Cooler weather combined with lots of hungry fish make fall an ideal time to go fishing here in Charleston.
Capt. Joel LeVine, owner of RedFin Charters, said he wants visitors to know fishing season isn’t over in the fall. In fact, visitors booking an in-shore fishing charter have excellent odds of catching plenty of fish this time of year.
“Fall is when the shrimp really fill the creeks up,” LeVine said. “The creeks are stacked with bait, and the trout are on a feeding frenzy as the water temperature drops.”
LeVine said it’s not unusual to take people out in the creeks during the fall and catch, on average, 50 trout and 20 redfish.
Capt. Rich Harris, senior captain at Reel Deal Charters, has the same good luck. He recalls a few years ago taking people out on a four-hour fishing charter the day after Thanksgiving and catching 103 trout.
Charter companies supply all the bait, fishing rods and instruction so visitors of all ages and experience levels are welcome. Plus, they can even keep some of the fish they catch (based on state regulations and limits).
One fish Harris won’t toss back is the sheepshead. “It’s one of the best eating fish you’ve ever had,” he said.
You won’t typically find it in stores or restaurants, though. Sheepshead hang out around pilings, rocks and jetties so commercial fishermen can’t catch them without tearing their nets. So, visitors who happen to catch a sheepshead or two might want to toss them in the cooler for dinner.
“They don’t eat anything but crustaceans so it makes their meat very mild,” Harris said.
Don’t worry, though, if you’ve never heard of sheepshead or don’t know the first thing about casting a line. LeVine said they have a lot of beginners at RedFin Charters, so they spend at least the first 30 minutes educating people on how to cast.
“We might even take them to a fishing spot that’s not as productive to get those bad casts out first,” he said.
A lot of children come out for their first fishing trip so LeVine’s eager to give them a positive experience.
“With kids, you only have one chance to get it right,” he said. “If you show them a great time, they will be customers for life.”
Harris, too, said the crew at Reel Deal Charters enjoys working with children. “We relish the time we’re able to put a smile on a child’s face when they catch that first fish – that’s what we live for.”
He suggests a two-hour charter for families with younger children – long enough for them to fish without getting bored. Plus, with the creeks full of trout, redfish and flounder in the fall season, it’s almost guaranteed kids will catch something.
In addition to the gear, RedFin Charters has bug spray and sunscreen on board as well as humidors with hand-rolled cigars. Lunch is included for visitors who book a full-day tour. Reel Deal Charters provides the rods, bait and tackle as well as a cooler with ice. Guests should bring their own food and beverages (adult beverages are allowed; no glass bottles).
Visitors booking a fishing charter are covered under the boat’s fishing license.
Recommended Fishing Charters:
RedFin Charters: 843-277-5255 | redﬁncharters.com
The Reel Deal Charters: 843-388-5093 | thereeldealcharters.com