Inshore: Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that redfish are chasing shrimp in the creeks. Fish can be caught on shrimp and mullet, with live mud minnows not producing as well but still catching a few fish. On cloudy days there has been some topwater activity early on Zara Spooks and Gurgler flies on the fly rod, and sub-surface ¼ ounce jigheads with Gulp! new penny shrimp have been working. For bait fishing spottails have been caught on most any tide, but for sight casting fishing the mud flats on the dropping tide from about three hours to one hour before low tide has been best. The early morning low tides have also been very good. Additionally, there has been some good tailing activity. Trout fishing has been okay, and on cloudy days fish have been willing to take topwater lures. Live bait is also working. The numbers of cobia inshore do not appear to be there. Big schools of menhaden do not seem to have showed up yet around Beaufort, but a couple of very early tarpon have been seen.
Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) in Hilton Head reports that redfish are definitely in their summer patterns and fishing the lower water is the best bet. Target creeks with bends and structure such as docks or washed-in trees on the slacker parts of both the incoming and outgoing tide, and fish very tight to the structure. Live mud minnows, cut mullet, and ¼ chunks of blue crab are good baits as well small brown shrimp that can be caught on the mud banks in the creeks. The speckled trout bite is mixed, with fish feeding some days and not others. Coach has had the best success on the high incoming tide with mud minnows fished under a rattling cork around points with oyster beds. The occasional bluefish and ladyfish are also being caught. Coach concurs that for cobia you will not to go offshore to reefs such as the Betsy Ross or Hilton Head tire reef. Large menhaden can be found off the beaches around Hilton Head.
Hunting Island Pier (843-838-7437) reports that whiting, croaker, stingrays and sharks have been caught off the pier. The flounder bite has not come on yet.