Best Places to Spot Dolphins in the Lowcountry

Dolphin watching is one of the most popular boating activities in the Lowcountry.

Since there is no time of day or certain tide that will guarantee you’ll see dolphins, patience is key. You can greatly increase your odds by booking a dolphin tour with a local guide. Island Skiff Adventure Tours owner Jeff Gale has had no shortage of dolphin sightings in and around Bull Island, the nearly uninhabited patch of land north of Daufuskie Island.

“I encounter the same family of dolphins during my daily tours with Island Skiff through the back creeks of Bull and Savage islands,” Gale said. “Some of them have very distinctive marks and cuts on their top dorsal fin, which helps me identify the pod. These are the dolphins that we see year after year, which have decided not to migrate south during the winter.”

Island Skiff Adventure Tours offers a unique way to experience local waters — driving a two-seater catamaran on a 25-plus mile guided dolphin and eco tour through Calibogue Sound, the May River, Bull Creek and the rarely traveled backwater ways of Bull and Savage islands. During the tour, the group will stop at designated areas to discuss local history, our local ecosystem and watch dolphins in their natural habitats.

“A local guide tip is to look for a single seagull hovering over the water,” Gale said. “They are usually feeding on what the dolphin pushes to the surface.”

Here are Gale’s top 5 dolphin spotting locations, based on tides for this spring.
Bull Creek/May River mouth, high tide going to low
Bull Creek flats channel, high tide at the turn
Bull Creek old shrimp dock, strong incoming tide
[4] Bull Creek shrimp hole, 55 feet deep strong incoming tide
Haig Point dock, spring/fall seasonal migratory dolphins

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