Redfish

Captain Taylor With Redfish

Redfish Information

Targeting Redfish is a great way to become acquainted with salt water fishing. Also known as Spottail Bass, Channel Bass, and Red Drum, they are a great fish to target year-round in Pawleys Island and Georgetown, SC. Not only are they one of the best pound for pound fighters, there are plenty of ways to effectively target them. The most important part of catching Redfish is knowing where they are, which can change from season to season. They can be caught using live or dead bait, soft or hard plastic lures, many different kinds of flies, on top water, in the mid-range or on the bottom of the water column, and at almost any tide phase. This allows anglers to try several different methods in order to find their favorite.

 Due to their popularity as a year-round sport fish and main course at the dinner table, Redfish populations are declining more than any other species in Georgetown. Adding to the strain is the fact that for the first few years of their life, Redfish will stay around the same location. An angler can harvest an entire school before any of the fish grow large enough to move offshore and start spawning if he fishes the same bank day after day. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources lists bag and size slot limits to protect the fishery, but it is up to us to help care for them. Santee Coastal Excursions closely monitors the information released by South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources and will only allow anglers to harvest these fish when the populations are healthy.

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Seasonal Redfish Fishing

Winter Redfish

During the cold winter months, Redfish often school up on structures such as a dock or oyster bed. They are docile in the colder temperatures, working an area slowly is important. When one Redfish is caught, there are often many more close by, so continue working the same area after a hit or a catch. During the winter months it is very important to handle the fish carefully. Get your hands wet before handling the fish to keep as much slime on the red as possible. A fish’s slime is extremely important in not only fighting disease, but keeping the fish warm enough to survive. Get the fish back in the water quickly. If the fish is no longer dripping water, you’ve had it out of the water too long.

Spring Redfish

Once the water temperatures begin to climb into the mid-60’s, schools of Redfish begin to break-up and become more active during the day. Redfish can be very active in shallow water, sometimes evening “tailing” as they feed, while also spending part of the day still hanging closely to structure. As the days become longer and the water temperature creeps toward the 70’s and above, the larger (or bull) Redfish will begin to move into the bays and inlets. Targeting these big reds with dead bait, or artificial, will make for a great day. Be careful with these big reds! Get them back in the water as soon as possible, and if the fish is gut hooked it is probably better to cut the leader as close to the hook as possible. These large fish are moving in full of roe so if one is killed, thousands of eggs are lost, and the Redfish population will be smaller. Your Instagram picture isn’t worth it.

Summer Redfish

During the warm Georgetown months Redfish are very active, moving along an entire bank, or swimming in deeper holes and channels. Don't anchor an entire day in one spot. Sometimes moving around and trying different depths is important.

Fall Redfish

During the fall there is another wave of bull Redfish, and many of your spring spots will work even better.