What’s biting right now along South Carolina’s coast?

fishing report
Flounder are biting heavy in the Murrells Inlet area. (photo courtesy of Yak - Kayak Fishing and Outdoor Guides)

Everything is biting right now

The big crowds of July 4 have come and gone, but fishing along South Carolina’s coast is still just as hot. A variety of species continues to keep anglers occupied, and that goes for inshore, nearshore, and offshore anglers.

If the bite for one species drops into a lull, it’s hard for anglers to notice, because another species just starts biting harder. Speckled trout may be the hottest inshore bite in an area one day, and flounder may be the top biters in that same area the next. It’s a great time of year to be on the water. And that’s the case whether you’re fishing out of Little River near the N.C. border, down around Hilton Head, or anywhere in between.

Little River

Salt Fever Guide Service in Little River is putting anglers on a big variety of fish. They said the trout bite is consistently strong on their inshore trips. And their offshore, bottom fishing trips have been the kind of fishing days that anglers dream of. Triggerfish, a variety of grouper, lots of snapper, and hogfish have all been providing some hot action.

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A huge mixed bag awaits anglers fishing the Gulf Stream with Salt Fever Guide Service.

The term “mixed bag” may sound negative to some folks, but to anglers, it’s all good. Capt. Chris Ossmann with Fine Catch Fishing Charters in Little River loves putting his clients on the mixed bag. And he’s been doing it quite a lot lately. But he prefers to call it the “inshore slam” consisting of speckled trout, redfish, and flounder. But he’s been turning that into the “grand slam” adding black drum to the mix, not to mention the occasional sheepshead and even a pompano here and there.

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Anglers are also catching an inshore mixed bag with Fine Catch Charters.

Murrells Inlet

Down the coast a bit, Capt. Ned Campbell with Murrells Inlet Outpost said the king mackerel bite is going well. They’ve been catching some in the 25-pound range, and when going further offshore, they’re getting into some dolphinfish and an occasional wahoo. And Campbell said some cobia are still around and biting at times.

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Dolphin are just one of many species biting for anglers fishing with Murrells Inlet Outpost’s Capt. Ned Campbell.

For Capt. Mike Eady of Yak – Kayak Fishing & Outdoor Guides in Murrells Inlet, the flounder bite has been as hot as any other. But they’re also catching plenty of redfish. And while he guides out of kayaks a lot, he also guides out of a powerboat when his clients want to get a littler further out. On one of his recent trips, he put his anglers on a bevy of king mackerel. Spanish mackerel have also been a hit on some days. And Eady said the blacktip and hammerhead sharks are also biting, as well as cobia.

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Shark! Several different species are biting out of Murrells Inlet, and cobia are usually nearby. (Yak – Kayak Fishing & Outdoor Guides)

Charleston area

Down in Charleston, Capt. Ronnie Kinner of All in One Charters also continues to catch a big variety of species. On one recent trip, he put a family on spadefish, cobia, and redfish. And his anglers have been catching plenty of redfish, speckled trout, and sharks in the harbor. He’s also been catching lots of spadefish. He said no matter what anglers are fishing for right now, they should keep a rod rigged up for cobia, because they are still hanging around.

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Redfish, and a whole lot more, are biting in Charleston waters. (All in One Charters)

Hilton Head

Further south around Hilton Head, Capt. Rick Percy with Reel Chance Charters is experiencing a similar bite. Some days, the trout bite is hot. Other days, the redfish are the stars of the show. But on most days, it’s been a mixed bag, with as many as 10 different species biting on some trips. After seeing some early morning activity from numerous big speckled trout, Percy took a friend the next morning to try them on topwater lures. The trout didn’t play, but they caught plenty of redfish on surface lures, which was a nice surprise for Perry.

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Redfish and speckled trout are biting consistently in the Hilton Head area, but they aren’t the only species. (Reel Chance Charters)

“That’s fishing. You just never know what the fish will do from one day to the next. As soon as you think you’ve got them figured out, they’ll surprise you,” said Percy.

But that’s okay, he said, because as soon as one species surprises you for the wrong reason, another surprises you for all the right reasons. And that’s especially true so far this summer.

Click here for a Santee River freshwater fishing mixed bag report.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1335 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.