Saltwater Fishing Trends - November 30, 2016

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.

Update to Cobia Regulations (effective May 1, 2016)

Closed Season

  • May 1 - May 31. Catch and release only in SC waters south of 032 31.0' N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island).
  • June 20, 2016 – December 31, 2016. Fishery closed in state and federal waters.

Bag Limit

  • 1 per person, per day, and no more than 3 per boat per day. Applies only in SC waters south of 032 31.0' N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island)
  • 2 per person per day (Federal waters and all other SC state waters)

Charleston (Updated November 30)

Fall is always a great time for inshore fishing around Charleston, but Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that conditions have combined to make fishing this fall even better than usual. The fishing is still excellent. While fish can certainly be caught inshore, a lot of redfish are starting to move from the surf to the nearshore reefs right now. Rob advises that reds, spotted seatrout and black sea bass can all be found together at the reefs, and it's not unusual to pull up a fat black sea bass and then immediately tangle with a 30-pound red drum. This makes for some really exciting fishing. When anglers are offshore they should also put out a live bait rig under a balloon, as water temperatures are about perfect for king mackerel right now.
Inshore: There are still plenty of redfish around traditional areas such as docks and other structure, but as temperatures drop fish are on the verge of grouping up into big schools. This should happen any day now and groups of 10-50 fish averaging 6-12 pounds will be a common occurrence on the flats. Trout can still be caught in the rivers, and they are biting well on artificials such as Zman Silver Streakz or most any grub (curly tail or flattail) behind a jighead. There are areas that will produce on each stage of the tide, but if you can pick your tide then fishing the high, outgoing tide is probably best. Extreme cold later in the winter should slow the bite down but for now the fishing is strong.

Little River/North Myrtle Beach (Updated November 2)

Inshore: Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that even with water clarity low fishing has been strong. Good numbers of slot-sized redfish have been caught on Gulp! baits as well as shrimp, and trout are also eating live shrimp as well as DOA and Vudu shrimp. Black drum are being caught on shrimp fished around structure, and flounder are making up a healthy bycatch for anglers fishing a variety of live baits.
Nearshore: Bull red drum are in the process of moving on but there have been good numbers of king mackerel caught slow-trolling menhaden.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that bluefish, some whiting and some spots have been caught off the pier. A few small pompano have also been brought to the deck. With the full pier back online they have seen some kings breaking the water but have yet to land one. Some bull red drum have been caught in the evenings.

Beaufort (Updated November 30)

Redfish: Temperatures haven't gotten especially cold yet, but nonetheless Captain Tuck Scott of Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that redfish are clearly starting to show some winter tendencies. Fish are starting to get into bigger groups, and at low tide Tuck says you can see schools start to come together like they do in the winter. Sight casting the flats with grubs or live bait on moderate, falling tides when there is still some water in the grass has been the best pattern. Even though winter is coming, Tuck advises that anglers should still not discount fishing in the grass. Fish are less likely to be tailing and more likely to be cruising in the grass, and they are eating shrimp before those disappear for the season. On warmer days some fiddler crabs are definitely still out.
Trout: The trout bite has been good recently, and anglers are having success throwing Gulp! shrimp or paddletail grubs on a ¼ ounce jighead. The better fishing is in and around the mouths of creeks on moving water, with the dropping tide the best.
Note that the Hunting Island Pier (843-838-7437) is closed for fishing due to damage from the October storm. Repairs should be completed by the spring.

Edisto Island (Updated November 28)

Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that inshore fishing is at its annual peak. Redfish are biting very well on the flats and in the creeks on cut mullet, live shrimp and cut shrimp. Trout can be caught on the river flats and in the creeks, and they will eat live shrimp, DOA shrimp, and trolled grubs. Sheepshead can be caught around mid-depth hard structure on a variety of crustaceans, and big whiting are abundant in the surf.
Nearshore/offshore: Bull red drum are starting to leave areas like the Edisto Rocks and venture further offshore. Bottom fishing for a variety of species is very good as water temperatures have dropped and brought species closer in.

Greater Murrells Inlet (Updated November 4)

Inshore: Perry's Bait Tackle (843-651-2895) in Murrells Inlet and Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) report that inshore fishing for most species is strong, perhaps because of a relative lack of bait in the creeks. Redfish and trout are biting well on live shrimp, Gulp baits, and finger mullet, and black drum are gorging on cut shrimp fished on the bottom. Inside Murrells Inlet spot are tearing up blood worms. Flounder fishing has been surprisingly slow with most of the fish caught undersized.
Surf, pier and jetty: Bull red drum are still biting well on menhaden and mullet fished around the jetties, and there are trout and black drum caught in the surf. Spot, whiting and croaker are also around.

Hilton Head (Updated November 2)

Inshore: Good. Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley (843-368-2126) reports that fishing activity is still lighter than usual in the area since the hurricane, but inshore trout and redfish are both feeding well. Trout are eating live shrimp as well as Trout Tricks fished in the creeks and sounds, and fish are bigger than usual. Lots of slot-sized redfish are being caught on cut mullet fished on the bottom just outside the marsh grass.