Capt. Charlie Beadon of Beaufort Sportfishing Charters said March is typically a transitional month for redfish around the Beaufort area, with the winter's large schools breaking up.

They have become more active and are biting, but catching them calls for different tactics than chasing the schooling fish the way anglers did just a few weeks ago.

Redfish have been caught on live bait fished under popping corks around oyster bars and grass lines, and Beadon said fan-casting with flies or artificial lures is also paying off for patient fishermen.

Speckled trout have also become more active and are being caught using the same tactics; soft-plastic lures like Trout Tricks and MirrOlure's Lil Johns are other good baits.


Flounder are slowly finding their way back to Beaufort's inshore waters, and catches have picked up in the past week. Minnows slowly dragged along the bottom on Carolina rigs with 1-ounce egg sinkers are good baits, and soft-plastic grubs on leadhead jigs are also working. The key is to not work the lures too quickly, especially in the mornings before the temperature heats up.

Beadon (843-592-0897) said the only problem is the number of black sea bass around the inshore wrecks. Some anglers are reporting catching dozens for every other gamefish, and while fun to catch, black sea bass are closed to harvest, so catching them is a waste of time and bait for those looking to put meat on the table.

Finding these nearshore wrecks requires a good understanding of your marine electronics. Some days, just getting close is good enough, but other days, the bait has to be in exactly the right spot for sheepshead to bite. If you're on a good wreck that has been producing on recent trips, don't be too quick to leave if the fish aren't biting at first. Sometimes all it takes is a slight anchor adjustment to put you in the sweet spot.