Chandeluer Islands trip report, 2020-08


Just got back from a Chandy Islands 3 day trip with DMJ Charters.  Fished Tuesday thru Thursday.  Two 24 ft bay boats with 300 hp motors were towed out behind the boat.  The owners wanted to fish 3 or 4 guys to a boat standing up.

Day 1 started light winds and we started in the surf at dawn.  Best bait was a black and orange Mohawk Minnow that yielded a 20” trout and a 28” red.   Ladyfish were thick with average size being 20”.  Lots of 20 to 24” ladyfish with only a few 12”ers.  Bite shifted to subsurface, and I switched to baitfish flies. Left the surf after 3 hours and waded behind Redfish point and had a few bites but no fish.

After lunch fished Music Man Flat and my buddy picked up a 28” red on a plastic.  I was skunked.  Moved to another wading spot with little action.  At 6 pm went back to the surf and found lots of fish.  Got a 23” and 24” trout on a white feather game changer.  20” ladyfish were thick and biting all flies I threw.  I had to retie every 3 or 4 fish due to leader abrasion using 20# fluorocarbon.  Had numerous flies lost due to tippet breaks.  Left at sundown with constant action.

Day 1 total = double digits of fish

Day 2

Woke up to storms, lighting and 30 mph wind.  2 hours later left the boat with 15 mph winds.  Started wading with dead calm and no fish.  After 1 hour, we went to the surf.  Lots of fish.  Trout, reds and ladyfish hitting everything we threw.  Storms at 1130 so we went back to boat.

After Lunch, we trolled big stuff for 1 hr and only got a Spanish mackerel to hit.  No Jacks or Bull reds.  Waded for 2 hours and only 1 small fish.  Back o the surf.  More trout and ladyfish.   A 4 ft shark ate my trout on the stringer.  I released everything after that.

Day 2 total = double digits of fish

Day 3

Woke up to rain, lightening and high wind.  Two hours later rain and lightening stopped with wind at 20.  2 boats, our skiff and 1 of the 24 footers went out.  Slow, but picked up in the last 20 minutes with trout, reds and a sheepshead caught.  Weather was getting worse, so caption called the day short at 3pm instead of dark and we came in.

Day 3 total = single digits of fish

I was the only person using fly gear. I used a spinning rod 2 hours for 2 fish, all others on fly.

No one else went to the surf.  No one else waded.  Lots of small trout caught,  2 Jacks and bull reds over 36” by the conventional guys.   My 22, 23 and 24” trout on the fly were the largest trout.

Me and my buddy caught trout, reds, ladyfish, whiting, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

I threw mainly baitfish flies, 3” to 5” long.  Top waters were Mohawk minnow and VIP popper.  Only weighted fly was a Naiser Slider.  Everything caught fish.  The key was finding where they were.

We had a great time.

Scott Fossum

2 thoughts on “Chandeluer Islands trip report, 2020-08

  1. I was there too. Saw your boat anchor up tuesday afternoon. You forgot to mention the huge amount of floating grass in all protected bays. Made flyfishing and conventional fishing very difficult. Also the sharks were aggressive and everywhere. You had to keep a sharp eye out for them. I caught several 3 footers. They know exactly what you are doing there too. As soon as a trout is hooked here they come! I landed 4 reds and five trout. Kept none. Caught boat load of big ladyfish. Had a big bull shark hooked up almost spooling my conventional reel spooled with 30 lb. braid but he turned back and charged me fast. I literally ran up on a shell shoal too shallow for it . As I got up on the s hoal I almost stepped on a 4′ reef shark! The bull was well over 5 feet long and BIG.
    Way too many sharks in the surf. Our group caught 2 big oversized reds but all of mine were 20 to 26 inches. The floating grass pretty much ruined the inshore fishing. Too bad I didnt know you were down there.


  2. ……Well it looks like you were catching some nice fish and having a great time even with the weather not the greatest…so congrats on your great trip with the fish you caught…..!!!!!


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