Hilton Head Fishing: Detailed Guide

Hilton Head Fishing: Detailed Guide

Hey everyone, I’m back with another great article! This time it’s all about Hilton Head fishing and a detailed guide to getting the most out of your trip.

Fishing in Hilton Head is an amazing experience; there are so many different types of fish that inhabit the waters around this beautiful island. So whether you’re looking for some serious angling or just want to relax on the beach while casting a line, Hilton Head has something for you!

In this article, I’ll give you all the tips and tricks you need to be successful on your next fishing adventure here. From what type of bait to use and where to find the best spots, I’ve got it covered.

Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!

Most Common Fish Species in Hilton Head

  • Flounder are one of the most popular fish to catch in Hilton Head, South Carolina. With their flattened body and large eyes, they are easily spotted in shallow waters, making them a prime target for anglers. The thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of a successful catch bring anglers great joy when fishing for flounder.
  • Redfish, also known as red drum, is another popular fish to catch in Hilton Head. Their distinctive color and hard-fighting nature make them a favorite of many anglers. The challenge of landing a redfish provides a real sense of accomplishment and joy for those who fish for them.
  • Sheepshead is a popular target in the area as well, and it can be found in both shallow and deep waters. Sheepsheads are known for their tough fight and unique markings, making them a joy to catch.
  • Spanish mackerel is a fast-swimming fish and are found in the coastal waters of Hilton Head. Their speed and agility make them exciting fish to try and catch, and the thrill of the chase is exhilarating for anglers.
  • King mackerel are a large species of fish that can be found in deep waters near Hilton Head. They are known for their strength and stamina, and the challenge of catching a king mackerel is one that many anglers relish.
  • Black sea bass is a common species of fish found in the area, and they are often found in shallow waters near the shore. They are known for their hard-fighting nature, and the thrill of landing a black sea bass brings joy to many anglers.
  • Bluefish are found in the area as well, and they are known for their strong fight and fierce nature. Catching a bluefish is a real thrill, and the sense of accomplishment and joy that comes with it is unmatched.
  • Spotted seatrout are a popular catch in Hilton Head, and they are known for their hard-fighting nature and bright colors. The challenge of landing a spotted seatrout is one that many anglers in the area enjoy, and the joy of a successful catch can’t be overstated.
  • Cobia is a large species of fish that can be found in the waters near Hilton Head. They are known for their strength and agility, making them a real challenge to catch. The satisfaction of landing a cobia is one that anglers never forget.
  • Tarpons are another popular fish to catch in Hilton Head, and they are known for their large size and hard-fighting nature. The challenge of catching a tarpon is something that anglers in the area look forward to, and the joy of landing a tarpon is one of the highest highs an angler can experience.

Popular Spots When Fishing in Hilton Head

Jarvis Creek Park

Jarvis Creek Park is one of the hidden gems for fishing in Hilton Head Island. Located off William Hilton Parkway, this 53-acre park is a great spot for anglers of all ages and experience levels.

The park includes a large pond, fishing pier, open fields, picnic shelters, playground, restroom facilities, a one-mile walking trail, and workout stations. The pond is stocked with largemouth bass and bluegill, so you can expect to catch a few decent fish here.

The park also offers a variety of amenities, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. Whether you’re walking the one-mile trail, having a picnic, or just playing on the playground, there’s something for everyone at Jarvis Creek Park.

And with its proximity to the tidal marshes, you may even spot some wildlife while you fish. So if you’re looking for a great spot to reel in some bass, Jarvis Creek Park is definitely worth a visit.

Pinckney Island Pier Fishing

The Pinckney Island pier fishing experience is a must-do for any trip to Hilton Head. This fishing pier, located at the C. C. Haigh, Jr. Boat Landing, is the perfect spot to cast your line and try your luck.

The waters surrounding the refuge are full of saltwater game fish, and the fall season brings a one-day hunt for deer. The pier offers a great view of the salt marshes and wildlife viewing areas, where a variety of birds can be seen.

The broad, paved or graveled trails are great for a leisurely stroll and offer educational signage that highlights the area’s flora and fauna.

Fishing on the Pinckney Island pier is an excellent way to experience the joy of fishing. Anglers may reel in a variety of saltwater game fish, including sea trout, black drum, tarpon, and more. Visitors can also enjoy the beauty of the island as they cast their line, with gorgeous views of the marshes and wildlife.

