Kayak fishing the flats of the saltmarsh provides a unique perspective of the fishery so unique to the Lowcountry. Outside Hilton Head’s saltwater kayak fishing trips on Broad Creek guide anglers along these shallow flats, unattainable by all but the smallest flats boats. The result is an immersive and engaging fishing experience in which the angler is surrounded by the beauty of the saltmarsh while targeting various inshore species. As a kayak fishing guide, my aim not only is putting guests on fish, but also to showcase the natural beauty of the area.
In Broad Creek we see extreme tide swings ranging from 8-12 feet, so the fish are always on the move. A day’s tidal scenario determines where we go to target fish – those ideal spots where the fish feed — providing a window of opportunity to land a beauty. Although I always have a plan for the trip, I’m prepared to make changes on-the-go based on variables like weather/wind conditions.
Fish generally targeted on kayak fishing trips include redfish, speckled sea trout, and flounder. Depending on the time of year, some species are more common than others. Typically, we focus on finding redfish on the shallow flats. Often, we are moving in only one to three feet of water looking for visual signs of redfish pushing wake, chasing bait, and crawling along the mud banks, creating an exciting visual experience. When anglers hook into their first redfish, it never gets old seeing a smile on their face paired with the shock of how powerful these fish are. In the summertime, many fish we find are in the 25-30” range, and they will give a kayak a nice ride during the fight.
Kayak fishing comes with a unique set of advantages and challenges. Outside uses the highest quality fishing kayaks available for guests, creating an experience just about anyone can enjoy. The kayaks are Hobie Compasses powered by the forward/reverse Mirage pedal drive system and rudder steering. This setup frees the hands of the angler, making fishing much easier than from a traditional kayak. All the moving parts – wind, tide, and casting to fish – creates a potentially more challenging experience than fishing from a boat, but it’s all worth it when you land a fish.
It truly is an amazing experience being immersed in the fishery while kayak fishing, and when an angler lands a 30” redfish in two feet of water from a kayak, it’s a memory they won’t soon forget.
Get on the water and kayak fish with Outside Hilton Head!
Outside Fishing & Paddlesports Guide