Charleston’s March Fishing Forecast

Nice springtime sheepshead.

The key word for March is transition. March will show us the first signs of spring here in the Lowcountry. The days will be longer, and the weather will be warmer than the past few months, but we will still have some cold days. Fishing here in Charleston will be hot and cold as well. Some days will have lots of action, while other days will be a little tough.

Because the weather is so inconsistent in March, you have to change your tactics to catch fish consistently. When the weather is calm and cool, the redfish will be schooled up in their winter spots and you can have some great sight fishing to large schools on the flats. When the water turns warm, however, the fish often spread out.  Because of this, you have to be flexible with how you fish. The fish might be in one location feeding like mad one day and be completely void of the area the next day.  When this happens, you must think like a fish and figure out where they went.  Sometimes, they have simply moved around the bend, while other times they may have moved to the other side of the channel. With all of the change and transition that occurs in March, you also have to change the type of bait you use each day. When fish are schooled up, the DOA shrimp or jerk baits will work very well. However, when they spread out, you might find the water is off color or the wind is blowing, in which case you may need to try anything from cracked crab to cut mullet to mud minnows. You will find that the redfish are finicky and will eat only one thing on a given day, while the next day, they will only eat something else. This happens more in March than any other time of the year.

If the weather is on the warmer side, you might start catching trout by the end of the month. I would use a DOA shrimp or mud minnow under a popping cork to catch this species. I like to drift a cork along the grass later in the day when the water is the warmest as the trout that have moved into the marsh will go into warmer water next to the grass looking for something to eat. The key thing to remember is to be flexible and willing to change when, where and how you are fishing to catch fish in March.

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
(843) 475-1274