Hilton Head: Inshore surface water temperatures around Hilton Head are in the low to mid-80s, and clarity is pretty normal for this time of year. There are brown shrimp in the creeks big enough for bait, but you have to throw the net a lot to catch enough to use, while the more prolific white shrimp are not yet bait-sized.
Redfish are in a summer pattern in the Hilton Head area, and Captain Dan Fishin Coach Utley (843-368-2126) reports that the bite is pretty tide dependent. Last week with the very big high tides the fishing was not as good, whereas the week before it was better fishing the outgoing around shell bars and points when fish were out of the grass.
This week cooler morning temperatures have intersected with low water and then the incoming, and the fishing has been okay. They have caught some big reds around deep bends in the creeks that have trees, and they have also started to pick up a lot of 10-11 inch fish (which usually doesnt happened until the after the 4th).
There has been a decent bite for numbers of black drum fishing with small pieces of cut shrimp, but most of the fish have been 11-12 inches and getting keeper-sized fish has been tougher.
On the incoming tide Coachs boat has caught the occasional trout on mud minnows fished under a floating cork, and the same is true of flounder on the same bait. Anglers are reminded that the SCDNR is strongly encouraging catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.
The cobia bite (see the Beaufort report) has been better inshore than out at the Betsy Ross, and some early tarpon have been jumped at the mouths of the sounds. Menhaden schools have started to arrive on the flats in front of Pinckney and in the Chechessee. Coach has not seen ladyfish yet.