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Hilton Head Fishing News and Report (Updated October 22)

  • by Jay

Continuing this week’s trend of reminding fishermen that guiding can be hard work, Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) reports that all this crazy weather has the Hilton Head-area fish in an unpredictable pattern.  While Hilton Head did not get the crazy flooding that areas further north experienced, fresh water inflows did dirty the water.  It is only now starting to clear up but nine foot tides next week may reverse that.

This past week Coach has had to fight winds out of the northeast and so it has been hard to fish areas he likes to target such as the edges of grass in the Chechessee, and with redfish still basically in summertime mode it has been hard to get close to them on low water.

Despite tough conditions Coach has still been catching fish, though, and to do this he has headed into the creeks and fished around docks and the feeder creeks that dump into main creeks around oyster beds.  He has found the best action on the low incoming tide and struggled a bit more on the outgoing tide.  Cut mullet and Gulp! shrimp have both been working.

A secondary pattern has been fishing on dead high tide.  Since fish are still basically in a summertime pattern with 68 and 69 degree water he has been able to catch fish tailing.

Some nice redfish caught on Coach's boat
Some nice redfish caught on Coach’s boat

With juvenile redfish unpredictable it’s no surprise that the bull redfish have also been uncooperative, although Coach says they started off “with a ball of fire” in early October.  Since then, however, the bite has almost died off in traditional hard bottom, inshore areas such as the rocky areas of Calibogue Sound and Port Royal Sound.  These areas are just not producing and it’s unclear why.

Finally, despite water temperatures dropping into the upper 60s the trout have not turned on yet, and on recent trips Coach has struggled to catch only one or two trout.  However, that bite should only get better as water temperatures drop and then clear in the near future.

Despite a tough report Coach promises that the fishing will turn around and that “we’ll hold our mouth right.”