Kiawah Island

6 Fishing Charters

Kiawah Island Fishing Charters

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Top Kiawah Island Destinations

Kiawah Island is the perfect place to enjoy South Carolina’s great outdoors. With beautiful beaches, isolated inlets, and one of the East Coast’s best golf courses, it’s an ideal escape from the busy streets of nearby Charleston. And what better way to enjoy it than from the water? Kiawah Island fishing charters will give you an authentic Lowcountry angling experience with an endless cast of hard-fighting fish to catch. Spend a day in these stunning waters and you’ll head home with a huge smile and a trunkload of tasty fillets!

Known For

Kiawah Island is surrounded on all sides by fish. You can find Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, and more all year round in the local shallows. Head farther out, and you can add anything from Black Seabass to Blue Marlin to your list of potential catches. The island even has a decent Largemouth Bass fishery – It really doesn’t get more varied than this!
Most Kiawah Island fishing guides launch from nearby Folly Beach, just a mile up the coast. Large parts of the island itself are privately owned, and the local marina is mainly for resort members. Folly Beach has easy access to all of Kiawah’s fisheries, though, and is actually better placed for heading offshore.

Kiawah Island Fishing Spots

Drop a hook and a hunk of bread into any of the local waters and you’ll probably find something on the end of your line. Fish in any of these spots, though, and things hit a whole new level of awesome.

Kiawah River

Take a trip into the protected shallows of Kiawah River and you won’t believe the variety of fish on offer. Spotted Seatrout and Redfish (known locally as Spottail Bass) top the list, but you can also find Southern and Winter Flounder, Black Drum, Whiting, Tarpon, and several species of Shark. All this, just a putting stroke from the island’s resort.

Kiawah Reef

If you thought the shallows had all the action, just wait until you see what’s in store for you on the reefs! Kiawah Reef is just one of a score of reefs and wrecks littering the surrounding area. Depending on how deep you fish, you can expect anything from Black Seabass and Spadefish to Cobia, Snapper, Grouper, and Amberjack. You can also find pelagic fish like King Mackerel and Mahi Mahi hunting around more remote spots.

Gulf Stream

Kiawah Island deep sea fishing is good enough to stop even the most seasoned sportfisher in their tracks. Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sailfish all spend their summers in the deep waters offshore. Head out at night, and you can try your luck against one of the toughest fish in the sea – Swordfish. Throw in a variety of pelagic Sharks and a great Yellowfin Tuna bite, and it’s hard to resist making the long journey offshore. It is a long journey, though: the best action takes place anywhere from 40 to 70 miles out.


If you don’t handle boats well or just don’t have the time to enjoy Kiawah fishing charters, you can find some big hookups from shore. The surf fishing Kiawah Island has to offer is a perfect way to snatch an hour’s angling while the family enjoys a day at the beach. Bluefish are common catches here, and you can even hook the big Trout and Bull Reds Kiawah Island is so good for.


If you’re more the freshwater type, you’ll be pleased to hear that the island’s golf courses are dotted with ponds full of Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. Many of these are also home to alligators, though, so only fish from ponds with proper docks.

Need to Know

So you’re sold on fishing around Kiawah Island. Good for you, you won’t regret it! Here are a few last tips to make your trip even easier, because we’re nice like that.

Local Laws

You don’t need a fishing license aboard registered South Carolina charter boats, but you will need one to fish from shore or in the island’s ponds. You should be aware that most ponds are only accessible to anglers renting in the Vanderhorst Plantation.


An inshore charter will cost you around $400-$450 for a half day or $700-$850 for a full day. Boats fishing the reefs are bigger and burn more fuel, so they cost a little more. Offshore charters start at around $1,400 for an 8-hour trip, with extended 12-hour or overnight charters on offer if you’re after the biggest Billfish out there.

Getting There

Kiawah Island is well under an hour’s drive from Charleston, and just over 2 hours from Savannah, GA or Columbia, SC. Once you’re on the island, there are paved cycle tracks and bike rental points if you feel like getting some exercise. You can also rent kayaks easily if you want to explore the surrounding waters.
Whether you’re visiting the island for its beaches, its golf, or for the fishing itself, you won’t be disappointed wetting a line here. With dozens of major species and every important habitat within reach, there’s a trip to suit any taste. What’s more, most of the accommodation on the island is self-catered. So avoid the overpriced restaurants and have a great time catching some delicious dinner instead!
Kiawah Island
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January is the coldest month of the year, with average temperatures in the low 50s during the day. That doesn’t bother the local reef fish, though, who bite harder than ever this time of year.


Forget the February blues – Hit the local reefs and wrecks to land Black Seabass, Snapper, Amberjack, and more, or explore the shallows on the hunt for monster Redfish and Spotted Seatrout.


The spring season slowly gets going in March, with the first few King Mackerel showing up offshore. The reefs are still red hot, with Amberjack, Snapper, Grouper, Spadefish, and Seabass biting hard.


Don’t be an April fool – get out on the water for your chance to catch a huge range of tasty bottom fish! The inshore bite is just as good, with Spottail Bass, Spotted Seatrout, and Sheepshead.


The Cobia migration rolls into town, bringing amazing drift fishing with it. Shark season is officially underway, too, with Bulls, Bonnetheads, and Blacktips showing up in the shallows.


Bluewater anglers have been waiting all year for the start of Billfish season, and it’s finally here! Alongside Blue and White Marlin, you can expect great catches of Mahi Mahi and Wahoo offshore.


There are big fish in every depth of water in July. Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and more put deep sea enthusiasts through their paces while Tarpon strain both lines and wits in the shallows. Fish on!


This is your last chance to take on South Carolina’s Billfish. As if that wasn’t enough, huge numbers of Yellowfin Tuna explode onto the scene this time of year, making for endless bluewater fun.


Yellowfin Tuna get even better as the summer draws to a close. Inshore, Trout and Redfish are back on form and Sharks are still gnawing on big wire leaders in the shallows.


The big game battles of summer are almost over, but you can still find Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and even Sailfish offshore if you’re lucky. The inshore action’s as good as ever, so you won’t get bored!


Can’t face the thought of another turkey this year? Hit the reef and pull in some delicious Snapper or Amberjack instead! Kiawah River fishing is also fantastic, with big bull Reds, Trout, and more.


Head to Charleston for a variety seasonal events in December, or escape the crowds to spend your day battling big fish around the inlets and nearshore reefs. Happy holidays indeed!

Kiawah Island Fishing Calendar

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FAQs about Fishing Charters in Kiawah Island

According to customer reviews, Lowcountry Inshore Charters, Keen Eye Charters, and Stroupe Fishing Charters II are some of the most popular fishing charters in Kiawah Island. Full list of top fishing charters in Kiawah Island.

Lowcountry Inshore Charters, Keen Eye Charters, and Stroupe Fishing Charters II all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Kiawah Island.

The best way to experience fishing in Kiawah Island is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Kiawah Island.

The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Kiawah Island are:

Don’t be an April fool – get out on the water for your chance to catch a huge range of tasty bottom fish! The inshore bite is just as good, with Spottail Bass, Spotted Seatrout, and Sheepshead. Check availability for local fishing charters in Kiawah Island.