South Carolina Inshore Saltwater Fish Species
Also known as Spot Tail Bass, Red Drum or puppy drum are the most sought after game fish not only along the Grand Strand but the entire South. Redfish are available year round in our marshes and can be targeted in many different ways. For the first three years of there lives Redfish will thrive in area marshes, bays and inlets. Feeding primarily on shrimp, fiddler crabs and small bait fish. Once they reach four years of age and approximately 30-32 inches they migrate out to the ocean with spawning populations. These fish are very powerful and a lot of fun to target. They can commonly pursued with Carolina rigs with live bait or soft plastics using spinning rods. We also Fly Fish for Redfish using mostly using 9 foot 8 weight fly rods. Most notably, Redfish can be found tailing in very shallow water. When these fish are in the shallows it’s an incredible sight to see! Ultimately we feel the most exciting way of targeting Redfish is on shallows and around the grass flats during FLOOD TIDES or when large schools begin to form during the fall.
Tarpon begin to show up in South Carolina around June and will remain in our local waters till October before migrating back south. Peak Tarpon Fishing in South Carolina runs from July to September. Tarpon will often hang around inlets, beaches, surf zones and river systems durning the summer months. Fishing for Tarpon is South Carolina can be very complex and ever changing. These large fish eat a steady diet of mullet and menhaden and can travel great distances in a single tide. We study the tides and moon phases fishing for them when conditions allow. South Carolina Tarpon range from 60 – 150 pounds. While there are many methods to target Tarpon I prefer to cast artificial lures as well as Fly Fishing for them.
Speckled Sea Trout can be targeted 365 days a year. Speckled Trout can be found along rivers, inlets and bays. The best times to target Sea Trout along the Grand Strand is spring and fall when they are schooled up. Large Sea Trout will almost always be female and we strongly encourage the release of these fish due to their spawning capabilities. Sea Trout prefer to hold adjacent to rips and near by deep ledges. Oysters beds hold and and can funnel bait on rising and falling tides and make great ambush points for trout. Top water plugs and soft plastics are great lures to use when fishing for South Carolina Trout. Fly fisherman can also enjoy catching Sea Trout by swinging full sink fly lines and brightly colored flies. Surface flies like poppers can be used for trout under the right weather conditions, especially when we see trout under driving birds.
Southern Flounder are among the most popular South Carolina Fishing Species pursued in the Myrtle Beach Area especially Pawleys Island. These strange looking flat fish begin to leave there wintering grounds of nearby reefs starting mid March and begin to invade our coastal waters in the spring where they spend the warmer months . There’s an old saying that when the dogwoods are blooming its time to go flounder fishing! Laying on the bottom and ambush their prey often inhaling anything in their path.
Shark fishing is loads of fun and is a great opportunity to pull on a fish that’s very large! Black tips and Bonnet Heads are the most common sharks we target along the Grand Strand. Mature sharks tend to congregate beneath bait schools, piers and around inlets. Sharks are extremely powerful and are the type of fish that can be caught from shore or boat using a verity of live or dead baits. Fly Fishing for sharks has been gaining in popularity. Chumming and Casting big streamer flies using 12 weight fly rods. Bonnets or “shovel heads” can be sight fished in the shallows when they’re tailing or cruising. Sharks are apex predators and watching them attack a fly or plug is exhilarating!
To find out more about South Carolina Fishing Species and how to target them visit South Carolina Dept of natural Resources or give us a call.