New to CHS, new to fishing - help? :)

whats up charleston fishing forum - just moved here and am looking to fish a good amount (also new to fishing). not working right now so have extra time on my hands and have a boat.

welcoming any and all tips on the basics i need to fish inshore here (jig types, bait preferences, etc.).

also, seems like the wando and jetties are popular, but also open to learning where people like to go!

thanks in advance

Welcome Dirty,

Tell us a little more about yourself. Where did you move from? What is your fishing experience? What kind of boat do you have?

Looking forward to your first fishing report!

1 Like

I’m really a dirty old man but I know some great spots. Pm me

1 Like

Thanks for the welcome! Moved from LA and lovin Charleston so far.

Have an 18ft tidewater center console.

Fishing experience is pretty limited — did some deep sea in San Diego / Mexico a handful of times, but always with people that knew what they were doing and where they were going vs being in charge. Some lake fishing in Montana.

Hoping to become an inshore regular and the occasional offshore, probs not on my
Boat tho

welcome! You sound like you could be military with all the areas. We are about to get into what I consider the best time for inshore fishing. What Kind of fish are you wanting to target. We’ve got some guys on here that are very knowledgeable. Get familiar with the search function. Lot’s of old posts on most anything you could think of. Tides, Moon phases, artificial and live baits, anchoring, Some decent locations, etc. What landing are you looking at putting in?

I’m new here also but have found the members incredibly knowledgeable and generous.
IMO this is some additional helpful info.


Welcome DirtyMartini. There are some extremely helpful and knowledgeable folks here. I have made many friends and learned an awful lot in my years here. Stick around and hang on.

LA as in Los Angeles or Louisiana? 18’ Tidewater is a great boat for Charleston. With that, you will be fishing the harbor and inshore. That’s not an adequate boat for offshore fishing. Inshore here means redfish, flounder, trout, ladyfish, sheepshead, rays and sharks. Of those, redfish, flounder and trout are probably what you’ll target most.

The easiest way for someone like you with limited experience to learn a new area is to hire a guide. The amount you’ll learn in one day with an experienced fisherman is incredible. Locations, tide times, baits, rigs and tackle are all important. Fishing is/can be fairly basic. Yes, it changes from season to season, but for the most part the process is repeatable once you find success.

September/October are great times to fish the Lowcountry. With the water temperatures dropping, the fish get more and more aggressive and often people have the best days of the year during this time.

A word of advice. If you hear nothing, hear this. Plan your trips on an incoming tide until you get familiar to the area. Start at low tide and boat/fish through the high tide. We have on average a 5-6’ tide swing. Explore new areas on the incoming tide so that you don’t get stuck. You can easily get stuck if the water is dropping out and you aren’t paying attention. If this happens, you’re looking at a 12 hour wait for the water to come back up. Boat smart.

Besides that, at low tide, look for structure and changes on the bottom/edges of creeks/rivers. Game fish are predatory and will be hanging out around structure. As the water comes up and covers different structures, you’ll want to fish those areas.

1 Like

I second 23sailfish’s suggestion to start your exploring on a low or nearly low tide.

I expect the wuflu clamp down stopped the local shops from doing their in person seminars. If Haddrel’s is doing them, they would be well worth your time. They are usually done by local guides and they’ll go through every aspect of how to catch a given species - gear, bait, technique, etc.

Finally, welcome to the Lowcountry. No better place to live.

1 Like

And, don’t go to Bull’s Bay without a knowledgeable local.

thanks @Fred67 - i typically put in on the stono but sounds like the wando may be a better spot for fishing

this is super helpful - thank you @KC1 - will get to reading this (and probably have to re-read it)

There are plenty of fish in all the rivers around here. Certainly lots of fish in the Wando…and lots of competition too.

1 Like

Maybe dumb question… but can I have a guide come on my boat or can you only do charters on someone else’s?

I’ve heard both. I think the answer is that it depends on the guide. He has liability insurance for certain things and it may or may not include services on a boat that isn’t his/USCG inspected/whatever.

Ask the guide. All they can say is no. If I were you, I’d find a guide that specializes in where ever you’re going to be fishing most of the time. Rivers, even those in close proximity to each other, are fished differently sometimes. Tides, clarity, salinity; it all plays a part.

Depending on who you know and what the guide is willing to do. We had a local in the Keys join our boat and it was amazing the knowledge he shared. Both off shore and inshore.