HH Boathouse Newsletters

Spotted Seatrout Catch & Release


As a precautionary measure, the SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September.

Unusually cold weather has gripped South Carolina this January, lowering water temperatures along the coast to levels that can be deadly for many marine animals. As South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) biologists work to understand the severity of this winter weather's impacts on important fisheries, they're also asking the public to help – by practicing catch and release of spotted seatrout, one of the fish hardest hit by the low temperatures.

Sustained water temperatures below 48 degrees can injure or kill many marine animals, and shortly after the first week of January, SCDNR staff and members of the public began reporting dead fish and shrimp along the shores of tidal marshes and saltwater impoundments across the coast.

Council's Request for Red Snapper Season in 2017 Approved

safmc-logoRed Snapper Recreational Mini-Season and Commercial Catch Limits
An interim annual catch limit has been approved that will open the red snapper fishery to limited harvest in 2017. NOAA Fisheries announced that the red snapper recreational fishery in the South Atlantic region will open for two consecutive 3-day weekends beginning November 3rd. Recreational fishermen may harvest red snapper in federal waters (from 3 to 200 nautical miles) November 3rd through 5th and November 10th through 12th. The recreational bag limit is 1 fish per person/day and there is no minimum size limit.

-UPDATE: Recreational Anglers Asked to Help with Red Snapper Reporting

Recreational fishermen gearing up to take advantage of the red snapper mini-season this year will also have the opportunity to voluntarily report their catches and releases of red snapper via a new pilot reporting website at The recreational season will open in federal waters of the South Atlantic for two consecutive 3-day weekends, November 3rd through 5th and November 10th through 12th.

For more information, contact Kelsey Dick at the Council office at 843-725-7580.

Sea Hunt Boat Company Partners to Bring Conservation to Kids

hh boathouse coastal conservation for kids columbia scSouth Carolina Coastal Conservation Association
Columbia, SC - Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina and Sea Hunt Boat Company are proud to announce an expanded partnership to promote conservation ethics and education among young anglers by providing 300 youth anglers with membership to the award-winning CCA Rising Tide youth outreach and education program.

Through a dynamic youth program that includes an award-winning national newsletter, and new interactive web site (, Sea Hunt and CCA SC are endeavoring to capture the enthusiasm of young anglers and provide opportunities for them to understand, and appreciate, the coastal environment.

The Rig You Should Be Using for Big Reds

red drum rigs hh boathouse hilton head scAvoid gut-hooking adult red drum
South Carolina Coastal Resources
We are sharing picks for the ideal rigs to use for adult red drum (aka bull reds) in particular. The set-ups are designed to minimize the chance of gut-hooking these large fish, giving them a better shot at surviving their encounters with anglers.

Below are the specs for SCDNR-recommended rigs for adult red drum:

  • A short leader (~6 inches or less) on 50-80-pound monofilament
  • A fixed sinker weighing 3-6 ounces
  • A barbless, non-offset and non-stainless circle hook

Visit South Carolina Coastal Resources for the entire blog

Boating Safety Tips

boating safety tips hh boathouse hilton head - bluffton sc

July 2017 Boating Safety
Common sense is the most important part of boating safety which includes watching your boat speed, avoiding alcohol, staying alert and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft. Also, respecting other navigational aids and buoys which have been placed there for safety.

To ensure your boating experience is safe and enjoyable take advantage of learning to swim, take a boating course, have your boat checked before enjoying a day on the water, and ensure communications on board are working and available.

Whether you are an experienced boater or just getting started, we've provided a few other safety boating tips before enjoying your water experience:

1. Weather
Check your local weather before taking a boat out. Weather changes quickly with dark clouds, rough winds or decreasing temperatures. Play it safe by tuning into TV or radio broadcasts for weather updates.

2. Pre-Departure Checklist
Prepare before getting out on the water. Think of all possibilities and take the necessary precautions. Follow a pre-departure list to ensure no boating safety rules have been forgotten.

3. Float Plan
Let someone know where you are going and how long you’re going to be gone. Whether it’s a family member or local marina, provide name, phone number of all passengers and trip leader, boat type and registration number.

4. Assistant Skipper
Appoint someone on board that’s familiar with handling a boat, boating safety, and generally operating a boat. If the navigator becomes ill or injured, an assistant can get everyone back shore safely.

5. Wear Life Jackets
Make sure life jackets are assigned and fit each person on board. Everyone should wear their life jacket while enjoying their time on the water. Statistically, drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing a life jacket.

Happy and Safe Boating!

FLOUNDER New Size Bag Limits


South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)
In July 1, 2017, legislation recently passed by the South Carolina General Assembly will increase the size limit and lower the bag and boat limits for southern, summer, and Gulf flounder in state waters.

Flounder rank among South Carolina’s top three most popular fish for recreational anglers, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) research has shown declines in their numbers over the past two decades.

The new measures are intended to help rebuild flounder populations by giving more fish a chance to reproduce before they reach a harvestable size.

The regulations taking effect July 1 will change the minimum legal size for flounder from 14 inches (total length) to 15 inches (total length). Additionally, changes to the bag limit will reduce the number of fish an individual can keep from 15 flounder per day to 10 flounder per day, with a maximum boat limit of 20 flounder per day.

Dolphinfish Research Newsletter

May 2017 Dolphinfish Research Newsletter
A lot of anxious fishermen on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts are waiting to hear some good news on dolphin fishing. There have been some reports out of south Florida and the Keys that sound like there is hope for a good year, but unfortunately, they are typically followed by many more calls asking, "Where are the dolphins?"

Capt. Jimbo Thomas of the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Miami, Florida, summed it up the best, saying that a few schools of dolphins have been found, but nothing regular. The brightest reports have come from the Abacos in the Bahamas where some very good catches of large dolphins have recently been reported.

Like last year, recaptures reported during the first four months of 2017 have involved fish tagged in the summer of the previous year. The first of these remarkable movements is reported in this issue of the newsletter, along with a major change in the behavior of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current that could affect the U.S. East Coast’s fishing. I hope you find it interesting.

Learn more about the Dolphinfish Research Program by Cooperative Science Services, LLC in Charleston, SC and how you can support the research efforts!