Posts Tagged ‘beaufort fishing report’

Beaufort, SC March Fishing Report

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Water temperature is one of the key factors that determines the movements of fish and this is true for the smallest of bait fish all the way up to our apex predators. Overall, I would classify many fish as being either tropical or cold water fish. A good example of a tropical fish would be a snook (not found in South Carolina) as they would die quickly in cold water, whereas stripers would be considered a cold water fish. On the other hand, if you look at a species such as redfish we will see that they are found anywhere from Texas, around the gulf coast and up the east coast from Florida to Virginia so these hardy critters may be considered either warm or cold water fish. In many cases, water temperature will directly coincide with the migration of fish and this may be a north – south migration or even an inshore – offshore migration. Lets look at a few examples: during the winter months many of our flounder and sheepshead migrate from inshore waters to offshore waters primarily because the deeper offshore water offers slightly warmer and more stable water temperatures. An example of a north – south migrator might be the mighty tarpon, these fish visit our waters during mid summer and spend their winters in the tropical waters of south Florida. The point is that each species of fish will react to water temperatures differently and the key for us as fisherman is to study these behaviors and movements to better understand when and where fish will be during different seasons.


We are coming to the end of the winter redfish season. Throughout most of the winter we have been finding the reds schooled up on the flats in huge numbers, but as temperatures start to rise these schools will start to break up and the fish will become more mobile. Moreover, reds that were sluggish to take a bait will be looking for something to eat and readily take a well placed offering. As the fish start to change their behaviors we need to make changes as well. We will still be looking for fish on the shallow flats but also be paying more attention to the grass edges, creek channels and oyster bars with moving current to pitch soft plastics, flies and live baits.

Nearshore Wrecks:

Right now the nearshore wreck and live bottom fishing should be firing off with good numbers of fish and a lot of action! The prime targets on the wrecks throughout March will be sheepshead, sea bass and flounder. In particular, flounder will be staging up on the wrecks in good numbers as they get ready to push back to the estuary. These fish are often overlooked by many anglers but armed with the right tactics and a little patience these fish can provide a great day of fishing. The key thing to remember about flounder is that they will not lay on top of the wrecks…in fact, in many cases they will be 30 feet or more off of the structure. I generally like to drift fish for them dropping buck tail jigs or live minnows on a flounder rig over the slack tide.

Beaufort Fishing Report – February

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Beaufort Fishing GuideCooler temperatures and clear water generally keep most of our inshore redfish in skinny water and given the right conditions the offshore wrecks will be loaded up for some super fast action. The key to fishing this time of the year is to look for calm clear days to sight fish the flats or to bottom fish the near and offshore wrecks.

Inshore Fishing

With cooler water temperatures the redfish are schooled up on the shallow water mud flats. Flats are areas that have very little bottom contour (flat bottom) over a particular area, and generally offer food and shelter for redfish. During this time it is not uncommon to see schools of 500 or more fish huddled together in a tight area. The main reasons that redfish school up on shallow mud flats in the winter are for protection, warmth, and safety in numbers. During the winter much of the food that dolphins feed on (such as menhaden and mullet) are gone, therefore redfish become a large part of their diet. To keep away from the dolphins redfish will stay in shallow water where the dolphins can’t enter. During midday, mud flats also offer warmth as the sun heats up the dark mud bottom. Finally, by grouping up in a school, redfish have many eyes to look for predators; if one fish sees something out of place it will alert the rest of the school. Moreover, short days and cooler air drive the water temperature into the low 50s this time of year. Not only does the water become cooler but also crystal clear. As the water cools most fish move into deeper water with the exception of schooling redfish which will huddle together on low tide flats in large numbers. The combination of these factors create ideal conditions for shallow water sight fishing with light spin and fly fishing gear.

Nearshore Wreck Fishing

Some of the best winter fishing can be done on the wrecks which are located six to twenty miles offshore. On an average day look to catch a variety of fish to include: sheepshead, weakfish, bull redfish, flounder and sea bass. In particular the sea bass are all over the wrecks right now and there are many techniques to catch them as they generally have voracious appetites. I usually go with a a trusty diamond jig working close to the bottom with short erratic pops of the rod tip. Not only are sea bass a lot of fun to catch but also great to eat. Due to the fact that these wrecks are located in open water we generally look for light winds and calm seas to go offshore.

