Folly Beach

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Top Fishing Charters in Folly Beach

Fishing in Folly Beach

Known by Charleston locals as "the Edge of America," Folly Beach, South Carolina, has a history of shipwrecks, pirates, and more recently, surfing and fishing. The town is surrounded by huge expanses of grassy mud flats and winding creeks and its easy access to the Atlantic Ocean means it truly does live life right on the edge. This is the point where land comes up against the crashing waves.

What this means for anglers is a whole lot of options, from reef fishing and trolling offshore, to working the abundant oyster mounds and exploring the area's vast expanse of flats and tidal creeks. Whichever you go for, Folly Beach fishing charters will make sure this little corner of South Carolina will keep bringing back memories for years to come. 

Known for

The entire stretch of the historic Charleston County is famous for its sportfishing potential, and Folly Beach is no exception. Looking out onto the ocean in front of you and the estuaries and flats behind you, you’ll understand why. The Low Country is famous for its Bull Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder, and Folly Beach is excellently placed to get you right in the middle of their stomping grounds. All the while, you’re likely to be fishing alongside bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, starfish, and ospreys, making this a truly relaxing city break. 
Turn left out of the inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean, and you’ll find that area’s numerous artificial reefs that lie 2-10 miles out provide the perfect habitat for a whole new catalog of line-melting bruisers. These nearshore hotspots are dominated by the likes of Black Seabass, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, Cobia, and Spadefish, and are easily fished on a half day trip. Head out to the 25 mile mark on a ¾ or full day trip, and you can expect to see Snappers, Groupers, Triggerfish, and Amberjack. 
If you’re a fan of Jaws, you’re in luck, too. A whole array of Shark species, including Blacktip, Bonnethead, Sandbar, and Atlantic Sharpnose, all hunt in these waters and can be caught as near to land as in the inlet. And while you’re here, don’t miss out on the local delicacy: the Florida Pompano. This may be small, but you would be amazed at the fight it gives and its incredible taste when it’s caught fresh out of the ocean. 
If you decide to venture further past the nearshore reefs, the variety of fish gets all the more enticing. It might mean a longer day on the water, but the deep sea fishing Folly Beach captains have access to is more than exciting. Targets range from King Mackerel and Bonito to Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Blackfin Tuna, and sometimes even Marlin. The action really heats up 40 miles offshore, where the seafloor drops enough to cater to these prestigious pelagics. This will mean 10+ hour trips for the best deep sea fishing, with popular destinations including the fabled Edisto Banks around 50 miles to the south. 

Fishing Techniques

Come to Folly Beach in spring through fall, and you’ll be able to see the local phenomenon of the flood tide for yourself. This is when the marshy estuaries of Folly River, Kiawah River, and Stono River seem barely able to contain themselves. Bursting their banks, they draw bait and aquatic predators onto land. This makes for perfect conditions for sight fishing for Redfish, who chase spinner crabs through these shallow grassy waterways, their spotted tails poking up out of the skinny water. 
Fishing the flood tides requires a kayak or boat with a very shallow draft, as well as bucket loads of stealth. While it may be easy to see the schools tailing reds, catching them is a whole different kettle of fish, as the shallow waters make the fish spooky and quick to swim away. To avoid this, cast your bait well in front of a school of reds and only start to move it once they’re already almost on top of it. 
In less extreme circumstances, most local inshore fish, particularly Trout, are suckers for popping corks paired with live shrimp and mud minnows. Cast over oyster beds and along grass banks and watch them go!

Need to know


Most Folly Beach fishing charters charge roughly $100 per hour of fishing inshore, with full day trips usually proving a good deal as they come in at slightly less than that. Charters that are more expensive will often provide more experience, better gear or more bait, so make sure to check these details when making your decision. Nearshore trips cost slightly more at about $550 for a half day, while offshore trips range from $1400-$1800 for a full day. 

