AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 1 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- November 1 Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island were 75 degrees yesterday, and both rivers are relatively clear.  Bait is still abundant. -- November 1 Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island were 75 degrees yesterday, and both rivers are relatively clear.  Bait is still abundant. Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated November 1

November 1

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island were 75 degrees yesterday, and both rivers are relatively clear.  Bait is still abundant.

It’s been a long, hot season on the South Carolina coast, but as water temperatures actually begin to really drop things will finally change.  Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in particular the trout will start to get in tighter groups, and eventually they will move up the creeks.  However, for now patterns remain pretty stable.

The trout bite continues to be strong with the best pattern still fishing live shrimp or DOA shrimp under a popping cork in clean water at the top of the tide cycle (a couple of hours before and after high tide).  In addition to main river points, fish can now be found around almost any points where there is water draining out of or going into a small gutter creek.  Areas with white shell banks are prime.

The sheepshead bite remains really good, and it will only get better as temperatures drop.  There are lots of very nice fish to be caught inshore.  Because pinfish are still prolific shrimp should be avoided, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

The redfish remain extremely hungry, and basically if you find fish they will eat.  Still, on the flats there are relatively few fish in the slot with better numbers over and under.  The creeks have a little better mix of sizes.

To catch fish on the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork, and most of the groups of fish are around oyster beds on lower stages of the tide.  Mud minnows and mullet will also work.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Mullet on a Carolina rig are still the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers in the creeks.

A good catch this week with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

The flounder bite remains very strong, and the next couple of weeks should be the peak season around Edisto.  Fish will be around main river shell bars and on the flats, with mud minnows and mullet the best baits.  Once water temperature dip below about 60 the fish will pretty much be gone.

Black drum are also mixed in with the reds, mainly in the creeks in deep holes with structure.  Some nice fish are being caught on shrimp.  They have not really gotten onto the flats yet, but once temperature drop more they will mix in with the reds there too.

Whiting fishing remains excellent in the surf and around sandbars.

Spanish mackerel are still here, very unusual for this late in the season, and weakfish are starting to show up very strong.

The best bottom fishing is in about 90 feet of water, while wahoo and tuna fishing is at its absolute peak right now.  With offshore water temperatures about 75-78 degrees the best fishing of the fall run is here now.

October 18

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island have dropped into the low to mid-70s, and both rivers are relatively clear.  Tons of bait shrimp and mullet are around, and big eating-sized shrimp are prolific in the St. Helena Sound.

Water temperatures are finally dropping, but even though it is mid-October the Edisto area is fishing more like the end of September or very beginning of this month typically does.  Things are running about three weeks behind.

Almost overnight the trout fishing has really come on, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the bite significantly improved today with the cold snap.  They had been averaging about 10 keepers and 40 fish per trip, but today two boats had 47 keepers!

The best pattern is still fishing with live shrimp or DOA shrimp under a popping cork in clean water at the top of the tide cycle (a couple of hours before and after high tide), and with some strong recent tides finding clear water has been even more crucial.  At least 18 inches of visibility are generally needed for these sight feeders.

Instead of just holding around main river points, fish can now be found around almost any points where there is water draining out of or going into a small gutter creek.  Areas with white shell banks are prime.

Today's catch with Captain Ron Davis, Jr. and another boat

Today’s catch with Captain Ron Davis, Jr. and another boat

The sheepshead bite has really turned on, and right now the fishing is at the peak of the entire year.  There are lots of really good ones to be caught inshore.  Because pinfish are still prolific shrimp should be avoided, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

The redfish are extremely hungry, and basically if you find fish they will eat.  Still, on the flats there are relatively few fish in the slot with better numbers over and under.  The creeks have a little better mix of sizes.

To catch fish on the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork, and most of the groups of fish are around oyster beds on lower stages of the tide.  Mud minnows and mullet will also work.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Mullet on a Carolina rig are still the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers in the creeks.

