January fishing in Winyah Bay will produce some of the best redfish sight fishing of the year; with opportunities to sight-cast to schooled up redfish in shallow water.

The redfish will be hunting for shrimp, crab, and baitfish in the marsh. Redfish are often congregated in shallow, wind-protected, water which retains heat longer and provides opportunities to bask in the sun. The colder months bring the best water clarity, so even the novice angler can see fish and try to place the perfect cast.

There are few inshore fishing accomplishments more exhilarating than hooking up on a sight cast redfish that you spotted hunting in the shallows.

anglers with redfish

With the clear water and low winter tides, sometimes the fish can be spooky, so we will use a quiet approach and softer landing baits or lures to increase the likelihood of catching fish before they move away. The low tides will also stack fish up in deeper holes, particularly near natural structures, like oyster bars. Fish may be more likely to eat live bait when they are piled up in these areas.

When they are fired up we can catch many fish in one spot. As the tides rise the fish will begin foraging the marsh and may be more likely to strike artificial lures. Soft plastics, in most color combinations including gold, can be effective. Scented soft plastics work better this time of year. They are either rigged weedless or on a ⅛ to ¼ oz jig head depending on the depth of water we are fishing and the presence of structure. Soft plastics are often worked slowly across the bottom, with long pauses in movement, simulating an easy catch for a cool redfish.

We can keep up to six redfish per boat in the range of 15-23 inches, providing a great meal for an entire family.

fisherman with a seatrout

Spotted seatrout can also be found stacked in deeper holes, up to 10 feet, in January. Many of the same techniques used for redfish are effective for seatrout. Anglers capitalize on ‘trout’s affinity for slowly falling bait or lures, and lures slowly worked across the bottom. Seatrout will typically range up to 18 inches in our area in January. Once we have located the deeper water holes where the ‘trout stack up, the fish are usually eager to eat. We can easily go for a 10 fish bag limit of seatrout (over 14 inches) to add to your seafood dinner.

Book your January inshore fishing trip now and let Captain R.C. show you the skills and thrills of sight casting redfish or the non-stop fun when you find the hot trout bite.