Captain Charlie Beadon


January Fishing Report – Beaufort, SC

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Beaufort RedfishI always find that January is one of my favorite times of the year to fish, especially when it comes to shallow water sight fishing. With cooler water temperatures we will see a dramatic increase in water clarity as most of the algae and plankton dies off. This crystal clear water will allow us to see what we are casting to or “sight fish” thus giving us a bit of an advantage in finding and catching fish…just remember that if you can see the fish they can see you.

Inshore Fishing

Overall, the best action on the inshore waters will come from redfish during this time of the year though there are still a fair number of speckled trout around to give us a little diversity. Many of the other species that we see on our inshore waters during the warmer months have either moved out to deeper water or migrated south for the winter. On the good side however, we have a world class red fishery and some of the most exciting action comes during the cold months! The best redfishing right now can be found on the clear shallow water flats and in most cases the reds will be huddled together in large  schools to keep lots of eyes out for bottle nosed dolphins prowling the flats looking for a redfish snack. It’s not just about finding these fish but also catching them and big schools of fish equals lots of eyes looking out for predators. If one fish sees you the entire school will be alerted so a stealthy approach is paramount. Moreover, you might need to adjust your tactics just a little to elicit a strike by using lighter leaders and smaller baits coupled with long and accurate presentations.

Nearshore, Wreck and Bottom Fishing

Don’t forget about the offshore fishing this month because there is plenty of action out there to keep everyone bowed up. Many of the nearshore wrecks should be getting stacked up with sheepshead as these tasty fish have just moved out of the inshore estuary and are always up for eating well placed crab. Just don’t get frustrated if your bait gets stolen a time or two by these sneaky fish as they have a well deserved reputation for sucking a bait off of the hook without making a bump. I always tell my charter clients to “just be patient” and “keep at it” and we always manage to fool plenty of these bandits by the end of the day! Outside of sheepshead the local wreck sites should also be holding a good number of black sea bass, flounder, bluefish and the occasional bull redfish. As we move out to the live bottom areas look to catch black sea bass, grouper, snapper, triggerfish, porgies and I have even taken a few cobia over the deeper spots during the winter months. With regular cold fronts coming through keep and eye out for clear skies and calm seas. Until next time, Catch em Up!

December Fishing Report – Beaufort, SC

Monday, December 15th, 2014

beaufort redfishAs winter approaches we will see far fewer pleasure and fishing boats out on the water but for us die hard fisherman the quest continues. As far as I’m concerned I look forward to the late fall and winter fishing all year long but the key is to pick your days and look for the right conditions. I will generally be looking for light winds and mid day tides to allow the fish to warm up a little bit. Moreover, with overall cooler water temperatures the water clarity will significantly increase giving us some prime sight fishing conditions.

Inshore Fishing

The inshore waters will continue to fire off this month with speckled sea trout and redfish. These fish will still be feeding heavily as they feel the water temperatures dropping which in turn will give us some of the finest fishing action of the year. With clearing water the specs will have no trouble finding your baits, and though I will still be using a fair amount of live bait under corks, soft screw tails and twitch baits will also be a good choice to fool these hungry fish. Over most of the month I will be concentrating my efforts around the grass edges and shell rakes on both sides of the mid tide for trout and redfish. While we will still be taking quite a number of reds around the mid tides these fish will also be congregating into tighter schools over the mud flats which will give us some excellent opportunities for light tackle spin and fly fishing. Given the clear water and schooling fish this means one thing…it’s prime time for sight fishing. I am often asked “when is the best time to go fly fishing?” well guys this is it!