The flounder bite remains much better than usual in the same places where the reds and trout are being caught.  You are more likely to tangle with a flounder on the flats than up a creek.  Mud minnows or mullet are the bait of choice.

Black drum are also mixed in with the reds in the same areas in both the creeks and on the flats.  They will take shrimp.

Whiting fishing is excellent in the surf and around sandbars.

Tarpon have departed, while Spanish mackerel should be here for about another week.

At the nearshore reefs black sea bass and summer trout are prolific, and until Thanksgiving you should be able to kill the weakfish with bucktails and jigging spoons.  Remember that the limit is one per person.

There have not been a lot of reports for bull reds, but with the recent cold front they should be starting at the Edisto Rocks.  It is also worth looking for large flocks of gannets diving offshore as that will signal big schools of reds feeding on bait.  Throw bucktails or swimbaits to catch these fish.

The best bottom fishing is in 60-90 feet of water, while wahoo and tuna fishing is at its absolute peak right now.  With offshore water temperatures about 75-78 degrees the best fishing of the fall run should last for a couple more weeks.

October 3

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are back up to the mid-80s, and both rivers are relatively clear.  There are plenty of bait-sized shrimp and tons of 5-8 inch mullet around, with smaller ones a little trickier to find.  Larger shrimp can be found in the St. Helena Sound than the North Edisto.

The trout fishing has gotten even better around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that all the signs are there that this will be an excellent fall for trout.  Excellent numbers of 13-17 inch fish are around and soon they will all be keepers.  The best pattern is still fishing with live shrimp 3-5 feet under a popping cork in clean water at the top of the tide cycle (a couple of hours before and after high tide) around main river points.

The redfish remain in a familiar pattern, and basically if you can find fish on the flats they will eat.  On the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork, and most of the groups of fish are around oyster beds.  13-17 inch redfish are common, there are some 24-30 inch fish around, while 18-23 inch fish are the most rare.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Mullet on a Carolina rig are still the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers which are still very much around.

The flounder bite remains much better than usual in the same places where the reds and trout are being caught.  Because it is often difficult to get small live finger mullet, a lot of the best flounder fishing is coming with Gulp! baits.  It is expected that the migration out of the creeks this fall will be awesome.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, but once water temperatures drop into the mid-70s it should get really good.  Fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Small black drum are also showing up, but as temperatures drop they should take up residence around rocks, docks, jetties and seawalls.

In the surf good numbers of whiting, bluefish and croaker are around.

Tarpon fishing is still strong.  The best place to fish for them is at the bars leaving the rivers.  Live or cut mullet or menhaden are the best baits.

At deep banks in the river lots of small summer trout are being caught, while the bigger fish are showing up at the nearshore reefs.  Remember that the limit is 1 fish.

When temperatures drop a few more degrees then bull reds should be found at the Edisto Rocks in 15-22 feet of water.  In October and November it is also worth looking for large flocks of gannets diving offshore as that will signal big schools of reds feeding on bait.  Throw bucktails or swimbaits to catch these fish.

From main river points on out Spanish mackerel are everywhere, but the king mackerel fishing is the best that it has been in years.  Kings can be found everywhere from close to the beach out to the ledge.

For the bottom fishing to really turn on closer in water temperatures need to get into the 70s, and when the water is the same temperature from top to bottom in 90 feet offshore fish will get more aggressive.

September 20

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 81-82 degrees, and both rivers are relatively clear.  Any stain is due to wind and not dirty inflow.  There are plenty of bait-sized shrimp and tons of 5-8 inch mullet around, with smaller ones a little trickier to find.  Large shrimp are being caught in the South Edisto.

The trout fishing has gotten even better around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that all the signs are there that this will be an excellent fall for trout.  Numbers remain very good and the keeper ratio has really improved.  The best pattern is still fishing with live shrimp 3-5 feet under a popping in clean water at the top of the tide cycle (a couple of hours before and after high tide) around main river points.

