Saltwater Fishing Trends

Fishing Off shore

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 after a very strong late April they have high expectations for May, and redfish, trout and black drum should all continue to be caught inshore around structure as well as at the jetties. Live shrimp are hard to beat for all three species. The flounder were already arriving in certain areas by the end of April, and this month the bigger fish should return. They will take mud minnows.

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that that his month they should continue to catch Spanish mackerel, bluefish and abundant whiting, and the flounder should get bigger. However, the real excitement is that water temperatures are already where they need to be for king mackerel, and at some point very soon numbers of kings should arrive. The first fish was caught in late April.

Nearshore/offshore: Captain Patrick “"Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that bluefish and Spanish mackerel should be around this month, and bonito and false albacore should stay around for a little longer. Cobia should arrive about the third week of May.

Most detailed North Grand Strand Updates

South Grand Strand

Inshore: Captain J. Baisch of Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle (843-651-1915) reports that the inshore fishing for redfish and trout has been slow so far this year, but there has already been a good run of flounder and it should continue to improve this month. More redfish and trout should also be caught on mud minnows and shrimp this month, and the black drum and sheepshead should get easier to catch inshore.

Nearshore: Captain J. reports that the Spanish mackerel fishing was already phenomenal by the end of April and should stay good all month, and both cobia and king mackerel should push closer during May. The dolphin run was starting at the end of the month and will hit its peak during May, and they should continue to catch tuna this month.

Most detailed Southern Grand Strand Updates


Inshore: Redfin Charters (843-277-5255) reports that May should continue to be an excellent month for catching trout on live shrimp with lots of big spawning females around, and the redfish should continue to be caught around docks and tailing on high tide. At the jetties and in the harbor bull red drum will continue to arrive in better and better numbers this month. As bait returns to the area sharks are also showing up in droves.

Nearshore/offshore: Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) reports that May will be a phenomenal month for fishing at the nearshore reefs, and this month cobia, spadefish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more will all be biting. This will also be the peak month for dolphin fishing.

Most detailed Charleston updates

Edisto Island

Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the redfish action should be decent on the flats this May, and fish will also be caught in the creeks at low tide on mud minnows. Big spawning trout will be caught in the main rivers on shrimp, and for both species there will be a topwater bite first thing. Flounder have flooded back into the area and will take mud minnows, and this is some of the best sheepshead fishing of the year before it gets very hot. In the surf whiting fishing will stay very strong.

Nearshore/offshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. reports that at the nearshore reefs weakfish, blues, Spanish mackerel, bull red drum and more will be caught this month, while in 60-90 feet the bottom fishing will be strong through the month. May should be the peak for dolphin fishing, and wahoo and tuna should hang around.

Most detailed Edisto Island Updates


Inshore: Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that as temperatures rise and bait starts to return in May the redfish should feed more regularly and the tailing activity at high tide should pick up. Fish should also eat better at low tides and moving tides in the creeks. If you can get live shrimp they are hard to beat. Trout fishing should also pick up in moving water over shell bars, and both jigs and shrimp will catch fish. The most exciting development in May is that the cobia should return in numbers to the Broad River, and people will catch them both sight-fishing and anchoring baits on the bottom.

Most detailed Beaufort Updates

Hilton Head

Inshore: Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) reports that May is usually more consistent than April around Hilton Head, and he expects both redfish and trout to bite well this month. Redfish will be caught around structure on low tide with a variety of baits including shrimp, and you will also pick up black drum on this pattern. On flood tides, reds will move onto the flats to feed and tail. Trout will be eating shrimp this month, but as it gets hotter the fish will go a little deeper. Perhaps the most exciting action this month will be in the Broad River as the cobia and bull reds continue to arrive.

Nearshore: Captain Kai Williams reports that at the nearshore reefs and hard-bottom areas migratory species like bluefish, Spanish mackerel and cobia will be caught.

Most detailed Hilton Head Updates