Charleston SC Fishing – An Angler’s Vacation Destination

July 5, 2019

Charleston Fishing

Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge with Charleston sunset
Photo Courtesy of David Martin, Unsplash

Simply exploring Charleston, South Carolina is one of our favorite activities to do in this great state. From the historic Fort Sumter and quaint downtown, to the amazing beaches and outdoor recreation, Charleston is an amazing place to visit! The fishing is downright spectacular, with some of the best inshore or offshore fishing opportunities we’ve ever experienced. It’s not a hard choice: if you are planning a family fishing trip, Charleston, South Carolina should easily be at the top of your list of fishing destinations!

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in South Carolina. Located on the East Coast, it’s a peninsula at the intersection of several rivers and canals, including Ashely River, Cooper River, and Wando River. The freshwater rivers join right around Charleston and meet the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a pretty amazing estuary and some fantastic inshore fishing opportunities. The brackish water (when freshwater mixes with saltwater) can sustain several species, so you never quite know what you’ll find at the end of your line.

With such an amazing fishery right on the coast, fishing trips in Charleston would typically lean toward inshore trips – as this unique landscape offers ample opportunity for fishing shallow waters. Charleston’s claim to fame is its healthy population of “Bull Reds”. A Bull Red is simply a Redfish (also known as a Red Drum) that has fully matured, and exceeds 27 inches in length from nose to tail. Apart from the coveted Bull Red, Charleston anglers also see plenty of Black Drum, Spotted Seatrout, and Flounder, to name a few fish species. Of course deep sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean is also a tempting opportunity. To get your group on the right fish, in the right spot, we recommend going with a Professional FishAnywhere Charter Captain or Fishing Guide – these experts have been fishing the waters off the coast of Charleston their entire lives, they know the feeding patterns of the native fish like the back of their hand! Just let them know which species you’re looking to catch, and they’ll have you hooked up on one in no time.

What Fish are in Charleston?

There is A LOT happening in the waters surrounding Charleston. From the rivers, marshes, canals, and Atlantic Ocean there are definitely plenty of fish available for your lures and bait. Among the many species you’ll be sure to find:

lady holding Redfish in Charleston SC

  • Redfish
  • Spotted Seatrout
  • Striped Bass
  • Flounder
  • Pompano
  • Sheepshead
  • Whiting
  • Red Drum
  • Black Drum
  • King Mackerel
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Croaker
  • Weakfish
  • Jack Crevalle
  • Tarpon
  • Amberjack
  • Lesser Amberjack
  • Snapper
  • Grouper
  • Black Seabass
  • Stingray
  • Cobia
  • Shark
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Barracuda
  • Ladyfish
  • Bluefish
  • Tuna
  • Sailfish
  • Marlin

Although we did not mention bait fish or the shrimping opportunity in Charleston, there is no doubt that these are also favorites as well. There really is tons of fishing here in Charleston… now you see why we love it so much!

Best Season for Fishing in Charleston

While the fishing is excellent year round in Charleston, keep in mind that the season will determine your fishing excursion. Colder temperatures tend to send some fish away, especially from November to March; but don’t worry… you can still get your line in the water and catch some large Redfish. In the summer months you’ll find Spotted Seatrout, Red Drum, Black Drum, and more. The trick is to fish at dawn or dusk when the waters are cooler and the fish are more active. Offshore fishing for pelagic species (billfish, wahoo, and such) is great during summer months as well. Without a doubt, the best time to fish in Charleston is April to September simply because of the variety of opportunities available to you: Inshore and offshore fishing alike will have your reel screaming!

Popular Types of Fishing in Charleston

Inshore fishing in Charleston is the name of the game: Again, with the many rivers, canals, marshes, backbays, and flats there are so many opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Fly fishing for Tarpon in late summer is a favorite technique, as well as light tackle, spinning, or jigging near the shoreline. For those offshore fishing trips, you can expect the same techniques (light tackle, spinning, etc.), as well as trolling, deep sea fishing, or bottom fishing. Your FishAnywhere Professional Captain will certainly help decide which technique is best depending on the species you’re targeting. Feel free to ask for tips of the trade while you’re fishing with a Professional Fishing Guide – they are happy to help!

family fishing Bay Boat in Charleston SC

Booking a Fishing Trip in Charleston

Families who fish in Charleston know just how special this area is. The calmer waters near the coast are great for younger anglers, while the offshore trips are perfect for the more adventurous types. There are some vacations where we are sure to make time for both, because why not?! Not sure where to start? This FishAnywhere Charleston search is a great first step: just pick the date your group will be fishing and we’ll take care of the rest. Come find out why fishing in Charleston, SC is at the top of our favorite fishing locations!

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