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Beaufort Fishing Report

About Beaufort Fishing

Includes Lady’s Island fishing report, St. Helena Island fishing report, Harbor Island fishing report, Hunting Island fishing report, and Fripp Island fishing report.

Located towards the southern end of South Carolina’s Atlantic coastline, the city of Beaufort is located on the interior sea island Port Royal which it shares with the community of the same name as the island.  Chartered in 1711 Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina behind Charleston, and it is the county seat of Beaufort County (also home to the more populous Hilton Head Island).  The city is important historically and militarily, and it is home to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, a U.S. Navy hospital, and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.   Located in the heart of the sea islands of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Highway 21 that runs through Beaufort is the gateway to – in order – Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island, private Harbor Island, Hunting Island (home to an extremely popular state park as it provides rare public beach access on the south end of the South Carolina coast) and private Fripp Island.  This area is effectively encircled by the massive Port Royal Sound to the south and the even larger St. Helena Sound to the north, and this fishing report covers the area between and including both major estuaries. 

Redfish (also known as spottail bass, red drum, and other names) can be caught inshore around Beaufort the year round, as can spotted seatrout (also known as speckled seatrout, winter trout, and more).  Sheepshead and black drum can also be found inshore most of the year, although in late winter the mature fish generally head offshore to spawn.  There are also an abundance of essentially migratory species that generally come in the warmer months – a broad category in South Carolina – and leave when temperatures cool.  These include croaker, pompano, spot, whiting and of course flounder (juveniles of both species may be present all year), tripletail bluefish, tarpon, weakfish, spadefish, cobia, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, sharks and more.  Bottom species including black sea bass, triggerfish, porgies, and various species of snapper and grouper can always be found off the coast at varying depths, while dolphin, tuna and even marlin are seasonal offshore species.  Wahoo can generally be caught the year round in the Gulf Stream off South Carolina.  Note that species can seasonally come to South Carolina via north/south migration along the Atlantic coast, or they can seasonally move closer to the coast and then farther out via east/west migration, as well as a combination of the two.  In addition to spawning patterns and water temperature preference, some of these migrations are driven at least in part by bait availability, including shrimp, mullet, menhaden and more.

June 18

Inshore surface water temperatures have dropped all the way to 73 after several cool days in Beaufort, and water clarity varies. In areas where the water is dirty it is muddy because of wind and the water is not tannic. There are lots of tiny shrimp in the creeks. 

Water temperatures are moving the wrong direction, but Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports

May 28

Inshore surface water temperatures are approximately 75-78 degrees around Beaufort, and while water conditions are a little stained right now soon they should be very tannic after freshwater arrives. 

Water conditions are at least five or six degrees cool for this time of year, but Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports

Fishing for More?

Read more fishing reports from Beaufort and other popular fishing spots at the AHQ Report!