AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated January 17 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-spring-2019-fishing-report/ January 17 Inshore s -- The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-spring-2019-fishing-report/ January 17 Inshore s Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated January 17

The newest Edisto Island fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/edisto-island-sc-spring-2019-fishing-report/

January 17

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 53 degrees.  Both rivers are full but clearing, with the water very clear close to the ocean.

On the redfish front, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that fishing remains good on both the flats and in the creeks.  Low tide is the best time for fishing the flats, and it continues to get easier to sight fish.  Both artificial lures and natural bait such as cut mullet or fresh dead shrimp will work – or artificials tipped with natural bait.

In the creeks fishing the lower stages of the tide is also best, and fish will be around a variety of structure including docks, trees, rock or other hard cover.  However, the best area in the winter is usually the last couple of bends in the creeks, especially if they have deep water and a downed tree.

Sheepshead fishing is dropping off, as most of the creek fish have already moved offshore.  Some fish can still be caught around deeper docks with 10-12 feet of water, but catching keepers is getting more and more difficult.  Small black drum are still around in the same areas.

The trout bite around Edisto remains tough, and overall Ron continues to rate this one of the worst winters for deep hole trout fishing that he can remember.  However, they can still catch 7-10 fish on a trip, with many of those small.

The best pattern is fishing in the creeks in 8-15 feet of water around trees, deep holes, rock walls and other structure.  Instead of the natural colored baits which usually work this time of year bright white, chartreuse, pink or fluorescent baits have been working better.

Whiting fishing on the beaches and sandbars is still slow, and generally they have moved to deeper nearshore reefs.

Most of the better sheepshead are at the nearshore reefs.  Fiddler crabs are hard to get but clams and oysters are both working.

Offshore in the 90-foot range there are tons of vermillion snapper, porgies, black sea bass, and bonito.  To get keeper-sized sea bass you have to be in at least 60 feet right now.

January 10

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 54-55 degrees but dropping.  The water is clearing but still pretty dirty in the South Edisto, while the North Edisto is looking better.  If rain remains limited both rivers should clear soon.

On the redfish front, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that fishing remains good on both the flats and in the creeks.  Low tide is the best time for fishing the flats and it is getting easier to actually see the schools instead of just wakes.  With visibility improving both artificial lures and natural bait such as cut mullet or fresh dead shrimp will work – or artificials tipped with natural bait.

In the creeks reds are in the usual places such as around docks, deep holes, rock, and creeks bends with structure, and the best time to fish is on lower stages of the tide.

Sheepshead fishing remains good on lower stages of the tide around deeper docks with 10-12 feet of water, but catching keepers is getting more and more difficult.  Once temperatures drop and hold below 55 degrees most of the better fish will move and stay offshore since there is very little deep inshore structure in the 20-30 foot range to hold fish around Edisto.  Fiddler crabs are harder to get but clams and oysters are both working.  There are also a lot of small black drum mixed in with the sheepshead, but three out of four fish are undersized.

The trout bite around Edisto remains tough, and overall Ron continues to rate this one of the worst winters for deep hole trout fishing that he can remember.  The dirty water still seems to have pushed Edisto fish away.  Trout can still be caught here and there in the creeks in 8-15 feet of water around trees, deep holes, rock walls and other structure. Instead of the natural colored baits which usually work this time of year bright white, chartreuse, pink or fluorescent baits have been working better.

Whiting fishing on the beaches and sandbars is still slow, and generally they have moved to deeper nearshore reefs.

Offshore in the 90-foot range there are tons of vermillion snapper, porgies, black sea bass, and bonito.  Ron even found a bunch of bull drum in 90 feet on a recent trip.   To get keeper-sized sea bass you have to be in at least 60 feet right now.

A mixed bag of bottom fish caught nearshore off Edisto this week

A mixed bag of bottom fish caught nearshore off Edisto this week

January 4

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island are about 56 degrees.  The water is still stained after the second wettest December on record, and even when it looks to have started clearing upriver is pummeled by another round of rain.  Overall the water is brown.

On the redfish front, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that fishing remains good on both the flats and in the creeks.  However, visibility remains so poor that sight-fishing is more difficult than usual.  Typically at this time of year it is mainly an artificial lure bite, but with such low visibility natural bait like fresh dead shrimp or cut mullet is a better choice. Anglers can also use scented soft plastics, preferably tipped with some cut mullet or shrimp.  Low tide is the best time for fishing the flats.

In the creeks reds are in the usual places around structure, and the best time to fish is on lower stages of the tide.

