Story by Sarah Orie
Just as a jockey can’t expect to win the Kentucky Derby with a donkey, fishermen can’t hope for success with a simple pole, hook and worm here in the Lowcountry. We reached out to local fishing experts David McKinlay and Grant Kaple of The Boathouse to help determine the best bait and tackle options for your next day out. They provided insight on what to use, where to use it and why it’s effective. Here is their ultimate inshore Lowcountry tackle box:
Rapala Saltwater Skitter Walk Hard Bait (Bone)
Superior construction assures a perfect swimming bait right out of the box. Toss it out, pump, reel and repeat. You’re “walking the dog,” a technique that imitates a wounded baitfish very effectively. Large internal rattles create a rhythmic side-to-side motion-and-sound combination that imitates swimming mullet or fleeing baitfish.
Z-Man Swimmin Trout Trick (Pearl Blue Glimmer)
Z-Man’s exclusive curved paddle tail has a unique bait with lifelike, vibrant swimming action. This bait attracts bites from a variety of freshwater and saltwater gamefish including redfish, flounder, trout and other species seasonally.
Precision Tackle Cajun Thunder Float
Great for suspending a jig or live bait over inshore grass or structure without snagging. It splashes and clicks as you work it with your rod tip, attracting the attention of redfish and trout. Weighted for longer casting.
Owner Mosquito Hooks (Size 1/0)
Used for catching predominantly freshwater fish such as bass and bluegill, these hooks are ideal for rigging small live baits, nose-hooking soft plastics, and worming. For light line use, it is self-setting and perfect for windy conditions where it is difficult to keep a tight line.
Gamakatsu Inline Octopus Circle
Better for live bait, these circle hooks are super sharp, exceptionally strong and designed to hook and hold fish in the corner of the mouth. This decreases the chance the fish will swallow the hook into their gut, which improves their chance of survival and makes it easier to remove.
Z-Man Trout Eye
3/16 oz Jig Heads
Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion as opposed to spinnerbaits, which move through the water horizontally. The jig is very versatile and can be used in both salt and fresh water. No other jighead sports a bigger, more natural-looking 3D eye than the Trout Eye or is so precisely balanced to maintain a natural profile in shallow water.
Lead Bullet Weights
Sinkers are used in conjunction with a fishing lure or hook to increase its rate of sink, anchoring ability, and/or casting distance. Bullet sinkers are used widely on largemouth bass for rigging plastic worms.
Rod & Reel
St. Croix Mojo Inshore Casting Rod
Canyon Reels DJR3500 Spinning Reel
Frenzy Tackle Fluorocarbon Leader (50 yds)
Leader lines protect your main line from possible damage as well as improves bait presentation. The Frenzy Tackle Fluorocarbon Leader Material features super low visibility and high abrasion resistance at a great price. With the line weight at 20 pounds, these 50-yard spools of 100 percent fluorocarbon leader material are must-haves for the serious offshore angler for trolling, chunking and live bait applications.
Egret Baits Vudu Shrimp
Mesmerize fish with the specially designed realism of Vudu Shrimp Soft Bait. The sectional tail is engineered to create lifelike swimming movements in the water that will have any catch convinced. A nylon weave through the body and durable construction ensures that this will last cast after cast. It is pre-rigged on a 1/4 oz. jig head with a 4X Strong hook, so it’s ready to use right out of the pack.
Pro-Cure Shrimp Super Gel Bait Scent
Made from real bait and enhanced with powerful amino acids, you can lather this sticky base on lures, spoons, spinners, swim baits, and soft baits. The UV enhancement acts like attaching a light bulb to your lure or bait. The visibility brings fish in to investigate, and the scent gets them to feed.
SPRO 50 pack Power Swivel (size 6/80 lbs)
Fishing swivels allow your line to untwist during retrieval, preventing undesirable tangling. The ideal place to have a swivel is at the top of your leader, away from your lure/hook. Attach it by threading your double line through the eye and knotting it onto your line.