Saltwater Fishing Trends

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Popular Marine Species

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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 typically 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 in 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. If water temperatures stay in the upper 40s then trout 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.

Most detailed North Grand Strand Updates

South Grand Strand

Inshore: reports that December was overall a rough month for fishing on the lower end of the Grand Strand, and it is usually not until low January water temperatures that the trout fishing slows down after a good December. Under the circumstances it’s hard to know what to expect with them in January. This month redfish and black drum should 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. In the cold months 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.

Most detailed Southern Grand Strand Updates


Inshore: Redfin Charters (843-277-5255) and Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) report that January fishing 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 month can offer some of the most exciting and usually the most 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 a variety of artificial lures should catch fish.

Most detailed Charleston updates

Edisto Island

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 – and 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.

Most detailed Edisto Island Updates


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.

Most detailed Beaufort Updates

Hilton Head

Inshore: Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) reports that January is 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, or live shrimp if you can get them, are hard to beat for trout.

Most detailed Hilton Head Updates