South Carolina lowcountry saltwater fishing report

fishing report
Redfish make up a big portion of the early May inshore fishing report for S.C.’s lowcountry. (photo courtesy of Brown Dog Sportfishing)

Early May fishing report from Brown Dog Sportfishing

With spring comes baitfish. They’re flooding into South Carolina’s lowcountry waters, aiding the early May fishing report, which is full of speckled trout and redfish. Capt. Cleve Hancock of Brown Dog Sportfishing (727-729-9004) said redfish have transitioned away from schooling action, and the specks are biting as long as current is present.

Find current, and you’ll find speckled trout, said Hancock.

“Look for current seams coming off shorelines, in creeks, and from drains and you should find trout. A jighead with your favorite soft plastic or a popping cork should get you bites,” he said.

The redfish aren’t quite as predictable as they were a month ago when you could find them in big schools. But they’re definitely biting. And anglers are catching them throughout all tide cycles.

“I have not seen redfish schooling in a few weeks. The fish are moving from main river shorelines on low tide, up the creeks and into the marsh as the tide rises. And some are staying in the deeper pockets to ride out the low tide cycle. Then, they do the reverse as the tide falls,” he said.

Hancock said finding funnel points that the redfish use to move through the marsh as the tide shifts is one of the most effective methods to catching them right now. Live bait and artificial lures are working in these areas.

Don’t stop fishing at slack tide

Even at slack tide, Hancock said anglers can pick up their share of redfish, if they know where to look.

“Mid-tide, especially on large tide days, go looking for structure such as lay downs and docks that the fish can hide behind to get out of the current. If you notice on a slack tide, you will see bait swimming in the middle of creeks. But as (the tide) picks up, the bait will all be along the shore or structure. You should be fishing the same way,” he said.

fishing report
Thanks to the Brown Dog for our early May, South Carolina inshore fishing report. (Photo courtesy of Brown Dog Sportfishing)

At high tide and during flood tides, Hancock said plenty of fish are on the flats. He’s not seeing a lot of tailing activity though, but he’s catching a few here and there. And he expects it to improve in the coming days and weeks.

“At high tide, most of our shots have been at slow cruising or laid up fish, with a few trailers thrown in. I have also had luck staking out along the grass edge on main river shoreline as the tide falls, and sight casting fish as they travel the grass line. The fish should only get more active as time goes on,” he said.

Pleasant weather, small crowds

Hancock said this is a great time for bass anglers who want to try their hand at catching redfsh.

“If you’re a bass angler looking to get into inshore fishing, now can be a good time to get on the trolling motor and power fish with success as well.

And for all anglers, he said right now is an ideal time to go fishing, with temperatures pleasant and fewer people on the water than we will see shortly.

“Get out on the water and enjoy, as it is only going to get hotter and more crowded,” he said.


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About Brian Cope 1998 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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