Kiawah to Edisto Island Fishing Report For MAY – Capt John Ward

May is a great month for fishing in the low country, because May is a bridge month transitioning Spring to the Summer fishing season.

With our local water temperatures getting above 70 degrees most of our summer transitional species have arrived or will be arriving daily along with the abundance of bait in our coastal waters.

After a long winter and spring fishing season the variety that May offers is a fresh change of pace.

While trout fishing with popping corks along grass lines we have started to get a good mixed bag of fish such as: ladyfish, Spanish mackerel , bluefish, and jacks .

High incoming water seems to be the most productive and bringing in some cleaner less turbid water, which helps while fishing for more visual predators such as trout and Spanish mackerel.

On the lower end of the tide we have mostly been targeting redfish around structure with live and dead bait.

The schools that were huge in winter and early spring months are really busting up into small groups and the fish are moving around a good bit and are much more aggressive.

To keep the lines busy and the kids happy we have been doing pretty well inshore with lite tackle.

Shark fishing with tons of boneheads and sharpnose, and some larger blacktips and sandbar sharks on the edge of some deeper holes using fresh cut bait.

Probably my favorite thing about the arrival of May is going to one of the nearshore reefs on calmer days.

Warm clean water at the reef in May is one of the best times to target 2 of my favorite nearshore species with cobia and spadefish, because of their strong fight and great table fare.

The cobia have been hanging in all of the water columns from the surface to the bottom and feeding on: crabs, pogies and shrimp.

I always like to have a pitch bait ready on the boat, because cobia are really curious fish and love to come check out the boat and different fish that you are reeling in, with my favorite pitch bait being a buck tail jig, which you can also tip with a shrimp or menhaden .

My other favorite is spadefish and they are starting to show up around nearshore reef and hovering above structure and parading in large groups on the surface.

Most of the time we are free lining small pieces of bait ( shrimp and jellyballs) into the school with small hooks and maybe a split shot or 2 to help offset the current.
The Cobia and spadefish will remain here throughout the summer, but we always seem to do better in May and early June mostly due to the fishing pressure.

Hopefully with some of us having some more time on our hands due to the Corona virus, that everyone has got a chance to spend more time with their family and on the water, also should have given us some more chances to take care of boat and tackle maintenance to allow for more future time on the water.

Tight lines, remember to take a kid fishing to keep the sport alive for the next

Give us a call at 843-693-2460 or look us up on the web at

One of our captains can help get you out for an enjoyable day on the water.

Tight lines and remember take a kid fishing.

Captain John Ward / Affinity Charters

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