Rantowles Creek is a hidden gem in the Lowcountry – a creek in southern Charleston County with easy access from US 17 that opens onto the Intracoastal Waterway, and the fishing there is currently hot for redfish and black drum.

David Biggs of Jacksonboro fishes there often, and he said the redfish, which have have bit all winter, have recently been joined by black drum. Both species have been readily hitting shrimp, with redfish also hitting Gulp! soft plastics fished on jigheads.

"The redfish stuck together in tight schools throughout the winter, but they are breaking up now into smaller groups. Fishing for them has been best here on the outgoing tide," said Biggs. "This creek has a lot of nooks and crannies in it, and some of it is really shallow and inaccessible to boats at high tide, but there is enough water for the fish to get in.

"They'll lay up there throughout high tide, and when the tide goes out, they have to go out with it, and they have been easy to catch, mostly on whole shrimp fished on the bottom."

Biggs uses a typical Carolina rig, usually with a 2-ounce sinker, an 18-inch leader, and a 3/0 circle hook. He keeps a rod rigged with a Gulp! bait handy, and when the action really gets fast, he'll use that to save the time it would take to thread another shrimp onto his hook.


The black drum bite has picked up in the past week, and Biggs said a lot of people are catching them while targeting sheepshead around pilings and other structure.


"People are catching them on fiddler crabs, but also on small pieces of shrimp and the meat of oysters and mussels," Biggs said.


The incoming and outgoing tides have been equally good for black drum, and Biggs said on some days, low tide is just as good. The trick, he said, is to find a spot with some hard structure like downed trees or pilings that hold about four feet of water at dead low tide and fish vertically.


"A lot of people fish for sheepshead this way," he said, "but it's a great way to catch black  drum too."