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AHQ INSIDER Beaufort (SC) Winter Fishing Report – Updated February 11

  • by Jay

February 11

Inshore water temperatures in the Beaufort area are around 55 degrees, which is warm for this time of year because after each cold snap this winter temperatures have quickly rebounded.  Clarity is very good.

Conditions for catching redfish in the Beaufort area continue to be pretty good, according to Captain Tuck Scott of Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250).  During and after cold snaps the reds usually get a little fussy, and don’t show a lot of interest in eating, but as soon as the warming trends start they have been eating pretty well.

The best pattern has been sight-casting on lower stages of the tide and throwing smaller flies and lures in the super clear water.  Small bright colored flies like size 4 electric chicken and bonefish flies in 4s and 6s are both working.  On conventional tackle go to 1/8 ounce jigheads and smaller grub bodies, again in bright colors.  In super clear water some anglers think they should go to baits in black or brown colors, but these actually silhouette so much that they spook the fish and super bright colors like white, pink and chartreuse are actually better.

Overall it’s very much a low tide, sight casting game.  Some fish can be caught on higher stages of the tide around shell bars, grass, points, etc., but catching fish on the flood is much more difficult.

At this stage of the winter troutfishing has slowed down somewhat, but fish can still be caught on mud minnows fished on a popping cork.  Live shrimp are even better, but very hard to get.  Fish will also eat a ¼ ounce jighead and grub.  The best pattern is fishing in faster moving water around shell bars and outside creek mouths.  At this stage of the year fish are most likely to be found in 3-4 feet of water.

January 15

Inshore water temperatures in the Beaufort area are around 57 degrees, and clarity is very good.

Atypically mild weather, combined with typically good winter water clarity, has made for excellent conditions for catching redfish in the Beaufort area.  Captain Tuck Scott of Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that at lower stages of the tide there has been some excellent sight-fishing for reds on the flats.  The best tide runs from about 3 hours before low tide until about 2 hours after low.  Fish are eating Gulp! baits, paddletail grubs, swimming mullet and other soft plastics fished on a ¼ or 1/8 ounce jighead.

Fishing is tougher on higher tides, but fishing live bait for reds chasing shrimp is one option (Atkins on Lady’s Island is probably the best bet for bait around the islands).  Fishing is tougher on the rising tide when water is going into the grass, and a little easier when the tide is coming out of the grass.

A nice "winter" red caught this week on Captain Tuck Scott's boat
A nice “winter” red caught this week on Captain Tuck Scott’s boat

Perhaps due to the combination of good weather this winter as well as mild winters the last few years, Tuck reports that the trout fishing is about as good as he has seen it in a while.  It looked like cold weather this winter might get water temperatures into the danger range, but then very warm days quickly rebounded the temperatures.

The best trout fishing has been on the dropping tide, but the incoming has been pretty good, too.  Fishing Gulp! baits or grub bodies on a ¼ ounce jighead has been working very well over and around oyster bars, and on the dropping tide fishing where water is coming out of the grass has been good.