Spring Fishing in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head Fishing

Spring Fishing Report 2016

Here in South Carolina we do see four distinct seasons and as we transition from one to the next the fishing patterns change and this is especially true from winter to spring. As we start to see out first warming trends of the year things will change dramatically on the inshore waters. Throughout the winter months we have been sight fishing for redfish in clear shallow water and this will continue as the waters warm through early spring but with the warming waters we will go through a transition period where the fish will begin to scatter and the fishing may become somewhat inconsistent until the water temperatures stabilize. This transition period generally lasts about 2 weeks depending on how the later cold fronts move through. With warmer spring waters the redfish will move around more and many of the schools will begin to break up but the fish will also begin to feed more heavily allowing us to catch them using a variety of lures to include jerk baits, topwater lures and flies. When the lures are not working I generally switch over to live bait tactics using either a popping cork or a jig head on the bottom. The warming waters and abundance of baitfish should also start to bring in fair numbers of speckled sea trout and flounder. In most cases, I will catch my specks and flounder in the same areas that I am redfishing during this time of the year so they tend to be more of a bonus than something that we are specifically targeting. As we move deeper into spring the waters will consistently hover above 70 degrees and we will see a noticeable change in the water clarity as algae and plankton start to take over and turn the water into an organic soup. With all of the alga and plankton lots and lots of bait will start to show up in our local waters and behind the baitfish will surely be larger predator fish such as jacks, ladyfish, blues, cobia and sharks. Moreover, the inshore redfish, trout and flounder will be taking advantage of the buffet as they will be feeding heavily and begin to pattern more around feeding areas such as grass edges, creek mouths and oyster points.

Thus far we have mostly been discussing the inshore fishing but the nearshore fishing within the Port Royal Sound and around the nearshore wrecks can be pretty good during this time as well. In early spring the nearshore wrecks should be holding good numbers of sheepshead, black sea bass and flounder but as we get closer to summer many of the sheepshead and flounder will migrate back into the inshore waters closer to land. Moreover, as the bait begins to show up in the deeper channels the cobia and triple tail will be there too. Things are heating up so lets get out and do some fishing! Catch em Up, Capt. Charlie