The Best Of October Fishing | Fishing The Lowcountry

Lowcountry Kayak Fishing | Chris Tweedy | October 2021

October is by far my favorite month for inshore kayak fishing in the Lowcountry, the cooler and shorter days have the fish and angler active all day.

A lower volume of bait in the creeks and rivers means clearing water and time to start working in some artificials if you’ve been bait fishing through summer.

Our primary fall targets will be the inshore slam species as well as a few shots at other species like schoolie striper depending on where you fish.

Let’s take a look at what a 7-hour fishing trip in the fall typically looks like for me, in terms of what I chose to use, when, and why throughout the day.


I had 5 rods rigged with the following: topwater hardbait, zman/jig, suspending twitchbait, popping cork, and a naked jighead on a heavier rod.

Most rods were M-ML with fast or xtra-fast action spinning rods in 7ft range. Let’s look at how it went.


I was late getting to the landing by about 15 minutes. Starting off with topwater, I had a Heddon Zara Spook ready to throw.

Launching from Paradise Public Landing, I decided to bag the run to my topwater spots and just fished around Trout Island immediately off the landing.

The saying is if you can’t catch a trout at Trout Island, may as well go home. The tide had just turned from the top, so I fished the downriver calm pool 50 yards from launching.

Working the spook fast to find fish, I saw follows and had bumps from the first cast, all trout. I landed 3 from that spot before they moved on.

The saying is if you can’t catch a trout at Trout Island, may as well go home

I curled around the side facing the main river current to try a second spot, where the active fish turned out to be gar and I moved on.

At the upriver tip of the island I had smaller trout bumping more than taking the bait but managed to catch a couple more that were only 10”.

The whole topwater scenario lasted no more than 55 minutes, ending approximately twenty minutes after official sunrise.


Moving on from high tide and the topwater bite, I decided my best bets for the early morning mid-tide current was going to be found in the popping cork and suspending bait setups.

Starting with the suspending bait, I crossed from the island into the marsh/creek system directly across from the ramp.

Working my way through the grassy maze, I worked a Yozuri Crystal Shrimp along the submerged grass edges and at points, especially ones with oysters.

I wound up missing a nice flounder that would have eventually completed my inshore slam, but otherwise the Yozuri was not what the fish wanted that day.

Same with the popping cork, which I had tipped with a Vudoo Shrimp and worked along the grass areas similar to the previous.

Besides losing the flounder and almost losing my Crystal Shrimp, I was getting frustrated. However, what happened next changed my plan and turned the day around.

I sat back and watched the marsh for a bit and made an important observation…nothing was smashing on bait and hadn’t for quite a while. With the tide quickly falling,

I decided to do something unorthodox and hit the main river channel before the bottom of the tide and ride it to the bottom.

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Noon/Low Tide:

Facing a 3 hour+ window of working the main river looking for active fish meant that I needed to cover ground until I found what worked, concentrating on the redfish and trout primarily.

I covered about 3 miles, combing the dock side of the river using my 2 jig setups.

I cast the zman combo I had on the lighter rod and trolled a bigger plastic on the heavier setup behind me as I fished.  I found the trout again in some deeper holes off the main river channel.

Picking away at with the zman/jig combo, I bounced it off the oysters and found some underslot redfish in the area as well.

As the current slowed even more, I tipped my bigger rod with some cut mullet and let it drift behind me as I continued fishing the zman.

I found several bigger redfish (28-30” fish) in deeper water like this before heading back in before the incoming tide started to rip.

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Not a banner day by any means, but I was happy with my decision to change the plan.

My takeaways from today is to change it up throughout the day based on not only effectiveness but also time of day and current/situation.

Calling that audible was the difference between catching twice the fish in the trip for me and reminds me the fish aren’t always going to be where we expect them and we’re the variable we can most control.

I also want the reader to embrace incorporating artificials into your game and fall is an easy time to start working them in, as you can alternate between them and bait for another month to ease the transition.

Of course if you need some help, feel free to reach out and we can get you on a teaching charter to learn some techniques you’re curious about! Tight lines and enjoy October!

Thanks for reading and tight lines,

Chris Tweedy, Owner/Operator
Topwater Kayak Charters

For a kayak fishing charter you will never forget give us a call at 843-906-7112 or check us out on Facebook or at


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