AHQ INSIDER Beaufort (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 1 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- November 1 Inshore surface water temperatures are approximately 75 degrees in the morning in Beaufort.  Both bait-sized shrimp and mullet are still abundant. -- November 1 Inshore surface water temperatures are approximately 75 degrees in the morning in Beaufort.  Both bait-sized shrimp and mullet are still abundant. Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Beaufort (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 1

November 1

Inshore surface water temperatures are approximately 75 degrees in the morning in Beaufort.  Both bait-sized shrimp and mullet are still abundant.

This is a transition period for inshore fishing in the Beaufort area, but Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that it’s also a very good time to be on the water.  Redfish are still tailing well, and even with the cold snap it is unlikely to drop temperatures enough for that bite to really drop off.

There is also a good bite on live shrimp, with the best time the dropping tide starting a couple of hours after high tide.  In a sure sign that this is a transition period, at times fished are spread out and at times they are in very tight schools.  On one recent trip Tuck’s boat caught thirty redfish in a 10 foot by 3 foot shell area, and if they cast a foot away from the key zone they would not bite.  But there are also individual fish and small groups of fish cruising and looking for bait.

The trout bite continues to be pretty good, with fish being caught off the grass edges in 3-4 feet of water.  The best tide has been the incoming tide when water is just starting to touch the grass and then rising.  Popping corks with live shrimp have been productive, and fish are also eating Gulp! baits on a ¼ ounce jighead.

There have also been some black drum and sheepshead tailing with the redfish.

October 15

Inshore surface water temperatures are around 78-80 in the morning in Beaufort.  Both bait-sized shrimp and finger mullet are still abundant, although there needs to be some rain for the shrimp to get to a better eating size.

There is a lot of good fishing in the Beaufort area, but Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that it’s the tailing action for redfish that has been the most incredible.  Typically Tuck says you would consider 15 shots at tailing fish a good high tide, but recently they have had some trips where they got upwards of 40 shots at the fish!  It’s unclear exactly why the fish are feeding on the grass flats at high tide in such excellent numbers, but in addition to sticking their tails out of the water to feed on fiddler crabs at high tide they are also rolling on the surface at bait over the tall grass.  At times you can shut off the big engine on high tide and just sit and listen to figure out where to fish.

High tide fish are feeding on about anything, but on the fly fish will take any kind of crab pattern and on spinning tackle a Gulp! peeler crab rigged on a weedless jighead is the best bet.

Outside of high tide fishing for redfish is still pretty good, and fishing cut mullet, live finger mullet/ mud minnow, or live shrimp around oyster beds and ambush points is working well.  You can catch fish on a Carolina rig or under a popping cork.

On low tide fish are starting to school up tighter.

Captain Tuck Scott and a happy client with a healthy flood tide redfish

Captain Tuck Scott and a happy client with a healthy flood tide redfish

There have also been bull red drum caught around artificial reefs and bridges, from Fripp Bridge to the Parris Island Reef and rip to the Broad River Bridge.  Menhaden are the bait of choice.

There is starting to be a much better trout bite, with some bigger fish being caught as well as larger numbers.  At times grubs on a ¼ ounce jighead have actually been out-fishing live shrimp, but both will work.  The best action is around moving water off shell points.

There continue to tripletail around since water temperatures are still warm.

There is also still good flounder fishing around structure close to the ocean that has oysters and a mixture of mud and sand bottom.  With finger mullet prolific, a Carolina rig with a short leader has been hard to beat.

September 30

Inshore surface water temperatures in the morning are in the mid-80s in Beaufort.  Both shrimp and finger mullet are still abundant.

There continue to be a lot tripletail around, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that in recent years it seems like they stay later each season.  On the other end, it sometimes seems like the spring migrations of certain species take longer to arrive.

Tripletail have eclectic tastes, and they will eat blue crabs, fiddler crabs, and shrimp.  When they are lying on the surface they are generally trying to trick minnows into approaching them as they will definitely each fish too.  Look for fish simply floating on the top or hanging along the grass lines at high tide, and they will also gravitate to various forms of structure.

Redfish fishing continues to be good in the Beaufort area, and whenever there is a little water in the grass fishing cut mullet, live mullet or finger shrimp over oyster beds is still working very well.   Target ambush points when the tide is moving in either direction.

The last set of tailing tides was very strong, and Tuck expects the redfish to continue to eat very well on the next set.  On the fly fish will take any kind of crab pattern, and on spinning tackle a Gulp! peeler crab rigged on a weedless jighead is the best bet.

Very low tide is still a tough time to fish until water temperatures cool.

Some black drum are starting to be mixed in with red drum on the flats.

A nice black drum caught this week with Captain Tuck Scott

A nice black drum caught this week with Captain Tuck Scott

Trout fishing is still pretty good, and in moving water fish can be caught 3-4 feet deep on ¼ ounce jigheads rigged with any grub.  Live shrimp under a popping cork are also excellent.

