Cruising on the Combahee River
Colleton County’s freshwater river of paradise
The Combahee River is a Lowcountry blackwater jewel. It is a 40-mile river that is influenced by the tides. The Combahee joins with the Ashepoo and Edisto Rivers to form the ACE Basin. The river gets its name from the Native American tribe that first inhabited the area. It’s the place where Henry Laurens died during the last fight of the Revolutionary War, and the spot where Harriet Tubman rescued over 750 slaves during the Civil War’s Raid at Combahee Ferry.
The Combahee River is a pristine marshy waterway that dumps into the Atlantic Ocean. The river begins life as a freshwater river at its headwaters in Colleton County. It becomes brackish as it nears the salty waters of the Atlantic. It’s a relatively short and narrow river, but it packs a powerfully beautiful punch. Its water, banks and skies are home to wildlife and flowers in bloom.
Local anglers will tell you its home to all breeds of bream that swim in South Carolina waters. The fish can be found under lily pads fallen trees and near cypress knees. This little Bluegill Bream was caught near Public Landing, then released. It’s a good idea to come prepared with a trolling motor and be on the lookout for shallow depths if heading upstream.
The water turns brackish near Steel Bridge Landing. Fresh and saltwater fish can be found in this area. Redfish and flounder have been known to show up here and further down near St. Helena Sound. Speckled trout frequent the salt waters of the sound as well.
Combahee River Boat Landings
Highway 21 Landing – Hwy 17A, Yemassee (1 launch, no dock) Hampton
Public Landing – Public Landing Rd, off 17A (2 launch lanes, dock) Colleton
Sugar Hill Landing – 40 Sugar Hill Landing Rd, Yemassee (1 launch, no dock) Beaufort
Steel Bridge Landing at Harriet Tubman Bridge – Charleston Hwy, Yemassee (2 launch lanes, dock) Beaufort
Fields Point Landing – Fields Point Lane, Green Pond (1 launch, no dock) Colleton