Captain Tucker Blythe of Grey Ghost Charters (843-670-8629) reports that he and other Charleston-area guides weren’t quite sure what to expect after record-setting rains flooded the lowcountry, and he was worried about what all the inflow would do to the fishing. Changes were quickly apparent as water levels stayed higher than usual around the tide cycle, and the Charleston Harbor turned a tannic color that Tucker had never previously seen. However, the fishing did not suffer and his boat has experienced fantastic fishing for redfish, trout, and sheepshead since the floods. The fish have been very fat and it is apparent that they are feeding well.
Targeting redfish has been a matter of fishing the edges of grass flats, creek mouths and drops, and on some of the lower tides this coming week Tucker anticipates doing some sight-fishing. It’s not yet cold enough for fish to get into their huge winter schools but there are nonetheless some groups of fish that can be sight-cast to on lower tides.
Trout fishing is usually a matter of searching for clearer water, and right now is no exception. Tucker reminds anglers that the water doesn’t need to be crystal clear – brownish clear or greenish clear is fine – but the clearest water available is usually preferable. Consequently he has been focusing his efforts around the top of the tide on either falling or incoming water. Creek mouths and rips with moving water are both good places to look, and DOA or live shrimp under a popping cork are working well.
Sheepshead can be found in their usual haunts around pilings and heavy structure, but Tucker reports that he is also catching them on floats against oysters. He has had recent trips where they have caught multiple sheepshead this way fishing with live shrimp.
Haddrell’s Point(843-881-3644) concurs that the fishing has been fantastic even after unprecedented levels of rain, but they remind anglers to seek out higher salinity levels while water conditions return to normal. That means not running as far up the rivers as anglers otherwise might and instead sticking closer to the ocean.
Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that in the last week the surf has produced small seatrout as well as some within the slot, black drum in the 2-3 pound range, whiting and bluefish. At the end of the pier big red drum in the 30+ inch range have been caught and obviously released.