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Hilton Head Fishing News and Report (Updated October 28)

  • by Jay

Last week Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) reported that fishing for redfish had been pretty tough on recent trips, but anglers on his boat must have started “holding their mouths right” since then because on recent trips they have had some nice catches.  On the dropping tide Coach has found cooperative redfish on the main river flats near the mouths of small creeks that are dumping water out into the main channel.  The presence of oyster bars has helped.  Most of these fish have been juvenile reds that are barely in the slot, but the numbers have been good and they have been hungry.  Coach reports that his boat started out fishing with cut mullet under a float rig, but they have been finding that Gulp! shrimp on a ¼ ounce jighead are working even better.  They have also caught a fair number of flounder mixed in with the reds on the jighead/ Gulp! combination in the same areas on the same tide.

While Coach has mainly been fishing the dropping tide and low tide, on the incoming or higher stages of the tide he would probably go with float rigs coupled with cut mullet, Gulp! or mud minnows.  The pinfish are so bad that keeping a shrimp in the water is very difficult right now, and it’s harder to work a jighead around the grasslines.

Some bigger reds have been mixed in with the juvenile fish on the river flats, but Coach suspects that with low tides a foot higher than usual last week a lot of the bigger fish may have stayed up the smaller creeks.  However, with extreme tides this week those fish should be flushed out of the feeder creeks into the main river.

A nice redfish caught on low tide with Coach
A nice redfish caught on low tide with Coach

The bull red drum bite continues to be off inshore in traditional hard bottom areas such as the rocky areas of Calibogue Sound and Port Royal Sound.  The bite was good in early October and Coach wonders if Hilton Head-area fish have headed more offshore.

Finally, while Coach has not targeted them in recent days with redfish starting to bite better again and some nice flounder catches, there have been good reports of trout being caught up the rivers.

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