Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are 90 degrees.
With water temperatures this hot Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that he has to keep less bait in the live well, but overall fishing has been pretty outstanding for the species he is targeting. That’s mostly tarpon and bull reds, although there have been some jacks around to the south of Hilton Head – although in the last few days they have petered out for some reason.
There hasn’t been a big concentration of tarpon anywhere and they are super spread out, from the Broad River to the south end of Hilton Head to the ocean off the north end. This is largely a function of the amount of bait that is around this summer, and with bait everywhere tarpon are everywhere!
In the inlets and ocean they are putting live baits on the top and bottom, while in the rivers they are also using cut bait. River fish are more likely to be staying in one area and so cut bait seems to work better than for the more nomadic ocean fish. They are also getting some hook-ups casting artificials like big Zman MagSwimZ in black and purple.
The bull reds have been around structure off the beaches, and they can be found from as little as 6 or less feet out to 36 feet. Cut mullet is the best bait although menhaden will also work, and with menhaden they are often cutting the tail off the bait to hook it through the harder head or even putting two on to increase the chances they stay on the hook.
While Kai hasn’t spent as much time targeting them there is also a good inshore redfish bite. While you can certainly catch them on higher stages of the tide, on low tide they have been feeding really well on the mud flats that have oyster shells. Cut mullet and cut menhaden have both been working.
Kai still hasn’t seen or heard about trout.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 89 degrees.
Inshore fishing has been pretty good around Hilton Head this last week, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that in particular there is a hot redfish bite. While you can certainly catch them on higher stages of the tide, on low tide they have been feeding really well on the mud flats that have oyster shells. Cut mullet and cut menhaden have both been working.
Unfortunately that’s in contrast to the bull reds, which unlike the past couple of years have only showed up occasionally so far this August. Hopefully some cooler weather at some point will draw them in.
But luckily there is plenty of other big game around, between giant jack crevalle in the Calibogue Sound and tarpon that can be found most everywhere. They are catching the jacks on topwater lures, and at high tide they are coming up in the sound while at low water they seem to pull out to the shipping channel.
The tarpon are basically all about the baitfish, and you will find pods of them wherever there are schools of bait. Menhaden and mullet schools could be found in the Port Royal Sound, Calibogue Sound, or further up the rivers in the Savannah, Broad or Chechessee. That’s a pretty typical late summer pattern. Live menhaden on the bottom have still been working the best, but it’s also worth putting baits higher in the water column in areas where they are feeding on bait.
Kai hasn’t seen or heard about trout caught in a little while.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 87 degrees in the ocean, 91 in the main rivers, and even higher in the creeks at low tide. Bait is everywhere.
The full moon is almost always a boon for the late summer tarpon fishing, and this week has been no exception. Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that the bigger tides bring in more baitfish and the fish seem to move around more, and with the ripping current they feed better and seem easier to find. This usually starts a few days before the peak moon phase and lasts until a few days after. Tarpon have been everywhere from the rivers to the ocean, and they have been eating the best on live menhaden on the bottom. Fish around bait schools, especially when you see fish targeting them.
The jack crevalle have also showed up again in the surf and they are running the beaches. Instead of the giants it has been the 5-10 pound fish, but they also make for really exciting fishing. Often they are catching jacks while throwing out live menhaden around sandbars for tarpon, but when you see them boiling you can also cast lures at them.
Once again this late summer the bull red drum seem to be kicking off an early spawn around the August full moon, and they are being found in the inlets as well as at the offshore sandbars. Overall it seems that they are starting to make their way shallower. Cut menhaden are working very well for them, and you will also pick up plenty of sharks this way.
While there’s no trout report this week, inshore they are smoking the smaller redfish with cut menhaden in the grass. The best pattern is to cast them out on free lines or under corks in sparser areas of grass on higher tides and wait. Perhaps because of the heat the bite has been better on the flood than at low tide.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 87 degrees and the creeks are full of bait.
