Saltwater Fishing Trends - January 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.
The Columbia full-service Licensing and Boat Titling office is now located at:
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 January offers some of the clearest, prettiest water of the year, and as a result it can be an excellent month for sight-fishing on the north end of the Grand Strand. Redfish will be grouped up into large winter schools that are easy to spot, and it is hard to beat fresh cut shrimp fished on a jighead to entice them to bite. Black drum can also be caught on shrimp fished around docks and ledges in the Intracoastal Waterway. This has been one of the best falls in some time for trout, and if water temperatures stay in the upper 40s then the fish should continue to bite right through January. They will be caught on artificial lures such as Vudu Shrimp in the ICW and around the jetties, and at times they will even be mixed in with redfish on the shallow flats.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that in December there should still be some whiting, croaker, perch and black drum caught off the pier, but most of these will be juvenile.
Southern Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain J. Baisch of Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle (843-651-1915) reports that when water temperatures drop below about 52 degrees most of the trout will leave the lower end of the Grand Strand, but in January redfish and black drum will still be found in the creeks. In the clear conditions you can spot them, but sometimes seeing them is easier than getting them to eat. This month they do not need to feed every day, and so often they will be lethargic. To increase your chances of catching fish cut shrimp are hard to beat. Redfish will also eat artificial lures.
Nearshore: Captain J. reports that in January the best bite will probably be found nearshore, and at the shipwrecks black sea bass and sheepshead will both be spawning. They are feeding well and will eat a variety of crustaceans. Big 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 January in Charleston is mostly about redfish and trout. In the clear conditions anglers should be able to locate big schools of redfish on low tide. Some days they may be difficult to get to bite, but this can offer some of the most exciting and visual fishing of the year. There will also be some fish caught around docks. As long as it does not get terribly cold trout fishing should remain good this month along grass lines and in deep holes. Live shrimp as well as variety of artificial lures should catch fish.
Surf and pier: Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports redfish and whiting should continue to bite through December, and there are also always sheepshead around.
Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that in January weather conditions will affect the fishing, but generally the redfish should bite well on artificial lures fished on the flats. While the Edisto schools are not as big as they used to be, if you can find fish on the flats they will generally bite. In the creeks anglers do not have to worry about the bait stealers that have left the area and so fishing around structure with cut shrimp or mullet is a reliable choice. Unless water temperatures get very cold trout should be caught on grubs in the creeks, and black drum should be catchable on cut shrimp. Sheepshead have generally moved offshore to spawn.
Inshore:Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that in January redfish will get in even tighter schools. In January sight-fishing is an excellent way to target fish in the clear conditions, but if it gets very cold at some point they may get more lethargic. While natural baits will work, there is really no need to fish anything but artificial lures. Trout should continue to be caught in moving water on soft plastics fished on ¼-ounce jigheads as long as it does not get super cold.
Inshore: Captain Dan "Fishin’ Coach" Utley (843-368-2126) and Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) report that January is also an excellent month for sight-fishing for redfish, and for at least the first part of the month fish should still be very active. They will take a variety of live and natural baits, with Gulp, ZMan StreakZ and mud minnows all working well. If conditions get very cold then fish may become more lethargic, and anglers may have to adjust their approach to finicky fish. Trout should also be caught well into January if not straight through the month. Live mud minnows are hard to beat.