The redfish remain in a familiar pattern, and basically if you can find fish on the flats they will eat.  On the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork, and most of the groups of fish are around oyster beds.  There are still lots of small redfish around.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Mullet on a Carolina rig are still the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers which are still very much around.

The flounder bite remains much better than usual in the same places where the reds and trout are being caught.  Because it is often difficult to get small live finger mullet, a lot of the best flounder fishing is coming with Gulp! baits.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, but in 2-3 weeks it should get really good.  Fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Small black drum are also showing up.

In the surf the whiting bite is on fire.

Tarpon fishing is still wide open and should last a couple more weeks.  The best place to fish for them is at the bars leaving the rivers.  Live or cut mullet or menhaden are the best baits.

At deep banks in the river lots of small summer trout are being caught, while the bigger fish are showing up at the nearshore reefs.  Remember that the limit is 1 fish.

From main river points on out Spanish mackerel are everywhere, but the king mackerel fishing is the best that it has been in years.  Kings can be found everywhere from close to the beach out to the ledge.

Offshore tuna and wahoo are being caught.

Photo courtesy of Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

Photo courtesy of Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

September 13

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 82 degrees, with the South Edisto River brown and the North Edisto greener. There are plenty of shrimp and finger mullet around.

The numbers of trout being caught inshore around Edisto are still excellent, although Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that size is still hit-or-miss with a lot of 12 – 13½ inch fish being caught.  Those number should improve once temperatures drop and the migratory trout that come each fall arrive.  The pattern is still similar, with a good topwater bite first thing around main river points.   After that shrimp fished 3-5 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas.  Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means a couple of hours before and after high tide.

The redfish are in a familiar pattern, and right now there are still tons of 11-13 inch fish on the flats and in the creeks.  At the new and full moon bigger ones are tailing well, but finding schools of slot-sized fish can be challenging.  On the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork around oyster beds.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Small finger mullet on a Carolina rig are the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers.

The flounder bite remains much better than usual, with about half the fish over 15 inches.  The best way to target them is with finger mullet on a Carolina rig around main river points.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, but sizes are just starting to improve.  As temperatures drop more and more big fish will feed.  Fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Tarpon fishing is still wide open, and should stay that way until temperatures get too cold and the fish leave.  The best place to fish for them is at the bars leaving the rivers and they are rolling everywhere right now.  Live or cut mullet or menhaden are the best baits.

Nearshore there are lots of Spanish mackerel from just beyond the breakers out to 60 feet, but the best range is 30-40 feet.

On a different note, this nice redfish was caught out of a pond on Edisto

On a different note, this nice redfish was caught out of a pond on Edisto

August 29

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are still about 85 degrees, and clarity remains good in both the North and South Edisto River. There are plenty of shrimp and finger mullet around.

The numbers of trout being caught inshore around Edisto are still excellent, although Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that size is hit-or-miss with a lot of 12 – 13½ inch fish being caught.  Those number should improve once the migratory trout that come each fall arrive. The pattern is still similar, with a good topwater bite first thing around main river points.   After that shrimp fished 3-5 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas.  Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means a couple of hours before and after high tide.

A good catch this week with Captain Ron Davis

A good catch this week with Captain Ron Davis

The redfish are in a familiar pattern, but right now there are tons of 11-13 inch fish on the flats and in the creeks.  At the new and full moon bigger ones are tailing well, but finding schools of slot-sized fish can be challenging.  On the river flats all you need is live shrimp fished shallow under a popping cork around structure.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  Small finger mullet on a Carolina rig are the bait of choice as shrimp will get too many bites from bait stealers.

The flounder bite remains much better than usual, with about half the fish over 15 inches.  The best way to target them is with finger mullet on a Carolina rig around main river points.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, but sizes are just starting to improve.  As we get into September more and more big fish will feed.  Fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Tarpon fishing is wide open, and in the lost two days Ron’s boat has hooked four. The best place to fish for them is at the bars leaving the rivers and they are rolling everywhere right now. Live or cut mullet or menhaden are the best baits.

Nearshore there are lots of Spanish mackerel from just beyond the breakers out to 60 feet, but the best range is 30-40 feet.