With tarpon and bull red drum in the area you know Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) is making a run at them, but none of the fishing has been particularly easy this week. Kai thinks that might have a lot to do with weak, off-moon phase tides resulting in less water flow than usual, and so he is very optimistic about what the early August full moon may bring.
Tarpon can be found way up the Broad River out to the ocean, and with tons of menhaden around they have a lot of places they want to be. Anchoring live menhaden or (second-choice) mullet in likely places, usually around bait schools, is the best way to target them. You will also pick up plenty of sharks this way.
For now the bull red drum are on sand ledges and channel edges, mostly in about 20 feet of water off the beaches and inlets. They have not moved up on onto the bars or into the rivers where they will come in August to start their early spawn.
There are still plenty of slot-sized reds to be caught, and Kai is targeting them with cut bait around docks and oyster/ mud flats.
While Kai hasn’t fished for trout this week, he has watched another captain catch several small ones on live shrimp around relatively shallow oyster bars.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 87 degrees and the creeks are full of bait. Finger mullet should very soon be bait-sized.
If you stick to the migratory species it’s a really, really exciting time to fish in Hilton Head, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that the tarpon fishing has made for some real fun in the past two weeks. The best place to find them has been at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound, and anchoring live menhaden or (second-choice) mullet has been the best way to catch them. You will also pick up plenty of sharks this way.
While the cobia are about done, with only a few small ones still being caught around the Broad River Bridge, jack crevalle are in the area and marauding. They are providing some outstanding topwater action at the Broad River Bridge, Calibogue Sound, in the Chechessee River and in the Savannah River Channel. When they find feeding fish they are casting big poppers, Zman MagSwimZ and live menhaden on free-lines.
Unfortunately the bull red drum have slowed down a little this week, but they are still finding some on the sand bars to the south of Hilton Head in about 15-20 feet of water.
At the same time, while you can certainly still catch redfish in the boiling inshore water they aren’t feeding particularly well. The best bet is fishing around oyster bars with cut bait, or looking for fish up in the grass tailing on the higher tides.
Kai has not heard any trout reports or caught any himself this week.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are in the lower 80s.
Finally things are getting right in Hilton Head, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) is noticeably relieved to be able to offer anglers a variety of species and chase big game again. This week the big three have been tarpon, jack crevalle, and bull red drum, and they have caught plenty of each and had some pretty exciting charters.
While some tarpon are certainly oceanside, this week they have been finding the most in the larger creeks. When you get on them then the best bet is to anchor live baits, especially menhaden. You will also catch a lot of sharks, including bonnetheads, lemon sharks, hammerheads, finetooth sharks, black tips and more. If you aren’t catching sharks you aren’t tarpon fishing!
For the jacks it’s mostly a matter of riding and looking, with the big schools on the surface all over the rivers and Calibogue Sound. When they find feeding fish they are casting big poppers, Zman MagSwimZ and live menhaden on free-lines.
But perhaps the most exciting action has been with the bull reds, and this week they have been oceanside just inside the nearshore structure. Anchoring fresh cut or live bait on the bottom in about 15 feet around rips is the ticket, and there are times when you can actually see them feeding. There have been some big, frenzied schools working structure this week.
While less dramatic inshore redfish have still been a reliable fishing partner, and they are catching them floating cut mullet along the grass lines under a cork. They can also be caught at low tide on the mud flats or around downed trees in the creeks with the same bait.
Another good bait has been small menhaden, and the creeks right now are full of 3-inch “pogies”. You can fish them about five feet under a slip float and pick up some redfish or trout, but this week the best pattern for trout has actually been casting swimbaits just inside the inlets up against grass lines in clean water at high tide.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 78 or 79 degrees.
It’s been a week of dodging storms for Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475), but between showers they have managed to sneak in some good fishing and catching.
Redfish have been a reliable fishing partner, and they are catching them floating cut mullet along the grass lines under a cork. While they haven’t been doing it they can also be caught at low tide on the mud flats or around downed trees in the creeks with the same bait.
