Redfish are in the shallow waters around Georgetown and Winyah Bay, and according to Steve Roff of Barrier Island Guide Service, fishermen are sight-fishing, doing well on sunny days with a little wind.
At low tide, reds are pulling out of the grass and moving to big flats, especially around around shallow oyster beds. Roff (843-446-7337) said he’s finding five or six schools a day, with 25 to 75 fish in each school.
Because reds are on guard for cruising dolphin, they spook easily. An elevated platform helps spot fish, and Roff suggests poling in slowly or easing in with a trolling motor. A fisherman, he said, has got to be “like a hunter stalking the quarry and consider the variables before leading up to cast. Position the sun to your back, throw in front of their nose, and you need to be able to make accurate casts within 40 yards.”
Since there is not a lot food in the water, Roff is counting on the reaction bite.
“Throw to the edge of the school and try not to spook them as you pull the fish out.” Roff said. “If you don’t spook the school, an angler can catch six or seven fish out of school before they will move out.”
Roff says that he is basically throwing at shadows, and if he sees mud trails where the fish blew up mud, then he knows that he spooked the reds.
For sight-fishing, Roff uses a 7-foot, light-action spinning outfit spooled with 20-pound braid and an 18-inch fluorocarbon leader. He generally throws a weedless, Fluke-style bait – Zoom or Gulp in white have been favorites – with a 4/0 wide gap hook or spinnerbaits.
Roff said the reds are ranging in size from 15 to 30 inches; the bigger fish are hanging back in the marsh.