Reel in the big fish with one of our handpicked fishing reels. Shop by brand or reel type.

Shop our collection of fishing rods to find the one that best matches your needs.

AHQ INSIDER Edisto Island (SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated January 4

  • by Jay

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

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 redfishfront, 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 drummixed in with the sheepshead, but three out of four fish are undersized.

The troutbite 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.

Whitingfishing 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 alreadythe 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 redfishfront, 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 drummixed 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 troutbite 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.

Whitinghave 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 troutcan 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.

Redfishcan 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.

Troutfishing 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.  Flounderare mostly gone by now.

At the nearshore reefs summer troutremain 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.

Redfishcan 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.

Whitingcan still be caught off the beaches, with bigger fish around the sand bars and more turbulent water.  Flounderare in the process of leaving.

At the nearshore reefs summer troutare 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, redfishremain 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 mackerelare 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 troutbite 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.

Sheepsheadfishing 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.

July 13

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 85 degrees and clarity is good.

There’s a lot going on in the Edisto Island area.  Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the young of the year redfish in the 10-12 inch range are everywhere in the creeks, and with both white and brown shrimp thick live shrimp are the preferred bait.  Including small fish catching 20-30 reds in a trip is easy right now.

For better fish the creek bite is still better than the flats, and there is a decent tailing bite. When a tailing tide intersects with the evening then you can catch fish up in the short grass flats.

Trout are showing up in fair numbers, with most of the fish in the 10-13 inch range as well as a few bigger ones.  The fishing is better around the new and full moon, with the best catches around white shell banks in 4-8 feet of water fishing a live shrimp 3-5 feet below a popping cork.

There is a decent topwater bite in the first hour and a half of the day.  Getting 8-10 blow-ups and catching 3 or 4 fish is a good morning.

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 flounder bite continues to be fair at the mouths of the inlets on finger mullet.

Sheepshead fishing is good, although the fish are mainly small.  Fish fiddler crabs around docks with 8-12 feet of water.  You can see some sheeps on the flats but they are hard to get to eat.

On the flats there are also black drum mixed in with the redfish.  There are good numbers of fish but they are mainly small.  The best bait is live shrimp.

It is shaping up to be an above-average tarponseason, and the fish are thick around the mouths of inlets and cuts in the sand bars.  You should not stop and fish until you see tarpon feeding, and when you do put out a couple of lines on the top and a couple on the bottom with live menhaden or mullet.  Jumping 3-5 fish per day is a reasonable expectation and for some reason less sharks are around than usual.

Plenty of small whiting can be caught in the surf, but for bigger ones anglers need to fish in the mouths of inlets where there is good moving water.

Nearshore Ron reports that there is a good Spanish mackerel bite in 30-40 feet of water, and there are also more king mackerel than normal present.  They go wherever there is food, and kings can be caught from the beaches out to the ledge.  The best depths for kings have been in 30-40 feet of water or from 120 feet out to the ledge.

Offshore there are still enough dolphinaround to target them, and tuna and wahoo are also out there.  The wahoo bite should be excellent around the full moons for the next couple of months, and billfish are also around in 300-600 feet of water.

A good day off Edisto Island this past week
A good day off Edisto Island this past week

Ron reports that the best offshore bite, though, is bottom fishing in 125 feet of water out to the ledge. There is a very good bite for triggerfishporgy, vermillion snapper – and black sea bass in 90 feet.  Scamp grouper are good on the ledge.

June 21

Inshore surface water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are around 84 and clarity is good.

Inshore fishing around Edisto Island is solidly in a summer pattern, although Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that catching redfish on the flats remains tough.  He just isn’t seeing many fish on the flats and so it’s hard to target them.

In contrast, the creek bite is better and for 2-3 hours each side of low tide fish can be caught in deep holes.  There are lots of 2 ½ to 4 inch brown shrimp, and casting at low tide you can catch plenty for bait.  While they are the preferred bait finger mullet are also getting big enough to use.

At the nearshore reefs there are also a good number of black drum and red drum mixed together.  Shrimp are the best bait for black drum, and cut or live menhaden (if small enough) will work for the reds.

There are some trout around, and while the reports out of Charleston are better you can still catch a half-dozen good fish on a trip around Edisto targeting them.  Early in the morning the best pattern is throwing topwater lures, and then the rest of the day fishing live shrimp or DOA shrimp 4-6 feet under a cork around white shell banks adjacent to their spawning grounds is the best pattern. There are hardly any trout in the creeks as most are out in the rivers.  Tide does not matter much as long as you can find some clear water.

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.

Trout fishing should get better in the fall when more of the migratory species move through.

There has been a good flounder bite in sandy inlets, particularly when you can find some rocks.

There are lots of small sheepshead in the creeks around docks, although only about one out of five fish are keepers.  Fiddler crabs are the best bait.

With calm seas recently the best thing going is fishing nearshore for Spanish mackerel, false albacore and bluefish.  They are around the reefs but also generally holding in the 30-40 foot range, and just riding and looking for birds you can usually locate them.  At times they will take anything and at times they can be very fickle, and recently Ron has had good luck casting shortened ¼ ounce mylar jigs and winding as fast as possible so the lure is jumping out of the water.

Offshore there are still a lot of dolphin around, but you have to look for the right weed lines to find the best bite.  There aren’t many temperatures breaks and so they could be anywhere from 120-2000 feet.  Boats are still catching 30 plus fish on trips, and even though most are in the 5-7 pound range there are still 15-30 pound fish mixed in.  The wahoo bite is in a typical June lull but will almost certainly pick up in July and August around the good moons.  Tuna reports have been limited.

Bottom fishing has been excellent for grouper in 90-160 feet, vermillion snapper, triggerfish and black sea bass.

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 sheepsheadbite 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 flounderare 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 troutspawn 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 wahooare 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 redfishside 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.

Sheepsheadfishing 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.

Sheepsheadfishing 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.

Sheepsheadfishing 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 redfishbite 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 sheepsheadfishing 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 redfishbite 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 sheepsheadare 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 flounderare also at the same depth spawning.

The wahoobite 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 redfishbite 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 sheepsheadoffshore 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 flounderare also at the same depth spawning.

In 160-250 feet of water wahooare 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 drumand 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 redfishare 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 drumand 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 troutare 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.  Troutare 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 redfishpopulation 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.

Sheepsheadare 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 weakfisharound. 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

Whitingare 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.

Search