In Charleston, the fishing scene offers a delightful blend of history, culinary delights, and abundant fishing opportunities throughout the year. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a casual visitor, the city’s diverse waters cater to a variety of fishing experiences that change with the seasons and conditions.
The Charleston region is famed for its inshore fishing, featuring redfish, seatrout, and flounder. Shallow mud and grass flats provide the backdrop for low-country sight-casting, especially during colder months when the waters turn clear. While inshore catches may not always be giants, the deeper, flowing harbor waters offer the chance to hook hefty bull reds using bait or jigs—just be sure to leave your ultra-light gear behind. Notably, the harbor also attracts other species, including the formidable bull sharks.
Venturing about 40 to 50 miles offshore unlocks a world of possibilities. Drop metal jigs to target species like African pompano and explore the bountiful offshore waters for grouper, snapper, amberjack, blackfin tuna, and the blue-water heavyweights like wahoo, billfish, and mahi. The challenge of fishing speed jigs and slow-pitch jigs over ledges and rockpiles offshore presents the prospect of tremendous catches. The impressive swordfish fishery around Charleston, spanning from Edisto Banks to the Charleston Bump, is not to be overlooked, offering a chance to reel in swordfish that weigh up to 500 pounds or more.
Notably, the Charleston area is also home to two major fishing-tackle manufacturers—Shimano and Z-Man—adding to the angler’s paradise.
When Planning Your Trip: Charleston welcomes anglers with open arms every month of the year. Understanding seasonal variations can help tailor your fishing pursuits. In the brisk winter, inshore waters clear up, enabling the spotting of redfish schools. However, their sluggish behavior during this period may pose a challenge. As temperatures rise, redfish venture onto mud and hard-bottom grass flats to feed. Summertime heralds the opportunity to go after big bull reds in the harbor. Offshore fishing is a possibility throughout the year, although winter weather can be a bit unpredictable. Be aware of grouper harvest closures and the year-round closure of red snapper in federal waters.
Where to Go and How to Get There: Charleston International Airport is well-connected with major airlines, making access convenient. If driving, the city lies just an hour east of Interstate 95.
What to Expect: The abundance of inshore guides and offshore charters ensures you have ample choices. Consider RedFin Charters, a versatile charter operation offering inshore, nearshore, offshore, shark, and fly-fishing trips. Whether you’re chasing redfish and trout inshore or heading offshore for diverse catches, their comprehensive services cater to various fishing preferences.
Apart from fishing, Charleston is a treasure trove of history and culture. While in the city, explore the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, the South Carolina Aquarium, and take leisurely walks along Waterfront Park or King Street. And don’t miss out on savoring the local delicacy: she-crab soup. With accommodations ranging from budget to luxurious, and a range of exquisite dining options, Charleston’s charms extend well beyond its waters.