July 29

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 85 degrees, and clarity remains good in both the North and South Edisto River.   Bait shrimp remain hard to catch since we are between white and brown shrimp seasons, but finger mullet are easy to catch in the creeks.

The trout fishing is still really good inshore around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the keeper percentage continues to climb. There is still a good topwater bite first thing around main river points, and live shrimp or mud minnows fished 4-6 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas. Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means fishing around high tide.  Fish will continue to spawn through September.

The redfish are still in a familiar pattern, and on the outgoing tide the fishing has been pretty good fishing finger mullet 1 ½ to 2 feet below a popping cork on the river flats. The better fishing is early, and like trout you can pick up some reds on topwater lures.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  There are so many bait stealers in the creeks that you can’t fish shrimp, but cut mullet and cut crab will both work – with live finger mullet on a Carolina rig pretty much the bait of choice.

Captain Ron Davis, Jr. with a nice Edisto Island redfish

Captain Ron Davis, Jr. with a nice Edisto Island redfish

The flounder bite is still much better than usual, and the best way to target them is around main river points with mud minnows or mullet on a Carolina rig.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, and most of the fish are small.  They remain deeper, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

From now until September is the peak season for tarpon, and at the mouths of inlets and the mouths of major creeks in the main river they are seeing lots of fish.  There are tons of big schools of mullet and menhaden around.

There are a ton of whiting and sharks in the surf.

Nearshore there are lots of Spanish mackerel from a couple of miles offshore out to 60 feet, and it continues to be the best king mackerel season in a long time from 60 feet out to the ledge.  Spadefish are holding at the Edisto 60 and further out, but fishing is not particularly strong.

In 90-120 feet bottom fishing is wide open, with a mix of snapperporgies, triggerfish, black sea bass and more.

Dolphin and billfish are still around, but the wahoo bite remains the best thing going offshore.

July 24

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about as hot as they will get, between 86 and 88 degrees.  Clarity remains good in both the North and South Edisto River.   Bait shrimp are a little hard to catch as we are between white and brown shrimp seasons, but finger mullet are easy to catch in the creeks.

If anything the trout fishing has gotten better inshore around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that they are catching more big fish than a month ago. The keeper percentage has gotten higher. There is still a good topwater bite first thing around main river points, and live shrimp or mud minnows fished 4-6 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas. Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means fishing around high tide.  Fish will continue to spawn through September.

The redfish are still in a familiar pattern, and on the outgoing tide the fishing has been pretty good fishing finger mullet 1 ½ to 2 feet below a popping cork on the river flats. The better fishing is early, and like trout you can pick up some reds on topwater lures.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  There are so many bait stealers in the creeks that you can’t fish shrimp, but cut mullet and cut crab will both work – with live finger mullet on a Carolina rig pretty much the bait of choice.

The flounder bite is still much better than usual, and the best way to target them is around main river points with mud minnows or mullet on a Carolina rig.

An inshore slam with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

An inshore slam with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

Sheepshead fishing is still fair, and most of the fish are small.  They remain deeper, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

From now until September is the peak season for tarpon, and at the mouths of inlets and the mouths of major creeks in the main river they are seeing lots of fish.  There are tons of big schools of mullet and menhaden around.

There are a ton of whiting and sharks in the surf.

Nearshore there are lots of Spanish mackerel from a couple of miles offshore out to 60 feet, and it continues to be the best king mackerel season in a long time from 60 feet out to the ledge.

In 90-120 feet bottom fishing is wide open, with a mix of snapperporgies, triggerfish, black sea bass and more.

In the Governor’s Cup this weekend there were some dolphin caught as well as a ton of wahoo to go along with just under 10 blue marlin and 40-50 sailfish.

June 26

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 84 degrees in the mornings.  Clarity remains good in the North Edisto, while the South Edisto remains dirty.  Bait shrimp is still easy to find.

