AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Spring 2018 Fishing Report – Updated May 25 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-summer-2018-fishing-report/ May 25 Inshore surfa -- The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-summer-2018-fishing-report/ May 25 Inshore surfa Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Spring 2018 Fishing Report – Updated May 25

The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-summer-2018-fishing-report/

May 25

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 79 degrees, and the water has good clarity.

Edisto Island redfish remain in a pretty typical May pattern, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the bite is still good in the creeks but weak on the flats.

More flounder continue to show up in inlets close to the ocean (named last week), but still a majority of the fish are undersized.

There are hardly any trout around, but a few fish have been caught on white shell banks close to the ocean where they are spawning.  Early they will take topwater plugs, and after that DOA shrimp and mud minnows under a rattling cork are the best bets.  Fish are few and far between around Edisto, however, and fishermen are reminded that the SCDNR is strongly encouraging anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

The sheepshead bite remains good in the creeks, but there are still far more small fish than good ones.  Fish around low tide structure that has 6-12 feet of water with fiddler crabs or barnacles.

Whiting are showing up on the sandbars that line the rivers, and the best place to look is in 8-20 feet of water near the bars. When you find them you can catch fish on every cast with shrimp or cut mullet on the bottom.

There are lots of sharks around in deep holes at the mouths of major creeks.

Lots of Spanish mackerel are near the reefs in 40-60 feet of water, and cobia are around both nearshore reefs in 40 feet and offshore reefs like the Edisto 60 or the Edisto Offshore (that has about 90 feet of water).

The offshore bite for dolphin is best in 300-600 feet of water.

A nice mess of dolphin caught out of Edisto Island

A nice mess of dolphin caught out of Edisto Island

May 10

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 72 degrees.

There’s not a lot of change with the Edisto Island redfish, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the bite is poor on the flats, which is fairly typical for May, but pretty good in the creeks. Fish cut shrimp or mullet on the bottom at low tide around deep bends in the creeks with structure or docks.

Sheepshead fishing has been pretty good, with plenty of numbers caught but only about one out of five fish keeper-sized.  Fish docks with 8-12 feet of water at low tide. Now that lots of bait stealers such as croaker and silver perch have arrived you need to fish hard baits like fiddler crabs or barnacles.

Some really good numbers of flounder are starting to show up, although most of them are smaller 12-14 inch fish.  The bigger females always arrive a bit later.  The best place to target the flounder right now is in inlets close to the ocean with a good hard bottom that is a mix of mud and sand. Jeremy Inlet, Townsend Inlet, Frampton Inlet and Fish Creek are all good places to look.  The best hook-up ratio comes on a jighead with a mud minnow.

The trout spawn is just getting underway, and a few fish have been caught around Edisto as they move to their main water spawning places. Fishermen are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is strongly encouraging anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

Offshore the dolphin are here from the ledge in 180 feet out as far as you want to go.  Tuna and wahoo are also around.

April 27

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are about 67 degrees, and the water is still very clear.

It’s been a fairly static month at Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that there is still very little change in the inshore bite.  On the redfish side they are still doing best in the creeks around low tide structure with cut mullet and shrimp, with the flats just not producing.  Artificials are not generating any bites.

Sheepshead fishing remains very good with fiddler crabs around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide.  This is the time of year when sheepshead move back-and-forth between inshore and offshore, and this will keep up through May.

There have been no trout reports to speak of.  Fishermen are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

About any day now cobra should be arriving, and inshore the fishery is catch and release.  Outside the 3-mile lane there are strict creel and size limits.   Spadefish should be thick at the reefs soon.

Offshore there are good numbers of wahoo at the ledge, where water temperatures are about 71 degrees.  You have to go deeper and find warmer water for dolphin.

Ron Davis and friends with a nice haul yesterday

Ron Davis and friends with a nice haul yesterday

April 11

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are about 62 degrees, and clarity is pretty good.

It’s been almost two weeks since the last fishing report, but Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that with water temperatures having only risen about 2 degrees everything is basically the same.  On the redfish side they are still doing best in the creeks around low tide structure with cut mullet and shrimp, with the flats just not producing.  When temperatures hit 66-68 degrees and stay there a topwater bite should start, but that has not arrived yet.

