After speaking with various pro-staffers, captains and guides throughout the country, we put together the top 6 Southeast Fishing Spots for local and foreign anglers alike to plan destination fishing trips, retain knowledge of local fishing areas and find guides to assist in charter services.
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Capt. Tucker Blythe
Tucker’s Charter Style: Inshore flats, nearshore an tarpon fishing
Fall: Impressive numbers of shallow water redfish and trout offer the best fishing of the year using lures or live bait. Tarpon will gorge on our plentiful baitfish before they make their way back south.
Winter: Cooler winter months means huge schools of Redfish in clear water. Some of the best sight fishing of the year.
Top Bait: Hogy Skinny Series
Spring: Redfish and Trout will begin to heat up as the water temps rise in the Spring. Cobia will also make an impressive run along the coast.
Summer: Excellent fishing for many species this time of year. Redfish, Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Sharks, Tarpon, and more.
2. Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Capt. Tyler Nonn
Tyler’s Charter Style: Chesapeake Bay striped bass fishing and destination trips
Fall: Chesapeake Bay is home to the largest population of resident striped bass on the East Coast and gets return runs of migratory fish in the late fall. This provides great fishing opportunities for light tackle and fly anglers with huge numbers of hungry resident fish with a mix of migratory fish tossed in the mix.
Top Bait: Hogy 7-inch HDUV Jiggin' series.
Winter: Cold Mid-Atlantic winter forces Tyler to the Florida Keys to continue fishing. Targeting sailfish, blackfin tuna, cobia, and night tarpon.
Spring: The migratory striped bass return for their annual spawning run. Targeting large striped bass on Chesapeake Bay flats and coastal beaches.
Summer: Huge numbers of resident stripers call the Chesapeake home in the summer months. Targeting fish on the flats, creeks, and rivers of the Bay. When conditions align, the summer sight fishing for Cobia is nothing less than phenomenal!
3. Cape Canaveral, Florida
Capt. Scott Lum
Scott’s Charter Style: Near shore coastal and offshore
Fall: Migrating free swimming Cobia, also on pogie pods, weed lines and on large animals like manta rays, sting rays & turtles.
Winter: Offshore, reef & wreck fishing. Bottom jigging and live bait slow trolling.
Spring: Sight fishing for migrating Cobia, usually within 3 to 5 miles off the beach, depending on water temps.
Summer: Near shore, smoker King Mackerel, Tarpon, Snook & Redfish, Tripletail Cobia & Flounder.
Top Baits: 7″ 10″ 14″ Originals on unweighted and weighted hooks in black and blamber for tarpon.
4. Sebastian, Florida
Capt. Glyn Austin
Glyn’s Charter Style: Inshore flats & nearshore for speckled trout, snook, redfish, tarpon, cobia & kingfish
Fall: Impressive runs mullet inshore and nearshore as well as in the inlets with trout, redfish and snook offering great inshore fishing opportunities for lure and live bait anglers. Nearshore bait run offers great nearshore for tarpon, sharks, jacks, kingfish, snook and redfish
Top Bait Inshore: Hogy 6-inch Skinny Series
Top Bait Nearshore: 8” HDUV Jiggin' Paddle Tail
Winter: Cooler winter months offer good nighttime snook and redfish in the inlets. There are good numbers of trout & redfish inshore along the mangrove shorelines and inshore creeks and bays and there is excellent action for bluefish, spanish mackerel, pompano and jack crevalle in the inlet and nearshore.
Top Bait Inshore: Hogy Originals or 4” Skinny Series
Spring: Excellent cobia fishing nearshore on the manta Rays and tarpon fishing on the bait pods along the coastal beaches. Great night fishing along costal bridges using jigging Hogy Lures and live bait.
Top Bait: HDUV Jiggin' Series Soft Baits.
Summer: Excellent nearshore snook and redfish fishing, abundant shark fishing opportunities, cobia and tarpon are available as well.
Top Baits: Unweighted 10-inch Original Series
5. Charlotte Harbor, Florida
Capt. Rhett Morris
Rhett’s Charter Style: Inshore flats, tarpon, goliath grouper and sharks
Fall: Reds are schooled up for the spawn and this can be unbelievable top water action!
