A hot bite involving bull redfish is one that anglers rarely forget. While that inshore bite is typically slated for October in the waters around Charleston, guide Chris Orvin consistently finds a good bite in spring. And the abundance of soft crabs takes all the guesswork out of it. 

“Over the past few years, we have started catching 30- and 40-pound reds in the harbor,” Orvin said.  “The fall bite is always good here, but our spring bite has been really good.”

Bull reds make their way back into coastal waters as they begin to warm in late spring. Charleston Harbor is the perfect habitat for bull reds, with deep water, tons of structure and steady currents to sweep up the bait. Places like the Grillage and the jetties offer perfect opportunities to find these brutes. 

Orvin likes to use soft crabs for bait when the bulls are around in the spring, but he won’t cut them into small pieces. 

“Most of the soft crabs in the spring are small males. I will use the whole crab on a 6/0 circle hook on a Carolina rig in the deep water of the harbor with several ounces of lead,” he said.