Saltwater Fishing Trends - March 2020
Get specific tide information for various SC stations from NOAA
Information on fishing trends provided courtesy of www.anglersheadquarters.com/, South Carolina's premier fishing report source. Customers of the Angler's Headquarters online tackle store have access to daily updates and full-length reports on its site.
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SCDNR at the State Farmer's Market
326 Little Brooke Lane
West Columbia, SC 29172
The State Farmers Market has convenient parking and easy access to both I-77 and I-26.
These services are no longer offered at 1000 Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia.
North Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that March is typically a strong month on the north end of the Grand Strand, and it is not until April that the fishing usually experiences a spring slowdown. Redfish should still be schooled up on the flats where they can be caught at low tide on shrimp, and at higher stages of the tide they will be found around structure. The population of redfish seems to be particularly strong right now. Black drum will also eat shrimp fished around the same structure. Trout fishing should turn on at the jetties, and fish will be caught on both live shrimp and imitation baits like Vudu Shrimp.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) that whiting, dogfish and occasional croaker will be around at the beginning of the month, but when ocean temperatures hit 60-62 first bluefish, then Spanish mackerel and then flounder will start to be caught.
Nearshore/offshore: Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that in March sheepshead will still be stacked up at the nearshore reefs, and black sea bass should still be relatively close to the coast.
Southern Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain J. Baisch of Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle (843-651-1915) reports on the south end of the Grand Strand fishing usually picks up in March, and migratory species also start to return. In the creeks redfish and trout should become more active and eat shrimp, and black drum and flounder will appear at the jetties this month. The flounder will quickly move inshore seeking warmer water, where they can be caught on live mud minnows.
Nearshore: Captain J. reports that in March the best bite will probably be found nearshore where sheepshead and black drum are spawning and will eat fiddler crabs and other crustaceans. Black sea bass will also be about as close in as they get this month.
Inshore: Redfin Charters (843-277-5255) and Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) report that March is a tough month in Charleston for redfish, and the fish are often skittish and difficult to convince to eat. Trout might be easier to catch in the creeks this month, and live bait will increase your chance of hooking up. Perhaps the best bet this month is to head inland and fish the shad run with small twister-tail grubs as fish make their way into the Rediversion Canal and Cooper River Tailrace.
Surf and pier: Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that March is all about the baitfish, and when bait starts to arrive large bluefish and small trout will also appear. Sharks and rays should be around all month.
Nearshore: Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) reports that sheepshead will be all over the nearshore reefs right through the month of March, and on days when you can get offshore catches can be excellent. A variety of baits including fiddler crabs, sand fleas and mussels will work.
Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in March redfish on the flats will stay skittish and feed on very small bait, making them hard to catch, while creek redfish will continue to eat normally on live and cut bait. Trout will remain in the creeks and they will still eat soft plastics. Sheepshead should start to move back inshore when water temperatures move back into the upper 50s. Flounder will remain offshore most of this month.
Offshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. reports that bottom fishing will remain strong offshore, and wahoo and tuna will still be caught trolling on the ledge.
Inshore: Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that March fishing will depend on weather conditions, and at some point redfish will start to break out of their tight winter schools. 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. Trout should start to get more active in March, particularly in moving water. They will eat soft plastics fished on ¼-ounce jigheads.
Inshore: Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley (843-368-2126) and Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) report that inshore fishing in March is all about the weather. If it is a cold March then trout fishing won’t be as good but there should continue to be a good redfish bite inshore. However, as temperatures start to warm the schools break up and fish become much harder to catch, and so as it warms instead of targeting fickle redfish the better bet is to fish for trout. They will show up following bait and be willing to feed along grass edges. Live mud minnows or shrimp are hard to beat, but artificials will also work.
Nearshore: Captain Kai Williams reports that black sea bass should start to move further offshore again this month, but at the nearshore reefs sheepshead and black drum should continue to spawn through the end of the month. They will eat fiddler crabs and clams.