AHQ INSIDER Beaufort (SC) Summer Fishing Report – Updated August 18
Water temperatures are in the high 80s and clarity is poor, with lots of muddy water.
The heat of summer means one thing in the Beaufort area, and that is tailing redfish! Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that on their charters captains are finding pretty good tailing activity on high tides, and the action should get even better. Yesterday evening Captain Tuck Scott said water temperatures were 88 or 89 degrees when they got on the water and they had to wait a while for things to cool down, and so when tailing tides coincide with the morning fishing will be better. Next week there should be some good tailing tides first thing.
On lower stages of the tide fish are doing their normal things. They are grouped up in mid-sized schools and chasing shrimp, and the shrimp population seems to be very good. Naturally they are taking lures and flies that look like shrimp, and there is some pretty good sight-casting at low tide towards the schools of fish. They are also catching fish in higher water with live shrimp or cut mullet fished on the bottom. Shell rakes just outside of creek mouths have been good on the outgoing tide as have cuts or coves where water is filtering out of the grass. Redfish are also seeking out areas such as bends where they can hide on a flat.
The tarpon bite has been pretty good, and anglers are catching fish with menhaden or mullet fished around artificial reefs and rips.
Flounder fishing is not very strong but fish are around. Fluke rigs will catch fish and shrimp are probably the best bet right now.
While not prolific anglers should keep their eyes open for tripletails along grass edges or around floating debris in the river where they can lay on their sides near the trash. The fish will take a crap-pattern fly and on spinning tackle Gulp! crabs are hard to beat.
With this heat trout fishing is just slow.
Hunting Island Pier (843-838-7437) reports that whiting, croaker, sharks and stringrays have comprised the main catch lately, with the occasional flounder mixed in.
Water clarity is poor with conditions dirty/ muddy. Shrimp in the creeks are still small but there are plenty around.
On the last set of good tailing tides Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that they had some good tailing activity on the flats, particularly until late in the tide cycle when the tides got super-high late in the day. However, with poor clarity low tide sight-fishing has been relatively tough and the best bet has been blind fishing popping corks rigged with live shrimp, cut mullet or live mud minnows around oyster beds and creek mouths.
Trout fishing has been pretty fair, although with the clarity low topwater activity has really slowed. Throwing grubs along the bank and fishing mud minnows/ live shrimp have both been catching fish on higher stages of the tide.
After a May when fishing was only catch-and-release and few anglers targeted cobia inshore, from June 1 to June 19 there is a window when cobia can be caught before both the inshore and offshore fisheries close on June 20. Nonetheless, so far this June fishing pressure still seems to be relatively light. When conditions have allowed sight-fishing some fish have been seen in the Broad River, but overall it seems that the numbers of fish are similar to recent years when the population has been down.
While the large schools of menhaden have not arrived and tarpon also have not yet showed up in substantial numbers, crevalle jack, ladyfish and very occasional tripletail are all around. Some Spanish mackerel have also been caught inshore in the Beaufort area.
Hunting Island Pier (843-838-7437) reports that whiting and stingray have comprised the main catch lately.