What’s Biting – Seasonal Fishing Guide

January-March Fishing Options

winter fishing in beaufort and hilton head, scThe winter months offers us some of our best sight fishing opportunities of the year. As the water cools much of the algae and plankton that would normally give our waters a “cloudy or dirty” look dies off giving us crystal clear visibility. Moreover, the redfish huddle together into huge schools in super skinny water. I have seen schools of fish numbering in the thousands, there are so many fish that you can’t pick out singles because the bottom is tar black with fish. Most days consist of poling the shallows in search of reds using light tackle spin and fly fishing gear. With huge numbers of fish in shallow water we need to go into stealth mode to keep from spooking the schools. Not only will we be be quietly poling through the flats but also taming down our tackle with light leaders and smaller baits.

April-June Fishing Options

spring cobiaAs spring brings warmer weather we will be seeing more diversity in the species that push into our waters. We will still be focusing on redfish but will also have the opportunity to take specks, flounder, cobia and sharks in the backwaters. As the crabs get active on the flats redfish won’t be far behind to fill up and this will allow us to get into some of the best tailing action that can be found anywhere! Around the grass edges, creeks and oyster bars we will be finding good numbers of reds, flounder and trout which can provide excellent light tackle action using lures and live bait tactics. If you are up for something a little bigger we can sight fish the deeper sound for cobia  and triple tail or bend the rods with a few sharks.

July-September Fishing Options

Beaufort and Hilton Head SharkSummer fishing around Beaufort/Hilton Head is what I like to call a “mixed bag”. Warm ocean currents bring in a host of baitfish and following the bait are all kinds of saltwater species to include: reds, specks, flounder, black drum, bluefish, mackerel, ladyfish, jacks and tarpon. My main shallow water target will be on the grass flats sight fishing for tailing redfish. This is one of the most exciting types of fishing that you will ever see, as the reds dip down to feed on small crabs in skinny water their tails pop out and give away their location. Not only can you see the fish but also what direction they are facing and where they are heading which allows us to line up for perfect shots using light spin and fly fishing gear. We will also be seeing huge schools of blues, jacks, mackerel and ladyfish blitzing on the surface in feeding frenzies. This can be non-stop action as these fish will take everything that moves from fast moving flies to topwater lures!

October-December Fishing Options

fly fishing for speckled trout out of beaufort and hilton headWith moderately cool temperatures we will be enjoying some of the best weather of the year! Not only will the weather be perfect but fall offers us exceptional fishing for reds, specks, flounder and bull reds as well. We will be finding fish on the shallow flats for some exceptional sight fishing, but most of our fishing will take place around the grass edges and oyster bars and without a doubt the redfish and speckled trout will be firing off as they feel the water temperature dropping. It’s not uncommon to set up in one spot and catch 40 plus fish as fast as we can get lines in the water. Though I spend most of my time in shallower water I won’t hesitate to drop a few lines down deep in the fall to get into the bull reds. These fish average 25-30 pounds and its not uncommon to catch fish over 40!

This is only a brief overview of what you can expect to catch during the year. Call us for more information about what’s biting or CLICK HERE to Customize your Own Fishing Trip.


Through out the year we have the opportunity to catch a lot of different species of fish. In many cases we might be fishing for a specific target but in the saltwater you never know what might bite your line. Here is a list of the most likely species that we would see on the inshore waters around the Lowcountry.




Redfish – (Sciaenops ocellatus), AKA red drum, channel bass, spot tail bass or reds. These fish are found throughout the East Coast, around Florida and back around through the Gulf of Mexico to Texas. We fish for redfish year round on both inshore and offshore waters. There are many techniques to catch them but nothing beats sight fishing with light spinning rods and fly fishing tackle. For more information click here!




Speckled Sea Trout – (Cynoscion nebulosus), AKA speckled trout or specs. Though called “trout” specs are actually in the drum family and related to fish such as black and red drum. These fish are found around the lower Atlantic states and throughout the shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico. Our best trout fishing comes during the spring, summer and really gets good in the fall. For more information click here!




Flounder – (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), AKA flatfish. Flounder are ambush predators…they lay flat on the bottom and wait for bait fish to pass by before swooping up for a meal. Different species of flounder are caught throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Our best flounder fishing generally occurs in the spring and mid summer, though we do catch them year round. For more information click here!




