On this trip with Chris, we fished with a client (Brian) from Texas looking for his first redfish. We launched on Parris Island at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Actually, the launch site is just past the golf course near an area that has hiking trails through an old 1562 French settlement known as Charlesfort, and the 1566 Spanish village of Santa Elena. There are also remains of the Spanish forts San Felipe and San Marcos. Our launch was just on the other side of the ruins of Fort San Marcos, on a small creek that makes it way to the Beaufort River. Once in the Beaufort River, we paddled to the south heading towards the Parris Island Point to target some redfish.
Parris Island Point is a huge flat that shares the mouths of the Beaufort River and the Broad River/Port Royal Sound. At high tide, this area is 1’-2’ deep and contains a few shell reef fingers. Once the tide starts turning, you will need to move to deeper water as the flat will become a muddy area for several hours. At low tide, the redfish become concentrated in the deep areas that still hold water. There are opportunities to catch speckled trout and black drum during certain times of the year at high tide.
Chris prefers fishing plastics on jig heads on his trips, but does bring along some live bait (generally either mud minnows or shrimp) just in case the fish aren’t eating artificials. As do most fishing guides, he works hard to get you an opportunity to land a fish in a kayak. On this trip we all managed to get fish in the kayak. Even Brian from Texas, who explained to me he had never caught a fish on a rod, even in freshwater. This might have been a challenge for Chris, but by the end of the trip Brian was whooping and howling as if he was on a bull ride. He had a slot size redfish (17”) in the kayak in no time - Chris did his job well. Lewis caught three redfish, two of which were over slot, with the biggest at 27”. Chris landed one that measured 25”, and I managed a single slot-size spot tail at 18”.
With the trip complete, we headed back to the launch site. Since it was still low tide, there was a solid wall of mud about 6’ high with a 50° – 60° incline. Chris was concerned about the safety of his clients, so he landed first and dragged his Hobie “Revolution” up the incline. Then he came back to the water’s edge to assist each of us out of our kayaks, including helping drag the kayaks up the muddy launch.
If you are ever in the Beaufort, SC area and need the services of a kayak fishing guide, I encourage you to book a trip with Chris Kirby of Black Sheep Kayak Charters. For more information on Black Sheep Kayak Charters, check out Chris’ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Sheep-Kayak-Charters/1467657426793614 or his website http://blacksheepkayakcharters.com/.