Saltwater Fishing Trends

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North Grand Strand

Inshore: Captain Smiley Fishing Charters (843-361-7445) reports that patterns should hold fairly steady in the month of July, although the grade of fish size often goes down a little this month. By this point mullet are a consistent bait source for flounder, trout, redfish and more, and pretty much everything should also eat shrimp which will remain prolific in the area. However, black drum – which have been so reliable this year – may drop off somewhat this month. Look for fish to hold a little deeper in the July heat and to feed better early and late. The ledges in the Intracoastal Waterway and the rocks at the Little River jetties should be good all month. Finally, shark fishing should provide plenty of excitement.

Nearshore: Captain Smiley Fishing Charters (843-361-7445) reports the Spanish mackerel fishing had slowed by late June, but there could be another run of fish and the action could pick up in July. Cobia fishing should last into the month.

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South Grand Strand

Inshore: Captain Tom Cushman (843-997-5850) reports that typically in July fishing slows down, but every year is different and sometimes the heat of July will turn the fish on. It has been a good season for flounder so far and that should continue into July, and fish should still be caught on mud minnows or finger mullet. There should also continue to be good numbers of redfish caught on the smaller end of the slot. Sharks will also be prolific and can provide plenty of excitement. The jetties have not been remarkable so far this summer, but they are fish magnets and so that can always change.

Nearshore: Captain Tom Cushman reports that just off the beaches Spanish mackerel and bluefish should be around, and they can be caught casting or trolling spoons. There should also continue to be spadefish and cobia at the reefs.

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Inshore: Captain Greg Holmes (843-241-0594) reports that July should be a good month for trout, redfish, flounder and more, but particularly on sunny days fish are likely to hold a little deeper – or at least near deep water. They will also often feed better early and late. Around the full moon there should be some big trout that can be caught on mullet or small menhaden, and the redfish should take a variety of baits all month. Flounder will be caught on finger mullet, menhaden or mud minnows fished near the bottom, although the bite can slow in the heat. Expect plenty of sharks to continue to provide action in July.


Inshore: Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) and Captain Addison Rupert (843-557-3476) report that as temperatures start to get very hot along the coast inshore fishing can get tougher. The summer heat and the threat of afternoon pop-up storms often make morning the best time to fish in July, but despite the heat you can still catch trout, flounder and redfish on live bait such as finger mullet, mud minnows or shrimp under a popping cork all month. This year has already been particularly good for flounder and they expect that to continue. The harbor should also continue to hold bull reds, and any day now the numbers of tarpon should hit a point where they are worth targeting.

Surf and pier: Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that July is still a great time to fish off the pier, but with the summer heat you usually need to avoid the 1-6 p.m. window when it is usually just too hot for fish to feed well. Expect strong catches of Spanish mackerel, black drum, whiting, pompano, bluefish and even trout to continue this month, and king mackerel should show up in July. Tarpon should also be around.

Nearshore/offshore: Captain Rob Bennett reports that in July the spadefish bite should continue to be really good at the nearshore reefs, and Spanish mackerel, cobia, and amberjack should continue to be caught.

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Edisto Island

Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that finger mullet were already replacing shrimp as the preferred bait at the end of June, and trout should continue to bite around main river points this month. It was a great June for trout. The redfish action has also been better than in recent years on the flats, and there’s no reason that should change, while in the creeks the bite should continue to be good with mud minnows or finger mullet on low tide. Sheepshead will still be prolific in July but big ones are usually hard to catch. Tarpon have already shown up and fishing for these silver kings should get better and better this month. Flounder should continue to be catchable with mud minnows over sandy or hard bottoms, particularly at the mouth of creeks. It’s been a banner year for them around Edisto already. In the inlets whiting should be abundant all summer.

Nearshore/offshore: Spanish mackerel will hang around throughout the month, and the spadefish action should continue to be good in July on the reefs where there are also flounder, cobia and more. Bottom fishing will stay good but move further out towards the ledge, while at the Gulf Stream it should continue to be a great year for billfish and there should be some wahoo and tuna caught. It was a tough year for dolphin and for all intents and purposes the season was already over by late June.

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Inshore: Captain Tuck Scott (843-524-5250) and Captain Patrick Kelly (843-962-3503) report that in July tailing redfish can be found on good flood tides when they are in the short grass eating fiddler crabs, and on moving tides fishing live or cut bait in areas where they ambush prey is a good bet. There should also continue to be a good bite on lower tides around docks and other structure. The trout bite was very good in June and should continue into July, and fish will be caught on both live shrimp and imitation shrimp drifted around grass lines and in front of shell beds in clean, moving water. There should also continue to be a good topwater bite for both species early. Jacks and tarpon showed up in late June and should be around until the fall. Flounder fishing can be good with live finger mullet, mud minnows, or soft plastics, but catching legal fish can be a challenge. Sheepshead are also around inshore, but generally they are on the small to medium side. Finally, keep your eyes open for tripletail in the rivers – especially closer to the ocean.

Surf and Pier: Hunting Island State Park Fishing Pier (843-838-7437) reports that in Fripp Inlet they should catch lots of redfish and flounder this month, and on the front beaches croaker, whiting, pompano, black drum and even trout should be around in the surf.

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Hilton Head

Inshore: Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) and Captain Trent Malphrus (843-301-4634) report that in July they should continue to catch redfish fishing live bait around moving water on both tide cycles, and when you can find clean water trout should be caught on shrimp, menhaden or finger mullet. Black drum should set up in deep holes in the creeks or around docks where they will take shrimp, and bluefish will be prolific and voracious throughout the month. A few tarpon arrived in June in the Port Royal Sound, Calibogue Sound and on the front beaches, but more will show this month and they can be caught on live menhaden. Bull reds can be found in the same areas but usually a bit deeper. Big jacks up to 30 plus pounds should also be around through the fall, even though they will move around a lot, and tripletail should also be around for the rest of the summer. Flounder will continue to be caught on mud minnows.

Most detailed Hilton Head Updates