Last Updated on May 28, 2022 by Eric Bonneman

Did you know that each year the “Silver King”, aka tarpon, migrate through the South Carolina coastal waters?

From May until October these massive fish, which are up to 150 pounds, swim through the area following schools of baitfish and to complete their breeding cycles.

Some of the best places to fish for tarpon in South Carolina include the area of Pawleys Island and the remote coastal marine preserves (like Winyah Bay) located just to the south of Myrtle Beach.

These areas include pristine estuaries that have lower fishing and boating pressure, which are ideal locations to fish for tarpon.

Tarpon are prized among fishermen across the globe due to their incredible size, power, stamina, and acrobatic jumps.

a picture of Tarpon Fishing Pawleys Island with Harvest Moon Fishing Charters

To successfully land such a powerful fish, you need to have gear that can stand up to the test of multiple drag screaming runs. Most guides will provide a heavy to extra heavy rod, mated to a large high quality 5000-6000 series spinning reel with 40+ pound braided line and a heavier fluorocarbon leader necessary to provide protection from the tarpon’s bony gills and mouth.

There are many techniques used to catch tarpon.  Perhaps the most common technique, particularly for new tarpon anglers, is drifting live baitfish down current to migrating chains of fish or feeding schools. The most common prey that is readily found in the area will be the ideal bait, this could include mullet, pinfish, and menhaden.

For anglers that are experienced and accurate at casting, the most exciting technique is using artificial lures to sight cast to the fish. Tarpon will strike large paddle tails or topwater plugs when they are feeding.  There is something special about spotting a giant fish, casting your lure perfectly, and watching it inhale your lure.

Fishing for tarpon is dependent on tides, moon phase, weather patterns, bait location, and more. Depending on conditions tarpon can be caught in creeks, bays, and rivers or near the beaches, jetties, and inlets. Having a knowledgeable guide, like Capt R.C. of Harvest Moon Fishing Charters, that understands the annual tarpon patterns, how best to present bait or lures, and how to land such a powerful fish, is key to consistent success.

If you are ready to experience the most exciting and challenging fishing on the South Carolina coast, contact Captain R.C now to set up a trip this upcoming summer.