Capt. Rico's Blog
These are hard times for everyone in the world just about right now, but especially the the charter fishing industry. COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for us - just after we prepared for the season that will likely not come and spent thousands preparing our boats and tackle for the fishing season that will likely not come. All of my charters through the end of the month have cancelled and Governor McMaster has ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. While the charter industry was not specifically mentioned, it prohibits sporting businesses where people come within less than six feet of each other. I'm guessing that's us. The closure actually came as somewhat of a relief as the decision to take charters or not take charters was a hard one to make. On one hand we desperately need the money. On the other hand, of course, was the risk of infection for everyone on the boat. So what now?
If you know you're going to go fishing with us when we finally contain this awful illness, gift cards are available via my website by clicking the "Book Now" buttons. You can also call me and I can arrange one for you. IF you have a need for a gift for someone that loves to fish but can't due to a shelter-in-place order or just plain fear, a gift card for a fishing charter can be the perfect thing. It would also help our industry tremendously by making a much needed financial infusion while we attempt to weather the storm of Coronavirus.
Until this clears, please stay safe so we can fish again soon.
February is boat improvement month in the charter fishing industry of Hilton Head. Tallboy is back in the water after having the bottom cleaned and painted to maximize its speed and efficiency and all mechanical issues with the engine addressed and resolved. So here we go with a clean bill of health for the 2020 season, ready to see our repeat clients and future repeats alike. As I said in my last blog, if you happen to be visiting at this time of year, the fishing is fantastic and on nice days the weather can be beautiful. Don't hesitate to call and book a trip with us.
Here we are in the slowest season of the year. Not because the fishing is bad - its actually really good. It's simply due to the fact that very few people are visiting Hilton Head and Beaufort at this time of the year. But why not? The islands are almost empty of tourist traffic, there are no waits at restaurants, specials are everywhere, its not hot as hell fire, and the fishing is great! This truly can be one of the best times of year to fish - particularly for Sheepshead and Black Drum, and bottom fish offshore. So if you ARE one of the brave souls who have braved the cold, 60 degree high temperatures and managed to visit Hilton Head during the off season, please consider a fishing charter a good choice of how to spend a day. You won't be disappointed and we are dying to fish!
As 2019 comes to a close, the fishing stays constant around Hilton Head. The Bull Redfish are still here but have moved offshore for the winter. I prefer fishing for them at this time of year because instead of sitting at anchor waiting for the bite, we actively pursue them using a run and gun technique. Once we find them we'll drift using bait and jigs which can produce a lot of multiple hookups and a lot of fish. These are well as Black Drum, Weakfish, and Sea Bass can be reached on 1/2 day and 3/4 day charters. Offshore the bottom fishing is at its best. The colder water brings fish closer and we'll find Snapper, Grouper, Trigger Fish, Grunts, Jacks, King Mackerel, and occasionally a dolphin or two on full day charters. If you want a lot of good eating fish (enough to get a small family through the winter, this is your charter of choice. If you want a lot of sport and a dinner or two, choose a 1/2-3/4 days charter. Either way, we'll make our best effort to making your trip as fun and productive as is possible. Give us a call and schedule a trip over the Holidays. Mention you read my blog and get one hour free on 1/2 and 3/4 day trips until January 1st 2020.
We're beginning to transition into the our fall fishing season in Hilton Head, but we still have all of our summer species as well! Bull Redfish are showing up for inshore charters in our sounds and rivers but we're also still catching our summer species as well (Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Jack Crevalle, Sharks, Tarpon and even an occasional Cobia)! These are all possibilities on easy and affordable half day trips. On 3/4 day charters we've had good action with Spadefish lately as well as King Mackerel. Full-day charters are producing top shelf food fish including Snapper, Trigger, Sea Bass, Grouper, and a host of pelagic fish providing constant action and lots of excitement. Call me for a more recently updated report or visit our Instagram or Facebook pages for the most up to the moment pictures of our recent catches. Thanks for reading!
