Looking for some of the best places to go fishing in Charleston? Check out guide to fishing in Coastal Carolina. Whether you’re ready to cast a line from a chartered fishing trip or looking to land a lunker lurking in the Cypress trees, we’ve got a few great ideas to help you plan your next fishing trip to Charleston.
Surf Angling the Morris Island Lighthouse (Folly Beach): Set up shop for a day of casting into the surf right where Folly turns toward Morris Island and its iconic lighthouse rises from the waves. Fish shrimp on a popping cork or let a bottom rig sit with shrimp or mullet. Redfish and flounder are frequently caught here (as are small sharks and rays — have your pliers handy). It’s also one of the better places to try saltwater fly fishing. Try an intermediate slow sinking fly line instead of a standard weight forward floating line, and use weighted flies like the Clouser Deep Minnow, the Dupree Spoon fly, and a few varied crab patterns.
Directions from Charleston: Take Hwy 17 S to left onto Folly Rd. Head 10 miles to Folly Beach to left on Ashley Ave. Park when the road dead ends. It’s a 10 minute walk on the beach or paved access road to the island’s northern tip.
Reel in Giant Bass Amidst Cypress Trees (Lake Moultrie): From bass to crappie, these lakes have historically produced national record catches. The area known as the Hatchery WMA on Lake Moultrie is one of the best spots on the lake to catch a big Largemouth Bass. Fishing from the bank is an option, or launch your boat or kayak from the public boat ramp. Fish the main lake on the left, or go right and fish the stump fields. “A plastic worm, rigged Texas style, will help you connect with a largemouth hiding around the stumps,” says the Charleston Angler’s David Peralta. “Make sure to try a ‘Buzz Bait’ at dawn or dusk to get some breathtaking top water strikes.”
Directions from Charleston:Take exit 209A on I-26 W to US-52 N. In Moncks Corner, take a left on SC Hwy 6. Continue north on Hwy 6 for 8 miles to the Hatchery public landing on the right.
Troll the Gulf Stream (Atlantic Ocean): Hooking and reeling in a 50+ pound fish is an incomparable thrill, especially when the experience comes after rousing yourself at 3 a.m. for a two-and-a-half hour boat ride out to warm waters of the Gulf Stream over the Continental Shelf. Trolling attracts anything from tuna to wahoo to bonita, all of which will fill your freezer with delicious souvenir dinners of your trip. Remember, you’ll be spending some dough and a long day with your guide, so seek out advice at a local tackle shop and make sure you pick a capable captain with a good reputation.
Directions from Charleston: Depends on which charter service you go with.
Cast from the old Cooper River Bridge (Mount Pleasant): With the recent opening of the new Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, fisherman have new access to the waters of Charleston Harbor. The remnants of the infamously narrow bridge over the Cooper River, now overshadowed by the massive Ravenel Bridge, have been repurposed as a fishing pier, and trout, redfish, and sheepshead are all fair game. Bring the family and drop some chicken affixed to a string, and be ready to net the blue and stone crabs that greedily claw at the bait.
Directions from Charleston: Take Hwy 17 N/Ravenel Bridge to first left in Mt. Pleasant. Signs guide you through another left turn into the park that includes bathrooms and visitor center.
Kayak Fish the Harbor (James Island): The grassy marshland that lines the West Ashley and James Island side of Charleston harbor is rife with sea trout and red fish. A kayak’s silence and stealth allows anglers a closer approach to their prey than in a motorized craft. Focus on the mouths of small feeder creeks opening up into the harbor, or just troll an electric chicken lure behind your kayak and paddle along the grass line against the current. The Holy City’s profile across the water provides an excellent backdrop for photographs of you with your catch.
Direction from Charleston: Put in at Sunrise Park on James Island. Take the James Island Expressway to exit #2 and go southeast on Harbor View Rd. for 3 miles to dead end. Turn left onto Fort Johnson Rd. and go northeast 0.5 mile, to left onto Wildwood Rd. Follow Wildwood Rd. to the end, then left onto Wampler Dr. Stay on Wampler Dr. until you see the parking area on the right.