When it comes to the rules 

Registered fishing charters cover all the licensing for customers on their boats, so all you need to bring is your snacks and drinks. Many fish species are subject to bag and size limits: fishing with an experienced captain will make sure you only keep fish of the legal size. 
In early 2018, Shark fishing was banned from the Folly Beach fishing pier, as well as from shore between 3rd St E and 3rd St W. Don’t worry, though: it’s still fine to go Shark fishing outside of these areas and doing so from a charter boat will make sure you’re fishing within the rules.

Getting to Folly Beach 

Folly Beach is just 10 miles (a half hour’s drive) from downtown Charleston and 20 miles from Charleston International Airport. This makes it easy to get to from a variety of big cities… but you might find leaving isn’t so easy once you’re hooked!
Folly Beach
Based on 14976 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Folly Beach Fishing Seasons

While Redfish and Trout are hunkering down in Folly Beach's cold January waters, tasty Sheepshead and Black Drum are more than happy to take your bait. Put on some layers and get out on the water!

The coldest part of the year should be behind us by now, but the fish are still lethargic. Bait tends to be more effective than lures, and can bring great results, with some big Redfish being caught this time of year. 

In March, conditions are different day by day. The bite changes with the tide and there’s always the risk of a cold front. But if you’re up for the challenge, this can be one of the most fun times of year to fish!

As spring arrives, the fishing starts to settle. This can be a great time to fish in Folly Beach, with Redfish and Trout biting more aggressively as the water warms up. This is also the beginning of the flood tide season. 

If you’re looking for the biggest catch of your life, fish the harbor—we’re not kidding. Sharks and Bull Redfish are coming close to land and make for an action-packed day. Offshore, Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna are showing up. 

Look for Redfish and Trout chasing baitfish along the shoreline and see if they'll take your bait. Jack Crevalle is constantly surprising people with its fighting ability, while Snappers and Groupers are being caught offshore.

Folly Beach starts to get seriously crowded as summer sets in. See how remote you can go in the creeks and marshes or run offshore to escape the crowds. Night fishing can be a good way to beat the heat. 

The heat is affecting the Redfish and Trout bite somewhat, but sportfishers don’t mind— Tarpon’s in town! Look for the Silver King along the beaches or head offshore for Snapper, Grouper, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna. 

Summer’s changing to fall, with a chance of storms. Don’t let this put you off, though—the aftermath of a storm makes the fish bite even better, and fall fishing is excellent to begin with. This is the time for HUGE Bull Redfish. 

If you’re not in Folly Beach, where are you? The creeks are loaded with fish, perfect for family trips, while Bull Redfish are also in town. Offshore, you have one last chance at big game before the end of the season. 

November is the month for excellent fishing with few boats on the water to disturb it. Look for hungry Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, and Black Drum—they're all fighting to take your bait. 

It may be getting colder, but you’ll usually find that Folly Beach’s awesome fall fishing carries on into December. Put on some warm clothes and get ready to see schools of hundreds of Redfish on the flats and in the creeks.

Folly Beach Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Folly Beach

"Half day trip with Captain Ashton"

Joe L. fished with Compass Rose Adventures on June 10, 2019

Do the inshore fishing trip that I took for a positive experience!

"Awesome shark fishing on inland half day"

Sam H. fished with Compass Rose Adventures on June 6, 2019

Go fishing with Asheton at Compass Rose Adventures if you are looking for a good inland trip, especially sharks.

"4 hour reef trip"

C.R. fished with Atlantic Breeze Charters – 28’ Boat on August 5, 2018

Call Captain Dustin and describe what you are looking for.

"August fishing trip"

Russ G. fished with Atlantic Breeze Charters – 28’ Boat on August 5, 2018

go out 25 miles. Inshore reef fishing was only small fish

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Folly Beach, South Carolina for the first time?

Top Targeted Species in Folly Beach



Seabass (Black)

Seabass (Black)



Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel



King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)

Spotted Seatrout

Spotted Seatrout

Nearby Fishing Destinations