Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina
|South Lowcountry Tarpon - Photo By Mattson Charter Service|
Inshore Report: Craig Lupton from Buck, Bass and Beyond in Beaufort shares that redfish still seem to be the most plentiful fish to target. They're being caught up in the grass flats on our big tides. Look for the high tides that are early in the morning or right before dark. Try using anything weedless like Johnson or Bagley spoons tipped with a soft plastic curly tail grub cut in half. He likes the GULP swimming minnow in chartreuse the best, and the scent seems to help a great deal. Red Fish Magic lures by Strike King work great and casts a mile keeping you from spooking the fish. Another great bait is a Gulp jerk shad or Zoom super fluke rigged weedless on a wide gap worm hook. After the tide starts ebbing, ease back into the feeder creeks and fish minnows, shrimp and quartered crab pieces under a cork around grass edges and oyster bars. Use the same baits on Carolina rigs fished in the deeper holes on low tide. The trout bite is picking up slowly as the water cools down. You can't miss with a shrimp under a cork right now as the creeks are full of shrimp. If flinging artificial baits is your thing try using a Storm Chug Bug or a Heddon Spook Jr. over and around oysters on a moving tide. You would be surprised how many Specks will eat a spinner bait or shallow diving crank bait too if you are just willing to try it. Sheepshead are a great target right now with lots of fish being reported. Use a fiddler crab on a 1-ought hook with as little weight as possible to keep your presentation vertical and line tight. Use a medium action rod with 20-pound power pro and a long fluorocarbon leader an appropriate egg sinker with a small split shot to keep it in place. Target any structure that is barnacle encrusted and maybe even try a littles chumming. Sheepshead have great noses and a chum sack full of crushed oysters, mussells and barnacles can be deadly. Flounder should be biting right now and those who practice gigging are doing pretty great. A good bet is fishing creeks and creek intersections or any small drainage you find with live mud minnows under a cork set so the bait just touches the bottom. Or try dragging a mud minnow on the bottom on a Carolina rig. If your wanting something bigger to run some drag off try chasing some the Silver King. Tarpon are everywhere right now, from the inlets all the way to the backs of the smallest creeks. You can't go wrong with live or dead menhaden fished on the bottom on a fish finder or Carolina rig. The fishing rips off of Bay Point are always a sure bet for a tarpon and I saw a bunch of Tarpon on Parris Island spit the other morning busting up schools of menhaden. The pelicans gave them away so keep your eyes peeled for bird sign. I've seen huge schools of tarpon along Hilton Head Island beach as well as singles and doubles all the way inshore up Chowan Creek. If you fish the inlets and passes right now put a couple live baits on the surface way back and you get a good chance of a nice king mackerel with some Spanish mackerel mixed in. For the latest store information visit the Internet at Buck, Bass and Beyond.
NEAR SHORE: The kingfish bite is hot and they are being reported from the beaches on out to the artificial reefs. The best bet is slow trolled or drifted live baits on kingfish rigs around schools of bait on the beaches or over live bottom or structure farther offshore. It never hurts to fish a big Spanish or ribbonfish on the down rigger either. Craig likes to put one bait 5 to 10-feet off the bottom and another bait half way down.
OFFSHORE: Craig reports that some wahoo and small mahi reports are still coming in, but those catches are getting thin. The bottom bite is still hot though with anglers reporting great catches of black sea bass, vermillian snapper, triggerfish, scamp and gag grouper being caught on chicken rigs and jigs. Other reports include some nice cubera snapper being taken on pinfish fished on jigs or Carolina rigs. Start around 100-feet of water over live bottom or any structure you know of, then take a look with your sounder to confirm fish and bait. If you don't see anything, then it's time to move on to the next spot.
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