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HouseTackle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm heading back to the island this weekend to do some inshore and beach fishing. I'll probably skip the charters this year and just focus on reds and speckled trout inshore, and sharks off the beach. Pictures will be updated as I catch 'em :)

I didn't get a chance to buy any DOA shrimp or GULP Alive shrimp...does anyone know if I can buy those on the island. I can't remember if the Walmart or any of the marinas sell those and I'm pretty sure I can't buy something like that in any retail stores in Cincinnati.

Also, is anyone else going to be down there? It seems to be a hotspot for people from Ohio.

-House
 

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Powderfinger
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7,789 Posts
Where do you beach fish down there? We went on our honeymoon there many moons ago and all the beaches were private.
After the first day we just left the island everyday and went to Savannah or other more enjoyable places that didn't charge and arm and a leg just to drive down a beach side road.
 

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AKA: JetboatJohnny
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House I will be getting down there as you leave. We get there on 7/13 and I planned on doing some fishing with the nieces and nephews for sharks off the beach at night (I have a niece that has told me that is what she wants to catch). A few of us where going to do a guided trip one day while we are down there with a guide bassin mickey told me about. I wouldn't mind doing some wading and fishing on my own while we are there too. Any pointers on where I can get some access to the back waters would be great if you don't mind sharing.

Good luck! Post the pics when you catch them.
 

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LEWZER: You just park at any of the multiple public access areas. You can walk the beach for miles. It is all public beach. People fish all the time. Now you can't go through the private plantations and hotels and park there. Other than that have at it.
 

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HouseTackle
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's been a pretty exciting trip so far. I snuck out for two hours on Sunday and fished the surf this morning and the lagoons in the afternoon during the tides. I haven't landed any monsters yet but I've had my chances. I found a new flood gate which has more baitfish stacked in it than East Fork in the fall. Mullet and pilchers I believe with reds and small tarpon blasting them. I had a hookup today that doubled my rod over and broke my treble hook in half. It didn't jump so I don't think it was a tarpon. I suspect a good red.
On the surf I caught a handful of croakers and hot dog sharks. I threw one out on a mackerel rig and had a fish on that bit the 12 inch bait in a half and chewed threw a 40pound leader. I had a handful of witnesses see the brief battle. I'm going to try to get revenge tomorrow but high tide is at 10am and that's when the families start showing up at the beach. Maybe I'll catch a hot mom.

Only pics so far are small croakers, rays and a huge horseshoe crab i caught. I'll have something House-worthy by the end of the trip :)

Bazzin, remind me to email you a bing map I made of the island. I have about 50 spots marked for fishing with detailed reports for each one. I'm adding some panoramic pics of some of the ones I hit this trip. You have to see this flood gate at high tide. I know of three on the island and this one is by far the most ridiculous.
 

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House,
I think the Walmart had DOA shrimp last year when I was in there. Good Luck. I will be there next week. Bought a cheap crab trap for this year too as my youngest daughter was fascinated by them last year. She spent more time feeding the crabs frozen shrimp than she did fishing, but that's ok.

Keep up the reports. Did you take your map link down? Was looking for it a week or two ago and couldn't find it this year.

Joel
 

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AKA: JetboatJohnny
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836 Posts
That sounds like fun already. Funny you mentioned the horseshoe crab that was another thing on my nieces bucket list of what she wanted to catch, but I told her I have never caught one before. Maybe I can get her into one of them too.

What kind of setup are you using for the inland fishing? I was thinking one of my bass rods like the 6'6" or 7' med action with 12lb line would be good for that. I have my surf rod for the surf fishing but figured that is a little too big for inland fishing.

Thanks for the offer of the map. My extended family has been going down there for years but this is the first trip me and my immediate family will be going. I think I will be able to keep my 2 year old busy on the beach for some surf fishing in the mornings. And I was going to hit that up after his bedtime at night too.


Have a good rest of your trip!
 

