Charleston: Inshore water temperatures in the Charleston area range from 55-58 degrees, and water clarity is very good.
Its winter in the Charleston area, and Captain Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters (843-367-3777) reports that one common target this time of year is the shallow water redfish fishery on the flats. If you have a flat-bottomed boat that draws very little water then on warm, sunny days where low tide falls during the middle part of the day you can get up on the flats and search for schools of redfish. Calm conditions are a must, and a quiet approach particularly with someone polling is important. Bait fishermen can do well to put out a half-crab, and Zman grubs will also work. You want to cast in front of the schools and try not to spook the fish
If you have a calm day but a regular boat then its hard to beat the nearshore reef sheepshead fishing. 4KI, Capers and the Edisto 40 all hold tons of sheepshead, and fiddler crabs found at local stores are the best bait. Use a heavy weight to get it down, and then keep the bait about a foot off the bottom. You will catch a lot of black sea bass and so wreck-jumping is sometimes a must.
If youre looking for something a little different, then for the next couple of months the American shad run should be up your alley. In the next few weeks a wave of these saltwater fish should move into the Cooper River tailrace as well as the Rediversion Canal. Casting small chartreuse jigs on 1/8 ounce jigheads is a good bet, and its important to work the lure very slowly. Youll know youre in the right place when you see a ton of other boats.
Trout fishing is very slow.
Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that weather has kept anglers off the pier this week, but it is hoped that some whiting and black drum will be around when conditions improve.