Trout fishing remains the best thing going inshore around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that there is still a good topwater bite first thing around main river points.  Live shrimp fished 4-6 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas.  Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means fishing around high tide.

There are not many trout back in the creeks.

The redfish are still in a familiar pattern, and on the outgoing tide the fishing has been pretty good fishing live shrimp 1 ½ to 2 feet below a popping cork on the river flats. The better fishing is early, and like trout you can pick up some reds on topwater lures.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  There are so many bait stealers in the creeks that you can’t fish shrimp, but cut mullet and cut crab will both work – with live finger mullet on a Carolina rig pretty much the bait of choice.

Often a by-catch in the Edisto area, they are catching more flounder than usual while fishing for other species, including on artificial lures.  The best action remains around main river points, and if you fish mud minnows or mullet on a Carolina rig (instead of under a floating cork) you can really improve the chances of catching a mess of flatfish.

Sheepshead fishing is still basically fair, mostly because the catch is mainly small fish at this point.  Because of the heat they have gone a little deeper, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Tarpon are still rolling everywhere, and they are seeing tons of them at the mouths of major creeks on the outgoing tide.  However, because these fish are over deep water this can be a very difficult place to present a bait to them, and so concentrating on sand bars early with mullet or menhaden is still the best pattern.

Nearshore Spanish mackerel fishing is still excellent in 30-60 feet of water, and king mackerel are strong from the same range out to the ledge.  But the best nearshore fishery is for spadefish, which are better than usual even compared to what is usually an excellent time of year to fish for them. Jellyballs are prolific and they are eating them well.   There are also some cobia in the same areas as the spadefish.

The dolphin is the only species to really drop off this week, and they have gotten much more scattered.

A couple of big spadefish caught earlier this month with Captain Ron Davis

June 21

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 82 degrees in the mornings.  Clarity is good in the North Edisto, while the South Edisto is dirty.  Bait shrimp have gotten easy to find.

Trout fishing remains the best thing going inshore around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that there is still a good topwater bite first thing around main river points.  Live shrimp fished 4-6 feet under a popping cork will work throughout the day in the same areas.  Trout will feed anytime there is clean, green water, but that usually means fishing around high tide.

There are not many trout back in the creeks.

The redfish are in a familiar pattern, and on the outgoing tide the fishing has been pretty good fishing live shrimp 1 ½ to 2 feet below a popping cork on the river flats. The better fishing is early, and like trout you can pick up some reds on topwater lures.

Fish can also be caught back in the creeks around low tide in the usual deep bends with fallen trees and structure, docks, etc.  There are so many bait stealers in the creeks that you can’t fish shrimp, but cut mullet and cut crab will both work – with live finger mullet on a Carolina rig pretty much the bait of choice.

Often a by-catch in the Edisto area, flounder fishing has been really good this year and even without targeting them specifically Ron’s boat has been picking up a good number while fishing for other species.  They caught a 19-incher on a Vudu Shrimp this week! The best action has been around main river points, and if you fish mud minnows or mullet on a Carolina rig (instead of under a floating cork) you can really improve the chances of catching a mess of flatfish.

Sheepshead fishing is basically fair, mostly because the catch is mainly small fish at this point. Because of the heat they have gone a little deeper, and fishing with fiddler crabs around docks with 10-15 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

Tarpon are rolling everywhere, and they are seeing tons of them at the mouths of major creeks on the outgoing tide.  However, because these fish are over deep water this can be a very difficult place to present a bait to them, and so concentrating on sand bars early with mullet or menhaden is probably the best pattern.

Nearshore Spanish mackerel fishing is excellent in 30-60 feet of water, and king mackerel are strong from the same range out to the ledge.  But the best nearshore fishery is for spadefish, which are better than usual even compared to what is usually an excellent time of year to fish for them. Jellyballs are prolific and they are eating them well.   There are also some cobia in the same areas as the spadefish.

While the dolphin bite is not what it was at the beginning of the summer, there are still plenty around including some bulls!

A bull dolphin caught this week with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

A bull dolphin caught this week with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

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