Its been a while since my last post. We've been in the busiest part of the Hilton Head charter season and I haven't
had the time or energy to write! The fishing has begun to bend into our late summer season. Inshore sharks are as abundant as ever and Tarpon have moved in while Cobia have moved out. We're still catching Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish on half-day charters as well. Offshore fishing hasn't changed much either except that the King Mackerel bite has been nothing short of epic. As usual, no matter how long you want to fish, we can entertain you and feed you.
June is here and we are busy as usual at Tallboy Fishing Charters. The fishing has been a lot of fun on almost all length charters. Inshore the sharks have arrived and we're catching a few Cobia which are open for harvest as of June 1st. Most we are catching are smaller than the legal limit but we are getting a few keepers now and then. Also inshore and nearshore the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish have been supplying a lot of action and some great lunches and dinners. On 3/4 charters, bigger Cobia, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, and Spadefish have been the featured sport fish. Full day trips have been awesome: Bottom fishing is producing loads of Sea Bass, Snapper, Trigger Fish, Grunts, etc and live baiting has been a fury with Amberjack feeding in crazed schools as well as King Mackerel, Cobia, and even a recent Dolphin (Mahi Mahi/Dorado). So weather you're looking for a quick half-day charter, a full day or anything in between, call us quick as we are booking up in a hurry.
Just a quick update: The fishing and the weather in Hilton Head have been fantastic lately! We've had awesome success on fishing charters from 4 to 8 hours and are catching a huge variety of fish including Cobia which have just arrived. I have plenty of availability for charters over the next two weeks at this point so please don't hesitate to give me a call and take advantage of the combination of beautiful weather and excellent sport fishing on your visit to Hilton Head Island.
Spring is here and while we are still enjoying some of our colder water species (Sheepshead, Weakfish and Black Drum), we are also enjoying the arrival of our Spring species (Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, King Mackerel and Cobia). This unique mixture won't be around for much longer but we are only beginning our Spring season so the Mackerel, Cobia and Bluefish will only become more abundant. We are having success fishing on all charters of four hours or above. Don't miss this awesome fishing season here in Hilton Head. It's definitely onw of my favorites.
The weather has made things challenging on some days (typical for March fishing around Hilton Head). The water temperature is steadily warming which is bringing the transition into Spring season into full swing. This can make shorter charters challenging (particularly since the fishing in the sounds has been tough). On fair weather days we've had continued success with Sheepshead and Weakfish although the Black Drum have not been as thick as we're used to. This is a good time of year for 3/4 day (6 hour) charters which give us more reach and more options to choose where to fish. All day trips are also a good choice for those that want more meat than they can eat right away and the opportunity to return home with fish for the coming month. There's plenty of sport to be had on the right days and we're hoping that the inshore/nearshore bite improves this week for the days we're forced to stay out of the ocean. As always, for a more detailed report give me a call. I'm always happy to talk to you. Thanks for visiting.
Welcome Spring Break visitors to Hilton Head, Beaufort, Savannah, and the rest of the Lowcountry! I hope you'll consider fishing with me during your visit. Without being redundant, the fishing report hasn't changed much since my post form a month ago (which is not bad news at all). There are plenty of fun options on 1/2 day, 3/4 day, and all day fishing charters. For a more specific report give me a call. Our schedule is getting full toward the end of the month so don't hesitate.
The Sheepshead bite has been getting better around Hilton Head and Beaufort in the past few weeks. These are delicious, hard fighting fish that can exceed 10 lbs each and are fun for anglers of all experience levels (given a little patience and effort). Sheepshead are seldom found on restaurant menus and are among the finest table fare in the ocean (in my opinion). They can be caught on 4-6 hour charters along with Black Sea Bass, Weak Fish, and Black Drum. On all day charters, the deep sea has been offering its usual variety of Black Sea Bass (large at this time of year), Trigger Fish, Amber Jack, King Mackerel, and other tasty ocean dwellers. We're looking forward to an early Spring and the beginning of the busy season. Spring Breakers, don't wait to call as we are booking charters for March and April!
The fishing has been steady lately around Hilton Head. Sheepshead, Sea Bass, Redfish, and Black Drum have been our entertainment on charters of 6 hours and under. On all day trips the Sea Bass have gown larger in the cooler water and the Trigger Fish and Vermilion Snapper are also abundant. The ocean has been absolutely beautiful for our last six trips, a trend we hope continues for as long as it would like! Give me a call and experience winter sport fishing around Hilton Head. It will surprise you in many ways.
