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Anglers can fish year-round in island waters, with April starting to crank up the season and May heavily booked. May is the season for cobia, especially in Port Royal Sound. In the Gulf Stream you can hook king mackerel, tuna, wahoo, and mahimahi. A fishing license is necessary if you are fishing from a beach, dock, or pier. For nonresidents, they are $11 for seven days. Licenses aren't necessary on charter fishing boats because they already have their licenses. For more information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov.
Capt. Hook Party Boat. Deep-sea fishing tours are available on this large party boat, which sells concessions as well. The friendly crew teaches children how to bait hooks and reel in fish. Shelter Cove Marina, 1 Shelter Cove La., Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/785–1700. www.hiltonheadisland.com/captainhook.
Fishin' Coach. Captain Dan Utley offers a variety of fishing tours on his 22-foot boat to catch redfish and other species year-round. 1640 Fording Island Rd., Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29926. 843/368–2126. www.fishincoach.com.
Integrity. The 38-foot charter boat Integrity offers offshore and near-shore fishing. Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Mariners Way, Sea Pines, South End, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/671–2704 or 843/422–1221. www.integritycharterfishing.com.
Palmetto Bay Charters. This company offers a wide variety of charters on various size boats. Palmetto Bay Marina, 86 Helmsman Way, South End, Hilton Head Island, 29928. 843/785–7131. www.palmettobaymarinahhi.com.
Palmetto Lagoon Charters. Captain Trent Malphrus takes groups for half- or full-day excursions to the region's placid saltwater lagoons. Redfish, bluefish, flounder, and black drum are some of the most common trophy fish. Shelter Cove Marina, 1 Shelter Cove La., Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 866/301–4634. www.palmettolagooncharters.com.
Bay Runner Fishing Charters. With more than four decades of experience fishing these waters, Captain Miles Altman takes anglers out for trips lasting three to eight hours. Evening shark trips are offered May to August. Shelter Cove Marina, 1 Shelter Cove La., Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/290–6955. www.bayrunnerfishinghiltonhead.com.
Gullah Gal Sport Fishing. Fishing trips are available on a pair of 34-foot boats, the Gullah Gal and True Grits. Shelter Cove Marina, 1 Shelter Cove La., Mid-Island, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928. 843/842–7002. www.hiltonheadislandcharterfishing.com/.