How to Prep for Charleston Fly Fishing

If stalking redfish in shallow waters is your idea of a good time on the water, then you should take any Charleston fly fishing gig you can find. Charleston remains one of the most popular inshore fishing spots, with its pristine estuaries housing some of the world's most productive ecosystems.




Charleston remains one of the best hunting grounds for redfish and, in recent years, has been hailed for its world-class outdoor scenery. Fly fishing in Charleston can get a tad bit frustrating without a boat. If you can't get one, you can rent a kayak from one of the local fly fishing shops, and paddle it out. It'll be worth it. If you need further motivation to try your angling hands in Charleston, keep reading.

Species in Charleston

Redfish remain the most popular breed in Charleston, but there are other breeds to give you a challenge thanks to a healthy, thriving ecosystem. You can find black drum, flounders, speckled sea trout, and even sheepshead. Charleston waters are brimming with a number of game fish - each requiring different skills. For some breeds, sophistication is required, while others want you to use your muscle and fisherman's patience to reel them in. Charleston fly fishing is never boring.

Before you get your fly fishing gear, make sure you know exactly what you're hunting for. The breeds are determined by season and water body, since some species run more heavily during the summer, than at other times of the year. In fact, while extremely high summer temperatures may imply fewer game in some places, this is not the case for fly fishing in Charleston. Thanks to the abundance of crustaceans found in the shallow waters of Charleston, lots of redfish call this place home.

What do Redfish Eat? How to Pick Redfish Lures

Can't plan your Charleston fly fishing lure without knowing how to entice your prey right? Like every other fish, redfish are creatures of habit, so you can know when and where to look for them - and hence what to attract them with.

Redfish feed primarily on small crabs and shrimps which they root from the bottom of the ocean. They make quite a spectacle of themselves while feeding too - their tails kinda poke out of the water, wiggling as if daring you to catch them. This makes them ideal for sight fishing.

Don't be fooled though. Just because redfishes are easy to spot doesn't mean they won't go down without a fight! They'll attack your lure with the might of a jackhammer, fight with pull with a pitbull's tenacity but make such wondrous meals, they're usually worth it. The redfish lure you pick depends on several factors, like depth of water and its clarity. Here are some tips to help you pick redfish flies.

Rattling Plugs for Muddy waters. It's a bit difficult for lures to be spotted by fish when the water's muddy. Rattling plugs have rattling chambers that shake during movement. This movement causes small vibrations which attract bottom feeding fish like redfish.

Bait Buster lures are ideal for shallow waters like those found while Charleston fly fishing. They have a medium sink rate and work best with clear waters. Deceiver and Clouser Fly patterns are great for tranquil waters. They've been crafted to mimic redfish prey, so you're all but guaranteed one will take a grab at it.

Imitation is good, but the real food is usually the best lure for redfish. If you can get live shrimp or cut mullet, don't hesitate to put them on a hook. Note that the baits seen above come in a wide array of colors - bright green, and even yellow or red. Ideally, you should check with a local Charleston fly fishing shop to see what gets their motor running.

Best Time of Year for Charleston Fly Fishing

Charleston boasts a vivacious redfish population that offers year round fishing. But there definitely are times when they make you work harder for it. 

The best time to go fly fishing in Charleston is towards the end of summer, early fall. The new moon usually brings in high tides to their max heights. This allows redfish to swim up to shallow coastal grasses to feast on large stashes of crabs, minnows and shrimp they'd normally be unable to reach. They pursue their prey with single-minded attention, allowing you to pluck them off without excessive struggle.


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