There is still good flounder fishing around structure close to the ocean that has oysters and a mixture of mud and sand bottom.  With finger mullet prolific, a Carolina rig with a short leader has been hard to beat.

September 19

Inshore surface water temperatures are around 84 in Beaufort.  Both shrimp and finger mullet are abundant.

The biggest news this week is that it has been an excellent week for tripletail, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that they have boated fish that were floating in the grass or along grass lines around high tide.  They will take a fly in a crab pattern, or a variety of natural baits and artificials.

A nice tripletail caught with Tuck Scott this week

A nice tripletail caught with Tuck Scott this week

Redfish fishing continues to be really good in the Beaufort area, and whenever there is a little water in the grass fishing cut mullet, live mullet or finger shrimp over oyster beds is still working very well.   Target ambush points when the tide is moving in either direction.

On the next cycle of good tailing tides Tuck also expects the redfish to eat very well.  On the fly fish will take any kind of crab pattern, and on spinning tackle a Gulp! peeler crab rigged on a weedless jighead is the best bet.

Very low tide is still a tough time to fish.

Trout fishing is still pretty good, and in moving water fish can be caught 3-4 feet deep on ¼ ounce jigheads rigged with any grub.  Live shrimp under a popping cork are also excellent.

There is still good flounder fishing around structure close to the ocean that has oysters and a mixture of mud and sand bottom.  With finger mullet prolific, a Carolina rig with a short leader has been hard to beat.

September 13

Inshore surface water temperatures are around 83 in Beaufort.  Both shrimp and finger mullet are abundant.

Ever since the storm Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that fishing has been really good in the Beaufort area.  On high tides tailing redfish action continues to be very strong.  On the fly fish will eat any kind of crab pattern, and on spinning tackle a Gulp! peeler crab rigged on a weedless jighead is working well.

While very low tide is still a tough time to fish, whenever there is a little water in the grass fishing cut mullet, live mullet or finger shrimp over oyster beds has been working very well at ambush points when the tide is moving in either direction.

Trout fishing has also picked up, and in moving water fish can be caught 3-4 feet deep on ¼ ounce jigheads rigged with any grub.  Live shrimp under a popping cork is also excellent.

It is still worth keeping an eye open for tripletail along the grass lines around high tide.

There has been some excellent flounder fishing around structure close to the ocean that has oysters and a mixture of mud and sand bottom.  With finger mullet prolific, a Carolina rig with a short leader has been hard to beat.

A pleasant way to end the day on Captain Tuck Scott's boat

A pleasant way to end the day on Captain Tuck Scott’s boat

August 30

Inshore surface water temperatures are around 87 in Beaufort.  Both shrimp and finger mullet are abundant.

Even though water temperatures on the shallow flats frequently reach the lower 90s, Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that tailing redfish action continues to be very strong.  On the fly fish will eat any kind of crab pattern, and on spinning tackle a Gulp! peeler crab rigged on a weedless jighead is working well.  It also worth keeping an eye open for tripletail in the grass at times when there is higher water.

Perhaps because they are gorging on fiddler crabs, low tide reds have been a little hard to get to eat right now.  However, the best bet is to work the dropping tide in areas where flats are being drained. While jigheads and artificials can work, shrimp are hard to beat.

A nice late summer redfish caught with Captain Tuck Scott

A nice late summer redfish caught with Captain Tuck Scott

Trout reports are still a little thin in the heat, but on the outside of larger creek mouths where there is water moving across shells on the dropping tide fish can be found in 3-4 feet of water.  Live shrimp or mud minnows under a popping cork will work.

On the rising tide there have been decent numbers of sheepshead working shell beds when water starts to cover them.  These fish can be hard to get to eat but they are generally a good size and range from about 2-8 pounds.

There has been some excellent flounder fishing around structure close to the ocean that has oysters and a mixture of mud and sand bottom.  With finger mullet prolific, a Carolina rig with a short leader has been hard to beat.

Some jacks are around but they will only be found in clean water close to the ocean.

August 1

Inshore surface water temperatures in the morning have dropped to about 84 around Beaufort, and water clarity varies wildly from very dirty (in areas where tide and wind have stirred it up) to clear.  There are lots of finger mullet in the creeks and a decent number of bait-sized shrimp.

The tailing redfish action continues to buoy what is otherwise a lackluster bite, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that there are still a ton of fish up on the grass flats.  Tailing activity is still verygood, and with temperatures having dropped a few degrees the short-grass flats are not as hot.

At other stages of the tide the fish are a little lethargic, and there is so much bait around that fish are very well fed.  On the higher outgoing tide they have been catching some fish on mud minnows and live shrimp.   There are also some trout being caught on the high outgoing with shrimp fished against the grass where it intersects with oyster bars.

