Fish docks for spring redfish

Lowcountry redfish head into shallow water to feed as the tide moves in. (Picture by Brian Cope)

Shallow water is key for lowcountry spring redfish

Capt. Addison Rupert of Lowcountry Outdoor Adventures (843-557-3476) catches redfish with numerous methods this month. But one of his favorite ways is by targeting them under docks in very shallow water.

He’s especially fond of catching them as the tide is just beginning to flood into these areas.

“I really enjoy getting into areas with docks that have little to no water at dead low tide. If I can get within distance of one good cast, I’ll wait until the tide is just beginning to creep in,” he said.

Armed with soft plastics on jigheads, Rupert will keep his distance and make as little disturbance as possible.

“These fish are going to be wary. The water is so shallow that they can see movement above the surface. So you want to stay quiet and stealthy,” he said.

He especially likes to target docks that have an incoming creek nearby. Redfish come in with the tide, then wait to ambush baitfish that show up through that feeder creek.

With a good pair of polarized shades, Rupert said anglers can usually see the redfish as they begin to congregate as the water fills up under the dock.

Look for nervous water

“You’ll see little movements, nervous water. And if the sun is right and you really pay attention, you will see them. You might not see them at first, but once you cast your lure in there, you’ll see them make a move toward it,” he said.

When fishing this way, he said anglers should make accurate casts, but not directly on top of the fish, which will spook them into shutting down.

“You definitely want your lures close enough that they can see them. But you want the fish to feel comfortable with their location too,” he said.

Often, the redfish will attack the lure as soon as it lands. If that doesn’t happen, just slightly twitch it before beginning your retrieve. This can trigger one or more fish into attacking it.

As the tide continues to move in, Rupert will leave one dock after catching a few fish, then head to another dock that the tide is moving in on.

“You can catch and release a lot of fish this way without beating up on one group of them too much,” he said.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. 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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