Sheepshead fishing remains very good in the creeks for fish up to about 6 pounds.  Fish fiddler crabs around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide.

The few trout being caught in deep holes are very small. Fishermen are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

No flounder to speak of have arrived.

March 30

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 60 degrees, cooler than a month ago but much warmer than two weeks ago.  Clarity is pretty good.

It’s a familiar pattern for inshore redfish, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that for 2-3 hours either side of low tide they are catching fish in the creeks around docks, sea walls, and trees.  Cut mullet, shrimp, and mud minnows on Carolina rigs are all working well.  There are a fair number of reds around in the creeks, whereas on the main rivers the schools are small and the fish are pressured and spooky.  The water needs to warm a bit before the river bite improves.

A fair number of black drum are mixed in with the redfish in the creeks, from barely keeping size up to about 3 pounds.  Fish cut shrimp for 2-3 hours either side of low tide.

A very few trout are around, and what is being caught is up the creeks in deep holes with structure in 8-12 feet.  The best period is on slower tides close to high and low, but if the water stays clear they will bite throughout the tide cycle.  The catch basically consists of small fish, with 10-12 inchers most common.  Catching four or five in a trip is a good outing.  Anglers are reminded that the SCDNR is asking fishermen to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

Sheepshead fishing has been very good in the creeks for fish up to about 6 pounds.  Fish fiddler crabs around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide.

In terms of migratory species, flounder have not showed up yet.  It will be another month before cobia and spadefish begin to appear, and Spanish mackerel need the water to get to 68-70 degrees.

March 2

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are up to 62-63 degrees, and clarity remains very good.

The inshore redfish bite around Edisto Island continues to shift, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that by this point the fishing is better in the creeks than on the flats.  Anglers aren’t killing the creek fish, but going out and catching 5 or 6 nice redfish is par for the course in a decent few hours if you know what you are doing.  Fish are getting into their typical low tide patterns where they will be found around trees, old docks, seawalls, etc.

On the main river the fish are still around, and you can see some schools, but they are extremely skittish.  The combination of them feeding on extremely small bait and warming temperatures (in the clear water) is tough.

A nice red caught on Captain Ron Davis' boat

A nice red caught on Captain Ron Davis’ boat

In the creeks you can also catch a decent number of smaller black drum, but generally not if you are jig fishing.  If you slow down and put shrimp on the bottom around docks or other structure you should pick up some drum.

Inshore sheepshead fishing is starting to improve, and while the bigger fish are still offshore in 30-50 feet of water some smaller as well as decent-sized fish are starting to be caught inshore.  Continue to concentrate on deeper structure.  Lots of small black drum are in the same areas.

A few flounder are also starting to show up.

A very few small trout are being caught, with most of them in the 8-13 inch range.  It’s unclear if the smaller trout are heartier or just the first to repopulate the area – but it’s typical to see small trout after a winter kill.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

February 23

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island average about 58 degrees.  The water is still clear.

The inshore redfish bite on the flats is similar to last week, but Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that as water temperatures rise fish metabolisms (and fishing pressure) increases and the fish actually get spookier.  Instead of swimming a few yards when disturbed the school might race 100 yards in one direction, and then do the same in another direction.  It’s frankly getting harder to catch them, especially as they are still keyed on very small bait.  Use downsized baits (discussed February 16).

In the creeks the bite is slightly improved this week.

The best numbers of sheepshead are still offshore, but some fish have moved back inshore and others that did not leave and survived are also biting.  Look around structure that has 15+ feet of water at low tide.

At the nearshore reefs and wrecks sheepshead and bull red drum are also still in the same areas in 40-60 feet of water.

Bottom fishing is still on fire for triggerfish, porgies, vermillion snapper and black sea bass in 60-90 feet of water, and flounder are also at the same depth spawning.

The wahoo bite is unchanged in 160-250 feet.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

February 16

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are about 57 degrees.  The area has had little rain relative to the rest of the state, and water conditions are still gin clear.

The best thing going inshore around Edisto Island is the redfish bite on the flats, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that fish are still grouped up in schools of 25-75 fish.  Yesterday on the water he saw about five or six such schools of reds.  At times the fish can be a little hard to convince to bite, but the best success is coming on the outgoing tide when they pull out of the grass (this time of year they don’t go very far in) and set up on the oyster bars just off the grass lines.

