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Nestled along the picturesque South Carolina coastline, Charleston offers a wealth of fishing opportunities, with a diverse array of marine life waiting to be caught. Whether you're an experienced angler or a novice looking to experience the best fishing in Charleston, this guide will help you identify the top six most popular fish to catch in the area, the best times to catch them, and where to find them.

1. Redfish (Red Drum)

Redfish Caught In Charleston

Redfish are among the most sought-after fish in Charleston. These robust fish can be found in abundance year-round, with peak fishing season typically occurring in the fall when they gather in large schools. Head to the inshore waters, such as the flats and marshes of the Wando and Ashley Rivers, as well as Charleston Harbor, where you'll have the best chance of landing these powerful fighters.

2. Speckled Trout (Spotted Sea Trout)

Speckled Trout Caught In Charleston

Speckled trout are a favorite for inshore fishing enthusiasts. These feisty fish are commonly found in the area's tidal creeks, estuaries, and nearshore grass beds. The best time to catch speckled trout is during the cooler months of spring and fall when the water temperature is ideal. Popular spots include Shem Creek, the Stono River, and the salt marshes around Isle of Palms.

3. Flounder

Flounder Caught In Charleston

Flounder fishing in Charleston offers a unique and rewarding experience. These flatfish are typically found on sandy or muddy bottoms and around structures such as docks, piers, and jetties. The prime time to catch flounder is from late spring through early fall. Look for them in the shallow waters of Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and the inlets around Sullivan's Island.

4. Sheepshead

Sheepshead Caught In Charleston

Sheepshead are known for their distinctive black-and-white vertical stripes and their preference for crustaceans. They are commonly found around piers, docks, jetties, and other structures where barnacles and shellfish are abundant. Winter and early spring are prime times for sheepshead fishing. The Charleston Harbor jetties and the artificial reefs near Fort Sumter are excellent spots to target sheepshead.

5. King Mackerel

King Mackerel Caught In Charleston

King mackerel, or kingfish, are a prized target for nearshore and offshore anglers. Known for their incredible speed and acrobatic leaps, they provide an exhilarating challenge. The best time to catch these game fish is from late spring through early fall. Look for them around nearshore structures like reefs, wrecks, and offshore ledges. The Charleston Deep Reef and the nearshore waters around the Charleston 60 Reef are prime locations to target king mackerel.

6. Black Drum

Black Drum Caught In Charleston

Black drum are a favorite among anglers for their size and the challenge they present. Larger specimens, known as "bull drum," can offer a heavyweight bout for any angler. They are especially prevalent in the cooler months of winter and early spring. Target them in the deeper channels and around structures such as docks and bridge pilings. The waters around the Ravenel Bridge and the Cooper River are known hotspots for black drum.

Book Your Next Fishing Trip in Charleston

Charleston's rich waters and diverse fishing options make it an ideal destination for any angler. With year-round fishing opportunities and a variety of species to target, each visit promises new experiences and potential catches. Whether you prefer the tranquility of inshore waters or the thrill of the open sea, the Charleston area offers plenty of trip options. Consider enlisting the help of a local Charleston fishing charter to enhance your chances of success and enjoy a memorable fishing adventure!