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Edisto Island (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated September 1

  • by Jay

The newest Edisto Island (SC) fishing report, updated September 15, can be found at:

September 1

Inshore water temperatures around Edisto Island are in the mid-80s, and water clarity varies depending on rain.  Some of the best fishing of the year is right around the corner.

There are still tons of small redfish in the creeks and on the flats.  Captain Ron Davis, Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that numbers are very good but 9 out of 10 fish under 15 inches.  On the flats a shrimp fished under a float is hard to beat, with the mid-tide period best when water is covering the oyster shells and about at the grass line.  In the creeks a shrimp will get picked to death by croaker, pinfish and other bait stealers, and so live finger mullet on a Carolina rig is the best bet.  Two hours either side of low tide is the best period for creek fishing, and fish are around deep structure such as old trees, docks and ripraps particularly where the creeks bend.

A large red caught this summer on Captain Ron Davis, Jr.'s boat
A large red caught this summer on Captain Ron Davis, Jr.’s boat

Troutfishing has been really good a few days after the rains when water clears again, but it seems to take 2-3 days to settle out a big rain event.  When the water is muddy the bite gets tough.  The best action is on main river points at the highest part of the tide when the water is clearest.  Fish are around points and current rips created by shell bars that run perpendicular to the bank, and they will eat a live shrimp under a popping cork.  Only about one out of five fish is a keeper but 40-50 fish days are common.

It’s been an above-average year for flounderaround Edisto, and Ron has been picking up a couple each trip while targeting other species.  There are also a lot of flounder being gigged this year.  In addition to inshore catches, there have been some big fish caught at the Edisto Nearshore and Edisto 40.

The sheepsheadfishing has been great, and while it will peak in October the sizes are already improving and numbers are great.  Fishing fiddler crabs around pilings that have 6-10 feet of water at low tide is the best pattern.

It’s a great time for tarpon fishing, with the bite at its peak right now.  Fishing live 6-8 inch mullet or hand-sized menhaden around the bars that line the North and South Edisto river is the best way to hook up with a silver king.  Fish will be in the cuts in bars and areas where they drop off to deeper water.  It’s pretty much a wait-and-see game, and fishing 3 rods with one on the bottom, one free-lined and one on a float is the best way to hook up.  The best time to catch fish is if you can get a high rising tide early in the morning.  Calm conditions are also good for locating fish when you can see tarpon rolling on the surface to gulp air.  There are plenty of menhaden at the mouths of the rivers – just look for pelicans diving.

Whitingare loaded up in the same areas as the tarpon, at the cuts in sand bars, and there are lots of big 10-12 inch whiting around.  It’s a good idea to put out a 2-hook bottom rig for whiting while tarpon fishing, and smaller ones make good tarpon bait, too.  Inside the surf the action is slower.

The Spanish mackerel fishing has been the best it has been in ten years, with fish stacked up in 30-40 feet of water.  Once you get into 30 feet just start looking for the birds.  You can cover more water trolling, but sometimes you get more action following the birds and throwing spoons at the fish.  Jack crevalle have been a surprise this year, and some nice 3-5 pound and even 8-10 pound fish are mixed in with the Spanish mackerel in the same areas.  Just look for birds diving and fish busting.