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Located forty-two miles to the southwest of Charleston, South Carolina and approximately two-thirds the way down the South Carolina coast, Edisto Island is one of South Carolina’s larger sea islands. It is a popular – albeit pristine and relatively undeveloped – tourist destination. Bordered by the North Edisto River to the north (actually an estuary and not a true river) and the South Edisto River to the south, Seabrook Island is immediately to the north of Edisto Island while Hunting Island is across the vast Saint Helena Sound to the south. The larger part of Edisto Island lies in Charleston County, while the town of Edisto Beach is in Colleton County. One of only a few coastal state parks, Edisto Island State Park is located on the southern part of the island. In part because of the relative lack of development, Edisto Island is known as a fisherman’s paradise.
Redfish (also known as spottail bass, red drum, and other names) can be caught inshore around Edisto Island 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.
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