Charter Fishing

Fishing Charters Around Hilton Head

Hilton Head Deep Sea FishingHere is a guide to help you make the right choice for a Hilton Head charter fishing adventure to remember.

Species inshore include red drum, sea trout, flounder, sheepshead and shark. Most fishing is done by anchoring in the sounds, rivers and creeks and casting live shrimp or artificials with light spinning tackle. Most trips are limited to boats under 22 feet and therefore accommodate from two to four passengers per boat.

The most sought-after species for fly anglers is the red drum or redfish, but Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks and on occasional cobia are taken on the fly. Most fly fishing trips are limited to two anglers.

Nearshore fishing includes the beach, surrounding sandbars and artificial reefs just a few miles offshore. Fish that are hooked nearshore include Spanish mackerel, small bluefish, flounder, jack crevalle, ladyfish,black drum, red drum, sheepshead, cobia, tarpon, king mackerel, blacktip shark and lemon shark. Most of the larger 6-passenger boats as well as smaller boats that carry 3 to 4 anglers can easily fish nearshore waters on a half-day charter.

Charter Fishing BoatsOffshore fishing usually involves the ship channels and artificial reefs from twelve to twenty miles offshore. Techniques of charter vessels include trolling with rigged baits, artificials, and slow trolling with live baits. King mackerel are the most sought-after gamefish, with amberjack, barracuda, cobia, little tuna, and Spanish mackerel adding to the sport of the chase. Six to eight-hour trips should be expected for fishing offshore because traveling time to and from the fishing grounds can be from 1 1/2 to three hours.

Several reefs offshore are approached for drift fishing. Black sea bass, small snapper, grouper, spadefish,sharks and king mackerel are the most common species near the reefs. Most of the marinas offer party boat or "headboat" fishing for individuals or groups. As with all other charters, bait and tackle is included in the price of the trip. Most drift fishing trips are from six to eight hours, so remember to pack a lunch and take plenty of sunscreen.

Snapper and grouper fishing is excellent off South Carolina, especially in late summer and autumn. Many of the grouper caught at Snapper Banks weigh from 20 to 30 pounds. Most of this fishing takes place 30 to 50 miles offshore, so 8 to 10 hour trips are involved.

Gulf Stream fishing is best off South Carolina from the mid-May through September. Blue and white marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dolphin and tuna are caught by trolling rigged baits and artificials. The Gulf Stream is about 70 miles offshore. Therefore, it's best to book a 14-hour or an overnight charter. Whether you decide to fish inshore, nearshore, or offshore contact the captain personally and discuss the type of fishing offered.

  • If you have small children or a handicapped passenger, make sure that you bring this up beforehand so that the necessary preparations can be made by captain and crew.
  • Ask the captain if the tide or wind conditions will affect the fishing.
  • If fish are cleaned by the captain or crew it is appropriate to tip them for this service.

To help you have a great day on the water here are just a few companies to call directly or ask a few of the marinas for suggestions.

Harbour Town Yacht Basin
843-671-2704

Shelter Cove Marina
843-842-7001

Palmetto Bay Marina
843-785-3910

Bonanza Sportfishing
Schilling Boathouse
843-689-5873

Captain Hook Party Fishing Boat
Shelter Cove Marina
843-785-1700

Mighty Mako Sport Fishing Charters
Palmetto Bay Marina
843-785-6028

Drifter Excursions
South Beach Marina
843-363-2900

The Whipple Charter Boat Co.
Skull Creek Marina
843-681-8943