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AHQ INSIDER Charleston (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated November 30

  • by Jay

November 30

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area range between about 59 and 64 degrees.

Fall is always a great time for inshore fishing around Charleston, but Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that conditions have combined to make fishing this fall even better than usual.  The fishing is still excellent.

While fish can certainly be caught inshore, a lot of redfish are starting to move from the surf to the nearshore reefs right now.  Rob advises that reds, spotted seatrout and black sea basscan all be found together at the reefs, and it’s not unusual to pull up a fat black sea bass and then immediately tangle with a 30-pound red drum.  This makes for some really exciting fishing.  When anglers are offshore they should also put out a live bait rig under a balloon, as water temperatures are about perfect for king mackerel right now.

Inshore there are still plenty of redfish around traditional areas such as docks and other structure, but as temperatures drop fish are on the verge of grouping up into big schools.  This should happen any day now and groups of 10-50 fish averaging 6-12 pounds will be a common occurrence on the flats.

Captain Rob Bennett with a healthy redfish caught recently outside Charleston
Captain Rob Bennett with a healthy redfish caught recently outside Charleston

Trout can still be caught in the rivers, and they are biting well on artificials such as Zman Silver Streakz or most any grub (curly tail or flattail) behind a jighead.  There are areas that will produce on each stage of the tide, but if you can pick your tide then fishing the high, outgoing tide is probably best.  Extreme cold later in the winter should slow the bite down but for now the fishing is strong.

November 2

Charleston area water temperatures are in the lower 70s.

Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that the redfish bite could not be hotter than it is right now.  Redfish can be caught most everywhere, including around marsh grass, docks and off the beaches.  Fish can also be caught across a range of tides; it’s a matter of fishing the right spot at the right time.  The best bait is live shrimp which are still abundant in the creeks.

A spottail bass without spots caught recently on Captain Rob Bennett's boat
A spottail bass without spots caught recently on Captain Rob Bennett’s boat

Troutfishing is also nothing short of incredible, with the best bite along the edges of the grass on higher stages of the tide.  The high outgoing tide has been best.  Live shrimp fished under a popping cork has been the best bait.   

Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that the catch mostly consists of red drum well over the slot, but there have also been some black drum caught by regulars.  Trout are not being caught.

October 13

Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that the pier and Folly Beach in general weathered the storm fairly well, and they are back open for business.  Bull red drum and whiting are both biting, but trout and sheepshead don’t seem to have showed up again in the catch since the storm.

A view of Sullivan's Island yesterday
A view of Sullivan’s Island yesterday

September 30

Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that the fishing has picked up a little in the past week, and they caught a 4 ½ pound black drum among other notable catches.  A large number of bull drum are also being caught off the pier, including one angler who caught a 38- and 40-inch fish on Wednesday.

September 20

Surface water temperatures in the Charleston area have dropped into the 76-78 degree range, and even with the very high tides over the last few days the water is clearing – compared to where it was after the tropical storm.  Finger mullet schools are everywhere.

The bull red drum have arrived in the Charleston area, and Captain J.R. Waits of Fish Call Charters (843-509-7337) reports that the fish are spawning and feeding heavily.  Today J.R.’s boat caught 15 or 16 bull drum up to 25 pounds, and he says that the bite should only get better!  It will last through around the second week of November.  Bull drum will be found in the harbor, around jetties and near sandbars in the inlet.  Menhaden or large chunks of cut mullet are the best baits.

A couple of nice fish from a banner day today on Captain J.R. Wait's boat
A couple of nice fish from a banner day today on Captain J.R. Waits’s boat

Inshore redfish are also feeding well and J.R. reports that most of the fish have been over the slot.   Finger mullet have been the best bait, and while the incoming tide has been the best recently, that changes often and soon the outgoing may be the most productive.

While J.R.’s boat is not pursuing trout right now the creeks are full of shrimp and there are trout and more to be caught, and tarpon and blacktip sharks are also around.  Tarpon can be caught on live mullet or menhaden.

Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that the weather hasn’t cooled much yet, and so true September/ October fishing hasn’t really gotten underway.  Small black drum, whiting, and some large 30+ inch red drum have been caught off the pier recently.

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