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AHQ INSIDER Charleston (SC) Spring 2018 Fishing Report – Updated February 16

  • by Jay

The newest Charleston fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-charleston-sc-spring-2018-fishing-report/

February 16

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are around 55 degrees.  Conditions are still very clear, but don’t expect that to last too much longer.

There’s still not much change inshore, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that redfish are still huddled up in their winter, low-tide schools on the flats around oyster beds.

While the best action remains out at the nearshore reefs for sheepshead, black drum, black sea bass and larger red drum, recently conditions have been too rough to get out there very often.  There’s also good bottom fishing in 60-90 feet, but it’s also heavily weather dependent.

Perhaps the most exciting bite near Charleston right now is the annual shad run, where American shad make their way from the ocean up into the Tailrace Canal (in Monck’s Corner) or the Rediversion Canal (at St. Stephen).  Anglers can catch fish using light line and small, 1/8 ounce green and chartreuse jigs.  The boat traffic can get heavy so anglers are reminded to be courteous.

Captain Rob Bennett shows off a big spring shad
Captain Rob Bennett shows off a big spring shad

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 Charleston area are around 50 degrees and conditions are still very clear.

There’s not much change inshore, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that that the best bet is still to fish the flats for redfish.  Look around oyster beds.

The best action remains out at the nearshore reefs.  The bite remain red hot for sheepshead, black drum,and black sea bass.  Additionally, plenty of nice redfish can be caught just offshore.  They will take a variety of baits including squid.

Anglers know to look inshore for redfish, but they can also be caught at the nearshore reefs right now
A nice redfish caught offshore with Captain Rob Bennett

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 in the Charleston area are around 51 degrees and conditions are very clear.

It’s a familiar story inshore, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that that the best bet is still to fish the flats for redfish.  With very little bait around fish remain willing to eat, and the schools are most likely to be found around oyster mounds.

The best action, though, can be found out at the nearshore reefs.  At the Kiawah Reef, the Edisto 40, the Charleston Nearshore reef, the Capers Reef, etc. the bite is red hot for sheepshead, black drum,and black sea bass.  If you can’t get fiddler crabs sand fleas will often work even better.

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 in the Charleston area are around 46 degrees, and clarity is very good.

It’s been a tough month in the Charleston area and on much of the South Carolina coast, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) notes the bad trout kills in the area.  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

Inshore there has been light fishing pressure due to conditions, but if anglers want to chase something this is prime time to sight fish for redfishon the flats.  Look for low tide conditions on calm days, when big schools of 10-200 fish should be visible.  When you see the wakes cast ahead of the schools in the direction they are moving with flies, bait or artificials.  Fish are skittish in the clear, cold water.

Nearshore this is the time of year when bigger black sea bass can be caught closer in, and at 4KI, the Edisto 40, etc. they can be caught on bottom rigs.  Sheepshead are out there too and should be there until about mid-March.  Pick your weather days and take plenty of fiddler crabs with you.

December 19

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are around 54-55 degrees, and clarity is very good.

Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports no major changes in the inshore bite this week, but they continue to have good troutcatches in a little bit deeper areas.

Rob Bennett Jr. with an early winter trout
Rob Bennett Jr. with an early winter trout

The redfishschools continue to get larger with the pattern about the same.  Low tide sight casting remains the most productive pattern.

December 15

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are in the mid- to lower-50s and the creeks are clearing.

Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that even with the cold weather fishing remains strong, and there is a very good bite for trout on artificial lures.  The fish are in the same areas around points and oyster beds with medium to low current flow, but instead of being in 2-3 feet they are in 6-10.  On the warmest days they may move up shallower.  Plastic grubs and Zman baits are working, with the ever-reliable electric chicken color hard to beat.

Redfishare starting to congregate on the flats, with a low tide in the morning the best time to pursue them.  When there is little to no wind then with a stealthy approach you can sight-cast for the fish with a fly or grubs, and they will also take cut bait.  Look around oyster shells on the mud flats.

A late fall red on Captain Rob Bennett's boat
A late fall red on Captain Rob Bennett’s boat

Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that the bite has really slowed down and now the catch is just sharks, rays and the occasional whiting.

On the nearshore reefs in 40-50 feet of water the fishing remains strong.  Bull red drum, large black drum, and bigger black sea bass can all be caught out there right now.

December 1

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are in the mid- to upper-50s, and clarity is improving.

Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that the troutand redfishbite in the Charleston area continues to be incredible, and this week he still averaged 40-80 fish per day.  Shrimp stayed in the rivers longer than usual this year because of the warm weather, and this has obviously helped the fishing.  Before long the redfish will start to group up in larger, winter schools on the flats but for right now the pattern remains the same.

A nice red caught this week on Rob Bennett's boat
A nice red caught this week on Rob Bennett’s boat

The most notable change on the inshore side is that the spot run is underway.  Anglers can use blood worms or small pieces of shrimp on a #2 hook to catch these delicious fare.  They are being caught around the Folly River bridges, the old Pitt Street Bridge in Mount Pleasant, off the Kiawah Bridge and more.

Overall surf fishing is slowing down, but Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that they are still getting a few big bull reds, occasional whiting and black drum, and rays and small sharks.  For now sheepshead are still around in good numbers.

At live bottom areas in 40-60 feet bull red drum in the 20-50 pound range are thick, and as a result great white sharks are showing up just offshore probably to eat the redfish.  The reefs are also hot with weakfish, black drum, and soon sheepshead.

Wahoo are being caught on the ledges.

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