Happy New Year from the Tallboy! We hope we have as good a year in 2019 as we had last year. A few charters (both Inshore and Offshore) around the new year have proved that there's plenty of sport fishing to be done, even in the colder months around Hilton Head. Bottom fishing offshore on full day charters has produced a lot of Trigger Fish and Vermilion Snapper. We've also been releasing 30+ red snapper per trip due to the closure of that fishery. Luckily, Sheepshead have begun to congregate on near shore reefs giving us something to hunt on shorter charters. Check our Facebook and Instagram pages for pictures of our latest trips and a 2018 compilation video which I should be publishing soon!
The bottom fishing offshore on all-day charters has been as good as it gets. Twice last week we went 40 Miles out and neither day disappointed with loads of Trigger Fish, Vermilion and Red Snapper, Grunts. Porgies, Lesser and Almaco Jacks, and Black Sea Bass. Nearshore fishing has also been fun with plenty of Bull Reds still around the nearshore reefs of Hilton Head as well as some Sea Trout, Weakfish, and Black Drum. I wouldn't recommend any charter under four hours though because the fishing inshore has not been productive. It's been chilly out, but with my slow Winter schedule we can usually pick the nicest day of the week to fish if you can be flexible. Don't forget to visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for the most recent pictures and updates. Simply search Tallboy Fishing Charters within the apps and you'll find us right away. Thanks for stopping by.
After a little break to visit the left coast, I'm back and ready to get back to work. Thanksgiving week produced what it normally does - a lot of food. We focused mainly on offering something different than Turkey for the table and had great success sending all of our clients home happy and fed with fresh fish they caught (Black Sea Bass, Black Drum, Weakfish, and a few Redfish). The bigger Bull Redfish have proved a little elusive lately but have been steadily moving offshore. Fishing Charters of 5+ hours are my recommendation for the time being. The extra money spent will be well worth it. Right Whales will be moving through and a few lucky people will get to see one. There's plenty eat and plenty of sport fishing to be done, and the further offshore we go, the more fish we've been finding.
The last two weeks have been the best Redfish bite of the year so far. We are averaging around a dozen Redfish per half-day charter with some trips reaching well over twenty. Mixed in with the reds have been sharks, black drum, bluefish, and Spanish Mackerel. Offshore of Hilton Head will be fantastic bottom fishing as the water cools and intends to drop beneath 70 in the coming weeks. Thanksgiving week is nearly booked solid but we have plenty of openings in the meantime - the perfect time for locals to take advantage of great fishing, lighter traffic, and more flexible scheduling. So give me a call whether your visiting or just want to see some intense action.
October is beginning to live up to its nickname of "Red October" as we begin to see our world class Bull Redfish return to the waters around Hilton Head. This is truly one of my favorite fishing charters we offer - beautiful weather, big game fish, and tons of fun on half day trips. These fish are big - 15 to 40lbs, and fight hard. We have to release them, but they make incredible pictures and memories for anglers of all experience levels. If catching lunch is a priority we can also fill that order on half day fishing trips.
On longer, deep sea charters the bottom fishing remains highly productive with plenty of incredible table fare to fill the cooler and constant action. Strikes on live baits have produced King Mackerel and Amberjack as well. As the temperature drops and becomes comfortable at all hours of the day, this is truly my favorite time of year to go fishing in Hilton Head. Please don't hesitate to call if you're interested. I'd bet you won't be disapointed.
Hurricane Florence passed us by without much fuss. My heart goes out to those in NC and SC that suffered damage from that spinning pile of drenching destruction. We know how you feel after the past two years. But the Tallboy is back in the water and ready to fish, and the forecast from mid-week through the weekend looks great for any type of charter you may want. Just before the storm the fish were biting really well and I imagine not much was affected as we barely even had any rain, only some wind which wasn't so bad either. We're hoping for good weather for an offshore trip we have on Saturday but until then we'll be waiting for your call so we can get out there sooner!