The redfish are eating very small young of the year mullet, very small glass minnows and tiny shrimp, and these baits are often in the ½-inch range. While it’s impossible match the hatch with conventional tackle, down-sizing to small 3-inch Gulp! baits or Zman Slim Swimz on a 1/16 ounce jig is a decent step in that direction.  Texas rigging the bait on a 1/0 hook and very light line, and adding split shot for casting distance, can be a good bet because an exposed jighead will sometimes snag a fish and spook the school.  Flies are working pretty well, and reds will also take hard plastics like Mirrolures.

In the very backs of creeks you can also catch some redfish as far back as you can go, and these fish are often cruising in wolf packs of 5-10 fish.  They will take the same baits.

Small black drum are also around inshore and will take small pieces of shrimp.

The cold pushed the surviving sheepshead offshore where they will stay through the spawn in March and April.  Fishing fiddler crabs around nearshore structure in 30-60 feet of water is still the best bet, and will also catch black drum.  Bull red drum are also in the same areas in 40-60 feet of water and will feed on bait on the surface at times.

Bottom fishing is on fire for triggerfish, porgies, vermillion snapper and black sea bass in 60-90 feet of water, and flounder are also at the same depth spawning.

In 160-250 feet of water wahoo are around, and a high speed-trolling trip should yield 2-4 fish right now.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

February 9

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are about 50 degrees.

Fishing around Edisto remains largely unchanged, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that sight-fishing on the flats is still the best pattern.  The creek bite is still a little behind the flats bite.

The best option for catching fish is still to head out to the nearshore and mid-depth reefs in 35-60 feet of water after sheepshead, black drum and black sea bass.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

February 1

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island are 47-48 degrees, and the water is very clear.

There’s not a lot of change around Edisto, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in the crystal clear water on the flats the redfish are still grouped up in very tight schools.  You can catch a handful of fish before they get skittish, and in the very clear water it’s a good time to fly fish if you are so inclined.  There are some bigger fish over the slot up the creeks, but overall the bite on the flats is better.

The best option for catching fish right now is to head out to the nearshore and mid-depth reefs in 35-60 feet of water where sheepshead, black drum and black sea bass are prolific.  Unfortunately you need days where the winds are less than 5-10 miles per hour, which means you are lucky to get one or two good days a week to fish for them.

A nice sheepshead caught on Captain Ron Davis, Jr.'s boat

A couple of nice sheepshead caught on Captain Ron Davis, Jr.’s boat

Ron has little doubt that the Edisto trout are gone, and he says that offshore fish will repopulate the area.  Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

January 18

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island are in the mid-40s, and the water is very clear.

It has been a brutal month for the Edisto-area fishery, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that this winter’s cold weather is likely responsible for the largest fish kill since Edisto started keeping records in 1950.  Trout are the species hardest hit, and without deep water refuges like Port Royal Sound or Charleston Harbor relatively shallow Edisto Island probably got about the worst of it.  As a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.  To read the full news release click here.

spottedseatroutStop

The redfish population seems to have taken a hit in the creeks, but Ron says that on the flats it seems as if there was a negligible decline.  In the super clear water you can look for redfish on the flats, but with the Edisto redfish population down since about 2010 expect to see dozens – not hundreds – of fish.  It’s a good idea to release redfish until the extent of the kill is determined, and particularly young-of-the-year redfish were vulnerable.

If you want to fish this weekend probably the best bet, particularly with a favorable weather forecast, is to head offshore and fish for sheepshead around nearshore reefs like the Edisto 40 and Edisto 60.  In 70-90 feet you should also be able to find vermillion snapper, triggerfish and black sea bass.

December 20

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island remain about 54-55 degrees and the water is clear.

As predicted, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the inshore fishing around Edisto has stayed very good for redfish and trout.  There are no major changes to report, but if anything the sheepshead fishing has improved with some very large fish still inshore.  They are being caught on clams, barnacles, and oysters in 6-12 feet, and of course they will still take fiddler crabs.

