AHQ INSIDER Charleston (SC) Summer Fishing Report – Updated August 2
Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are around 84-85 degrees, but despite the heat the fishing has been really good. Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that it is as if the fall bite is getting off to an early start this year! With the creeks full of 3-5 inch shrimp everything is feeding up, and you don’t need to look much further than these crustaceans for bait.
Numbers of redfish have been nothing short of phenomenal some days, and just yesterday Rob caught 60 in the morning. Most of them are small in the 10-14 inch size range, but bigger fish can certainly be found mixed in – or out at the jetties. And with the creeks full of shrimp the fish are going to grow very fast. Inshore fishing around oysters either on the bottom or under a popping cork will work, and the key is a couple of feet of heavy 40-pound fluorocarbon leader. Fish are also around docks.
The trout and flounder bite has also been pretty good, usually in the same areas as the redfish. Finger mullet are also a good bait for these species, particularly flatfish. Overall trout sizes are small, but they will get bigger as things cool off.
Tarpon are around in very good numbers inshore, and there are also some jack crevalle schooling in the Charleston Harbor around Castle Pinckney. These fish can be caught on topwater lures and even the fly – hold on because they run in the 20-30 pound range.
Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that plenty of whiting, black drum and sheepshead in the 2-3 pound range have been landed, as well as a few trout here and there.
At the nearshore reefs 3-5 miles offshore the Spanish mackerel bite has been really good, both casting and trolling with Clarks Spoons. Schools come up and go down, but when Rob is trolling he likes to use a number 1 planer to get down about 10 feet on 50-pound test line and “dig the fish up.”
Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area range from the lower to mid-80s.
The trout bite has been pretty good recently, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that they are catching a lot of small fish to go with some heavier roe fish. However, he advises releasing these bigger fish – the meat is softer and killing them means killing literally thousands of future trout. Live shrimp under a popping cork are hard to beat.
While action for slot-sized redfish has been a little on the slow side, they are catching big bull reds at the jetties, around Dynamite Hole, and generally in deeper water.
However, by far the most exciting bite right now is for tarpon, and silver kings have showed up off the beaches, inlets and sandbars. This week Rob’s boat caught a 110-pound tarpon after a half-hour fight!
The fish have followed the schools of menhaden here, but they will eat both live menhaden and live mullet. Rob advises fishing two baits on the bottom and two on the top, rigged on 8/0 to 10/0 circle hooks, just beyond the breakers.
A mile or two offshore Spanish mackerel fishing has been good, and just yesterday Rob’s boat filled the box. Around the jetties, at Castle Pinckney, or just outside the Stono Inlet or North Edisto Inlet fish can be caught casting or trolling a 0 or 00 Clarks Spoon or Sidewinder.
Spadefish are very thick at the reefs where they will eat jelly balls.
Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are around 80 degrees, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that overall fishing is pretty outstanding right now.
Probably thanks to a series of warm winters, trout fishing in the Charleston area is excellent. Rob reports that he is catching fish in about 2 to 2 ½ feet of water, and live shrimp or DOA shrimp fished under a popping cork are both working well. Early morning is the best time, but fish will bite all day. However, finding some clean water is critical.
To go with a hot trout bite the inshore redfish bite is also good, particularly on mud minnows and finger mullet. They are also picking up some nice flounder as a by-catch on most trips, with the flounder taking mud minnows and live finger mullet.
Spanish mackerel fishing is also really good, and fish are thick around all of the inlet buoys and in Charleston Harbor around Castle Pinckney. You can either troll or cast for fish, and size 00 or 0 Clarks spoons and small Sidewinder spoons will both catch fish.
Just off the beaches you can catch tons of blacktip shark, generally running from about 50-150 pounds. 17-25 feet of water is the key depth, and fishing a live bait about 6 feet under a balloon is the best way to target them. Fishing in areas where shrimp boats have trawled is a good idea because it’s a “buffet” back there.
At the nearshore reefs spadefish are stacked up and will eat jelly balls.