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Fresh Water Fishing in the Beaufort & Hilton Head Area

The Beaufort area is surrounded with salt water rivers, marshes and tidal creeks. Who would ever think around these parts there would also be a fresh water system, let alone fresh water fishing. There are quite a few lakes and ponds in the area of Beaufort and Hilton Head, but an even larger area is just north of Beaufort. It's a river called the Combahee (pronounce it as Cum-bee). This river changes to salt water around the bridge going to Charleston, at the Beaufort County line on Hwy 21. The scenery is breathtaking, as the nature there is much like it was more than a century ago.

Combahee River Fishing

The Combahee River is famous for pan fish known as "Red Breast". The river also holds some very nice size Bass and Catfish. The further up the river you go, the more narrow and shallow it becomes, with many submerged logs and stumps. Bass, catfish and pan fish are fount here. Baits include live worms, plastic worms, minnows, chicken liver, crickets, plugs and jigs.
Below the salt-line, Strippers (Stripped Bass) and channel cats are a favorite. Cut bait, squid and shrimp are a few good baits.

Boat Types for the Combahee River.

The best type of boat to use on the Combahee for fishing is a smaller style boat, like a 12'-20' with a short shank or a tilting motor. Kayak and canoe type boats are great above the salt line. Fast boats usually end up sinking or loosing a motor after hitting a stump!

Fresh Water Cautions and Warnings

The Combahee River deserves a few cautions. Submerged stumps and logs are a danger, so watch your speed. Alligators are common, so beware when swimming or wadding. Snakes are common and can be on overhanging branches, so watch for them when fishing under trees and limbs. Thunderstorms can sneak up on you, so listen for them as the lightning can be very dangerous here.