It’s a transition period for redfish in the Hilton Head area, and fish are moving (broadly) out of their large winter schools towards a summer pattern. Typically this can make for a difficult period for fishing, and Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-368-2126) says that particularly when the wind won’t lay down it can be tough to get anything going. The water is stained so it’s hard to spot anything.
Overall, however, the fishing has been pretty good this week considering the conditions, and the bite has definitely improved a bit in the past week or two. The best pattern has been fishing cut mullet under corks along the edges of the grass, and fish can also be caught around docks. While Coach hasn’t seen much tailing activity, with water temperatures about 68 degrees that should be coming if it hasn’t already started in places. It will definitely be going by the middle of this month.
And while his boat doesn’t spend much time targeting them, Coach notes that some bull drum are being caught off the beaches. Each spring the fish make a run and get caught around what is locally known as the “middle grounds” off the southern end of the island where it drops off into 32-33 feet.
Trout fishing is improving as temperatures rise, although with rain last week and then a lot of wind this week Coach says that conditions haven’t been great for species that likes clean water. When anglers can find some clear water trout can be caught on soft plastics including electric chicken screwtail and paddletail grubs. Fish will be found around points and islands, particularly where some water is rushing over oyster shells.