Two factors are in the angler's favor when searching for cold-water reds: clearer water and the fish's propensity to bunch together in tight groups of up to hundreds of fish makes finding roaming schools easier.
"Most people seem to think our redfishing is only good during the spring and summer," said Chavis (843-509-9972). "I can attest that our winter fishery can be phenomenal, with plenty of big redfish (and) tons of slot fish, and they're not hard to catch on either artificial baits or live baits."
Unlike other inshore species, redfish use the same waters and the same locations year-round, regardless of the water temperature. What that means is that the same flats, ditches and creeks that hold redfish during the spring and summer will also hold fish in the winter, many times in larger numbers.
"A lot of guys get back in the grass during high tide and sight-fish for reds during the winter," said Chavis. "My favorite is to look for those same fish on the incoming tide. They tend to stay out of the deeper waters because of the dolphin, so anyplace you can find a little creek or drainage that leads up into the marsh, redfish can be stacked up in it during low tide waiting to get back into the grass."
Chavis favors guiding his clients from an elevated platform at the back of his low-draft flats boat. The elevation allows him to pole the boat into position and provides a better vantage point to sight-fish. He can both propel the boat and point out schools from the rear while his anglers cast to the fish from the bow of the boat. Chavis is also a big believer in using scented baits such as Gulp! to help reds both see and smell the offerings.
With the historical city of Charleston in the background and the not-so historical island connector bridges overhead, the attached video demonstrates how good winter time redfishing in the city limits of Charleston can be.