Experienced fishermen can have a blast, but novice anglers can also have a great time learning about the species that inhabit the area. With its picturesque views and abundant wildlife, Pinckney Island is the perfect spot for a memorable fishing trip.

The Calibogue Sound

Fishing in the Calibogue Sound is an exciting experience for anglers of all levels. The sound provides a wide variety of fish species for anglers to target, including flounder, redfish, sea trout, sharks, and tarpon. Fishing in the Calibogue Sound is especially enjoyable during the late summer months when the water temperatures reach the 80s and the live bait (pogies) are plentiful.

The experience of fishing in the Calibogue Sound is further enhanced by the beauty of Hilton Head Island. Anglers can enjoy the stunning views of the island’s beaches, marshes, and estuaries while they fish. The sound also provides some of the best coastal fishing in the entire South Carolina coastline, with a variety of fish species and habitats to explore.

Anglers can get the thrill of a lifetime when they experience the joy of fishing in the Calibogue Sound. Whether they’re out for a day of recreational fishing or a full day of deep-sea fishing, the Calibogue Sound is the perfect place to make their dreams come true.

Palmetto Dunes lagoon

The Palmetto Dunes lagoon system is a paradise for saltwater fishing enthusiasts. This 11 mile lagoon is home to a variety of fish species including giant redfish, trout, bluefish, black drum, flounder, and even tarpon.

Property owners, guests, and renters are allowed to fish in the lagoon and lakes from boats, kayaks, or canoes from the launches and observation decks, and from land in the common areas of

Palmetto Dunes and Leamington. Fishing from bridges is not allowed due to safety concerns.
Fishing in the Palmetto Dunes lagoon is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience nature at its finest.

With a valid fishing license from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the practice of “catch and release” to preserve the fish population, visitors can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Hilton Head while also enjoying the joys of fishing.

The Palmetto Dunes lagoon system was created in the 1970s to address two major issues: shallow waterways and an eroding beachfront.

Today, this lagoon is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. With its variety of fish species and stunning views, the Palmetto Dunes lagoon is sure to be an unforgettable experience that will create lifelong memories.

May River Fishing

May River Fishing in Hilton Head is an angler’s paradise! With the pristine May River winding its way through the area, fishing enthusiasts can take advantage of the abundance of species swimming in its waters. From the mighty redfish to the tasty speckled trout, there’s something to catch in the May River for anglers of all skill levels.

The joy of fishing when in Hilton Head is something that can’t be replicated anywhere else. With the cooler temperatures of autumn, the May River is teeming with life, and the fishing experience can be even more rewarding during this time.

Anglers can experience some of the best fishing of the year, as the cooler waters attract larger and more plentiful species of fish. With a variety of bait, lures, and techniques, anglers can experience the thrill of catching a variety of species, from the large bull reds to the smaller speckled trout.

In addition to the great fishing experience, anglers can also enjoy the added bonus of harvesting some of the finest oysters in the area.

This is a favorite pastime of locals, and with the cooler waters of autumn, oysters can be harvested for a delicious feast. With so much to offer, May River Fishing in Hilton Head is an experience that all anglers should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is a favorite pastime in Hilton Head, South Carolina. According to the SC Department of Natural Resources, more than 700,000 saltwater fishing licenses have been issued each year since 2013—a testament to how popular it is here on the island. Bait and tackle shops are widely available if you don’t already own your own gear.

The best way to start beach fishing is with a weighted rig and leader attached to the bottom for bait. Fishing during daylight hours is allowed everywhere except designated swimming areas. It’s also important to make sure you’ve got your SC Fishing License online before setting out!

There are plenty of other species that can be caught from the beach besides sharks—red drum, flounder, sea trout, and whiting all make appearances here regularly.

So get yourself geared up and head down to one of Hilton Head’s many beaches or piers for some exciting surf fishing action!

Pier Fishing

Ah, pier fishing on Hilton Head Island! What a perfect way to spend some hours of relaxation with friends and family. Nothing quite beats the feeling of catching your own fish while casting out your line into the salty air of the Atlantic Ocean.

This guide will help you get ready for an unforgettable experience at one of the best piers in South Carolina.

First, it’s important that you have all the right equipment before heading out. A good rod and reel combo matched to your particular type of fishing is essential, as well as hooks, sinkers, lures or bait depending on what type of fish you plan to catch. You can usually rent gear near any pier if needed – just ask around within walking distance from the pier itself.