An 8-pound sheepshead caught this week on Captain Ron Davis Jr.'s boat

An 8-pound sheepshead caught this week on Captain Ron Davis Jr.’s boat

In calm conditions Ron has also been able to get just off the beach to the rocks off Edisto, and in about 22 feet of water they have found some bull red drum in the 30-35 pound range.  Bait does not matter very much and they caught these fish on bucktails with cut squid trailers.  The weakfish are pretty much gone.

Bull reds caught yesterday on the rocks off Edisto

Bull reds caught yesterday on the rocks off Edisto

December 15

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island are down to about 54 degrees, and clarity is good.

With a mild long-term weather forecast, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) predicts that the fishing around Edisto should stay excellent through the ends of the year.

While you still see a few trout mixed in with the reds on the flats, the main river trout bite is pretty much done.  However, the fishing is good up the creeks, chiefly in 7-15 or even 20 feet around deep bends.  The incoming tide three-fourths the way through high tide has been the best.  The outgoing is tougher unless you are on a quarter moon phase with slower moving tides.

Trolling is one of the best ways to target the fish, but the key is that your bait needs to be bumping the bottom.  You can also put on the trolling motor and make long casts, again maintaining contact with the bottom.

The trout are not everywhere, and on a trip Monday Ron fished about 20 spots and found them in three.  Once you find them the bite is fast.  There seems to be little rhyme or reason to where these schools are located.

Caleb Davis with a nice 4-pound trout caught this week on Captain Ron Davis' boat

Caleb Davis with a nice 4-pound trout caught this week on Captain Ron Davis’ boat

In addition to finding redfish on the flats, they can also be found in the creeks.  Chiefly they are a little shallower than the trout in the 5-7 foot range.  Scented soft plastics are working well.

Sheepshead are just starting to head offshore, but they can still be found around docks with 8-15 feet of water at low tide.

On the nearshore reefs in 30-60 feet of water there are a ton of weakfish around. Sheepshead and black sea bass can also be caught.  Black drum will take cut shrimp, and redfish will eat live finger mullet or cut mullet.

December 1

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 60 degrees, and clarity is excellent.

Most of the inshore shrimp are gone, and as a result Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the transition over to artificial lures is taking place.  The pattern for catching redfish on the flats and in the creeks is unchanged except that scented soft plastics on light jigheads or flutter hooks are replacing bait.  The reds are biting about as well as they will all year.

Trout are not as widely dispersed as they were a couple of months ago, and they are more concentrated in certain areas as they make the move to deeper holes in rivers and major creek arms.  Instead of there being a few fish everywhere now there are long stretches where you will not catch anything, and then you will hit a spot where you can catch 15-20.  They are taking all sorts of soft plastics including DOA shrimp, Trout Tricks, Bass Assassin paddletail grubs, and more.

On the main rivers at the top of the tide and first of the outgoing is the prime time to catch trout in 4-8 feet of water, while in the creeks two hours either side of low tide is best in the deep holes.

Some big Edisto trout caught on Ron Davis, Jr.'s boat

Some pretty Edisto fish caught on Ron Davis, Jr.’s boat

Whiting are biting well in the sloughs that line the river next to sand bars.  The big ones are a bit deeper in 8-12 feet of water.

The sheepshead bite is still excellent around structure that has 6-10 feet of water at low tide.  Fiddler crabs will work but you can also use oysters and clams with the picker fish leaving.  Sheeps are also starting to show up on the nearshore reefs.

On nearshore structure including rocky bottoms and artificial reefs there are lots of weakfish around in 40 feet or less. You can only keep one but they are prolific.  Bull red drum can be found on the same structure where they will eat cut mullet, and black drum in the same areas will eat shrimp.

While it won’t pay off every trip, when you are offshore in 30-50 feet of water it is worth looking for a concentration of large white birds called gannets.  They feed on the same large baitfish that are a magnet for bull drum.  You can throw any large spoon or soft plastic on a ½ or 1 ounce jighead to catch them, and sometimes even topwaters.  At times the water will be brownish red with reds feeding on the surface.

In bottom fishing news, the red snapper mini-season is December 8, 9 and 10 as a make-up for the bad weather weekend earlier this year.  Only one person can be kept.  In 70-100 feet it is easy to get on black sea bass, vermillion snapper, and triggerfish in the right areas.

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