There are 12 artificial reefs near the coast of Hilton Head Island South Carolina. The artificial reefs are constructed from a variety awesome items including ships, tugboats, barges, army tanks, 36 APC’s, and subway cars. When durable materials such as these are placed in the marine environment their surfaces are rapidly colonized, and eventually completely covered, by a wide variety of unique organisms including algae, barnacles, corals, sponges, hydroids. In time, these organisms become the foundation of the reef community and the base of the food web which is critical to later fishing success.
Artificial reefs off the coast of Hilton Head Island are primarily to enhance saltwater fishing for professional charter boat Captains. Hilton Head Island Captains take hundreds of families each year on fishing excursions in search of fish that call these reefs home. Nearly 20 square miles of ocean bottom have been permitted for this purpose with the added benefits of adding to the amount of highly productive hard bottom off the coast as well as potentially enhancing fish stocks which are critically linked to this type of habitat.
While naturally occurring reefs may be common in tropical climates throughout the world, they do not exist in the waters of the continental United States above the southern tip of Florida. Off the southeastern coastal states from North Carolina to Florida, this type of coral reef habitat is replaced by what biologists and fishermen term “hard-bottom” or “live-bottom” areas.
These more temperate reef communities occur only in specific locations on the ocean bottom where nature has provided a suitable hard substrate, usually in the form of limestone rock out-croppings, which serve as a point of attachment and colonization for sponges, corals and a wide assortment of other invertebrates. In some cases where significant rock is exposed through the otherwise sandy bottom, vertical relief and ledges add to the complexity of this habitat and provide additional space and homes for many other reef inhabitants.
Off Hilton Head Island, one of the most popular artificial reefs is the Beaufort 45′ Reef which is about 10 miles from the Port Royal Sound. Many species hang out there including Sheepshead, Black Sea Bass, Black Drum, Grunts, Barracuda, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel and Sharks. Tale Hunter Hilton Head Fishing Charters fishes the Beaufort 45′ and many other reefs everyday. We catch fish and entertain families.
Turn off the cell phone…. pick up a fishing pole and join us today!