Next up: locations and permits. Here are three great choices when it comes to finding spots for pier fishing on Hilton Head Island:

  • Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
  • Skull Creek Boathouse Pier
  • Broad Creek Marina Fishing Dock

A valid saltwater recreational license is required when fishing off these docks – make sure to check local regulations before deciding which permit is necessary for you personally.

Time now to talk about timing; when’s the ideal time for booking a fishing charter? Depending on which species you want to target most often times late spring through early autumn are considered prime time for successful catches (though this varies a bit by location).

With that said, no matter which season you choose there’s always something biting here in coastal South Carolina so don’t be afraid to venture out anytime during the year!

And hey, why not give kayak fishing a go next?

Kayak Fishing

Fishing in Hilton Head, SC can be an incredibly rewarding experience. From the offshore deep sea fishing charters to the pier fishing around town, there’s something for everyone and every skill level. With a little bit of research on local regulations, anglers can make sure they have the best time possible while still playing by the rules.

Kayak rentals are a popular way to explore the waterways around Hilton Head. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of places to rent kayaks and explore the area.
From exploring the marshes of the Lowcountry to fishing from the kayak, you can find plenty of enjoyment and adventure on the water.

Fishing from a kayak is a great way to get up close and personal with the wildlife of the area, and many locations offer experienced guides to help you find the best spots for casting.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a longer excursion, kayak rentals in Hilton Head provide a great way to get out on the water and explore the area.

Allowing yourself enough time to enjoy these experiences without rushing through them is key; no matter where you choose to cast your line! Now let’s move on to booking a charter…

Booking A Charter

It may seem ironic, but before you can head out for a day of fishing in Hilton Head SC, you’ll first need to book a charter. Luckily, there are plenty of experienced captains who offer local and deep sea charters that cater to just about any angler’s needs!

To get started on your adventure, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary permits – such as the South Carolina Fishing License – which is required by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The license can be purchased online or at a number of tackle shops around town.

Once you’re ready to find a captain, it’s time to start looking into what type of trip best suits your needs. For instance, if you’re interested in shallow water fishing around Hilton Head Island, then look for inshore charters with rates ranging anywhere from $250-$400 per person depending on how many people are going.

And if it’s offshore trips or big game fishing that piques your interest, there will likely be more expensive options available with prices ranging from $700 -$1000+ per person again based on group size.

No matter where your choice takes you, booking a good charter is key to having an enjoyable experience while fishing off Hilton Head SC; so doing some research into reputable companies beforehand is always recommended!

With that being said, after planning and organizing your excursion properly the only thing left to do now is decide when the best time for fishing might be…

Best Time For Fishing When In Hilton Head

I’m a born and bred Hilton Head Islander, so I know the best time to go fishing here. It’s all about timing when it comes to catching fish, and around here there are certain times of year that offer great opportunities for anglers.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year for fishing in Hilton Head; the water temperature warms up significantly, bringing out lots of different kinds of gamefish. In springtime, you’ll often find red drum, tarpon, spotted sea trout, flounder and more swimming in our waters – an exciting prospect for any fisherman!

Summertime isn’t bad either; the weather can be pretty hot but if you’re looking for some serious inshore action then this is your season. You might find blacktip sharks patrolling the surf or cobia lurking near piers and docks.

If you stick close to shore you may even spot schools of Spanish mackerel swimming along the beachfront. The late summer months also bring king mackerel from offshore areas closer to shore, making them easier targets for those willing to venture further out into deeper waters.

Fall brings with it mild temperatures and calm seas which make perfect conditions for fly-fishing enthusiasts.

Redfish gather together in large schools while sheepshead moves into shallow bays where they feed on oyster beds. Our coastal rivers fill up with speckled trout as well, giving fishermen plenty of options no matter what kind of experience they’re after.

So whether you’re a pro or just starting out, come explore Hilton Head Island during any one these seasons and enjoy some fantastic fishing experiences!


As you can see, Hilton Head offers a variety of fishing opportunities for all levels and skill sets. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, there is something here for everyone.

What’s more interesting is that the waters are abundant with over 400 species of fish! That means your chances of reeling in the big one are quite high.

So grab your rod and reel and get ready to have some fun; who knows what memories await when you go fishing near Hilton Head?