Some nice reds caught this week with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

Some nice reds caught this week with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

Sheepshead fishing remains good on lower stages of the tide around deeper docks with 10-12 feet of water, but catching keepers is getting more and more difficult.  Fiddler crabs are harder to get but clams and oysters are both working.  There are also a lot of small black drum mixed in with the sheepshead, but three out of four fish are undersized.

The trout bite around Edisto remains tough, and overall Ron rates this one of the worst winters for deep hole trout fishing that he can remember. This is surprising after a good period this fall, but the dirty water seems to have pushed Edisto fish away.  Trout can still be caught here and there in the creeks in 8-15 feet of water around trees, deep holes, rock walls and other structure.  Instead of the natural colored baits which usually work this time of year bright white, chartreuse, pink or fluorescent baits have been working better.

Whiting fishing on the beaches and sandbars is still slow, and generally they have moved to deeper nearshore reefs.

When it’s not too foggy or windy fishing is good at the nearshore reefs from 4-12 miles offshore for black drum, redfish, sheepshead and summer trout.  The trout are starting to go further offshore, however.

Offshore in 70-90 feet there is good bottom fishing for porgies, triggerfish, vermillion snapper, and black sea bass.  The grouper season has closed as of January 1.

December 20

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island have dropped to 53-55 degrees.  As a result of what is already the third wettest December on record, the water is extremely stained – particularly for this time of year.  Both rivers are dark, with the North Edisto resembling iced tea and the South Edisto almost coffee-colored.

On the redfish front, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that fishing is good on both the flats and in the creeks.  However, visibility is so poor that instead of seeing fish on the flats as is customary anglers can only really make out wakes where fish are swimming.  Typically at this time of year it is mainly an artificial lure bite, but with such low visibility natural bait like fresh dead shrimp or cut mullet is a better choice. Anglers can also use scented soft plastics, preferably tipped with some cut mullet or shrimp.

In the creeks reds are in the usual places around structure, and the best time to fish is on lower stages of the tide.

On both the flats and in the creeks there are some black drum mixed in with the redfish, although these fish are generally smaller in the 12-15 inch range.  It’s harder to find keeper-sized drum this time of year.

Sheepshead fishing remains good on lower stages of the tide around docks with 6-10 feet of water, and even though one group of fish has gone offshore as temperatures have dipped below 55 degrees plenty of fish are still around.  Fiddler crabs are harder to get but clams and oysters are both working.

After a good start to the fall trout bite it has really fallen off with the dirty water, and fish have been harder to find.  They have left the main rivers but can be found in the creeks in 8-15 feet of water around trees, deep holes and rock walls. Instead of the natural colored baits which usually work this time of year bright white, chartreuse, pink or fluorescent baits have bene working better.  Overall the trout bite is fair.

Whiting have headed a little further out, and they can be found around sand bars and even nearshore reefs in 20-30 feet of water.  Around structure in 30-40 feet black drum, redfish, sheepshead and summer trout can be caught on ½ to 1-ounce jigs tipped with shrimp and spoons.

Offshore in 70-90 feet there is good bottom fishing for porgies, triggerfish, vermillion snapper, grouper and black sea bass.  However, the best big black sea bass action is in 40-60 feet.  King mackerel are also thick offshore anywhere water temperatures are over 65 degrees.

November 29

Inshore surface water temperatures around Edisto Island have dropped into the mid-50s.  Even with the inflow the rivers are clearing nicely, although the South Edisto is a bit dirtier than the North.

While water temperatures have dropped to about 55-56 degrees, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the ocean water is still warm and there are no more very cold nights in the immediate forecast.  Inshore temperatures should rebound to about 60 degrees, putting them in the perfect 55-60 degree range for fishing.  Shrimp are gone from the creeks by now.

Redfish can still be caught on the flats as well as the creeks. On the flats the best time to fish is mid-tide on both the incoming and the outgoing, and by now fishermen have pretty much switched over to scented soft plastics although cut mullet will also work.  In the creeks reds are in the usual places around structure, and the best time to fish is on lower stages of the tide.  Live finger mullet, cut mullet, scented plastics and jigs/ grubs will all work.

Trout fishing remains much better than expected earlier this year, and it still looks like only about half of the area fish were killed last winter.  Trout can still be caught in the main rivers near the ocean beside white shell banks and main river points in 4-8 feet of water.  The best time is the higher stages of the tide and the first of the outgoing.  DOA shrimp and grubs fished with or without a popping cork are working.

