While the numbers of redfish out on the flats around Edisto Island still aren’t what they have been in past years, Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (803-513-0143) reports that overall fishing for spottails is pretty good – particularly in the creeks. Large numbers of 12-14 inch fish are being caught, pretty good numbers of slot-sized fish are being landed and a fair number of fish over the slot are also being caught.
While some fish are being caught on the flats, the best fishing has been around deeper creek bends that have structure. With the creeks full of shrimp (this appears to be one of the better years for shrimp in a while, with lots of people coolering out in both the South and North Edisto) the best bait has been shrimp fished on a Carolina rig. At dead low the bait stealers have been less of a nuisance. On tailing tides there has been pretty good tailing activity up in the short grass.
Beyond redfish Ron reports that this is a good time for a number of other species:
Sheepshead: Excellent. September has been very strong but we are coming into the best period of the year for catching sheepshead. It’s still too early to use baits such as oysters and clams with so many bait stealers around, but fiddler crabs are working great fished 5-10 feet deep around pilings. Right now about half the catch is keeper-sized.
Trout: Good. As with the redfish most of the trout are being caught in the creeks and not in the traditional spots around white oyster shell banks in the North and South Edisto. However, in the creeks grubs, DOA shrimp and other artificials are all working well. While live shrimp will catch fish the better, incoming tides for trout also correspond with the heaviest pinfish activity and can make bait unfishable.
Flounder: Fair. Flounder are mostly making up a by-catch for anglers fishing for trout and redfish, but to target them a mud minnow on a Carolina rig will increase anglers’ chances.
Surf: A huge mullet run is underway and sharks, tons of ladyfish, smaller bluefish and tarpon are all around. Tarpon will stay until water temperatures drop below the mid-70s. Bull reds and trout are both biting pretty well in the inlets around the surf, and when there is the right wind (westerly is best) they are feeding well right outside the breakers.
Nearshore: Spanish mackerel are still thick at the nearshore reefs, and the best way to target them is to ride and look for birds feeding in 30-40 feet of water around rips and structure. Fishing for bull red drum is also picking up around the nearshore reefs, particularly in windy conditions.