Anyone here surf fish? HH Question

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by SWeiss, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Not a catfishing question, and I apologize.

    I am heading down to Hilton Head next weekend for a week for vacation with the wife. I understand I will need a non-resident saltwater license.

    It's been YEARS since I cast into the surf, so what's catching and what bait should I use?

    Any help and pointers would be most appreciated!

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Steve yes on the saltwater lic. I know here in southeastern n.c they r catching some drum red an black ,va mullet /whitings ,also starting to pick up flounder ,an speckled trout in surf .Fresh shrimp is a good bet to try ,also finger mullet also for drum ,flounder ,blues or trout
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    What Dickie said... Fresh shrimp works just fine. I fished the surf today, but I was anchored up in the boat casting to the shore line. Black Drum, Red Drum, Croaker, Spotted Sea Trout, and Whiting, mostly.
     
  4. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks guys. What kind of weight and what size hooks should I use?
     
  5. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    Use a #3 for the whiting and bigger for the reds,etc.Put you out a fresh chunk of whiting or blue on a bigger hook and you might get a surprise.
     
  6. etexun

    etexun New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    Texas (Nea
    Went surf fishing this summer at Surfside,Texas. We were using live croakers and live shrimp. The trout seemed to like the croaker better. everything out there would try and steal the shrimp.
    What time of the day do you East Coast guys like to fish. They seemed to bite better just before daylight here, and move out to deeper water as the day warms up.
     
  7. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Steve don,t make the mistake of casting all your lines out as far as u can ,there are a lot of nice fish in close to the beach.Try to find you a slough or channel along the beach at low tide an fish it ,you would be surprised what you can catch in the short water at night .:wink:
     
  8. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks guys. Let's say I caught a croaker or spot or something and wanted to chop it up for bait right on the beach. I wouldn't get in trouble for that would I?
     
  9. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    S pot,, croaker pinfish, or mullet no ,but don,t use a blue ,trout ,drum for bait or flounder ,there is a size an creel limit on them
     
  10. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks again Jolly. I think I am set now.

    I appreciate all your help fellas!
     
  11. Thad

    Thad New Member

    Messages:
    188
    State:
    Mississippi
    Look for cuts in between the bars and fish with just enough weight to hold your rig there. If you can't see a cut be sure to fish in the trough, not on the bar.
     
  12. Thad

    Thad New Member

    Messages:
    188
    State:
    Mississippi
    Oh, and if you can dig some sand fleas you'll be glad you did.
     
  13. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Don't know the sand flea situation on HH. Up north around Myrtle and Pawley's there are tons of them. Some beaches have them and some don't. They make great baits for whiting, croaker, black drum, etc, though.

    Don't know if anyone said it, but bring a cast net. The surf shold be full of mullet this time of year - both smaller finger mullet and the big guys (up to a few pounds) are migrating. You can uase the small mullet live and whole for red drum, trout, etc. or cut them up.

    Hook sizes are hard to pick - just like the river or lake at home it depends what you are after. You can use a 5/0 with a live mullet for big red drum or sharks or you can use a size 6 with a piece of shrimp for whiting, or something in between (like a 1/0) with a piece of cut mullet or a whole shrimp for slot size red drum. Sinkers same way - anything from a decent size split shot to a 5 ounce pyramid depending on the situation.
     
  14. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks John. I will get myself a good assortment of supplies.
     
  15. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Heading out tomorrow. Got some frozen squid to cut up for bait.

    I gotta tell you, this Hilton Head Island sure isn't fishing friendly. Only ONE decent tackle shop clear on the other end of the Island.
     
  16. stumphumper

    stumphumper New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    Ladson SC
    You are right about being unfriendly to fishermen, but do not let that discourage you! There is some fantastic surf fishing there. Run back up towards Bluffton and there is a good shop on the right hand side close to the High School.
     
  17. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Steve not saying the squid will not work for bait ,but i do better with fresh shrimp over squid in the surf
     
  18. SWeiss

    SWeiss New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Well I finally made it back to PA. Let me say this about Hilton Head Island.

    IT SUCKS! :sad2:

    I love the south. I am NOT a stuckup Yankee ass, like some of us are up here, but HHI was definitely not my cup of tea. I like SC, a lot. The people are very friendly and accommodating, it's inexpensive, and the landscape is beautiful. I've been all over the south in my line of work, (KY, AL, AR) and every place and every person has been is great. HHI, not so much.

    Beach access? HA! You're gonna pay $5 just for the privilege of driving through some neighborhoods. Most places are gated and you cannot even get into them.

    It's freaking DARK! No street lights. Forget about trying to get around at night. Even parking lots (like Publix) are as dark as a well digger's rear-end. Why? Sea Turtles. Apparently when the turtles hatch, they instinctively travel towards the glow on the horizon of the sea to return to the ocean. So the ENTIRE island is dark so the damn turtles can find their way in the right direction. You need a flash light to load your freaking groceries!