Another good bait has been small menhaden, and the creeks right now are full of 3-inch “pogies”. Fishing them in about 5 feet of water under a slip float will catch some redfish, but most of all it’s the best pattern right now for catching trout.
Pretty incredibly for the end of June the cobia action continues to be good, and they are still getting 3-4 fish (mostly under 36 inches) each trip. The best action has been at the Broad River Bridge and around riprap and sand bars in the river, and they are catching some of them at the top coming to the chum bag and some on the bottom. The key is to offer the fish a wide range of selections, and they put both live and cut pogies and “greenies” (threadfin herring) under a float as well as anchored.
There are tons of Spanish mackerel about 2 miles off the beaches around any structure, including some good ones. However, storms have been so prevalent that guides are hesitant to take clients out there and get stuck in one.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head got up to about 79 or 80 degrees, but have dropped back to about 76.
Water temperatures continue to be a tease in Hilton Head, rising then falling just as much, and as a result Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that summer fishing patterns have yet to take off. Overall the combination of cool, windy, and gray days has done nothing to hasten the arrival of summer fisheries.
Luckily cobia action continues to be pretty good, and they continue to get 3-5 fish (mostly under 36 inches) each trip. The best action has been at the Broad River Bridge and around riprap and sand bars in the river, and they are catching some of them at the top coming to the chum bag and some on the bottom. The key is to offer the fish a wide range of selections, and they put both live and cut “pogies” (menhaden) and “greenies” (threadfin herring) under a float as well anchored.
Inshore there has been a decent redfish bite on the mud flats and mostly exposed shell bars at low tide. They have also been picking up some redfish around downed trees in the creeks at low tide. Chunks of cut mullet or menhaden have been the best bait.
There has apparently been one tarpon caught in the Hilton Head area at the mouth of a river, and they are anxious for more migratory species to arrive.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 77 degrees.
Two weeks ago the water temperatures were 79 degrees, then Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports they dropped to 72, and now they are just getting back to about 77. At the same time the fish were shocked with the cold, then the wind start blowing like hell, and never stopped, then there was the big moon and accompanying tides, and then the wind switched direction and all the marsh grass got blown all over the place. Suffice to say it’s been tough fishing for about two weeks now.
Fortunately there are the cobia, and even though most of them are just undersized they have been pretty reliable fishing partners. The best action has been at the Broad River Bridge, and they are catching some of them at the top coming to the chum bag and some on the bottom. The key is to offer the fish a wide range of selections, and they put both live and cut “pogies” (menhaden) and “greenies” (threadfin herring) under a float as well anchored. There have been some sharks around but not too many at the bridge.
Further up the river in about 30 feet they have caught some bull redfish around structure.
Inshore there has been a decent redfish bite on the mud flats at low tide with chunks of cut mullet, and they have also picked up some trout on small pogies as well as lots of bluefish. The best pattern for trout has been fishing at high tide over white shell rakes.
It’s been too windy to get nearshore.
Morning surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are about 79 degrees and clarity varies.
It’s a slow time for trout around Hilton Head, but there are certainly redfish that can be caught inshore. On low tide they will take cut mullet fished around mud flats and oyster shells, while at higher tides you can go up in the grass and look for tailing fish or fish cut mullet under floats in sparse patches.
But none of that is what Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) is thinking about right now, and he pretty much has cobia on the brain! They are fishing the Port Royal Sound in the vicinity of the Broad River Bridge, and yesterday his boat caught an incredible ten cobia! The key is to offer the fish a wide range of selections, and they put both live and cut “pogies” (menhaden) and “greenies” (threadfin herring) on both the top and bottom. Fishing this way you will also pick up other species, and they are getting random jack crevalle, medium-sized bluefish, and the occasional Spanish mackerel. Of course, you will also pick up some sharks but yesterday Kai, incredibly, only caught one shark to go with ten cobia. Other years the ratio has been more likely to be reversed!
With tough winds they haven’t been able, or needed, to venture offshore this week.
There’s better news this week from Hilton Head, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that even though it’s still been pretty windy it looks like the fishing is finally getting there.
