I have to put sharks as number 1 because pound-for-pound, they are the toughest fighters in the ocean. In our inshore waters we have just about every species of shark there is. Their sizes range from little 10lb. to 100lb. and more! In fact, it’s not odd to catch sharks around 10 ft in length in the summertime. These guys can test your will and strength, and you never know when you’re going to catch the biggest fish of your life with a big lemon or sandbar.
2. Red Drum
This is where the list gets tough for me, because truthfully, number 1 and number 2 are close to being a tie. But red drum aka redfish are always a crowd pleaser. They are in our waters all year long and can range from a small puppy all the way up to 50 lb. They are opportunistic feeders that eat shrimp, mullet, crab and just about any bait that is in the strike zone that interests them at that time of year.
3. Black Drum
Charleston is home to this species of fish and they bite from spring to fall inshore every year. They love to eat blue crabs and are known to be excellent fighters. If you’re looking to catch dinner or just the fish of a lifetime, black drum fits the bill.
Often referred to as ‘convicts’ because of their black and grey stripes, this species of fish inhabits the Atlantic Ocean and coastal waters of Charleston. These fish can grow up to 30 in., but more commonly reach 10-20in. When fishing these beauties, you must pay close attention because they have a very sensitive bite that takes a little getting use to. The old saying is: Set the hook before he bites. They make excellent table fair and are accessible all year long.
5. Speckled Sea Trout
Trout can be a ton of fun on light tackle. Easily accessible to all anglers with multiple techniques to catch them. When looking for an active style of fishing, this species is one that tops the list.