Charleston’s December Fishing Forecast
December fishing in the Lowcountry can produce some nice catches
like the pictured sea trout and red drum.
Happy Holidays to everyone! With all the hustle and bustle that the end of the year brings, many forget how great the fishing can be in December. The weather is cooler, but the redfish and trout bite can be excellent. The first thing you will likely notice when fishing this month is how peaceful it is on the water. You won’t see many jet skis or pleasure riders, as the majority of boats are put up for the winter. Thankfully, you will find mostly friendly, fellow anglers.
Fishing in December means you should concentrate on two things: redfish and sea trout. The inshore waters of Charleston will be loaded with large schools of both species. The cold weather will have the fish in large schools looking for protection from dolphins and working together to find food. That means you might have to move around to find the large schools or wait a while in your favorite spot until a school comes to you. Either way, you will be in for some fast action when you find them. Most of the bait will be gone, and the fish are hungry for almost any artificial lure or fly you place in their path.
Expect redfish to be in very shallow water looking for food and trying to stay warm. Pole or troll down a shallow flat looking for a disturbance or gold flashes. It is not uncommon to see more than 100 fish in a school this time of year. The water will be very clear and easy to see on a sunny day, but you must be quiet and have polarized glasses to help you see in the water. The trout will move from place to place depending on the water temperature. After a cold front, you might find them in a 10- to 20-foot hole. However, a warm afternoon will have them in 2 feet of water along the grass. Midday high tides or late afternoon incoming tides can be the best for trout. Remember to slow down your retrieve of all lures this time of year, as the fish will be moving and reacting more slowly in the colder water.
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 21 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