Love to fish or want to try it for the first time? Well, you’ve picked a good season to visit the island, as fall is a peak time to catch redfish in Hilton Head. This time of year, the redfish spawn, so it’s easy to spot large schools of the fish whether you’re out in the ocean or within the 11-mile lagoon system in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
What is a redfish?
The redfish is the most popular fish we catch here on Hilton Head. Once a “restricted” species in the U.S. due to commercial fishing, Palmetto Dunes has stocked more than 6,000 redfish into the lagoon system just outside our doors. These fish eat a lot, grow fast and can live a long time (40-50 years!). Redfish average in size from 1-40 pounds, but larger ones have been spotted in the lagoon. We’ve even nicknamed one “Elvis” due to his size, estimated to be 60 pounds or more! See if you can catch him, but you have to put him back J.
Redfish get their name because of their copper color. They also have at least one large black spot by their tail. Redfish also go by: red drum, spot tails, drum fish, channel bass or bull red.
Where and How to Catch a Redfish
You can catch redfish offshore as well as inshore. Capt. Jeff Kline offers offshore charters out of Shelter Cove Harbor that involve a short ride just 1-5 miles out into the ocean. There you can bait a hook with finger mullet, shrimp or crab and fish for trophy-sized fish that weigh up to 40 pounds. Wouldn’t you love a photo of you and a “big red” you’d worked so hard to pull in the boat?
“Only thing though is that if they are above 23 inches long or shorter than 15 inches long you have to release them,” Kline says. “So you get your photo, then put it back in.” Still, Kline says, “As far as redfish goes, [fall] is as good as it gets.”
Inshore, you can catch redfish within the “slot limit” (15-23 inches) that you don’t have to release.
We also offer inshore fishing trips with fly rod and light tackle fishing experiences. Skimming over the pristine, flat waters of the lagoon gives you a great opportunity to see the fish up close.