Category Archives: Fishing Report

March 28 Easter Fishing Report 2024

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) reports that in April redfish will be almost completely broken out of their tight winter schools on the flats, although there could continue to be some docks that hold good numbers of fish. Although they can be a little finicky, cut mullet will be a good bait for reds this month as will live shrimp. As temperatures continue to rise they will feed more and more on fiddler crabs, and tailing activity should get better and better on high. Trout fishing will also improve in April in moving water, with small live shrimp, mud minnows and grubs all working. Topwater activity for trout and reds should also start this month during low light period. This month many of the larger sheepshead that have moved offshore will return inshore, where they can be caught around docks and other structure on fiddler crabs. By the latter part of the month some cobia should arrive and perhaps other migratory species such as bluefish, ladyfish and more.

March 1 2024 Lowcountry Fishing Report

Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) reports that March fishing will depend on weather conditions, and at some point river flats redfish will start to break out of their tight winter schools. There were some early signs this was happening at the end of February. Early in the month sight-fishing should be productive, and both live bait and artificials can catch fish. Later in the month fish should start to spread out more and forage for fiddler crabs. At the same time, structure like docks that hold fish virtually year-round should fish well throughout the month – as it did in February. Trout should continue to get more active in March, particularly in clean, moving water, and they will take live shrimp fished on a jighead. Finally, this month many of the larger sheepshead that have moved offshore will return inshore, but there are also plenty of small and medium-sized fish that never left. They can be caught around docks and other structure on fiddler crabs.

Feb. 1 2024 Winter Report

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) report that February should look a lot like January, and redfish will stay in tight schools. On the river flats they will be focused on avoiding dolphins, but in the clear conditions you should be able to sight fish for them and get some reaction strikes. Both live bait and artificials can catch fish. There should also continue to be a good bite around creek docks, as the population of redfish in the Beaufort area is clearly strong and structure seems to hold fish 12 months a year. As long as temperatures do not get super cold trout should continue to be caught in moving water on soft plastics fished on ¼ ounce jigheads, and if you can get live shrimp they will often work even better. There are also tons of juvenile sheepshead that can be caught inshore this month, while the bigger ones usually head out to the reefs or the deepest inshore structure to spawn.

January 2024 New Years Report

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) report that in January redfish will get in even tighter schools.  In January sight-fishing is an excellent way to target fish with natural baits or artificial lures in the clear conditions, but if it gets very cold at some point they may get more lethargic.  There can also be reliable fishing around docks, particularly those with some oyster beds nearby.   Trout should continue to be caught in deeper holes in the creeks on soft plastics fished on ¼ ounce jigheads as long as it does not get super cold, and they will also take mud minnows.  There are still black drum around inshore that will eat cut shrimp, and until the bulk of the better sheepshead move offshore next month they can still be caught on deeper structure with fiddler crabs.    

November Fishing Report

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) reports that as the water clears in December sight-fishing will become a better and better pattern, particularly on low tide but also when the water is first getting in the grass. Look for fish to be aggressive since water temperatures have not yet bottomed out. Scented soft plastics as well as natural baits will all work. Additionally, there should continue to be large numbers of fish found around docks and other cover as Beaufort has an abundant population of redfish. The trout bite has been strong in November and could get even better December. Look for fish in current seams where they will eat soft plastics on ¼ ounce jigheads, and they will also feed on mud minnows. Finally, expect sheepshead and black drum to be found around inshore structure until temperatures force them to move deeper.

October Fishing Report

Morning surface water temperatures are around 68 degrees inshore around Beaufort.

There are still redfish tailing and eating fiddler crabs on high tide around Beaufort, but Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that overall he can tell that feeding pattern is starting to fade. In the Harbor River it’s pretty far off, and in the Broad River it has also slowed down but not as much. While there are still plenty of fish getting up on the flats and trying to feed, perhaps in a sign that fiddler crabs are less abundant in the cooler conditions they aren’t putting their tails up to eat fiddler crabs as frequently.

