Summertime fishing in the Lowcountry
By Owen Plair | Summertime in the Lowcountry of Beaufort, South Carolina is when most people spend time on the water fishing, boating, hanging out at the sandbar, or simply just bathing in the sun. Its a very hot time of year, but also a very good time of year to enjoy the local waters. Average temperatures during the day range between 85-95 degrees, sometimes even hotter!
With these warm temperatures it brings in a lot of bait fish and shrimp, which turns on the Redfish, and trout, making for some really good local fishing.
Between the months of July and August, we are mainly fishing the early morning tides. Starting between 6-7a.m. in the morning is key to staying out of the heat. Not only is it tough to fish in 95 degree weather, but it also makes it hard on the fish. Redfish feed in the morning mostly in the summer months due to the hot afternoons, which makes the morning bite very good. Getting up before the sunrise is not easy for most people, but I guarantee that when your rod is bent on the first fish of the day before the sun is above the trees, it will be very much worth it. Watching the sunrise is always a plus too.
Summertime fishing in the Lowcountry allows for a variety of ways to catch fish. When fly fishing for redfish, we are working the early morning low tides for small schools of fish, cruising fish, fish with their backs out of the water, and chasing bait. When fishing low tide on the fly, its very visual, and always a lot of fun. There is nothing better than poling the flats boat in mere inches of water casting to redfish and watching then eat your fly! Fishing low tide on the fly in the summertime is one of my personal favorite ways to target redfish.
Fly fishing on the early morning and late evening high tides for tailing redfish is also very productive. On the shallow water grass flats are where the red fish tail, which allows us as anglers to walk to them. Watching a redfish tail is a very exciting event, and can challenge any angler to catch them. You have to have a high tide big enough to do this kind of fishing, so moon tides are something to keep an eye for. Late afternoon rain storms can often cause the water to cool down, which can really make the high tide evening fishing very good.
Light Tackle fishing is also very good in the mornings of summer. Using live bait is very productive in the summer months using live mud minnows, and shrimp is always a go to bait. You can also use a various amount of artificial baits or cut mullet. Whats so fun about summer light tackle fishing is all the different kinds of species you can catch in a single outing including redfish, trout, flounder, lady fish, blue fish, jack cravelle, tarpon, triple tail, and sharks. For anybody new to saltwater fishing, the summer months can be some of best.
Family fishing is a good summer outing, and something I recommend to younger kids. Watching a young child catch his or her first fish is always one of my favorite parts of guiding, but watching a young kid catch 6 different species of fish is even better! Fishing the summers month also leaves you the rest of the day for other activities because most days we are done fishing by 11:30a.m. You will also see dolphins feeding, sea turtles swimming, and all sorts of birds working bait, which really shows you a lot of the wildlife here in the Lowcountry.
When fishing in the heat of the summer its very important to prepare yourself for the elements you will be in. The heat of the day can catch up to you very fast, so having water and ice on the boat is very important to stay hydrated. Sun protection is also very important. I recommend 50SPF sun lotions, long sleeve shirts, hats, sunglasses, and a buff for every day anglers. Watching the weather in the summer is also very important do to a lot of afternoon thunderstorms. You never want to be caught in the middle of a lightning storm our hazardous conditions that can cause you to lose vision on the water and make it unsafe to fish.
Capt. Owen Plair was born and raised on the waters of Beaufort, SC and at the age of 18 was able to turn his passion for fishing into a career. A premiere local fishing guide and an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing guide for Bay Street Outfitters, you can join Capt. Owen Plair for the Light Tackle or Fly fishing trip of a lifetime. Visit Capt. Owen’s website for more information at www.redfishbeaufort.com