Anglers fishing the inshore waters around Charleston are having good luck with three different species of fish – with a fourth one just starting to show up.

Redfish, speckled trout and sheepshead are all biting consistently throughout the area, and a few flounder have shown up in the past week. Scott Hammond of Haddrell's Point Tackle (843-573-3474) said the most impressive is the trout bite, with high numbers of trout in the 20- to 22-inch range, and a better-than-normal count of trout 24 inches or longer.

 

"That puts you into the "gator trout category," said Hammond, who admitted it's his favorite time of year for large trout that are actively feeding.

 

The most consistent bite, according to Hammond, is in water between four and eight feet deep around creek mouths and shell rakes. Look for structure in the creeks and a good current flow. Live shrimp and menhaden are can't-miss baits, but Hammond said not to overlook artificials like Trout Tricks and PaddlerZ.

 

The redfish have almost all transitioned from schooling to hanging out in smaller pods, and Hammond said they can be found in all types of inshore habitat. Lots are being caught around docks and rock piles, especially at low tide. At high tide, tailing redfish are easy targets – though not always eager to bite – in the spartina grass. Cut mullet and live minnows are doing the trick on these fish. Gulp! Jerk shads, Chatterbaits, and DOA shrimp are also working well, so anglers should not get stuck on natural bait.

 

Sheepshead are plentiful all around the inshore waters; anglers are also catching plenty on the nearshore reefs. Dock pilings and other structure with barnacles are great places to look. You can't go wrong using fiddler crabs for bait, but Hammond said live shrimp and oysters are also great baits.

 

A handful of anglers are reporting catches of flounder with live mud minnows or pearl-colored jigs on quarter-ounce jigheads, and those who are finding flounder are finding them in good numbers.