Georgetown, S.C., reds beginning to school up

Redfish respond to falling water temperatures by gathering in big schools and chasing down baitfish.

As water temps fall, the bite heats up

The fall fishing season is well under way, and the waters around Georgetown, S.C., are hitting on all cylinders, from offshore to inshore. For anglers with redfish on the brain, these waters are some of the best places to trailer a boat and soak a bait or toss an artificial lure during November. 

The Georgetown area is a large collection of waters extending from Debordieu Island south to the Santee Delta and more than 15 miles east. It is very broad, extensive and absolutely full of prime habitat for redfish. 

Jordan Pate of Carolina Guide Service in Pawley’s Island, S.C., literally spends more time on the water around Georgetown than on dry land, and November means plenty of redfish.

“Water temperatures are falling pretty hard this month, and the redfish are taking full advantage of it,” said Pate (843-814-7900). “Lots of bait is still around, and the reds can be very aggressive as they congregate around places with a high (concentration) of food.”

Anglers will begin seeing huge schools of reds this month

According to Pate, reds are beginning to gather into larger schools and eating constantly, fattening up for the winter. Successful anglers find places with lots of bait, normally in shallow water, because the baitfish are attempting to avoid predators, but redfish are accustomed to shallow places, and anglers can find them picking off baitfish one at a time.  

“We target shallow creeks and flats this time of year with clear water. It’s an ideal time to sight-fish, and the clear water, abundant with fish, can make for a very memorable day,” he said. 

Pate will travel around from North Inlet to Cape Romain, looking for shallow creeks and flats that are holding reds. The best places will have large drainage areas dumping into smaller collection spots where the bait is corralled at low tide — but still shallow. Reds are accustomed to feeding in these areas, away from the dangers of porpoises. It’s easy eating for reds and also for other companion species, like flounder and speckled trout. 

Pate will typically use a crab or minnow pattern for his fly-fishing customers or a D.O.A. Shrimp, Matrix Shad or Gulp! for his others. Since the fish are hungry and gorging on bait, a wide variety of artificial and natural bait options will put fish in the boat in no time at all.

Jeff Burleson
About Jeff Burleson 1389 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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