There are also some tripletails on the edge of grass in places, and most anywhere that you see structure there could be a tripletail around.  Branches, docks and any other type of cover could hold these delicious-eating fish which should be around through the middle of October.

Tripletail caught this week with Captain Tuck Scott

Tripletail caught this week with Captain Tuck Scott

At the bridges there are some tarpon being caught on the bottom in deeper areas, and both menhaden and mullet will work.

It is something of a mystery where the numbers of ladyfish and smaller jacks are, as it has been a couple of years since they have really showed up.

July 22

Inshore water temperatures are in the upper 80s around Beaufort, and shrimp, finger mullet and menhaden are all abundant.

Truth be told the heat is slowing the summer redfish bite, but Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that since the easiest meal going is fiddler crabs there are a ton of fish up on the grass flats.  Tailing activity has been very good, even though the shallow flats are the hottest places to be.

They are also catching reds a little deeper on the outside edges in 3-5 feet, and fishing various types of structure including shell, deeper grass, and drops has been working.  Fish will eat any type of bait, including finger mullet, shrimp, blue crabs, mud minnows, etc.

There has been a decent trout bite this summer, and the tell-tale sign that trout are feeding has been where you see glass minnows being busted.  Fish are off of submerged shell points as the water starts to drop, and they are relatively near the grass too.  There are also some tripletails in theses areas.

Captain Tuck Scott's boat tricked this tripletail with a fly this week

Captain Tuck Scott’s boat tricked this tripletail with a fly this week

It’s not well-known, but on the lower tide flats anglers can spot flounder jumping and eating finger mullet.  Flounder feed in these areas as the water gets out of the grass but before dead low. They can be caught with mullet under a short leader on a popping cork.

While the cobia are all but gone, there are some tarpon being caught on the bottom in deeper areas such as drops, bridges, and other structure.  There is not a ton of big bait around right now and so they are not seeing fish shallow.  The jacks have also been absent but that could change very quickly.

June 27

Inshore water temperatures are about 85 degrees around Beaufort, and the water is pretty tannic further inshore but has moderate clarity closer to the ocean.  Shrimp, finger mullet and menhaden are abundant.

It’s still a good summer bite for redfish, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that tailing action is still strong on the right flood tides.  When it is too high to see tails fish are still being caught up in the grass when redfish can be heard sucking shrimp off the surface in the tall stuff.

The dropping tide remains the best time to fish bait including cut mullet, live shrimp and mud minnows where the water is coming out of the grass, and fish will be found around ambush points like shell bar points.  Popping corks are working well.

On low tide fish are still schooled up in smaller schools, and you can sight cast for them on the mud flats.  Vudu shrimp are working very well as are any Gulp! baits in a darker color on a jighead. Occasional black drum are mixed in with the schools.

A tagged black drum caught earlier this month with Captain Tuck Scott

A tagged black drum caught earlier this month with Captain Tuck Scott

You can still also troll in 4-5 feet of water in the creeks, where some of the reds are trying to find a bit cooler water.

The best trout fishing has come on jigheads fished around points where there is some turbulence. Incoming tide is best, and if you can find some clearer water that is ideal but not essential.

Cobia fishing has gotten sporadic in the Beaufort area, but it’s still worth keeping your eyes open in the Broad River.

Jacks have just started to show up around bait schools (for more information see the Hilton Head report.)

Whenever you are running look for floating debris as there could be a tripletail floating near it.

June 21

Inshore water temperatures are 82-84 degrees around Beaufort, and the water is pretty dirty.

It’s been a good summer bite for redfish, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that they are tailing well.  When it is too high to see tails they are still being caught up in the grass when redfish can be heard sucking shrimp off the surface in the tall stuff.

On the dropping tide is the best time to fish bait including cut mullet, live shrimp and mud minnows where the water is coming out of the grass, and fish will be found around ambush points like shell points.  Popping corks are working well.

On low tide fish are schooled up in smaller schools, and you can sight cast for them on the mud flats. Vudu shrimp are working very well as are any Gulp! baits in a darker color on a jighead.  Occasional black drum are mixed in with the schools.

You can also troll in 4-5 feet of water in the creeks, where some of the reds are trying to find a bit cooler water.  This is also a good pattern for picking up trout, which are holding a few feet off the grass line.  Any ¼ ounce jighead with a Gulp! bait will work for trout, and the best time to catch them is on high tide just after the water starts going out.

Even though the inshore cobia season should be winding down in the Beaufort area, there are still plenty of fish around in the Broad River.  Tuck’s boat is still sight-fishing with success, and the anchored guys are still doing well on bait.

Some tarpon and jacks have just started to show up around bait schools, but for unclear reasons Tuck has not spotted any ladyfish yet.

Whenever you are running look for floating debris as there could be a tripletail floating near it.

A nice cobia caught recently with Captain Tuck Scott

A nice cobia caught recently with Captain Tuck Scott

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