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AHQ INSIDER Hilton Head Island (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated March 31

  • by Jay

The newest Hilton Head fishing report can be found at:

March 31

Hilton Head inshore water temperatures were in the upper 60s yesterday, and clarity has been variant.

It’s a tale of two weeks for inshore fishing in the Hilton Head Island area, and last week Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) reports that tides were moderate and water conditions were clearer than they had been all winter (this year it never really got gin clear).  The fish bit very well, particularly on the dropping tide.

This week there were some very high tides, the water muddied up, and the bite significantly fell off.  Coach said they felt lucky to catch a couple of redfish each day, and with muddy water fish just seemed to feed less.  There were some very small windows of feeding activity but the tide was ripping so hard that fish wouldn’t set up in one place long before they moved on.  Since it’s not really warm enough for good tailing action yet, the best bite they found this week was at stages of the incoming or outgoing tide when they could fish in clear pockets in the grass that might also have some oyster shells.  Cut mullet under a rattling cork worked best.

Next week there will be a return to more normal tides, and Coach hopes that once again they will find fast action on the dropping tide.  The prime time was about two and a half hours after low tide to one hour before the bottom, and they were also catching some fish casting to schools around low tide.  Because the fishes’ metabolism is speeding up you don’t get many tries, but throwing a ¼ ounce jighead/ Gulp! bait around little creek channels between oyster beds on the flats was working.  They were also catching some fish in creek bends with deeper water and structure such as a tree fallen into the water.  Slip corks that held a bait 9-12 feet deep were working well.

A double caught last week on Coach's boat
A double caught last week on Coach’s boat

Unsurprisingly, the trout bite was almost non-existent this week, even with live shrimp fished around points with moving water.  The water has simply gotten too muddy.  Last week they were also catching some trout in smaller creeks that drained the marsh, and it is hoped that the same patterns will return next week.