    Signs are covered with vegetation and of course, poorly lit. Trees obscure everything and add to the darkness. I needed to drive around with my hi-beams on just to see stuff.

    People. Okay for the most part, but too many hoyty-toyty rich people who look down their noses at you. The working folks are MORE than nice. Waiters/waitresses will bend over backwards for you. I tipped them all very well. Apparently these folks know how to interact with other humans. The rich yankees who relocated there have a giant stick up their butts. Give you a hint... The same type of people live in Palm Beach, FL if you know what I am getting at.

    Fishing. Forget it. IF you can find a place to fish, you're lucky. Need bait or tackle? Good luck. There is ONE decent bait shop down in the "Salty Dog" complex on the extreme west side of the island. Oh, and you have to pay $5 just to drive through the neighborhood to to get to it. The owner of the shop was great though. Very nice and helpful.

    In all, I caught some croaker, whiting, a shark, and a few eels. All released.

    Condo. We rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo on the beach, and it was very well kept. No issues with that at all. We belong to a vacation club and only paid $300 for 7 nights. Since it's gated and has security patrols, it's locked down tighter than a clams patootie. Very safe and quiet. Like a cemetary.

    Food. Outstanding. The Kingfisher (expensive) was excellent, and the quality was superb. The Hilton Head Diner, which had a NINE PAGE menu, was my favorite. I LOVE to eat, and I wouldn't steer you wrong in that respect.

    We travelled to Hunting Island (great fishing pier) and to Savannah (awesome city), as well as and other places in GA. All very, very nice. We should have stayed down in Savannah. Fort Pulaski was cool, as well as the Wormslow Plantation. Lot's of history there. People were very nice.

    Oh, and don't hang your beach towels over the railing of your balcony at a condo or security will leave you a written warning. :smile2: The covenants and HOAs are like the Gestapo down there. It's amazing how strict these places are.

    Weather. Hotter than the hinges of hell! Jeez, when DOES it get below 85 down there??? I was sweating buckets!

    If you're going to HHI, and you want to do something other than eat and sit on the beach, don't bother. Oh, and bring a flashlight! :smile2:
     
  19. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Elgin, SC
    I am sorry you didn't enjoy your trip! I wish I had replied before you left.

    Hilton Head IS hard to find your way around- the sign ordinances keep the landscape from being polluted with Golden Arches, Billboards, and chain restaurants that litter the local beauty with their own colorful noise. All of the signs are brown or green, which leaves the Palmetto trees standing out but makes it hellish to find a particular store or restaurant.

    (It sure makes for an attractive environment, though!)

    Yes, there are few lights because of the incredible turtles. There are few nesting areas left on the South Carolina coast that don't have overpopulation and light pollution that sends baby turtles heading into a parking lot or across a road to be splattered and eaten by birds instead of swimming in the open ocean for the next hundred years or so.

    Hopefully, with carefully managed regulations concerning artificial light during nesting season, the turtles will return to nest EVERY YEAR to the same place they were born. (after swimming around the globe the rest of the year, wow....)

    As for fishing, Hilton Head has some of the best surf fishing I have found. You really cannot cast a small piece of shrimp into the surf anywhere on the beaches without catching whiting, croaker, and spot. Geez, there are lots of sharks.... I have caught 4-5' Hammerheads standing on the beach.

    If you want to try wrestling a big shark, the best place I have found is the Intracoastal Waterway coming onto the island from the mainland. When they built the new bridge, they left part of the old one standing as a fishing pier and added a couple of floaters off either side. I have spent many nights fishing until sun-up while getting sore muscles from the sharks. I have caught a few over 5-6' here, including one 7+' bonnethead that gave lots of fun before breaking off on the pilings.

    Beach access is actually plentiful, although as you stated, there are large tracts of privately-owned land that doesn't offer much for access.

    There are also lots of lagoons in the Sea Pines area that are full of flounder, croaker, spot, ladyfish, and a few smaller black drum.

    Once you get used to the area and can find your way around without colorful signage, I think you will enjoy the atmosphere. The lack of overdone artificial light sure makes for some starry skies at night also!

    Come down in the springtime, walk the beach with a red filter over your flashlight, and respectfully sneak close to a leatherback or green sea turtle laying eggs on the beach.

    (Once I witnessed this the first time at Edisto Island, I stopped complaining about the light ordinances!)

    I do understand some of the frustration, but you may want to make another trip sometime... I need to dig out some of my shark pics.

    I know Dean (gotta go) pulls some huge tiger sharks in off the coast on boat. Check out his pics in the gallery if you haven't seen em!
     
  20. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    In my opinion you should consider Charleston if you come back.We have some excellent fishing here and there are many spots on the beach to try.Tybee is nice down at Savannah as well,and both are much more fishing friendly......just a comment.

    The bonus is if you get back down here I will try to meet up with you and put you on the fish.I surf fish alot and do pretty well.