Speckled trout and reds are most-often targeted by fishermen in flat-bottomed boats in skinny backwaters, but in Charleston, the bite is definitely picking up in the surf, according to Capt Ben Shealy, who guides out of the Charleston Angler in West Ashley.

"The surf fishing starting to heat up, and it's only gonna get better from here," said Shealy (843-571-3899). "The fish seem to know the bait is going to be scarce before long, so they're eating anything and everything they can right now."

Shealy's favorite surf bait for reds is mullet fished on a Carolina rig at the end of a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader. He also recommends live mullet or mud minnows if available.

"I use 40-pound leader because there are some pretty big fish being caught," Shealy said. "Anywhere between 30- and 40-pound is a good-sized leader, and I use as little weight as I can to keep it on the bottom. I fish between troughs where the current's moving the fastest; next to sandbars is always a good spot. I typically use big mullet cut in half, but live mullet works well as well. Live shrimp, mud minnows and artificials are all going to work right now."

If slower-paced fishing is more your speed, Shealy suggests fishing deeper water next to the oyster beds. Fish are biting on anything from a shrimp fished under a Cajun Thunder cork or a Carolina rig with mud minnows.Those offerings have been especially productive for trout.

"Z-Man lures in the Houdini color have been productive for both reds and trout lately," he said. "I'd suggest fishing over oyster beds with moving water. If you can find a deep hole next to the beds where the water is moving fast, that's where I'd focus on."