Even though populations of black sea bass thrive in South Carolina waters throughout the year, the cool months bring congregations in close to shore, and often, they include some of the biggest bass anglers will ever see.

However, many of the best black sea bass spots not only fill up with bass, but with anxious black sea bass anglers. The popular places get hit hard early, and many larger fish will become history. For best success, anglers need to find places holding sea bass that haven’t seen a hook yet. 

While many nearshore places are covered in plain sandy bottoms, there are plenty of places right off the coast with rocky bottoms that are covered with life. Luckily, most of the work has been done and for the angler with the ability to read a chart map effectively on paper or digital media, the productive black sea bass grounds are awaiting discovery. 

Luckily, companies like Maps Unique (www.mapsunique.com) and Navionics (www.navionics.com) have compiled the data to produce a very detailed, sea-floor topography that depict ledges, ridges, depressions, sea mounts and any change in elevation. Additionally, these companies provide illustrations of limestone or shell bottoms, also known as livebottom, where aquatic life thrives. 

Both Maps Unique and Navionics provide digital products so anglers can plan their trips before even leave their home computers. Navionics has a real-time application that can be installed on enables boaters to navigate to these livebottom or changes in bottom topography in real time.   

While some of these places anglers find on charts may not always be the cat’s meow, with dozens of a GPS or mobile-phone device that trophy bass,anglers can count on these places being visited much less than the reefs with a couple yellow buoys at the surface.  The best black sea bass spots with the biggest fish are places less traveled.