Catching redfish in skinny water creeks


The less-traveled creeks offer great redfish action

The Carolina coastlines are filled with tiny saltwater creeks off of main waterways. Anglers pass by them all the time while heading to familiar fishing grounds, or seeking new ones. The shallow water of these skinny creeks keeps many anglers out. But those who venture into them can find big numbers of quality redfish.

Kayaks are the perfect craft for reaching these waters. Dalton Reames of Sumter, S.C. finds his share while exploring the Carolina coastlines. He sets out a minnow trap and catches a day’s worth of bait quickly. The fishing is so good in these creeks that he rarely fails to hit one when the tide charts are fitting.

“You want to go into these creeks on the incoming tide because many of them are too shallow for even a kayak at low tide. Going in as the tide is rising allows you to see where all the oyster rakes are. And you’ll be surprised at how many fish you’ll spook going in,” said Reames.

Fishing is great from spring through fall

Reames likes to find small mounds at bends and splits in these creeks. He likes getting out of his kayak to stretch his legs, and to cast in all directions.

“These little creeks are full of fish. You can ride the tide in, fish for several hours, then ride the tide out. You need a good pair of shoes with thick soles because you can’t avoid stepping on oysters and shells. I use a 3/0 circle hook on a Carolina rig with mud minnows or shrimp for bait,” he said.

Reames said right now is the perfect time of year for this type of fishing.

“As soon as the spring water temperatures are warm enough to wade in, all the way through the fall, you’ll catch fish in these creeks. Some days, it’s all over-the-slot redfish. Other days it’s a mixture of keepers and over-the-slot ones,” he said.

Check out the attached video to get a sampling of what fishing in these creeks is all about.


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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1648 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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