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Meet Capt. Brian Hawkins

This weeks post is a little different. I sat down with a Captain Brian Hawkins and got to pick his brain. Captain Brian has been catching fish inshore and offshore in this area for longer than I have been alive. He is a Charleston native, and owns Hawkins Fishing Charters out of Folly Beach, SC where he runs a Sea Pro SV 2100.

- Capt. Conner

- How long have you been fishing in the Lowcountry?

A. 40 years

  • Where do you run most of your charters out of?

A. Folly Beach and Kiawah area

  • Favorite thing to do on your day off?

A. Go fishing, boat maintenance, and gardening

  • What is your favorite underway snack?

A. Its seasonal for me, currently its Pistachios though

  • What's your favorite part about fishing in this area?

A. The diversity of fish and wildlife

  • If you could catch only one species finshore for the rest of your life what would it be?

A. This is a tough one! As a guide I fish for Redfish every day, So if i’m the one fishing it would be a toss up between Flounder and Sheepshead but if I had to choose just one I would probably have to choose Flounder.

  • What's your go to search bait?

A. 4” Berkeley Gulp Swimming Mullet, paired with 3/16 ounce Eye Strike Trout Eye. If i’m using topwater my goto is a Heddon Zara Spook Puppy.

  • When looking for new water to fish, what are some top things you look for?

A. Structure, bait, current, and visible signs of fish

  • Favorite rod and reel setup inshore?

A. Shimano Stratic 3000 spooled with 10lb moss green power pro on shimano teramar medium fast

  • Absolute favorite live bait set up for inshore?

A. That's a tough question, it's really seasonal and depends on the bait in the area at the time. If I had to choose one I would probably say live shrimp under a popping cork. I like to run the Billy Bay adjustable popping corks with a 1/4oz trolling sinker directly under it, then 20- 24” of 15lb disappearing leader to a #1 Gamakatsu live bait hook but the size of the bait depends on the hook size, but #1 is my goto.

  • What advice would you give someone new to the area and wanting to get into fishing?

A. Visit your local tackle shop and ask for pointers, if you can, book a trip with a guide that's willing to teach you. Not to get fishing spots but for the knowledge. Google maps is a great way to find structure to target, and get on some local forums. They can be a great source for information.

  • What advice would you give a new guide or someone looking to get into the fishing profession?

A. DON'T DO IT! haha!

Best advise I can give is time on the water is key, make sure you have put in plenty of it before you take the leap to make it a career. This line of work is a lot harder than it looks. Be able to balance a happy homelife and being on the water. Adopt a catch and release culture, don't kill your business partners, please.

  • Anything you want to close with?

A. Litter is for losers, respect other fisherman, we have lots of water. Respect the environment and the fishery, be prepared for everything, be patient and have fun with it!

Thank you for you're time Brian and letting me pick your brain! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a charter with Capt. Brian Hawkins I have his website link below.


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