Target Species

Redfish 

Redfish are pursued year round. In the warmer months when a lot of bait is in the area and the water clarity is down, live baiting is the most effective tactic. Full and new moons, however, offer excellent sight fishing in the grass this time of year. As long as the water is not too hot, these fish can be fooled with flies and weedless soft plastics. They can be stalked by foot and commonly caught just feet from the angler. As the water cools the bait begins to thin out, waters begin to clear, and fish begin to gather in groups along the flats, shell bars, and in creeks.

Speckled Trout 

Speckled Trout are pursued from spring through the early winter with the peak of action in the fall. They can be caught with a variety of different live baits and artificial lures. They typically associate with moving water that is clean. Oyster points, current breaks, and submerged structure are just a few of the many places where they gather. These fish are commonly just a pound or two but can reach in excess of 5 pounds in this area. These fish are also suckers for a lit up dock at night that attracts bait. Custom night trips can bring a lot of fish to the boat, especially with a fly rod as your weapon.

Sheepshead 

Sheepshead are targeted year round. Some of the best Sheepshead fishing can be in February and March on the numerous nearshore wrecks and reefs. The larger females will go to the deeper water during this time. They are typically caught using fiddler crabs as bait, but will hit oysters, clams, and live shrimp as well. The jetties offer excellent opportunities for big fish as well. These wild looking porgies make excellent table fare. Sheepshead are anywhere from a pound up to more than 15 pounds.

Flounder 

The summer flounder is a left eyed flatfish. The eyed side always blends in perfectly with the sea bed. There is usually a scattering of 10 to 14 eye like spots on the body. As in other flatfish, the blind side is white and relatively featureless. The teeth are well developed on both sides of the jaws. The dorsal fin has 85 94 rays; the anal fin has 60 63 rays. There are only 5 or 6 gill rakers on the upper limb of the first arch and 11 21 on the lower limb.

Bonnethead Sharks 

Bonnethead Sharks are a blast on light tackle. They can be caught from mid spring through the summer. They will cruise the very shallow water looking for shrimp and crabs similar to redfish with their fins out of the water. They are an aggressive feeder, put up a great fight, and are surprisingly good on the table. They can be fooled on fly with a little help from some scent or chum and provide a worthy opponent. These fish can also be targeted in the deep holes between creeks and can add an extra bonus while waiting for the grass to flood during a redfish trip.

Ladyfish 

There are six species of ladyfish inhabiting tropical and subtropical waters all over world. They are inshore species that are commonly found in estuaries, coastal lagoons, hypersaline bays, along shorlines, and even venture far up coastal streams.

Spadefish & Spanish Mackerel 

Spadefish and Spanish Mackerel are typically combined into the same trip given they inhabit the same areas and time periods. These fish live around structure in the nearshore areas. I chase these fish starting in April on into July or August. Typically by the late summer the larger spanish are long gone and the spadefish have been hammered by the fisherman and barracuda and become wary. An added bonus during a spadefishing trip is cobia when they are migrating through. They are very strong and delicious any way you cook them. Spadefish pound for pound are one of the strongest fish and can be awesome on light tackle. The world record spadefish is just over 14 pounds, and I have caught many in the 10 pound class off of Charleston.

False Albacore 

For whatever reason, false albacore are among the most misidentified fish in the ocean. Also commonly called little tunny, they are frequently mistaken for bonito, albacore, tinker mackerel or other small tunas. No matter what you call them, the stamina these fish display can prove downright brutal. It has been said that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Nothing could better describe the albie.

Cobia 

Cobia make an incredible showing along the Broad River near Beaufort, SC each spring. During times of moving water, live baiting while chumming is very effective. As the tide slows, fish begin to cruise the surface and can be sight cast to with different lures and flies. These brutish fish can also be caught during the summer around buoys and wrecks offshore.

Tarpon 

The body is compressed and covered with very large scales. The lower jaw juts out and up. The teeth are small and fine, and the throat is covered by a bony plate. The dorsal fin consists of 12 16 soft rays (no spines) the last of which is greatly elongated. The back is greenish or bluish varying in darkness from silvery to almost black. The sides and belly are brilliant silver. Inland, brackish water tarpons frequently have a golden or brownish color because of tannic acid.