Spottail Bass: Fair. Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that weather continues to be a major issue, but that looks to be improving. When they can get out they are mostly sight-casting for fish on lower stages of the tide, and although fish are selective they will generally eat. On fly tackle smaller patterns are more effective, especially size 4s stripped slowly. On conventional tackle jigheads rigged with Gulp! or other scented shrimp imitations have worked pretty well, and shallow suspended twitch baits in the smallest size available have been pretty good. When the water rises working the edges of shall bars where fish were visible on low tide has been working.
Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) in Hilton Head reports that when he has gotten out fish continue to be relatively easy to locate around oyster bed flats on low tide in the very clear water. The trick continues to be casting ahead of the schooling fish into their path and letting them swim onto the bait. Gulp! shrimp rigged on a ¼ ounce jighead have worked well. On higher tides anglers should search for fish in the grass around oyster beds, and fish for them the same way. Note that for sight-fishing sunshine is necessary. Unfortunately Coach expects that in the next few weeks it will get harder to locate fish as warmer water temperatures will break up the tight winter-time schools, but for now fish are still very findable. The upside will be that trout will become more active as the water warms.
Hunting Island Pier (843-838-7437) reports that water temperatures in Fripp Inlet are about 58 degrees but the catch has been limited to stingrays.