Saltwater fishing in South Carolina

One of the perks to my job in the fishing community is that I get to go fishing in some interesting places that I probably would never experience had I chosen a different path.
Fishing new places is fun and last week I had a chance to go saltwater fishing along the South Carolina coast for redfish and sea trout.
Charleston, South Carolina is a smaller city with a population around 130,000. I had never been there before but I’ve been twice in the span of the past month.
The city is home base for several fishing companies, including two of the companies I work with, Shimano and Z-Man.
Shimano manufactures rods and reels while Z-Man is a tackle company, whose Elaztech soft plastic baits are some of the hottest in the fishing industry right now.
It has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to, particularly for seafood, which is convenient because of its proximity to the coast and all of the great fishing located nearby.
Both companies have had pro-staff summit events over the past few weeks so I visited twice to attend each event.
The Shimano event back in October was two days at their headquarters.
They invited people from their pro-staff team from all over North America, both fresh and saltwater anglers.
They offered a day of fishing but I skipped it because I knew I was coming back a few weeks later for the event Z-Man was putting on and we had a couple of days of fishing lined up for that.
There were ten of us at this Z-Man event last week.
We spent two days fishing and a day in their headquarters where we discussed new product ideas and got a tour of the facility where they manufacture most of their baits, it was fun.
The fishing was even better.
I had caught a redfish before, many years ago down in Florida and I had watched a few TV shows where people were catching them but I had never really fished for them seriously with someone who knew what they were doing.
Most of the folks from the Z-Man office are serious anglers and they knew where to take us fishing and show us a good time.
When I say saltwater fishing, most of you probably picture going out on the ocean in a huge boat.
This was inshore, shallow water fishing. When the guide pulled up to pick us up, the first thing I noticed on the boat what that he did not even have a trolling motor on it.
Instead, it had a platform on the back where he stands and pushes us around in the shallow water.
It’s much quieter and he is able to look for schools of fish.
When we pulled up to the first spot, I looked over the side of the boat and it was only about a foot deep.
The guide quickly told us that it was low tide, the best time of the day to be fishing and that the water was about to start coming up.
The reason the low tide is best is it congregates the fish more and then when it gets high, about a six foot difference in water level, the fish have way more places to hide and are harder the catch.
As the guide pushed us along, we quickly found schools of redfish cruising on the shallow flats.
He would spot the fish and we would cast about twenty feet in front of them with light jigs tipped with a Z-Man Jerk ShadZ.
We would let the fish swim into our baits and usually one would bite. If you casted right into the school they would spook and not bite.
You had to sneaky and quiet in the shallow water.
We caught a bunch of redfish between two and five pounds, and a few bigger ones, including a 15 pounder that I caught.
These saltwater fish are aggressive, they fight hard and are great eating.
e kept a few of the smaller ones that we had for dinner one of the nights we were there, along with some fresh oysters and shrimp; it was top-notch.
Fishing new water is fun and it’s a great way to learn different techniques.
If you get a chance to go somewhere you’ve never been, even if it’s only an hour or two up the road, I encourage it.
If you have a bucket list trip that you want to take, go for it, life is short, so have fun!

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