The water starts to darken along a stretch of marsh grasses, just before its surface is slashed apart by the fins of hungry redfish. The redfish trap schools of mullet into a tight corral—and then go into a feeding frenzy. South Carolina fishermen love this scenario. The owners of The Charleston Angler love it, too, which is why they founded their shop back in 2000. The shop's crew of seasoned anglers supply fly, inshore, and offshore fishermen with tackle specific to South Carolina's waters, from the coastal flats that draw trophy tarpon to the inland lakes filled with blue catfish. Along with advising customers on gear from brands such as Shimano, Penn, and St. Croix, the shop hosts classes and seminars. These sessions can cover topics as broad as Orvis fly-fishing, or as specific as catching bass in the cypress-strewn swamps of Francis Marion National Forest.
Beyond tackle and apparel—some of which comes from their own "Redfish" line of t-shirts, trucker hats, ball caps, visors, and jackets—The Charleston Angler offers fly-fishing and light-tackle charters and runs an in-house embroidery boutique. The staff also posts tips, insights, fish haikus, and fishing reports on its Reel Blog and encourages customers to share their fish stories.
Any kind of outdoor excursion?from a hunting trip to a snorkeling one?is cheaper with a Sportsman's Rewards card. The digital membership card unlocks discounts at more than 1,300 outdoor providers scattered across the globe, in locales from the US to Fiji, Turks and Caicos, and Australia. Members will save 10%?25% every time at over 1,300 outdoor activity purveyors, including hunting & fishing lodges, guides, outfitters, fishing charters, vacation rentals, scuba excursions, and more. As a Sportsman?s Rewards member, you can call any of the eligible benefit providers to book and receive the discounted rate when presenting your membership card upon arrival.
To assure fantastic seafaring on Charleston's waterways, Captains Source assembled a team of top-notch captains, each as unique and diverse as the tours they charter. Every captain boasts a U.S. Coast Guard 6-Pack license and is certified by USOBE or Clemson for the specific excursions they lead, assuring expertise piloting the ship and in the field of harbor history, fishing, or wildlife. Captains who are great with kids and families ferry them out onto the bay and estuaries for dolphin sightings and insight into the region's marine life, and harbor history tours reveal Charleston's close connections to the American Revolution and Civil War. Like the captains, the aquatic company's boats are also suited specifically for the tour, including sailboats, yachts, and offshore fishing boats. Wanting to make the glistening waterways available to the public for all occasions, they accommodate charters for business meetings, birthdays, reunions, and searches for runaway sea legs.
Captain John Ward Jr. presides over Affinity Charters’ trio of seaworthy vessels, which slice through Charleston Harbor’s surging whitecaps during boat tours, charters, and fishing trips. Ward Jr. holds a 100-ton Masters License from the U.S. Coast Guard, and his overarching goal is to provide guests with experiences that are safe, exciting, and productive.
During fishing trips, Captain Ward Jr. taps his more than 25 years of experience navigating Charleston's aquatic arteries to usher fisherpeople through the nutrient-rich ecosystem. Attendees cast their lines for numerous seasonal species, including sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and the increasingly rare leather boot.
Dolphin-encounters tours put seafarers face-to-bottlenose with an undulating army of slick-skinned mammals splashing through their natural habitat. Alternatively, information-hungry patrons can climb on board for an eco tour, where Captain Ward Jr. imparts facts about the harbor’s ecological ebb and flow, as well as its vibrant panoply of blacktip sharks, barracudas, and mer-senators. The harbor and sunset cruise allows drifting duos to observe the sun’s incandescent descent into a kaleidoscopic loch of rippling reds, oranges, and yellows, which glint off of downtown Charleston.
From Charleston’s sandy shores to its grassy marshes, Captain Bret Curlett explores every natural environment he can aboard a 23-foot Sea Pro Bay boat. As owner of Harborview Charters, the captain regularly loads up to six passengers into his vessel for watery voyages, including sea-bass fishing in the harbor. He shows his guests some of the wonders of the natural world on expeditions to the Lowcountry marshes to search for wildlife such as great blue herons, dolphins, and gators. For even more interaction with nature, Captain Curlett ferries groups to a beach on secluded Morris Island, where they can gather seashells or replace their own molars with shark teeth.
The team of fellow certified captains share their fishing knowledge and intimacy of local waterways with guests of The Reel Deal Charters. Carefully following the seasonal eco-system to make sure customers have access to biting fish, their expeditions whisk passengers away on inshore hunts for red drum, trout, sheepshead, and sunken pirate ships. Fleets also cruise the water banks and oyster beds at low tides.Fiberglass replicas of caught fish are also available, leaving the fish unharmed in the process.
The Reel Deal's captains also organize trips to search for blue crabs and fish for sharks during warmer months, and explore local beaches and marshes. They also narrate sightseeing tours that pass by Fort Sumter and the USS Yorktown or natural sights such as feasting pelicans and ospreys soaring overhead. All excursions take place aboard fleet of boats that each accommodates up to six passengers with licenses, tackle, and a variety of both live and artificial bait.