Also snook and tarpon are ready for a battle on both live bait and artificial.
Not to mention Cobia are not uncommon cruising the bay and beach is as well.
Top Bait Inshore: Hogy 7″ Original Series light sand eel and watch any of these aggressive species destroy this soft classic bait near the surface or near the bottom depending on how you Rig it!
Winter: The colder temps can turn the fish on in the right areas. Some of the most aggressive gator trout action I see comes on in the winter. Large over size reds in singles or doubles can be found stalking the flats in skinny water as well.
Spring: Cobia enter the bay in schools to feed up for the spawn. Snook gang up on anything they can find also feeding up for their spawn. Tarpon arrive each day in greater numbers and the reds and trout are all on the feed.
Top Bait: HDUV Jiggin' Series Soft Baits
Summer: This is a time of year when Tarpon are almost everywhere throughout the Bay and near shore areas. Large snook are found near almost any pass this time of year for spawning. Gag grouper can also be found along with Goliath grouper in almost any pass.
6. Lower Keys, Florida
Capt. Gabe Nybland
Gabe’s Charter Style: He primarily fishes the shallow water flats for Permit, Tarpon and Bonefish, but often switches gears during certain conditions and targets Redfish, Cuda’s, Sharks, Jacks, Trout, Cobia, Goliath Grouper and Snapper. He also does some offshore fishing for larger groups and when conditions are optimal for offshore verses the flats. While offshore he targets Sailfish, Tuna, Dolphin, Mackerel, Wahoo and Snapper, Grouper on the reef. He primarily fishes out of Dolphin Marina (mile marker 28.5) on LIttle Torch Key.
Fall: I’m in West Michigan guiding Steelhead, Salmon and Trout on the Pere Marquette, Muskegon and Manistee Rivers.
Winter: When the majority of the country in experiencing sub zero fronts throughout the winter, the Keys is usually the warmest place in the lower 48. As the cooler weather hits, it pushes many pelagic fish towards the Keys and our winter fishery can be very exciting. The flats fishing for Permit, Bonefish and Tarpon can be hit or miss all depending on weather and water temps. During warm ups between fronts the Permit, Bonefish and Tarpon can be great, but when the cooler water moves in we focus our efforts more on Redfish, Baracuda, Sharks, Cobia, Jacks and Snapper because they aren’t as effected by the cooler water. The offshore fishing for Sailfish, Tuna, and Kingfish is at its peak and the reef is consistent all winter long. The shallow water gulf wrecks are loaded with life throughout the winter and offer nonstop action no matter what the conditions are doing. Night Tarpon is consistent during the good tides.
Top Bait: Hogy HDUV Jiggin’ Series
Spring: Spring is the busiest time of year in the Keys and offers some incredible fishing. As the water warms the flats become more consistent. TARPON show up in massive numbers throughout the Keys March-June and is the target species. Sight fishing to giant laid up Tarpon or huge migrating schools can be some of the most exciting fishing on earth! The offshore Dolphin fishing is HOT April-July and consists of chasing birds, hooking fish and filling the cooler. Book early to get prime Spring dates because they fill up quick.
Summer: If you like less crowds, slicked out conditions and consistent fishing, summer is a great time to visit the Keys! Most of the seasonal Tarpon guides leave the Keys by mid June and fishing pressure is very light. Dawn patrol for Tarpon feeding on the surface during slicked out morning can be very productive. The Bonefish get happy in the consistent warm water and Permit tail hard. The more time I spend fishing the Keys in the summer, the more I enjoy it!
Top Baits: Hogy 10-inch Original Series
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- Tags: Carolinas, Casting, Chesapeake Bay, Cobia, Florida, Flounder, HDUV Jiggin' Eel, HDUV Jiggin' Paddle Tail, Hogy Originals, Jigging, King Mackerel, Kingfish, Redfish, Sand Dab Series, Skinny Series, Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Speckled Trout, Striped Bass, Tarpon, Travel