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Features : Fishing Report Last Updated: May 15, 2013 - 10:16:39 AM

Learn to catch and release
By Greg Peralta
May 15, 2013 - 10:15:28 AM

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Last week, my son (Elliott) and I were watching a soccer match at the Daniel Island Grille.  Brian Mahoney stopped by the table to say hello. During our conversation, I learned that Brian’s son, Brennan, loves to fish, so I invited him to fish with me that weekend. Our plan was to target Trout with top water lures.
On Saturday, the optimal time to fish was from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning. Given my own experience with Elliott, I know that it can be a challenge to get a teenager out of bed before sunrise. However, Brennan arrived early with fishing rods rigged and ready. As we idled out of Ralston Creek, we reviewed the nuances of top water fishing. Our first fishing location was a large oyster point with a strong current seam created by the incoming tide. Brennan cast a Zara Spook into the current seam and began a quick twitch, twitch and pause retrieve. A large Trout exploded under the lure, knocking the Zara Spook a couple of feet into the air. Per my earlier instructions, Brennan let the lure fall back into the water and sit motionless. The Trout came back for a second try. This time, the hooks found their mark and Brennan was fast to catch a good size fish.  After bringing the fish to boat, Brennan handled it very carefully. He wet his hands to protect the Trout’s slime layer and took the time to revive the fish after a quick photo. These are the kinds of actions I associate with older and more experienced anglers. Brennan did them naturally and without prompting. He is a very good angler and a true sportsman.
The Trout top water bite is very good right now. If you target them, please keep in mind that the larger specimens are female and full of eggs right now. Handle them carefully (if at all) and release them to propagate the next generation of fish. Smashing down the barbs on your hooks makes releasing a Trout much easier on you and the fish.  When I am keeping fish for the table (I love fresh pan seared Trout), I keep fish in the 15 to 16 inch range. Fish above this range, I try to release.
Now that the weather and water are warming up, boat traffic is increasing. A great way to avoid the crowd is to get out early. If you do, give the top water Trout a try.

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