Our busiest season has come to an end around Hilton Head and we have more openings than we have had in the past four months. This allows us more flexibility in booking and better attention to time and tides allowing us to craft an even better charter for you (as long as you can be a bit flexible too). The fishing has really heated up in the past few weeks. The fish always seem to know once we're not working 70-80 hour weeks. Inshore and Nearshore charters (4-5 hours) are producing some great meals as well as some sore customers. Offshore trips are packed with Snappers, Triggers, Grouper, Porgies, Grunts, King Mackerel, Amberjack, and even the occasional Dolphin or Wahoo. For kids we've just begun to offer our 2 hour kids trip which has been working beautifully for little guys who want their first experience with catching sharks. The weather has been more or less normal for late summer around Hilton Head. A note on that - If you want a day with no chance of showers or thunderstorms, you're in the wrong place. There will always be a chance of storms in the Lowcountry during hot months. Please trust your captain to advise you on when it is a good idea to go fishing or not go fishing. Thanks for checking my blog. Give me a call and lets go get 'em!
The weather around Hilton Head has been challenging late this summer around Hilton Head with more rain and thunderstorms than I can remember in recent years. We've been successfully dodging them though and, surprisingly, have only cancelled and shortened a handful of charters. Big sharks have returned to our inshore/nearshore waters after a brief hiatus, so if a fight is what you're looking for, we've got it. Offshore, Red Snapper is open from the 10th-12th and 17th-19th of this month and trust me - there are plenty out there for the taking as well as an array of other tasty creatures for your culinary pleasure.
The bite seems to be recovering from what was super slow fishing around Hilton Head (possibly due to the bad weather) last week. For little guys and gals, there are plenty of small sharks to play with on 2 and 3 hour charters. For adults, catching edible fish and larger sharks can also be done on most half day charters with a mix of trolling and livebaiting/bottom fishing near the mouth of the sound. Six hour trips are emerging as a good option as well with lots of life on the mid range reefs from 10-20 miles offshore including Spanish and King Mackerel, a few straggler Cobia, Redfish and Spadefish. All day trips are the decided option for anyone who wants to catch a lot of quality good eating fish using a mixture of live baiting and bottom fishing to produce Snapper, Trigger Fish, Black Sea Bass, Grouper, Amber Jack, King Mackerel, Cobia, etc... Give me a call and we'll figure out what charter suits you and your group the best.
Inshore/Nearshore trips have reached their summer cadence where we reliably produce both a good meal for the family as well as a larger beast for a challenge and an adrenaline rush. Cobia arrived late to Hilton Head but we're catching a lot of fish that fall short of the legal measurement of 36". However, the mackerels have been the surprise cameo, covering reefs with both Spanish and Kings for nearly the past month and have been the feature of 6 and 7 Hours Charters. 8 Hour Charters have been solid as usual, the deep sea producing incredible table fare of snappers, groupers, trigger fish, and sea bass but with the added benefit of Amberjack, Cobia, and King Mackerel. There's almost every option available to you! Call ahead to secure a booking. We are filling up nearly two weeks ahead of time thanks to you, our valuable customers!
A rain out today has given me time to update my blog. Cobia season is rapidly progressing around Hilton Head. We are seeing and catching Cobia on both inshore and offshore charters. In addition, King Mackerel, Amberjack and Spadefish have been fairly common catches on our offshore charters as well as Grouper, Snappers, Sea Bass and Trigger Fish. Inshore the sharks have arrived and are hungry for almost any selection of bait we choose to put down. We're also catching Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish on half-day trips which make for good table fare and are usually topped of with a big shark or two just to scare you a little and send you home sore! In short, our charter season is in full swing. I am booking up two weeks out so call as soon as you can you reserve a spot. See you on the Tallboy!
Late April and we're hoping that the wind is going to finally quit blowing. For over a month we've had heavy winds which have hampered our options for fishing around Hilton Head. As the water continues to warm, we are still catching Sheepshead on offshore reefs although they are beginning to thin out, and we are anticipating the arrival of the first Cobias. Exciting that we'll be able to harvest these again this year. We will encourage a two fish per boat limit because at an average of 30 lbs each, two provides plenty of meat that most people need and want. However, we will allow clients to keep their legal limit if they choose. Offshore, the fishing is on fire. All day charters can hope to see Snapper, Trigger Fish, Sea Bass, Grouper, Cobia, King Mackerel, Amberjack, and an occasional Dolphin or Wahoo. May is probably my favorite month for sport fishing around Hilton Head and Beaufort. The weather is often near perfect and the fishing charters are action packed. Give me a call and I'll give you the best options for your money.