Nearshore, Wreck and Bottom Fishing

Around the near and offshore wrecks we should be able to get into some really good bull redfish action through about the middle of the month and as the bulls start to push out to deeper water look for the sheepshead to take their place. For the sheepshead I like to set up a carolina rig on medium action spinning gear using a 2 ounce egg sinker, 18 inches of thirty pound leader a 2/0 hook and for bait a live fiddler crab is hard to beat! These fish can be a little tricky to hook but once you get the hang of it get ready for a down and dirty fight because these fish pull hard as they try to dig back into the bottom structure. If you decide to venture out a little further to the deep wrecks and live bottom areas get ready for some excellent black sea bass, flounder and grouper action this month. Good sized black sea bass should be plentiful around most all structure and hard bottom along with a number of flounder and broom tail grouper. You should also find a few nice gags, snapper and jacks around the deeper wrecks and live bottom areas.

Beaufort Fishing Report

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

The fishing has been heating up around Beaufort, SC over the past few weeks! We have been catching a number of redfish, specks and flounder along with some nice ladyfish and bluefish on light tackle around the grass edges and oyster bars back in the estuary. Moreover, the redfish have been tailing up on the flats which has made for some excellent sight fishing on both spin and fly fishing gear. The cobia migration was overall pretty poor this past season and is now coming to an end…I guess that you really can’t go out and keep all of the big spawning fish year after year and expect the fishery to sustain itself (my opinion anyhow), but thats why I have had strict boat limits and been releasing the big females for years. I just wish that others would have been more responsible in that department!! In their place, we have been catching some really nice sized sharks plus a number of whiting and mackerel out in the deeper waters of the sound and I would expect to start catching more black drum and even larger sharks here soon as well. Thanks for reading and until next time, Catch em Up! Captain Charlie

Bonnethead Shark on Fly

July Nearshore Fishing Report

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

As the cobia migrate out the rivers and sounds tarpon will be migrating in to take their place. These fish average over 100 pounds and put up a spectacular fight. Also known as the silver king, tarpon are most well known for their aerial acrobatics when hooked. Along with tarpon we will see some of the best shark fishing of the season. Most of the sharks that we catch range in size from 20-100 pounds and may include species such as bonnetheads, black tips and lemon sharks. On the other hand sharks such as hammerheads, tigers and bull sharks may go over 500 pounds…not for the faint of heart! Around the rivers and off of the beach look to catch good numbers of spanish mackerel by using live bait and trolling tactics. Moreover, if you are looking for a true drag screamer then you might want to head out to catch king mackerel. These fish are most commonly found around the offshore wrecks and live bottom areas and can be caught by bump trolling live bait. As you can see there is no shortage of fishing options right now so let gear up and hit the water. Until next tim, Catch em Up!


Beaufort Fishing Report for July

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

July Fishing Report

One of the most common questions that I get throughout the year is “are we going to be fishing in saltwater?”. My answer is always “Yes but more specifically we are fishing in a Saltwater Tidal Estuary”. Moreover, the Beaufort and Hilton Head areas are unique in the way that our estuary receives very little freshwater influx and thus we have virtually no brackish water. Basically speaking all of the water that we see moving back and forth each day is tidal water that is flowing to and from the ocean. Our estuary provides food and safety for juvenile fish such as redfish, specked sea trout, flounder and sharks to grow and also provides us with a wonderful playground to enjoy the outdoors and wet a line.


Inshore Fishing:

July fishing gives us a real mixed bag of different species to fish for. Our top inshore targets will be redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder. These fish can be caught using a number of techniques to include: walking topwater plugs, jerking soft plastics, jigging, fly fishing and drifting live baits under popping corks. As for redfish, we are at the top of the tailing season which is by far the most exciting way to chase reds! As the high tide spills over marsh grasses and onto hard packed sand the redfish will push in to feed on small fiddler crabs…a redfish in no more than a few inches of water with its nose stuck in the bottom and tail waiving high is quite a sight to see. We will also be seeing schools of ladyfish, jack crevalle and bluefish in shallower water throughout the month. These fish might be feeding on anything from glass minnows to menhaden and can be a blast to catch on both light spin and fly fishing tackle.

