Beginners Guidance

I’m new to inshore fishing and I’m looking for someone to give be some beginners guidance for just basic fishing in the Charleston area. I basically would like to know where is a good area to start off exploring to catch some fish and some areas to avoid and some good advice on fishing with live or cut bait.

There are several guides in the area that will be able to help with that! I suggest John Fuss with Holy City Fishing Charters but there are many that are capable.

Fishing Nerd

“skilled labor isn’t cheap, cheap labor isn’t skilled”

Read the inshore reports section.

What area do you live in?
What boat do you have?

Some good spots for beginners are the Mt pleasant pier, brittle bank park (sometimes), and saltwater ponds that can be found all over the place here. A good setup just to have with u as a start would be a 6 ft medium rod and lots o artificial shrimp, soft plastics, jig heads, and a popping cork, look for some help with the gear on youtube

Evant T.

Id start with a fresh bait rod and a aritfical rod. The artificial rod will help you cover water and entertain you while fishing is slow. If your in a spot with fish, fresh or live bait always works so it eliminates most the questions about presentation and bait selection you have when not getting hits on arties. A double drop rig or carolina rig for the bottom and a popping cork rig. Put bottom rigs in a area that fish will likely be, like the channel or near structure. With a cork find a good line for it to drift, on the edge or over something like oysters or other struture.

Thank you for the replies and information. I live in Camden, SC and it’s a 2 hour drive down to Charleston, so I would like to make my trip productive as possible. I made the trip down one time last year and fished the jetties but only caught small sea bass and sheepheads. I read a lot of the fishing reports and watched some Youtube videos so I’m trying to tie all this information together for our trip down this Sunday. I have a Sportsman Masters 227 and was debating on going out to the nearshore reefs along with fishing around the oyster beds and jetties again.

Vic P

Vic ; You didn’t elaborate as to your experience and desires as to your target fish which most of us would need to know before giving much advice… You mentioned fishing the jetties and wanting to visit the reefs , again not enough info , so with the unknown i would advise getting up with a good guide to learn the ropes and areas you want to target… Capt Jeff ( Olde Man Charters ) is as good as there is and fishes a large swath of waters and will target most any of the targets you want !!!

George McDonald
US Navy Seabees,Retired,
MAD, Charleston Chapter

When you see “Old Glory” waving in the breeze, know that it is the dying breaths of our fallen hero’s that makes it wave.
author unknown

7’ Rod
4000 - 5000 size reel
20-30lb test braid
50-80lb leader 6-8" long (heavy leader for the rocks which are very grabby)
carolina rig 3oz weight
7/0 gamakatsu octopus circle hook

Half live blue crab, cut off rear swimmer legs, push hook through the swimmer leg joint and back out the shell.

While those soak toss a small 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook with shrimp or mudminnows near the rocks. Catches just about anything.

Have used whole spot/croakers for bait. Shark will tear them up but need a proper rig for them.

This is a good write up for reds at the jetties.

Info on the nearshore wrecks.

PA-25 gets a good amount of attention and not shortage of undersized Black Sea Bass.

The best thing I can recommend is time on the water. Now, with that said, I am going to give you some pointers I have learned over the years. My favorite tide to fish is falling into low, then the first couple hours of incoming. Once high tide comes in, I still pick up a few fish it just seems a lot more difficult. Mostly due to the fact the reds are pushing up in the grass looking for food. Trout can be consistently caught as long as there is water moving. I only use artificials but here is my gameplan:

Reds: Fish structure(docks, oysters, trees etc) with jig heads and assorted soft plastics. I mostly use Zman products with Eye Strike jig heads and have great success. Fishing grass points and around oysters with deeper edges you can float a popping cork with an artificial shrimp (Vudu, DOA etc). Reds will usually be found from 5’ of water to less than a foot. Time of year and water temps will affect their location.

Trout: Look for water in the 6-8’ range. A jig had with a trout trick, paddle tail or curly tail grub with bright colors usually results in a good bite. I look for grass points/oyster bars where there is a strong current break and will throw in the edge of the current. Let it hit the bottom and lightly give two twitches up and let the lure fall back to the bottom. The trout will usually hit on the fall. Trolling is also a good way to locate trout. You can set up a couple of rods with different color lures and troll two behind your boat/kayak. Once you hook up, there will usually be more in that area.

Flounder: Same setup used for reds and trout will work. Throw up into feeder creek openings, sloooooowly bump across the bottom and wait for the inevitable “tap tap” then wait 3 seconds and slowly reel. If you feel resistance, set the hook. If not, continue working the lure. Also cast mud flats/banks and repeat the same retrieve.

In the cold water, always remember to reel slowly. When you think you are reeling slow enough, go slower. You truly just want to lightly drag the bait across the

Vic, PM sent.

01 Scout 177 w/ 150 hpdi