The spring season is getting underway and we've started out with mainly half day charters targeting Sheepshead with good success. Mixed in are an occasional redfish, black drum, black sea bass or weakfish. The mix is good with the Sheepshead providing excellent table fare along with the Weakfish and Black Sea Bass, while the big Bull Reds provide plenty of sport and a strong fight. The water temperature is warming rapidly and things are changing quickly. The good news for the coming months is that Cobia is re-opened this year. We're extremely excited to be able to responsibly harvest these excellent game fish again (average 30 lbs and excellent to eat), and hope that last years closure will mean there are plenty for the taking. We should start seeing the first of these around the middle of April. The best success will be seen with these on 6 to 8 hour charters. April and May are two of my favorite months to fish around Hilton Head - a time when the spring weather mixes with incredible sport fishing for some awesome times on the water. If you're going to be in town, give me a call and come see for yourself what a day on the water with us is all about.
It's February and we're preparing the Tallboy for the 2018 season - tightening loose screws, fixing what's broken, upgrading what we can, and making sure everything is sound condition to deliver the quality sport fishing you're used to on our charters. The weather is warming quickly in Hilton Head and the water temperature is rising bringing on the beginning of our Spring Season. Please make note of our increased rates on all day charters. This has become necessary to cover fuel cost.
Following our abnormal winter freeze the water temperatures around Hilton Head have plummeted sending most of the Bull Reds on their way and changing the fishing a little. Sheepshead are beginning to show up on our near shore structures in greater numbers as the days slowly get longer. Accompanied by some big Black Drum, these can make a half day charter pretty incredible by delivering that magic mixture of a hard fight, big fish, and a delicious reward at dinner. Further offshore on longer charters, the bottom fishing has remained solid with our usual species (see the post below from last month), all of which are fantastic table fare. Both inshore and offshore charters provide you a more hands-on sport fishing experience where you will have a rod in your hands, hooking fish on your own (as opposed to having me or my mate hook them for you before handing you the rod). I find for most people this is a very rewarding fishing experience. Trust me - you can do it. Even if you are inexperienced. Give me a call today and let me show you.
What an incredible ocean lately. Friday, the wind laid down at about 10AM so we scheduled a late departure for a four-hour charter with some new clients. By the time we got to the ocean, it was absolutely beautiful which allowed us an effortless trip to one of our mid-range artificial reefs. The Black Sea Bass were very thick and although we released far more than we kept, we put together a beautiful couple of dinners. The surprise that day was a fat Gag Grouper which ate half of a mullet we put out hoping for a Redfish. On the way home, we found some bird activity and stopped in for a few Bull Reds (15-35 lbs) and ended the day with incredible sport. Saturday day was very similar - a late departure to let the chilly air cool off, a quick trip to a mid-range reef, our limit of Black Sea Bass and other tasty critters and sport fishing for Bull Reds on the way home, only this time as we drifted along with the sun setting and the tranquil ocean turning to a burnished gold color in the fading light, we watched Right Whales breach while we released big Bill Reds. It was truly magical. Sunday the Tallboy went deep on an all day trip with two of my favorite clients. The sea offered up almost all of its tasty creations: Red Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, tons of Trigger Fish, Giant Grunts (delicious despite their name), two types of Grouper, and Porgies. We cleaned fish into the dark hours and sent our friends home with enough fish to last them until the next time they visit. Yesterday was all about sport fishing for big Bull Reds and boy, did we ever. We lost count on how many we released but sufficive to say we had at least one 20+ pound fish on the entire time we fished. I'd say we released close to 30 (not to mention the air temperature reached the mid 70's).
Obviously some days are simply not fishable at this time of year, but the ones that are can surely produce some incredible results (as if the last four trips are not evidence enough). Give me a call and we'll plan a day when the weather is the best it can be and let me show you what December charter fishing is like in Hilton Head.
