On Hilton Head, you will find as many fishing options as there are miles of white sandy beaches. And that means there is something for just about every type of fisherman – whether it’s fresh (or brackish water) fishing or in-shore or deep sea ocean fishing in the Atlantic.
If you are looking to ocean fish, you’ll need to decide between shore fishing or inshore or offshore charter boat fishing. Of course private boat fishing remains an option as well. You can even arrange a kayak fishing tour. Check with Shelter Cove Marina or other outfitters that offer kayak fishing tours.
Inshore and offshore charter fishing boats are available from most commercial marinas and specials are everywhere to be found in local tourist publications and online. You can go fishing on a party boat with a dozen or more people, which will drift fish (usually in-shore). Of course, you can always charter an offshore boat that carries up to six passengers and will fish by trolling the bait (as in deep sea fishing). The fishing trips are either half-day or full-day excursions and again check your local tourist publications or internet for more information and special offers. For serious deep sea fishing, your captain will take you out to the Gulf Stream, which is about 70 miles from shore. The fishing is there is generally fantastic, but it’s a very long boat ride both ways so it makes for a very long day of fishing.
The inshore waters offer you the opportunity to fish the calm shallows using lures, flies and live bait for redfish, flounder and speckled sea trout. The deeper waters of the Port Royal Sound or nearshore wrecks you’ll find tarpon, bull redfish, king mackerel and cobia as well as bottom fish like grouper, sea bass and snapper.
The best advice is to determine the type of fishing (or fish) you are after and to talk to some locals and fishing boat captains around the marina. Don’t forget to make sure you have your fishing license in order for the type of fishing you are planning on doing. While temporary licenses are cheap (and different fishing scenarios require different licenses), unfortunately there are not a lot of places locally on the island to purchase them and Wal-Mart is probably your best option. A lot of charter boats have licenses that cover everyone on board. Check with your captain. And most lagoon fishing in the plantations do not require a license but you do have to follow plantation rules.