Beaufort/ Hilton Head Fishing Report
Weather has resulted in a lot of cancelled trips recently, but when anglers can get on the water fish have been willing to feed.
Trout: Good. Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) in Beaufort reports that trout are feeding around points with about four feet of water in the middle hours of the tide cycle when water is moving. Mud minnows are working as well as anything. There has also been good fishing on slower parts of the tide cycle (around high and low) up the creeks around trees that have fallen into the water. Casting jigs has been working well in these areas.
Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley (843-757-2126) in Hilton Head reports that he has also been catching trout (and redfish) back in the deep bends of creeks with some structure such as fallen trees in the water. Mud minnows fished under a popping cork have worked for both species.
Spottail bass: Good. Bay Street Outfitters reports that around very high tides pretty much the only pattern for catching redfish has been to fish on high tailing tides when fish are up in the grass feeding on fiddler crabs. Particularly early in the season before bird and fish predation thin the fiddler crabs, on super tides fiddlers are so abundant that redfish fill up on them and may not eat again until the next high tide. This can be problematic when the highest tides are late at night. When tides are not as extreme redfish are starting to key in on shrimp, although they will still take sections of blue crab and mud minnows.
Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley reports that he has been catching redfish around fallen trees in the deep bends of creeks, and that mud minnows fished under a popping cork have been working (as for the trout). Reds will also take cut mullet fished on the bottom under the tree tops.
Tarpon: Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley reports that tarpon have started to show up along with some schools of menhaden. For tarpon Coach suggests fishing dead baits such as mullet or menhaden on the bottom in live bottom areas of the Port Royal Sound. Additionally, when bait is moving over the top of sandbars fishing live mullet or menhaden on the top on the incoming and outgoing tide can be productive.
Bay Street Outfitters reminds anglers to be alert for tripletail floating near the surface. These fish will take live bait, soft plastics fished near the surface and MirrOLure MirrODine suspending twitchbaits which do well staying up in the water column.
Offshore: No new report from Captain Wally Phinney (843-838-7437).