Beaufort Redfish

Beaufort Wreck Fishing

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

The best action around our nearshore waters right now is cobia and shark fishing. These fish generally frequent the same areas so it is not uncommon to have a shark hooked up on one line while fighting a 40 pound cobia on the other. These fish are large and in charge so you had best be prepared if you plan on bringing them boat side. Everything starts with matching your tackle – I use 20-30 pound class spinning and conventional rod combos (larger for big sharks) lined up with 50 pound braid and a beefy monofilament or wire leader. Along with cobia and sharks we will also be catching good numbers of whiting, black sea bass, blue fish and spanish mackerel. What more can I say…everything has sprung to life. Until next time, Catch em Up!


Beaufort Fishing Charters - Cobia

Beaufort Inshore Fishing Report

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

As we get deeper into the spring fishing season we will see an abundance of life all around us while out on the water. You might notice that the water clarity has gone from gin clear to “dirty” green-brown…this, in fact is not dirt or mud but rather microorganisms such as algae and plankton that are growing in our warm ocean water. These microbes form the base of the food chain for all other species by providing food for small baitfish and shrimp which in turn provides food for larger fish, birds and even us. I generally look at the warmer months as a time for life to flourish here in the Lowcountry and that in turn can equate to some red hot fishing!


Inshore Fishing:

On the inshore waters there is a lot of action right now. The redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder will be on the prowl and feeding heavily around most any “fishy looking area”. When I say fishy, I am talking about spots that have a combination of four things: spartina grass, oyster beds, feeder creeks and moving water. The spartina grass and oyster beds provide cover and/or structure for the fish conceal themselves while the water flowing in and out of the creeks provide a constant flow of food – to – and – from the marsh. As the water moves in and out of the marsh predator fish such as trout, redfish and flounder will hold up to feed on the abundance of baitfish that are moving with the current…its like a baitfish buffet. We will also be catching a number of other species around these same areas to include: bluefish, jack crevalle lady fish and small sharks. Speaking of sharks, June is one of the best months to catch bonnet head sharks in shallow water. These sharks average between 10-15 pounds and are a blast to catch on light spinning rods and even fly fishing tackle. My favorite tactic to catch bonnet head sharks is to quietly pole the boat near them while they are pushing around in shallow water and sight cast using shrimp, crabs and fly patterns.

Beaufort Fishing Guide - Redfish

Beaufort Fishing Report

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Spring is finally here and with the exception of a possible late cold front we should be moving out of our winter fishing patterns and into our summer patterns. With longer days and raising temperatures the fishing should be firing up on both our inshore and offshore waters. By mid month look for the water temperature to start to hover around 70 degrees and with the warming water there will be plenty of hungry redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder around looking for something to eat. Moreover, by mid April we should see the first of our cobia start to arrive so lets get ready for some red hot action this month!


Inshore Fishing:

This is a great time of the year to be an inshore fisherman. The water is still relatively clear so sight fishing is a strong possibility while at the same time the redfish are eating more aggressively plus the trout and flounder are starting to move back into the grass to feed. Need I say more? For the most part I will start to concentrate most of my fishing efforts around the oyster bars and grass edges and especially concentrate on fishy looking areas where there is a lot of moving water…these fish are looking to feed-up right now and the best place to find food is in areas where bait fish are being swept through with the moving current. This is a great time of the year to play around with different types of lures and flies and if you are looking for an explosive bite try working a topwater bait such as a zara spook or gurgler near the grass edges. I have have such explosive surface bites during April that I nearly fell out of the boat!


Nearshore and Wreck Fishing:

The nearshore and wreck fish should only continue to get better and better as we move through April. This is one of my favorite months to catch sheepshead and they will be staging up on both the nearshore wrecks and around inshore docks and pilings. If you are looking to catch sheepshead a live fiddler crab on a sharp 2/0 hook is hard to beat. We will also be looking for the arrival of the cobia. These are migratory fish that start to come into our waters around mid April and stay though about July. These are large powerful fish with a veracious appetite and if you plan to tangle with a cobia I would recommend that you beef up your gear to 20-30 pound class spinning and conventional rods. We also catch a good number of cobia on the fly rod, for this I generally use a 10 wt for smaller fish and a 12 wt for larger fish. April is an excellent time of the year to enjoy the outdoors so lets take advantage of the weather and head out fishing!

Beaufort, SC Redfish Charters










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