However, by now the best place to fish for trout is up the creeks where they can be caught on the lower half of the tide (as long as the water is clear) in deep bends with trees and other structure.  The best way to locate fish is by trolling grubs fished on a ¼ ounce jighead.  In clear conditions use very natural colored grubs, but in dirtier water look to bright white or chartreuse baits.

A young angler with two of the species available around Edisto right now

A young angler with two of the species available around Edisto right now

The sheepshead bite remains excellent and fishing on lower stages of the tide around docks with 6-10 feet of water is still working. Fiddler crabs are still the best bait, but as the cold pushes out the bait stealers a variety of crustaceans will work.  Sheeps will stay inshore until water temperatures get below 52 degrees and stay there.There are still tons of whiting that can be caught anywhere there are shells, a sandbar, a rip, or some other type of variation off the beach.  Flounder are mostly gone by now.

At the nearshore reefs summer trout remain thick in 25-40 feet of water. You can also find some of them inshore in the creeks closest to the ocean if there is some live bottom and at least 12-15 feet of water.  But you can still only keep one!

Big black sea bass have moved closer to the shore in only 40-60 feet of water.

November 15

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are in the low to mid-60s. Clarity was improving but these major rain events will muddy the water up.

It’s been a period of significant change in conditions around Edisto Island, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in the last two and a half weeks inshore water temperatures have fallen 10-15 degrees.  The good news, however, is that this is the peak time to catch fish at Edisto, and at this time of year whenever the water temperatures drop the fish generally get more and more willing to eat whatever is moving.

Redfish can be caught on the flats as well as the creeks. On the flats the best time to fish is mid-tide on both the incoming and the outgoing, and floating live shrimp under a popping cork along the grass lines is generally the best pattern. However, bait shrimp are getting harder and harder to find inshore but luckily, as noted above, with dropping temperatures the fish will eat a wider selection of baits including artificial lures.  In the creeks reds are in the usual places around structure, and the best time to fish is on lower stages of the tide.  Creek reds are not picky right now, either.

After a super cold period at the beginning of the year, which was feared to be devastating, trout fishing has been much better than expected. Numbers are down closer to 50% rather than 80 or 90% as feared, and that’s compared to a banner year last year.

In the main rivers near the ocean trout can still be caught beside white shell banks and main river points in 4-8 feet of water.  The best time is the higher stages of the tide and the first of the outgoing.  Before the cold, wet snap the trout were already starting to get on an artificial lure bite, and that will only accelerate with the weather.  DOA shrimp and grubs fished with or without a popping cork are good bets.

Trout are also stacking up in the creeks and they can be caught on the lower half of the tide (as long as the water is clear) in deep bends with trees and other structure.  As long as water temperatures stay above 50 degrees we are entering the peak trolling period where most any grub fished on a ¼ ounce jighead is a good way to locate fish.

There are still plenty of trout around - a good Edisto fall catch with Captain Ron Davis

There are still plenty of trout around – a good Edisto fall catch with Captain Ron Davis

The sheepshead bite has been excellent and fishing on lower stages of the tide around docks with 6-10 feet of water has been working.  Fiddler crabs are still the best bait, but as the cold pushes out the bait stealers a variety of crustaceans will work.

Whiting can still be caught off the beaches, with bigger fish around the sand bars and more turbulent water.  Flounder are in the process of leaving.

At the nearshore reefs summer trout are thick in 25-40 feet of water. You can also find some of them inshore in the creeks closest to the ocean if there is some live bottom and at least 12-15 feet of water.  But you can still only keep one!

October 19

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are in the upper 70s but dropping.  There are lots of bait shrimp in the creeks.

With water temperatures only beginning to go down fish are just now starting to get into a true fall pattern – Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that water temperatures were 80 degrees earlier this week!  Naturally then, redfish remain in a similar pattern, and the bite remains good on the flats and in the creeks.  On the flats the best tide has been the middle outgoing tide when the water is out of the grass, while in the creeks two hours either side of low is best. Live shrimp are the best bait on the flats, but in the creeks live finger mullet work best and avoid bait stealers.

Black drum can be found mixed in with the reds on the flats and in the creeks.  Live shrimp is the best bait.

The trout bite is unexpectedly good, and Ron is extremely pleased to see better numbers than expected after last winter.  The keeper ratio is down, and only about one out of five fish is legal instead of 40 or 50% which would be normal at this time of year.  Still, with fears of 80%+ mortality things are looking pretty good.

Fishing live shrimp 3-5 feet under a cork on main river points in about 6-10 feet of water is the best trout pattern.  Finger mullet will also work.  The best time to fish is when there is clear water, which usually correlates to a couple of hours either side of high tide.  The artificial lure bite has not really started.