The best bite this week has been for redfish, and at times it seems like the fish are biting with “reckless abandon”. They are inshore on the low tide mud flats, and the 3-4 inch “peanut pogies” or “cookies” that have showed up have been working extremely well. The reds seem to have a particular taste for these small menhaden, and they have also picked up a fair number of flounder as a by-catch while fishing them under a popping cork.
Meanwhile the trout fishing has been a little slow, but they are catching some around deeper docks on live shrimp.
Even though Kai has been over to the Broad River Bridge looking for cobia he has not caught any so far this year, and overall it’s been slow for most people. It doesn’t seem like a big wave has come in yet. They have picked up plenty of sharks and even a big chopper bluefish while trying for cobia.
For surf fishermen there is a decent whiting bite, and there are also croaker around. You will also hook into stingrays and too many sharpnose sharks.
Nearshore the fishing has been unremarkable even on days when they could get out. There are tons of bluefish and small “bacon strip” Spanish mackerel around several miles out, but they have not made it to the beaches or super close rips yet.
Frankly it’s been too windy to fish this week at Hilton Head, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that before today he has literally not been on the water all week. Before that they caught a bunch of redfish and trout on a slip cork, with the trout in about 6 feet and the reds in about 3 off grass lines with adjacent oyster bars on the rising tide. With several trips in the next couple of days Kai should be able to give a more complete report next week.
But don’t worry, the wind-surfing has been great!
Morning surface water temperatures are back to down to the low 70s around Hilton Head.
It’s still very much a transition period around Hilton Head, and Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that the Nor’easter this week dropped water temperatures and delayed the best fishing. Still, things are about to pop because when water temperatures hit the mid-70s that’s usually when the fishing really takes off.
For now it’s a little bit of an odd inshore bite, and even though they aren’t catching trout on their usual trout spots they are covered up in schools of redfish. Groups of dozens of fish are against the grass at high tide, and they are catching them on both live and dead shrimp. They are also picking up a few flounder that are starting to slip back into the creeks, and inshore bluefish are everywhere.
Nearshore the monster black drum bite is unfortunately done. They had hoped for it to go on longer, but this year it started early and ended early. There are still a good number of sheepshead out there, but especially the closer reefs are pretty picked over by now. The further out you go the more fish over 14 inches you will find. While they haven’t found the big Spanish mackerel yet, smaller Spanish and blues are everywhere.
No late April Hilton Head fishing report would be complete without mentioning cobia, and Kai reports that a few have been caught around the Broad River Bridge with baits on the bottom. Also see the Beaufort report for additional information as the season progresses.
Morning surface water temperatures have rebounded to 70 degrees in the ocean around Hilton Head, with inshore temperatures just a little cooler, and the water is fairly clear.
There’s little doubt that the most exciting thing going on in the water around Hilton Head is the monster black drum bite, and this week Captain Kai Williams with Awesome Adventure Charters (843-816-7475) reports that it’s on fire. The huge ones are mixed in with smaller fish, and it’s not unusual to catch a 15-30 inch fish on a fiddler crab (mixed in with sheepshead) and then on the next bite to hook a 50-pound black drum.
The big black drum are in the deep sounds and on nearshore structure, and the best way to target the biggest fish is with a blue crab. But to catch sheepshead, slot-sized black drum and then have the chance of grappling with a monster fiddler crabs on the nearshore reefs or structure in the sounds are all you need.
Inshore dropping temperatures mean that they are still catching redfish grouped in fair-sized schools in skinny water, and on the low tide flats they are getting them with a piece of cut mullet fished in a foot of water. At low the schools usually have about 25 fish.
At higher stages of the tide some of the redfish are heading into the grass to feed, but others are feeding along the grass edges. You can target them with live shrimp under a float, and you will also pick up some trout this way.
The incoming is the best tide for this pattern, and it’s clear that the fish are more spread out than on low water. You don’t get a bite every time you cast to particular spots, and instead you pick off one here and one there along the grass. It’s also clear that there are more trout feeding than just a week or two ago.