Summer Fishing Options Off Edisto Island

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Eric Bonneman

Edisto Island, located about 20 miles south of Historic Charleston, offers an exceptional fishing experience with its relatively unpressured waters. Despite its proximity to Charleston, the island remains a haven for anglers looking to explore diverse fishing opportunities. The area around Edisto Island, including Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, is known for its rich marine life and abundant fishing grounds. This article delves into what you can expect when fishing in Edisto Island over the summer, highlighting the various fishing spots, species you might encounter, and the unique experiences each location offers.

Overview of Edisto Island and Surrounding Areas

Edisto Island is a gem for anglers due to its varied habitats, which include the North and South Edisto Rivers, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), and numerous mudflats and grass flats. The island’s relative seclusion contributes to a less crowded fishing environment, allowing for a more personal and immersive fishing experience. The nearby Kiawah Island and Folly Beach also offer prime fishing locations, easily accessible by boat within 10-15 minutes.

Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing around Edisto Island is a treat for any angler. The shallow waters and flats provide an ideal environment for species such as redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and sheepshead. During the warmer months, these species are active and plentiful, offering ample opportunities for a successful fishing trip.

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Redfish are a highlight of inshore fishing around Edisto Island. These fish are known for their strength and willingness to take a variety of baits and lures. In the summer, redfish can be found in large schools on the mudflats and grass flats lining the ICW and Edisto Rivers. Sight-fishing for redfish is particularly popular, as anglers can spot these fish tailing in the shallow waters. The thrill of watching a redfish strike your bait in mere inches of water is an experience every angler should have.

Speckled Trout

Speckled trout are another popular target for inshore anglers. These fish are known for their aggressive strikes and spirited fights, especially on light tackle. The waters around Edisto and Kiawah Islands are prime habitats for speckled trout, particularly in the deeper channels and along the edges of the flats. Summer is an excellent time to target speckled trout as they are actively feeding and often found in schools.

Flounder and Sheepshead

Flounder and sheepshead are also commonly caught inshore around Edisto Island. Flounder are known for their ambush tactics, lying in wait on the sandy or muddy bottom to strike unsuspecting prey. Sheepshead, with their distinct vertical stripes and strong jaws, are often found around structures such as docks, pilings, and oyster beds. Both species provide excellent sport and are a rewarding catch for anglers of all skill levels.

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Nearshore Fishing

Nearshore fishing around Edisto Island expands the possibilities for anglers, offering access to various species and habitats within a few miles of the coast. The nearshore reefs and wrecks are teeming with life, providing opportunities to catch larger game fish and bottom dwellers.


Tarpon fishing is a highlight of the summer season around Edisto Island. Known for their incredible size and acrobatic fights, tarpon are a challenging and rewarding target for any angler. The North and South Edisto Rivers are prime locations for tarpon fishing, particularly during the summer when these fish migrate through the area. Hooking into a tarpon and witnessing its spectacular leaps is an unforgettable experience.


Shark fishing is another popular nearshore activity, especially for families and younger anglers. The waters around Edisto Island are home to various shark species, including blacktip, bonnethead, and sandbar sharks. These sharks are abundant during the summer months and provide an exciting and educational experience for kids learning to fish. Catching a shark, even a smaller one, is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Other Nearshore Species

In addition to tarpon and sharks, the nearshore reefs around Edisto Island host a variety of other species. Anglers can expect to catch Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, and spadefish. These species offer a mix of fast-paced action and the opportunity to test your skills against hard-fighting fish. The nearshore reefs are accessible and productive, making them a popular choice for anglers looking to diversify their catch.

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Surf Fishing

Surf fishing is another exciting way to experience the diverse fishing opportunities around Edisto Island. The beaches along the North and South Edisto Rivers provide ample space for anglers to cast their lines and enjoy the coastal environment. Surf fishing is accessible and relaxing, allowing anglers to fish at their own pace while enjoying the scenic beauty of the shoreline.

Target Species in the Surf

Common targets for surf fishing include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and whiting. These species can be found in the surf zone, particularly during the early morning and late evening when they move closer to shore to feed. Casting into the waves and feeling the tug of a fish is a simple yet satisfying way to spend a day on Edisto Island.

Tips for Successful Surf Fishing

While surf fishing is straightforward, a few tips can enhance your success. First, look for areas with structure such as sandbars, troughs, and points where fish are likely to congregate. Second, pay attention to the tides, as fish movements are often influenced by the rising and falling water levels. Lastly, be patient and ready to adjust your tactics based on the conditions and the behavior of the fish.

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Wildlife and Scenic Beauty

Fishing around Edisto Island is not just about the catch; it’s also about the incredible wildlife and scenic beauty that surround you. The waters and marshes around Edisto and Kiawah Islands are teeming with life, offering plenty of opportunities to observe nature in its purest form.

Bird Watching

Bird watching is a common activity for anglers fishing around Edisto Island. The area is home to a variety of bird species, including herons, egrets, ospreys, and pelicans. Watching these birds hunt and interact in their natural habitat adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your fishing trip.

Marine Life

The marine life around Edisto Island is equally impressive. Dolphins are frequently seen swimming and playing in the waters, often coming close to boats to investigate. Sea turtles are also a common sight, particularly during the summer months when they come ashore to nest. Encountering these majestic creatures in the wild is a special experience that enhances the overall fishing adventure.

Fishing Locations and Tips

When planning a fishing trip to Edisto Island, it’s helpful to know some of the best locations and tips to maximize your success. Here are a few key spots and strategies to consider:

Steamboat Landing

Steamboat Landing on the North Edisto River is a popular launch point for fishing trips. The river offers a mix of inshore and nearshore fishing opportunities, with access to mudflats, grass flats, and deeper channels. It’s a great starting point for targeting redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

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Rockville Village

Historic Rockville Village on Wadamalaw Island is another excellent location for launching a fishing trip. The surrounding waters are rich in marine life and offer diverse fishing habitats. From here, anglers can easily reach productive fishing spots in the North Edisto River and nearby creeks and estuaries.

Kiawah Island and Folly Beach

Kiawah Island and Folly Beach provide additional options for anglers looking to explore different fishing grounds. Both locations are within a short boat ride from Edisto Island and offer access to the Stono Inlet and Folly River. These waters are known for their abundant redfish and speckled trout populations, making them ideal for a day of fishing.

Hitting the Water

Fishing in Edisto Island over the summer is an experience every angler should have. The island’s diverse habitats, rich marine life, and scenic beauty create a perfect setting for a memorable fishing adventure. Whether you’re targeting redfish on the flats, battling tarpon in the rivers, or enjoying a relaxing day of surf fishing, Edisto Island offers something for everyone. Plan your trip, explore the various fishing spots, and get ready to create lasting memories on the waters of Edisto Island.

Now, getting on the water to fish here might be a tough task, especially if you don’t have the equipment or knowhow to get it done. That’s where charters come into play. Charter services are here for inexperienced to professional fishermen alike to streamline to process of hitting fish so that all you have to think about is reeling them in. And when it comes to picking one of these charters, why not go with a local pro who’s got years of experience and a versatile set of skills?

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Well, that’s where Captain Jordan Pate here at Carolina Guide Service comes into play. He’s got all the details when it comes to targeting tarpon, shallow water fly fishing, redfish, and all your other favorite gamefish. He prides himself in being a student of the craft for life, always learning and adapting new ways to ensure you have the best time out on the water without the hassle. Book your trip today with Carolina Guide Service if you’re ready to see the beauty of Edisto and experience the fight of these epic local fish.