Spotted seatrout are a Lowcountry favorite. They are fished for in the back water and can be caught from June through December. Most fishing is done by floating live shrimp over oyster beds but can be caught on a variety of artificial baits and on the fly in the Fall.
The winter fishing is done at low tides and the fishing is best from mid-December through mid-March. The reds can also be caught during the summer months on the high tides. This is when most “tailing reds” are caught.
The large adult reds or “bull reds” are abundant in the inshore and nearshore waters from late August through November. Bull reds are really fun on light tackle and most fishing is done in less than thirty feet of water.
Tarpon are the marlin of the inshore waters and range in size from 50 to 150 pounds. Tarpon enter the waters of Hilton Head in late June and are in the inshore and nearshore waters through September. Most fishing is done with live bait on twenty to thirty pound tackle. There are opportunities to catch tarpon the the fly but this is difficult because of the visibility of our waters around Hilton Head.
Port Royal Sound on Hilton Head is one of the few places on the Atlantic Coast that cobia actually come inshore. Cobia spawn from late April to early June and this in turn is the best time to fish for them. Cobia are also sucker for the fly and are easy targets during the slack tide periods when they are often seen swimming on the surface.
Other species that can be caught in the inshore and nearshore waters are sharks including blacktip, lemon, tiger, bull and hammerhead; jack crevalle, spanish mackerel, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, triple tail, ladyfish, and bluefish.