From freezing temperatures and sleet one day to cloud-free skies and 70-degree breezes the next, it’s another typical winter along South Carolina coast. On the nice days, Capt. Newman Weaver of Kingfisher Guide Service out of Georgetown is consistently putting fish in the boat consistently. 

“Reds are happier than they were a few weeks ago,” says Weaver. (843-318-0474) “On warm bluebird days, they are cruising around, chasing mullet. There is not that much food out there right now except the mullet.”

According to Weaver, reds are still in their big winter schools, trying to elude porpoises and stay warm in the shallows, but some of the best fishing is not necessarily in the typical low-tide situation when most anglers arrive.

“On low tide, these fish are miserable right now. They congregate in these big schools on low tide and are constantly being pressured by fishermen,” he said. “By March, they are sick of seeing people on low tide and become difficult to catch. They are more at ease on higher water.”

Weaver targets reds on the higher end of the tide cycle when they are less stressed, and warmer days with high tides at mid-day have produced the best action.

“I like to fish the beginning of the ebb tide in the middle of the day when the water is coming out of the grass,” he said.

The redfish will not be in the big schools on the higher end of the tide; they will break up into smaller packs and venture into the grass to feed. Anglers can expect many more opportunities on higher water. Even when one group is spooked, another group will be around the next bend looking to feed on a live minnow.

While Weaver is presenting mostly his custom purple/black toad flies on a flyl rod, he said live mullet, mud minnows and an assortment of scented artificial lures will produce.