Hilton Head Fishing Report for April

hilton head redfish

This is a great time of the year to get out on the water. With warming temperatures, lots of bait and hungry fish migrating into our local waters its time to dust off the poles and go fishing!

Inshore Fishing

Things are heating up on the inshore waters right now! Throughout most of the winter we have been catching lots of redfish but with warmer water temperatures we will begin to see a number of different species moving into the estuary. First off, bait will be come more abundant around the shallows; mullet, mud minnows, grass shrimp and small crabs will start the fishing food chain thus attracting good numbers of redfish, speckled trout and flounder. These fish are hungry and looking for something to eat; on top of that, the increased competition will make these fish more aggressive to feed! Live bait is always a great choice but lures are very effective as well; jerk baits, jigs, suspending twitch baits and topwater lures are sure to elicit a strike right now. Moreover, as we get deeper into April we will start to see good numbers of cobia and triple tail move into the Port Royal Sound. In many cases we will be catching cobia on the bottom but it is not uncommon to see these fish cruising on the surface giving us the opportunity to sight fish for them using lures and flies. In regards to the cobia: These fish are here to breed and with more fishing pressure over the years we have seen a decline in the number of cobia coming through the sound. A little restraint can go a long way. There is nothing wrong with releasing cobia, especially the larger breeding females. If we want to enjoy this fishery tomorrow we need to take care of it today!

Offshore Fishing

As we move out to the offshore waters there will be plenty of action this spring. Starting around the wrecks, the black sea bass and sheepshead will be stacked up over the structure as they forage for food. Fiddler crabs are my bait of choice for the sheepshead and the sea bass will eat most anything that you put on the hook. Also don’t be surprised to hook into doormat flounder around the wrecks right now and the possibility of a few cobia showing up is likely as we get later into April. Moving further offshore into blue water the hot bite this month will be wahoo…one of my favorite fish of all time, they are super speedy, fight hard, have a mouth full of razor sharp teeth and they are excellent on the grill! A few quick tips to catch wahoo: 1. Troll faster –  Wahoo want a bait that is moving fast, I would recommend trolling between 12 and 16 knots. 2. Troll Deeper – You might keep a few baits on top, but when wahoo fishing we always want to have at least one or two baits running 10-15 feet below the surface. 3. Add Some Color – For high speed trolling we want want to use colorful baits, the most trusted colors for wahoo are blue/white, hot pink/white, orange/black or red/black.