Beach said the post-storm fishing has been great for flounder and weakfish, with large sizes of both species being reported
And for Charlotte angler Brian Pratt, who enjoys fishing in the Little River area, he’s been catching bull redfish and big trout, including one speck that went over 32 inches.