Fall fishing is ramping up around the island and offshore. The bite has improved tons over the past few weeks and the weather couldn't be better for inshore trips on most days and offshore trips on some. With our fall special of 20% off for reading this blog of mine, there's never been a better time to give me a call, spend some time on the water, and make some fishing memories you will not soon forget. (Please mention reading this blog for the 20% off special).
Happy Halloween . . . and Happy Snapper Season 2017! That's right folks for the first two weekends in November it will be legal to harvest Red Snapper offshore of Hilton Head. There's been plenty to be had on all day trips for the past month, but red snapper's not the only thing on the menu for a full day charter. Grouper, Black Sea Bass, Trigger Fish, Vermillion Snapper, King Mackerel, Amberjack, and more await. Inshore fishing right now is pure sport featuring our seasonal Bull Red Drum which average 20 lbs. Every week their numbers increase and although they are a release only fish, you will not be disappointed with a half day trip. Fall Red Fishing is Lowcountry Sport Fishing at its absolute finest.
So regardless of your budget or experience level you'll be happy with your time on the water. November is promising to be the best month of fishing this fall.
The best bet for a fishing charter in Hilton Head right now is an all day trip to the deep sea. The fishing past 25 miles is strong with plenty of great bottom fish for the table, and King Mackerel, Amberjack, Cobia, and an occasional Dolphin Fish to add sport. It's been common to see all day customers leave with a lot of fish to take home and smiles, and good memories to last a long time. As you can imagine the weather plays a big factor in going that far offshore, so picking the right day is important. Luckily since it is not the busy season, we can offer a little flexibility in moving trips around if necessary. Best to call and book a charter for early in your visit and leave the opportunity to move it to a later date if the weather demands it.
The weather has been absolutely spectacular for half-day trips,but the inshore bite this October has been tougher than I can remember it being around Hilton Head due to the high water temperatures (still above 80 degrees). We're catching a few big Bull Reds on half day trips, though, and at 20-40 lbs per fish, it doesn't take too many to make a good fishing charter. Also, with the warm water there are still some Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Jacks, and Sharks to be caught. We've been making good inshore trips, just not the double digit redfish catches we are accustomed to in October. Things seem to be improving, though, and the late cooling will cause the strong Redfish season to extend into January like it did last year. My guess is that November and December will be excellent months to book a charter.
The jobs of being a charter captain include a lot that most customers wouldn't imagine, and some that surprise me still as a seasoned captain. So here I sit, redesigning Tallboy Fishing Charters' website on my own. This is a job I wouldn't have imagined would be part of my job description. I apologize that over five years of my blog disappeared in the loss of my old site, but what's in the past does not matter to the present . . . . Enough about the woes of captainhood - I'm sure you've come to this blog to read about the fishing lately. Fishing finally recovered from Tropical Storm Irma's impact on Hilton Head and Beaufort. For two weeks following the storm, the bite was poor to say the least. At the end of last week we had some good charters both inshore and offshore in the deep sea. On the inshore scene, our fall Bull Redfish are beginning to populate the sounds and rivers and Rivers surrounding Hilton Head. These are 15-40 lb hard fighting trophy game fish which are great fun for anglers of any experience level. They cannot be harvested due to their large size and reproductive abilities, but are absolute blast to catch and release after some great pictures to preserve the memory. We've also been able to produce Spanish Mackerel and blue fish on nearshore sandbars and reefs which provide good table fare for a meal. Sharks are still around as well as the water is still quite warm for this time of the year. Offshore, bottom fishing has been fantastic with plenty of Vermillion Snapper, Dog Snapper, Black Sea Bass, Trigger Fish, Grouper, Grunts, and Porgies. And Red Snapper? I've never seen so many. On our last deep sea charter we released over 40 with some of them weighing in at the 20lb mark. While we cannot harvest these delicious and beautiful fish, they are fun to catch and it's great to see them returning in such great numbers. Give me a call to schedule a trip. Whether it be inshore or offshore, you'll have a great time. Mention this blog and receive our fall special: 10% off any charter for groups of four or under. Thanks for reading!