Inshore fishing around Edisto Island is like walking into a seafood buffet restaurant. Take your pick. Redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead and black drum are all biting on a variety of baits and lures and at all tide cycles. And on some days, flounder anglers are catching plenty of flatfish.
Guide Ron Davis said two factors are contributing to the outstanding fishing: cooler water temperatures and an abundance of bait in Edisto's waters. This has really turned the redfish on, especially in the creeks and oyster flats during low to mid-tide when the water is relatively shallow. Live shrimp and finger mullet on Carolina-rigs are triggering aggressive strikes from redfish, but artificial lures like Z-Man soft plastics, spinnerbaits, spoons and topwater lures are producing their share of fish as well. Davis said redfish are here in large numbers, with some bull reds mixed in with slot-size and juvenile fish.
The speckled trout bite is currently on fire, and Davis (843-513-0143) said about half the specks he's catching are keeper-size. Fishing live shrimp three to five feet deep under popping corks on main-river points from the middle of the tidal cycle to the high end is the most productive method. Davis said clear water is the key to successful trout fishing, and if at least a foot to 18 inches of visibility is not present, anglers should look elsewhere.
Docks and fallen trees hold plenty of sheepshead, and Davis said nothing works better than fiddler crabs fished straight down along the dock pilings and trees. The sheepshead love picking at the barnacles, so anglers should keep the bait tight to the cover. The fish are biting in five to 12 feet of water, and Davis said catching a couple of small sheepshead is a good sign that you are in a school of little fish, so anglers should move on from there to find the bigger ones.
A lot of black drum are being caught by anglers targeting sheepshead, as they are also hanging tight to structure like docks, downed trees and other debris. While they will bite fiddler crabs, Davis said cut blue crab and live shrimp will usually entice the bigger ones into biting.
The flounder fishing has heated up over the past week, and anglers are finding the most success at the mouths of creeks that are closest to the open ocean. Davis said do not ignore even the smallest of creek mouths, and that the best technique is dragging live finger mullet along the bottom in painstakingly slow fashion. Some anglers are having success threading the baitfish onto lead jigheads, while others are using Carolina-rigs with 12-inch leaders behind egg sinkers.