What to expect fishing in Beaufort, SC during the Winter
Fall to Winter Transition
As the fall weather here in Beaufort starts to subside, the temperature starts to cool off and the marsh turns a beautiful gold. The fish this fall have been gorging themselves on the abundant shrimp and baitfish. However, that is about to slow down as the baitfish will be going off shore with the big bull redfish to follow.
Contrary to popular belief, the fishing does not stop or slow down. It just changes. We are very fortunate here in Beaufort to have a true year-round fishery.
What to look for in the Winter
During the cooler months of the year, we tend to focus more time around low tide for sight fishing to these redfish. With the bait not being as plentiful, the dolphins start to look for redfish to eat. This encourages the redfish to school up very tight together for defense.
It also means the redfish like to stay pretty shallow to avoid their predators. This combination can make for some epic sight fishing. You can find large, 30-200 fish, schools roaming the shallow mud flats. The sight of 200 redfish belly crawling across a flat in 10 inches of water is a sight to behold!
While this may sound like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel, I can assure you it can be challenging and rather technical. While still a great opportunity to fish for people of all skill levels, if you can extend your cast and land it softly, you can sometimes catch multiple fish out of one school.
As the plant matter begins to go dormant for the winter, our water clears up. The last few years we have been blessed with some wildly clear water on the nice days. With that clearer water, the fish can be a little more spooky with shadows and loud noises.
The technical poling skiff we use is perfect for these conditions allowing us to sneak up on these large schools to get a cast to them.
With the fish in large schools, the clear water, and sometimes skittish fish, we like to extend our leaders and downsize the tippet.
We also like to tie our flies slightly smaller and often lighter as well. For the winter, imagine taking the stealthiest approach you can to compound your success.
As long as you dress properly to handle the cooler weather, the winter time fishing can be pretty unbelievable and truly something any and every person that likes to fish should experience (Check out our blog post on How to Dress for Winter Fishing).
Get in touch with Capt Jon at Indigo Fishing Charters at 770-826-0966 to book your winter fishing adventure!