Plenty of Redfish, aka Red Drum or Spottail, can still be found in the Santee River Delta, North Inlet, Pawleys Inlet, Midway, and Winyah Bay during the winter. These fish are often found in schools during this time of year. They typically move with the ebb and flow of the tide due to the cold water temperature and hunker down around structure when the tide is strongest. It’s always a fun day when you stumble into a school.
Sea Trout usually spend time in deeper water during the cold nights and sometimes move onto flats in the middle/ end of the day when the sun warms the shallow water. Drifting live and dead shrimp with a Slip Bobber is a popular technique in this area. Playing with the depth setting on these bobbers is important to find these fish. Voodoo shrimp and DOA 3" Golden Shrimp are popular soft plastic lures. Paddle tail baits are also effective when the fish don't seem to be interested in shrimp. Mirrolure suspending and sinking twitch-baits are a great choice. Some days you have to go through your entire arsenal of tackle to find the one lure that will entice a trout, but it's always worth it.
Speckled trout also are willing to tolerate lower salinity levels in search of bait, which can become scarce this time of year. This fall brought great trout action, but let's hope this is a mild winter. Cold water along with lower salinity levels resulting from upstate SC and NC rain can result in mortality among adult, juvenile, and even larvae.
Hopefully a mild winter will bring large schools of bait early this spring and summer followed by big Tarpon.