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October is good time for Lowcountry anglers to go with the flow

October is a month of transition in terms of weather, fishing and angler attitudes. A variety of inshore and offshore gamefish are eager to take the hook.

Projection -- We will have extremely high tides during the month with a lot of water movement. To be successful an angler must incorporate the migration of baitfish with their plans. I favor the last two hours of a falling tide and the first hour of the incoming. This is when the majority of baitfish are concentrated and gamefish have a better chance for a meal without expending a lot of effort. Baitfish will be on the move and spottail bass, trout and flounder will be in pursuit.

Best bets -- Use live shrimp under cork. Focus on points and feeder creeks. Fish oyster beds and grass edges diligently. During slack tides, focus on area structures like bridge pilings and piers. Sheepshead will remain active from these reaches well into December.

Offshore reports have been slim, but those in the action have seen dolphin, a few mackerel, two wahoo and a good many sharks actively feeding from waters 60 to 85 feet.


On my last trip, I noticed a good bit of activity along the grass close to a hard mud bank. Upon closer inspection, I found a school of spottail moving through the grass, gently pushing over the blades and knocking off fiddler crabs. The flood tides had forced fiddlers up the grass to get out of the water.

Be observant, and nature will teach you a lesson every time.


  • The Bluffton/Hilton Head Island Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its Sporting Clays Shoot at Turkey Hill Plantation in Jasper County on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Bluffton/HHI Ducks Unlimited Chapter has no paid staff; all are volunteers who donate their time to this worthwhile cause.
  • Chapter functions of Ducks Unlimited have raised more than $1.2 billion to help preserve wetlands. DU's 18,000 projects -- 112,000 acres in the Lowcountry -- provide habitat for more than 900 wildlife species, including ducks, geese and endangered species such as the whooping crane and bald eagle. Those interested in joining can call chairman Larry Muething at 843-290-5372.

  • The Beaufort Sport Fishing and Diving Club's October meeting will be Thursday at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club off Meridian Road on Lady's Island. The social begins at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting starting at 7. New local DNR artificial reef charts will be handed out. The guest speaker will be Capt. Danny Rourk of Tailwind Charters. His topic will be preparing for the fall bite of trout and redfish. He will discuss baits of choice, presentation, tides and water temperatures.
  • No reservations are needed, and guests are welcomed. For information, call Capt. Frank Gibson at 843-522-2020.


    This was sent to me by longtime fishing partner David Pointer:

    The English language has an array of collective nouns for various groups of animals. We know about a herd of cows, a flock of chickens, a school of fish and a gaggle of geese. There's a pride of lions, a murder of crows, an exaltation of doves and a parliament of owls.

    However, few may know what to call a group of baboons, which are the loudest, most dangerous, obnoxious, viciously aggressive and least intelligent of all primates. The proper collective noun for a group of baboons? Believe it or not ... a congress!

    I guess that pretty much sums things up coming from Washington these days.