Overall the summer fishing action has been red hot this year and should only continue to stay good as we move into August. On the inshore waters we will still be catching good numbers of redfish, flounder and speckled trout but also look to see large schools of bluefish, spanish mackerel ladyfish and jacks pushing around in the backwaters. Further out we will be looking for larger species such as big sharks and tarpon to pull on, plus schools of blues and mackerel surface feeding.
Overall the water temperatures have stabilized now that we are in the heart of the summer season so most of our inshore fish species have settled down into more regular patterns. Given the huge amounts of the shrimp and baitfish washing in and out of the creeks with the tide right now it has become like a buffet around the inshore shallows. I will spend most of my time this month fishing around the creek mouths, grass edges and oyster bars with live bait, small artificial lures or flies to get the action going. These areas provide ambush points for redfish, specks and flounder to lay up on and feed on baitfish as they are pulled along with the tidal currents. Anywhere that we find structure, moving water and baitfish we should also find the gamefish. Additionally, we will also get some great sight fishing opportunities this month as the redfish move into the short grass to feed on fiddler crabs. Moreover, just off the shorelines we need to keep a good eye out for bluefish, spanish mackerel, jacks and ladyfish as crash the surface feeding on glass minnows. Sight fishing will provide the best action for light tackle spin and fly fishing as we will have the opportunity to see the fish before we cast to them!
The “big” attraction on the nearshore waters right now is surely the tarpon fishing and I do mean big… these fish average between 125-150 pounds with many larger fish mixed in. The tarpon that we see around the Lowcountry are summer migrators that have come up for the south following the runs of mullet and menhaden. In most cases, the tarpon will be pounding the baitfish off of the beach or around the channel entrances but can also be caught well inland as they layup in the backwaters around pilings and deep grassy islands. One of the best signs that tarpon are around is to see them rolling on the surface; it is not uncommon to see them from great distances as the suns rays reflect off of their silver bodies. Mixed in the the tarpon will be some very powerful and speedy sharks to include big blacktips, spinners and even a few hammerheads. These sharks are a lot of fun to catch and put up a great fight on medium sized fishing tackle. Moreover, there should be nice schools of blues and mackerel working off the beach which will give use some fast paced action for sight casting and light tackle fishing enthusiasts!