Redfish bite on fire in the lowcountry

Joe Dennis with Father and Son Outdoors said the redfish are on fire in the lowcountry.

Redfish of all sizes are biting aggressively

Charleston-area redfish anglers are catching plenty of fish, especially around the jetties. The catches include undersized fish, slot-sized fish, and oversized trophy fish, a/k/a bull reds. A variety of baits are working, but the hottest bite has been on soft shell crabs.

Joseph Dennis of Father and Son Outdoors said these fish have started hitting shrimp pretty hard too. But he suggests having soft shell crabs with you in case the fish get finicky.

“For a while there, the soft shell crabs were out-fishing even live shrimp by a wide margin. We were catching double-digits on soft shell crabs and only one or two fish on shrimp. And we were fishing them side-by-side,” he said. “We’re at the tail end of that bite now though. They are starting to hit shrimp almost as good,” said Dennis.

Dennis (843-245-3762) has been using a pretty basic Carolina rig for getting baits down to the bottom. On some casts, the bait never makes it down that far. That’s especially true with lines baited with the crab.

“The soft shell crabs sometimes don’t even sink all the way before a redfish takes it. The shrimp will usually at least hit bottom and sit for a few minutes,” he said.

Patience is a virtue, but don’t wait too long in an unproductive spot

Redfish roam all around the rock walls, but Dennis said anglers shouldn’t wait too long if they’re not catching fish in one spot. Sometimes, the fish will feed more heavily on the inside of the jetties. And other times, anglers catch more fish on the outside. Tides play a big part in when these fish bite. But anglers can’t always predict which side of the jetties will have the hottest bite no matter the tide cycle.

Most anglers are catching more during a moving tide, whether it’s the incoming or outgoing. That’s typical for redfish, who often slow down during the slack-water phase that happens around full high tide or dead low tide. That’s always a good time to eat a snack or make a big move to a different spot, then anchor down in time for the water to begin moving again.

Dennis said the hot redfish bite should continue for some time. Watch for Father and Son Outdoors TV on the Pursuit Channel every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1293 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.