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Have you fished the bay near Disney resort? There are monsters in there during low tide. The gates open and all the bait fish from the brackish water flow into the bay. Feeding frenzy! Kayak fishing only though. No fishing from the rocks.
Ski


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HouseTackle
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well, I'm back from my trip. It was one of the most fun yet most frustrating beach fishing vacations in quite some time. I ended up going 1 for 9 on monster fish from the surf. Half of the fish I lost were my fault (too short of leader, failure to re-tie frayed line, wrong knots) but the other 5 fish were just too big lol. I think everyone has seen a dolphin crest the water from shore...I hooked into a shark that looked to be about twice as big around. He ended up bending both of my Gamakatsu hooks straight and biting my leader 6 inches up which put his mouth around 18 inches wide. I hooked up with 2 spinners that put on great aerial displays. I also hooked into 2 skates that were over 4 feet long. I got close enough to shore to pop them off. One of them pulled me 100 yards up the coast causing everyone to run for their lives. I got a nice scolding from the lifeguard, but she was trying to hold back a smile so I knew I could keep fishing. :)

I learned quite a few tips for surf fishing for big fish this year. The first is to use freshly caught bait and not to cut it up. I caught 10-12 inch whitings with a fishfinder rig (1-2 ounce pyramid sinkers) on shrimp which made for excellent bait. I was calling them "saltwater graham crackers" and every one I lobbed out eventually got eaten. I used to cut them up, but the smaller sharks would get into them. I only used one small shark for bait when I had run out of whitings. I don't think it is legal so I wont encourage it, but it did get eaten as well. The next tip was to use long steel leaders 30+ inches. I lost 2 fish which cut my 75-pound braided line while thrashing around. The long leaders protected the line from the shark scales. The last tip was to use Demon hooks and to crimp my own leaders. The regular circle hooks just aren't thick enough for these big fish. I lost the big one I mentioned before who broke my two hooks, but I lost another that snapped my 45# steel leader because I didn't crimp the hook on. I tied an overhand knot on the middle hook and the pressure from the fish snapped the steel at the knot.

I only fished inshore a few times on this trip. I was so determined to catch a monster shark that I always hit the beach around high and low tide leaving little time to stalk reds and speckled trout. I hit 2 flood gates and caught them letting water in for a total of 7 minutes. It was total chaos when they opened up and I caught quite a few smaller speck's. I saw a few big reds and hooked up with one on a popping cork/Gulp alive shrimp combo but it took me into the bridge pilings and the barnacles cut my line. My 2 favorite lagoons were not accessible this trip due to construction. I missed a few good fish in my 3rd favorite lagoon on a Smack Tackle flitterbait which matched the menhaden nicely. I got rained on my last 2 nights, so the trip ended sooner than expected. Besides the big skates, this was the first trip I didn't catch anything good over 4feet long. I'm going to try to forget about that until next year :)
(pictures to come...)

Have you fished the bay near Disney resort? There are monsters in there during low tide. The gates open and all the bait fish from the brackish water flow into the bay. Feeding frenzy! Kayak fishing only though. No fishing from the rocks.[/URL]
-I believe you are referring to the gate along the bike trail under 278. I always thought these intercoastal flood gates opened up around high tide to let more water into the Palmetto lagoon. Are you sure they open at low tide? I tried calling around to find out when these gates opened but the SC DNR wasn't much help. They said I shouldn't be fishing around these gates in the first place :p

House,
I think the Walmart had DOA shrimp last year when I was in there...
Did you take your map link down? Was looking for it a week or two ago and couldn't find it this year.
-Walmart ended up having everything I needed and more. They carried DOA and Gulp Alive shrimp, as well as everything I needed for the beach. As to my HHI map, it's still up and running. I'll email you an updated link. If anyone else wants one, let me know. I should have updated pictures for that soon, too.
 

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HouseTackle
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here are a few pictures of my failed surf setups:


-leader too short. Shark scales sawed through my braided line.


-5/0 Gamakatsu circle hooks destroyed by monster shark.


-Got lazy and threw out a fishfinder rig with live bait and large shark obliterated the snaps holding my hooks.


-Here are my two rods in action.
 

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HouseTackle
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2,054 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a picture of a loggerhead turtle that came onto shore right where I was fishing at night. I think she may have honed in on my lantern by mistake. I called DNR the next day and they came out and marked her nest. I inquired about "turtle omelets" but they didn't laugh:


Here's a picture of one of the lagoons with a school of menhaden flipping about:


Flood gate #1


Flood gate #2


Trout lagoons:



Unidentified baitfish:
 
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