Cobia – (Rachycentron canadum), AKA ling, lemon fish and crab eaters. These fish are in a class of their own with no known relatives. They have a veracious appetite which mostly consists of baitfish and crabs. Cobia are highly migratory and travel throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Here we catch them both inshore and offshore primarily during the spring and early summer months. For more information click here!




Tarpon – (Megalops atlanticus), AKA the Silver King. Tarpon are one of the largest and most powerful species of fish found in our inshore and nearshore waters. Tarpon are highly migratory, usually following the bait runs up and down the Atlantic seaboard. They are known for blistering runs and powerful jumps when hooked. These fish generally migrate through our area during mid summer through early fall.



Bull Redfish – (Sciaenops ocellatus), AKA red drum or reds. In looking at the life cycle of redfish; they grow up in protected backwaters and estuaries until about 4-5 years of age. From there they move out to deeper waters and join up with the breeding population. These adult fish would be considered “bull reds”.  Big bulls can weigh anywhere from 15-50 plus pounds and we generally catch them during the fall months.




Black Drum – (Pogonias cromis), These fish are common in the Chesapeake Bay, down throughout Florida and back up the Gulf of Mexico. They are in the drum family and related to fish such as redfish and whiting. Black drum are kind of an odd ball for us because we don’t generally go out and specifically target them but do catch them regularly while fishing for other species throughout the year.




Shark (disambiguation), We catch quit a number of different species of sharks to include; black tip, lemon, tiger, bull, bonnet head and hammer head sharks. Some of these sharks can weigh well over 100 plus pounds, but for the most part we catch them in the 15-100 pound range. Our best shark fishing occurs during the late spring, summer and early fall months while the water temperatures are warm. For more information click here!




Triple Tail – (Lobotes surinamensis), Atlantic triple tails are found throughout the Atlantic from Massachusetts to Argentina. We usually find them underneath floating debris while running through the sound and across the beach in anywhere from 10-60 feet of water. For the most part we will usually start catching triple tails by mid-spring and throughout the summer months using light spinning tackle and fly rods.




Jack Crevalle – (Caranx hippos), AKA yellow jack or simply jacks. These fish are distributed across the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Jacks are a powerful predatory fish that feed on smaller baitfish, shrimp and crabs. We usually find our jacks in schools during the summer months and fish for them using a mix of live bait, top water lures and flies.




Spanish Mackerel – (Scomberomorus maculatus), Spanish mackerel are a migratory fish that occur seasonally from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico to as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts. These fish are veracious predators that feed on smaller bait fish and squid using their sharp teeth to cut and kill prey.  We generally catch them during the summer months on both spinning and fly fishing tackle.




Blue Fish – (Pomatomus saltatrix), AKA Blues.  Bluefish are marine pelagic fish found around the world in temperate and sub-tropical waters, except for the Northern Pacific Ocean. These sport fish are built to do one thing – EAT! They are generally found in large schools feeding on or near the surface. Though we do catch blues year round they are most common during the summer months.




Sheepshead – (Calamus penna) AKA convicts. These fish are found throughout the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico around hard structure on both inshore and offshore waters. Sheepshead primarily feed on crustations such as crabs and barnacles which is why they have such hard mouths and teeth. We catch sheepshead throughout the year but the best fishing occurs during the winter months while wreck fishing.




Black Sea Bass – (Centropristis striata), AKA Black Bass. These fish are exclusively a marine fish and are actually not a “bass” but rather a type of grouper. These fish are generally found in more temperate regions especially around offshore live bottom areas and artificial wreck sites. We commonly catch black bass throughout the year on both light spinning tackle and fly fishing gear.




Lady Fish (Bodianus rufus)  Ladyfish are a coastal-dwelling fish found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions, occasionally venturing into temperate waters. These fish are caught mainly around the inshore waters as they feed on anything from small bait fish to shrimp. We generally catch good numbers of ladyfish throughout the summer months.




Whiting (Menticirrhus saxatilis), the proper name for these fish is the Northern Kingfish and they are a part of the drum family. Whiting are found in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to the Yucatan. These fish are generally caught on the bottom and are well know for their excellent table fare. We regularly catch whiting from spring until late fall.


If you are looking to book a guided fishing trip CLICK HERE To Contact Captain Charlie for more information.

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