A Local’s Guide to Fishing on Kiawah Island
Plan Your Kiawah Island Fishing Adventure
A barrier island nestled between the Kiawah River and the Atlantic Ocean, Kiawah Island is a premier location for all types of fishing. With lively offshore reefs and an abundance of brackish ponds, Kiawah Island is ideal for fishermen of every skill level. Plus, the temperate climate of the Island allows residents and visitors to enjoy the sport throughout the entire year.
Continue reading to discover a local’s guide for your next Kiawah Island fishing adventure!
1. Offshore Fishing
Roughly 20-50 nautical miles off the coast of Kiawah Island is some of the best sport fishing in the world. In fact, South Carolina has an abundance of offshore artificial reefs that are home to a variety of fish species and provide opportunities for an exciting targeted fishing trip. Seasoned anglers travel far and wide to try their hand at catching tuna, sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, grouper, snapper, marlin, and more big game fish in the waters offshore Kiawah Island.
Although many locals enjoy fishing offshore year-round, we recommend April through December for the best luck. The early spring, however, is best for catching flounder and snapper. If you’re a seasoned angler looking to reel in your dream white marlin, we recommend planning your trip for the summer, since that is when the majestic species is most active.
In addition to reeling in your catch, you can look forward to spotting other marine wildlife while offshore. Keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins as well as multiple species of whales and sea turtles. With the natural beauty of the ocean surrounding you, there is truly never a bad day spent offshore Kiawah Island.
2. Inshore Fishing
Just ten nautical miles off of Kiawah Island, you can experience an exciting fishing adventure without venturing too far from the Island. During an inshore Kiawah Island fishing trip, you can expect to catch bluefish, trout, flounder, black sea bass, redfish, as well as other saltwater species. While on your way to your fishing spot, you may get lucky and experience a pod of lively bottlenose dolphins playing in the wake of your boat.
The waters surrounding Kiawah Island are also home to a variety of species of sharks, including bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose, and black-tipped sharks. These species of sharks can range in size from 2 to 5 feet, making for a tough catch. For those looking for a thrill, we recommend trying the exciting adventure of catch-and-release shark fishing.
All in all, we recommend that novice fishermen begin with an inshore fishing trip prior to heading offshore to get acclimated with the sport and the feeling of being on the Atlantic Ocean.
Learn More: Hook ‘Em: The Best Fishing Charters on Kiawah Island
3. River Fishing
Winding around the Island, the expansive Kiawah River is home to several species of saltwater fish. Spend a day weaving through the channels and casting your lines for southern flounder, speckled trout, black drum, redfish, and a variety of other species. For bait, most fishermen use minnows, spot, finger mullets, and shrimp to attract the fish.
Additionally, the marshes of the Kiawah River are a popular fly-fishing spot, especially for anglers looking to target redfish. The river’s clear water allows for anglers to engage in sight-fishing — a type of fly-fishing where anglers first spot the fish in the water and then entice it to bite the lure by examining its behaviors. Sight-fishing provides a challenging and engaging way to catch fish.
You can expect to see a variety of Island wildlife during your day on the Kiawah River. Keep your eye out for playful North American otters swimming and diving in the glistening water, as well as diamondback terrapins paddling on the reflective surface. Beautiful brown pelicans and great blue herons also spend their time feeding around the serene marshes of the river. With its tranquil waters and abundance of natural wildlife, the Kiawah River is a family-friendly fishing destination for both kids and adults alike!
Related: 6 Kiawah Island Neighborhoods with River Views
4. Pond and Creek Fishing
Kiawah is speckled with ponds and creeks throughout the Island that are home to a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish including largemouth bass, tilapia, grass carp, and bluegill. After a day at the beach or a round of golf, visit the Bass Pond Fishing Dock in the Vanderhorst community for some relaxing time spent fishing. We recommend using live bait, such as minnows and waxworms for the best luck at securing a bite.
While waiting for the fish to bite, keep a look out for American alligators which may be basking in the sun along the pond’s edge. You also may spot a yellow-bellied slider — a beautiful aquatic turtle with a uniquely bright yellow underside. Kiawah Island’s many ponds provide residents with a convenient opportunity to enjoy nature and go fishing whenever their heart desires.
Experience Kiawah Island Fishing
Ready to cast a line into the serene waters of Kiawah Island? We invite you to visit the Island to experience the thrill of Kiawah Island fishing for yourself. While you’re here, we would be happy to take you on a tour of our available homes as well as introduce you to the exclusive Kiawah Island Club and its many amenities. Click the button to begin planning your visit.