Hauls like this catch of the day this week on Ron Davis' boat didn't seem likely earlier this year

Hauls like this catch of the day this week on Ron Davis’ boat didn’t seem likely earlier this year

Sheepshead fishing has been very good fishing fiddler crabs around docks with 6-8 feet of water at low tide.  Sizes have been solid with about a 50% keeper ratio.

The giggers have been getting lots of flounder, and reports indicate that Frampton, Townsend and Jeremy Inlet have been consistent areas.  Finger mullet are the best bait right now.

Summer trout can be caught in deep holes at the mouths of major creeks, around mud bars, or over hard shell bottoms in 10-20 feet.  They are also at the nearshore reefs.

Around sandbars or nearshore structure in 20-30 feet of water Spanish mackerel are prolific.  Fish are following bait and the key is to look for the birds.

Because of unusually high water temperatures bull red drum are just now starting to bite around the Edisto Rocks in 19-22 feet of water.  They can also be found at the nearshore reefs.  The fish are migrating and they will spawn until mid-November from the surf out to 90 feet of water.

Offshore, tuna fishing has been really good at the ledge or over good bottom structure.  Wahoo are still around but dolphin are not.

Bottom fishing is excellent and fish are starting to move closer in.  Look for a very good bite for vermillion snapper, porgy, black sea bass, triggerfish and grouper.

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 86 degrees, about as warm as it should get this summer.   The water is tannic/ brown in both rivers because of all the freshwater inflow, and so salinity is lower than normal.

There are some encouraging signs with Edisto Island inshore fishing, and Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in a lot of ways fishing looks like it’s getting into an early fall pattern.  The creeks around Edisto are filled with jumbo shrimp, with most of them white but some brown, and there is a hot early bite.

The redfish bite has come on pretty strong and fishing is now good in both the flats and the creeks.  There are tons of small, young-of-the-year redfish around right now, and on many days 80% of the catch has been under the slot.  However, on some recent trips Ron has found about a 50/50 mix of slot and over slot fish versus small ones, a promising sign.

In the flats the bite is really not very tide dependent, but in a typical early fall pattern the fishing is usually good for the first couple of hours of the day regardless of tide. Fish are feeding very heavily on live shrimp, and fishing them either a couple of feet under a float or rigged on a small jighead the action is good.  While there are lots of finger mullet around, there is no doubt that shrimp are king right now.

The creek pattern continues to be pretty steady as it has been all summer, but unsurprisingly the best action right now is with live shrimp fished on the bottom.  Fishing around structure at low tide is still the best way to catch creek fish.

There have been plenty of black drum mixed in with the redfish in both the creeks and main river flats, but there are more 14-17+ inch drum on the flats

The trout bite is fair, a little off from where it was a month ago, likely at least in part because of lower salinity from all the freshwater inflow.   Because of the heat trout are hard to find in the creeks, and the best bet to catch them is to fish high tide on the main river white shell banks with live shrimp about four feet under a cork.

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.

A heathy trout caught yesterday with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

A healthy trout caught yesterday with Captain Ron Davis, Jr.

It’s been a banner year for flounder, and while Ron’s boat is mainly catching them as a by-catch they are certainly picking up more than is normal at this time of year.  Most of them are around 15 inches or better.  If you want to specifically target flounder the best places to look are at the mouths of smaller inlets with a sandy bottom.  While they like to be around shells, they want to be around shells in sand more than in mud.  Because flounder are such visual feeders clear water is also a significant plus.

Sheepshead fishing is pretty typical for this time of year, with lots of small sheeps around pilings in 5-8 feet of water.  Fiddlers crabs are the best bait.  They are also starting to get up in the grass tailing on high tides, but how to catch them is anyone’s guess!

There are plenty of small whiting in the surf that will eat cut shrimp or cut bait, but for bigger whiting you need to go a bit deeper off the edges of bars in 10-15 feet of water.

Tarpon are here but the action is very sporadic, and much of the last few weeks conditions have been too choppy to easily look for them. Tarpon move around a lot, and they will eat for a couple of days in one area and then move on.  The best way to target them is to ride around until you see either fish rolling or menhaden or mullet schools.

Both inshore and nearshore Spanish mackerel can be found, and most any day that you can get offshore you can get into them.  While there are some at the mouths of inlets they are a bit sporadic, and the best action is in 30-45 feet of water on out to 60 feet. Nearshore reefs are the best places to target them.  While you can usually catch some trolling spoons, for some reason they have been responding better to very small mylar jigs this year.  Fish the lure with the fastest retrieve you can manage.

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