Hilton Head Fishing Report for July 2015

We have finally gotten into the summer fishing season and the fishing action has been red hot across the board. Due to warm waters and plenty of baitfish we have seen a mixed bag of fishing opportunities on both the inshore and nearshore waters. Whether you are a light tackle enthusiast looking for a quiet outing in the backwaters, a big game fisherman looking for something large to pull on or planning a family fishing adventure this a great time to get out on the water.

Inshore Fishing:

My first option on most inshore fishing trips right now would be to target redfish, speckled trout and flounder. These fish will will be plentiful around many of the grass edges, creek mouths and oyster bays as they forage for small bait fish and shrimp washing in and out with the tidal currents. In many cases, using live or cut bait will work very well but lures such as spoons, jerk baits and topwater walking baits can be very effective as well. Along with the “big three” we should also get plenty of rod bending action from a mix of ladyfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, shark and spanish mackerel. It is not uncommon to catch any or all of these species in one spot if you get lucky and hit it right! The jacks, ladyfish, blues and mackerel are also know to surface feed over open flats and will give away their position by churning the surface as they push smaller baitfish to the top which provides us with some great rod bending action using small topwater lures and flies. In the shallows, we will also be looking for tailing redfish throughout the month. In my opinion, chasing tailing reds in mere inches of water is one of the most exciting ways to chase fish in the Lowcountry! Given the fact that we can see the fish as they graze along the bottom looking for crabs we will get great shots at these fish with both light tackle spinning gear and  fly rods.

Nearshore Fishing:

In the deeper waters around the Sounds and larger river systems the summer action provides us with many larger fish such as giant jack crevalle, big sharks and tarpon. In many cases we will be live bait fishing for these species using 15-30 pound class spinning and conventional outfits. These fish are large and in charge so if you get hooked up with one of these bruisers I would recommend that you hang on and get ready for a long battle! We should also be seeing schools of spanish mackerel and bluefish along the shoals which can provide fast paced action as these fish will be feeding heavily on or near the surface. In may cases, we will be casting plugs and flies directly into the middle of the schools of fish in hopes of getting a strike and considering that these fish are very aggressive on the bite and put up a great fight they are one of my favorite summer fishing options!