Capt. Charlie Beadon of Hilton Head Fishing Adventures and his clients have been regularly boating keeper redfish on the mud flats over the past few weeks.
"We are primarily sight fishing for redfish around low tide over mud flats," Beadon said.
A light tackle expert, Beadon likes to use both spinning gear and fly-fishing gear, and he has been targeting large schools of redfish, which are easy to find this time of year. Once schools are located, Beadon has his clients casting mostly soft-plastic Gulp! baits, with fly fishermen using tan Clousers. The two groups of fishermen having an equal amount of success.
"Hilton Head offers some of the best inshore saltwater fishing that you will find anywhere," said Beadon (843-592-0897), who said one of the great things about all the creeks and inlets around the island is that you are never far from the fishing grounds, which means less time riding and more time fishing. And fishing this time of year, there aren't many other boats or anglers to compete with, so Beadon usually has his pick of fishing holes throughout the day.
And although few anglers are here, it's a different story for the redfish, which are here in big numbers and easy to find. The clarity of the water during the winter allows anglers to spot fish easily, and while other species are inshore this month, Beadon mainly targets redfish by poling his flats boat quietly through these backwaters without spooking the fish. This is Beadon's favorite way to target inshore redfish, which are cruising the shallow waters looking for food and hiding from porpoises.
"Flats fishing," said Beadon, "equals sight fishing, and there is nothing like seeing the fish, making the cast, seeing the bite, and getting a hard hookup!"