Fall Fishing at Kiawah
Fall Fishing ~By Captain John Ward
This is the season for some of the best fishing of the year. As the water continues to cool, zooplankton and phytoplankton blooms progressively dwindle and subsequently water clarity increases. Most importantly, the fish surrounding Kiawah are preparing for winter and as bait begins to bunch in the colder waters, larger fish are taking on more and more fat reserves.
Inshore fishing during the fall revolves around Red Drum (Red fish, Spot-Tail Bass), Southern Flounder, Spotted Sea Trout and Sheepshead (Capt. Waller’s specialty). Keep in mind that Sheepshead are members of the “Snapper-Grouper Class” until June of 2012 and therefore when targeting Sheepshead, the use of circle hooks are mandated by the law.
During calmer days in the fall, reef fishing is an excellent alternative to inshore fishing. There are 3 artificial, man-made reefs located 3, 5 and 7 miles directly off the beaches of Kiawah. Weakfish are beginning to show up in large numbers at the reef and provide an excellent fight for avid fishermen. The Black Sea Bass season has just closed but will resume again June 1st, but keep in mind that all Black Sea Bass are catch and release. Also at the reef, 20-50lbs. breeder reds (Breeding Red Drum) are beginning to congregate this time of year.
Seasonal Fishing Tip: Locate schooling trout on points and creek mouths around oyster shells. A great locating technique, use a popping cork / float with 18-24″ leader with DOA Shrimp or live bait. Key thing is to look for clean, moving water.