Any experienced fisherman will tell you, if you are looking for variety, saltwater is where it’s at. Lucky for you, Kiawah’s cup runneth over. We’re oceanfront, sure, start there. But also, unlike other rivers that flow fresh to brackish to salt, the Kiawah River moves in two opposing directions and is all saltwater. It’s technically a “saltwater tidal river”. (Incidentally, this is why Kiawah is classified as a true island.)
But back to the fish! There are many to choose from year-round, including the immensely popular Red Drum. Things really ramp up from May to November during which in one day you can catch up to ten or more species. From Labor Day to Thanksgiving nonmigratory fish gorge themselves as the autumn days shrink into winter and bait thins out. A day on the water becomes more “catching” than fishing. It’s a fun surprise to see who’s at the end of the line each time.
Inshore – In the more protected waters (estuaries, rivers, and bays) snatch up red fish, jack crevalle, spotted sea trout, flounder, and tarpon.
Near Coastal – In sight of shore, to about ten miles out, get ready for cobia, king mackerel, triple tail, and spadefish.
Off Shore – 10-60 miles out troll for marlin, sailfish, wahoo, and mahi mahi. Look for color temperature breaks or floating patches of weeds. That’s where these sports fish hang out a couple meters below the surface. Or cruise to one of 70 artificial reefs off our coast for bottom fish like snapper, wreckfish, tilefish, and grouper. Bonus: great scuba diving so bring your gear.
Can only steal away for a few hours? No problem. Our drastic tide change has your back: deviating seven or eight feet within a six-hour period. Low tide brings the fish to you; and within a short window as the style of fishing changes so does the catch.
In the warmer months, five nights of full moons create some of the best “tailing” you’ll ever experience. As you walk the marsh or glide in a flats boat, red fish come out of the grass almost doing a headstand with their tails in the air. It’s an excellent opportunity for sight fishing, including with a fly.