Saltwater Fishing Trends - February 9, 2018

Fishing Off shore

Popular Marine Species

South Carolina marine recreational fishing regulations

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.

Seatrout

SCDNR urging catch and release to help spotted seatrout recover

Learn more about catch and release (PDF).

Update to Flounder Regulations
(effective July 1, 2017)

On July 1, 2017, legislation recently passed by the South Carolina General Assembly will increase the size limit and lower the bag and boat limits for southern, summer, and Gulf flounder in state waters.

Minimum Legal Size

  • 15 inches (total length)

Bag Limit

  • 10 per person, per day, and no more than 20 per boat per day.

Charleston (Updated February 9)

Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area are around 50 degrees and conditions are still very clear.

There’s not much change inshore, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that that the best bet is still to fish the flats for redfish. Look around oyster beds.

The best action remains out at the nearshore reefs. The bite remains red hot for sheepshead, black drum, and black sea bass. Additionally, plenty of nice redfish can be caught just offshore. They will take a variety of baits including squid.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.

North Grand Strand (Updated December 19)

Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand have dropped to around 47 degrees, and with gin clear water, mild conditions and a still-very strong bite it can be one of the most satisfying times of the year to fish around Little River.

The inshore redfish bite has been strong for nice fish on the smaller end of the slot, and Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that his boat has been catching a lot of 15-18 inch fish. Chiefly they are catching them in shallow water 2-3 feet deep for a couple of hours each side of low tide. Gulp! as well as cut shrimp on a ¼ ounce jighead have both been working well. The bigger redfish can still be found in the Inlet around the jetties, but with such a good bite inshore it's been hard to leave.

The trout bite is still excellent, and on moving tides around ledges in 6-8 feet of water Patrick's boat has been catching impressive numbers of trout (as well as some very nice ones) on live shrimp, Vudu Shrimp, and Mirrolures.

Black drum have also been caught on the same pattern as the trout with either live or cut shrimp.

Southern Grand Strand (Updated February 9)

Water temperatures in Murrells Inlet are still around 48 or 49 degrees, and the water remains very clear.

It’s been really windy this week, and Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) reports that he hasn’t been able to do a lot of fishing. But by all reports it’s still a good time to go after redfish in the creeks with shrimp pieces at anchor, and at the nearshore reefs and wrecks the sheepshead bite is still good. Black sea bass and vermillion snapper have also been caught on the nearshore side of offshore.

Offshore, Georgetown Landing Marina (843-546-1776) reports that on the days when someone goes out after them wahoo are around.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.

Beaufort (Updated February 9)

Inshore water temperatures in the Beaufort area are around 48 degrees, and the water remains very clear.

The pattern for redfish in the Beaufort area remains pretty similar, but Captain Tuck Scott of Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that tidal and temperature variances can make a big difference. Generally fish remain very schooled up on the flats, but during a cold front and even the day before they can be hard to find when the pressure is changing. Additionally, during periods of extreme tides they stay nearer to deep water. Fish are also on the move because of voracious dolphins.

Generally, sight-casting with bright or natural colored lures and flies is the best pattern.

Before the extreme cold Tuck was seeing some trout on the flats, but not since then.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.

Edisto Island (Updated February 9)

Inshore water temperatures in the main rivers around Edisto Island are about 50 degrees.

Fishing around Edisto remains largely unchanged, and Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that sight-fishing on the flats is still the best pattern. The creek bite is still a little behind the flats bite.

The best option for catching fish is still to head out to the nearshore and mid-depth reefs in 35-60 feet of water after sheepshead, black drum and black sea bass.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.

Hilton Head (Updated February 9)

Inshore water temperatures in the Hilton Head area are up to about 52 degree on the flats, and still super clear.

Every week (and even day) on the flats is different, and Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley (843-368-2126) reports that this week has been no exception with the redfish. Perhaps because of the warmer weather fish have been very skittish, and if you pull the bait too hard they will scoot away right now. On his last trip Coach was able to pick up a few fish sight-fishing up in pockets in the marsh on the highest stage of the tide, but then the bite really got good when the water started to fall and conditions clouded just a little.

On the dropping tide they caught a lot of slot-sized fish in areas around oyster beds where water was coming out of the marsh grass with mud minnows under a float, and they also picked up fish on dead-sticked Gulp! baits.

Anglers are reminded that, as a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.