Fall for ‘Marsh Madness’ in the Carolina’s

Posted on

What March Madness is to basketball, Marsh Madness is to red drum fishing in the Carolina’s. One happens in March, and the latter happens throughout fall.

In the Carolina marshes, from the Low-country of the south to the barrier islands and beaches of the North, the food becomes plentiful and so do the biggest red drum of the season.

Fully-grown shrimp and migrating mullet form schools that polarize the game fish. Those factors, combined with cooler temperatures stimulate activity and especially among the red drum or redfish.

Simply stated, the big red drum migrates into shallow water to spawn, and they remain there for the feast that occurs from September through November.

Another key to the season is calmer water. Hurricane season is over. Less water pours into the Atlantic from the inlets and rivers. The result is lower, clearer water than any other time of the year. Fishermen benefit from sight-casting for these elusive game fish using spinning or fly tackle.

At no other time of the year do the red drum fishing, and sporting value, get better along the Atlantic Coast than the fall months.

Here are two places to enjoy the weather, scenery and most of all, the fishing in the Carolina’s.

Georgetown, South Carolina

Georgetown is located north of Charleston and south of Myrtle Beach. The marsh country is among the most expansive and scenic around. There is something unique about a backdrop of the marsh with a tailing red drum within sight.

October and November are the prime months for the bull reds, which follow baitfish into the cooler, shallower water of the marshes. Track the movement of the fish as they chow down on this endless buffet. Favorite haunts are channel edges with humps that provide current breaks. The red fish ambush the bait from those calm water as it sweeps past in the current.

Pack your fly fishing gear or chunk a live bait or cut bait. It doesn’t get any more sporting, or simpler, either way.

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras, the Outer Banks. What could be more alluring of a spot to experience trophy red drum fishing? Nowhere, is the honest answer.

This place produced a world record red drum weighing 94 pounds, 2 ounces. Surf and pier fishermen frequently outscore boaters, but you can’t beat the challenge.

Early October is the traditional beginning of the hunt for trophy bull reds. That’s when the first solid run of mullet comes in from the ocean.

Action can come anywhere from Hatteras to Ocracoke. Portsmouth, Pamlico Sound, and its estuaries are also prime for whacking the biggest red drum of the year.

The biggest reds come remarkably near the shore. Keep that in mind when packing up for the trip. Chest waders and surf rods reaching 14 feet are needed to send the 8-ounce lead into the surf, and then fight the monster that takes the mullet.


Fishermen have plenty of options from which to choose from the JVX Series. Nine different models are in the JVX Series lineup, and you can customize the rig to fit angling needs.

Worth a strong look for redfish fishing is the 18 JVX CC. This center console boat with a 78” beam and 17’ 9” overall is ideal for running the winding, shallow channels of the back country and mangroves where snook lurk.

The 18 JVX CC gives you an edge for accessing shallow creeks and rivers with it’s modified V-hull design. Carry more weight farther and faster with less horsepower. Add that together, and the sum is a boat that performs better than any other at a cost that can’t be beat.

See the full line of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boatfeature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.