The upside to that is that because they aren’t gorging as much on high tide they will feed more around the rest of the tide cycle, and he is seeing lots of fish chasing shrimp around oyster mounds both inside the small creeks and on the bigger water outside of high tide. Consistent with that, Captain Patrick Kelly with Boogieman Fishing Charters (843-962-3503) reports that he is finding a really solid bite for a number of species, but particularly redfish. They are ranging from 13 to 30 plus inches, and it seems like fish of similar sizes are grouped up together in different areas. Certain docks might hold a lot of smaller fish, while another spot might be holding mostly 23-30 inch fish. As far as bait they aren’t picky at all right now, and Captain Pat is catching them on everything from Gulp! to cut bait to live shrimp.

It’s also been a really good trout bite, and his boat is catching fish drifting live shrimp along grass lines at higher tides. On lower water they are catching them off drops in around 6 feet of water. The best bite requires tides and areas with some current.
They are also picking up black drum and even sheepshead around docks.

It’s still an exciting time at the Hunting Island State Park Fishing Pier (843-838-7437), and they continue to catch tons of over-slot red drum out towards deeper water. It can’t last forever but this has been a good bite for several weeks now.

Summertime Bite

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) report that in August redfish are often a little lethargic, but there should still be some good tailing action on high tide. July had some excellent tailing activity. Additionally, they fed surprisingly well on finger mullet and mud minnows in deeper sections of small creeks on the outgoing, and that may continue this month. After an unusually good late July for trout they are optimistic for August, fishing live bait or even soft plastics off deeper drops in the creeks. Flounder fishing can be good with live finger mullet or minnows, even though a lot of fish are likely to be short, and the rising tide often offers the best opportunities. Sheepshead fishing will probably continue to get tougher as July was worse than June, but expect to still find a mix of sizes including some nice keepers. Fishing fiddler crabs around docks or oyster beds is the best pattern. Migratory species like jacks, tripletail and tarpon should be around until the fall. Finally, don’t overlook sharks which can provide a ton of action for anglers.

July Fishing Report

Inshore: Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) report that in July tailing redfish can be found on good flood tides when they are in the short grass eating fiddler crabs, and on moving tides fishing live or cut bait in areas where they can stay just out of the current is a good bet. Even though it can be a slower month for trout, they are more likely to be in moving water where they will eat live bait or trolled/ casted jigs. Flounder fishing can be good with live finger mullet or minnows, even though a lot of fish are likely to be short, and the rising tide often offers the best opportunities. Sheepshead fishing may get a little tougher this month after a good June, but expect to still find a mix of sizes including some nice keepers. Fishing fiddler crabs around docks or oyster beds is the best pattern. Migratory species like jacks, tripletail and tarpon have arrived and should be around until the fall. Finally, don’t overlook sharks which can provide a ton of action for anglers.

May Fishing Report

Morning surface water temperatures around Beaufort are about 75 degrees and clarity varies.  

It’s a substantially better cobia bite this year than last, and Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that even with relatively tough conditions for sight-fishing they have already seen way more fish than last year. They have had opportunities to cast at a ton of fish and caught a decent percentage of those.  When they aren’t casting a fly then a big walk-the-dog style bait like a Spook or Top Dog is often most effective, although a lot of people opt for big bucktails.   The key to all these is to rip it past the fish so he doesn’t have time to think and just reacts.  If you opt to sight-cast natural baits then an eel is usually impossible to beat.  

To read about anchored fishing for cobia check out the Hilton Head report.   

While the cobia bite has been good, the redfish action has been unusually tough.  Fish are unusually finicky for the beginning of the summer, and some of the best bait fishermen in the area have had a lot of trouble hooking up.  

Overall, Tuck reports that the best time to fish seems to be at high tide as tailing activity has been good.  Outside of that, the second-best time to fish has been on the high outgoing tide when water first starts to come out of the grass.  Since the fish are feeding so heavily on fiddler crabs at high water up in the grass that makes sense.   

While his boat has picked up a random trout here-or-there when they cast out the occasional mud minnow, the sheepshead fishing has been so good this week that Captain Patrick Kelly with Boogieman Fishing Charters (843-962-3503) reports they really haven’t focused on anything else.  It seems that about every good dock with 5-6 feed of water holds sheepshead on lower stages of the tide, but when the tide starts to rise they are switching over to downed trees in the creeks and keeping the party going.  Between a half and a third of the fish are keepers right now, and fiddler crabs fished vertically right against the structure are working very well.    

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