Charleston’s January Fishing Forecast
Happy New Year to all! There is no better time than January to sight fish for redfish on the flats in and around the Charleston area. We are in the heart of winter here, so the water can be cold but very clear. Inshore fishing will mostly consist of sight fishing for redfish.
There are several things you can look for to help you catch fish this month. The redfish are in large schools of 100 to 200 fish per school. These fish will be found in shallow warmer water; and since the water is so clear, you will be able to see the fish very well. I typically look for calm, warm days in January when the tide is low in the midmorning or early afternoon. This allows for the dark mud flats to warm up in the sun for a few hours. The warmer water draws the redfish to the very shallow areas and also puts them in the mood to eat something.
This time of year, small plastic lures or flies work very well for catching red fish. There is very little bait in the water in the winter, so redfish will eat a wide variety of artificial lures. One important thing to remember is that the large schools of fish can spook easily, so be very quiet when approaching the school and make long casts to the fish so as not to spook them. If you give them room to move around, they will stay happy and continue to eat your offering. Another important thing to remember is that cold water will slow the fish down. You want to work your bait or fly very slowly to give the fish time to eat it. They will not run down bait like they did in the fall because the water temperature has them moving more slowly. If you think you are fishing slowly, slow down even more. Follow these tips, and you will find some excellent and exciting sight fishing.
A great way to spend the day on the water is to book one of the area’s great guides. Having fished in Charleston for almost 22 years, I am extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this area. As owner and operator of Shore Thang Charters, I would love to share my expertise with you on the water.
Capt. Mark Phelps
Shore Thang Charters