Fresh Local Fish

We work with fishermen based on Hilton Head Island and in Charleston, Georgia and northern Florida to ensure we get only the freshest seasonal catches. All of our fish are brought in whole, filleted in-house, and added to the daily lunch and dinner specials. Here is a list of the different fish we serve throughout the year.

Our menus change depending on what fish is in season so that you are always tasting the freshest product. Our Seasonal fish varieties include: 

Barrel Fish:

A rare deep water bycatch of wreckfish, barrel fish has a firm and flaky texture that becomes tender and moist when cooked, providing a rich and sweet flavor. Sourced from the waters off Mt. Pleasant, in an area known as the Charleston Bump, a deep-water bank located 80 to 100 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Barrel fish is one that sells out very quickly when we have it, due to the fact that it is seldom targeted due to its unpredictability. 

Wreckfish:

Wreckfish has firm, white flesh, and a mild, sweet flavor, similar to its grouper cousin. They have a long life span, with some living more than 70 years. Wreckfish are found largely in the deep waters off the South Carolina coast.

Vermillion Snapper:

Also known as b-liner snapper, vermillion snapper is a smaller, more sustainable version of the American red snapper. It gets its name vermillion snapper from its pinkish hue. We are fortunate enough to have The Number 1, a commercial vessel, captained by Andrew Mahoney, in our very own fleet. Andrew fishes for vermillion snapper, grouper, and black sea bass off the Coast of Hilton Head and Edisto. The flavor is fresh and sweet, and texture is flaky and delicate.

Red Snapper:

Red snapper has a subtle, nutty, yet delicate taste. Its meat is juicy, lean, and firm, making it really adaptable to a variety of ingredients. Red snapper is heavily regulated and can only be fished locally a few special weeks during the year.  

Cod:

Cod’s lean meat has a mild, clean flavor and large, tender flakes. We utilize wild caught Icelandic cod. This is one of the few fish on our menu, along with salmon, that are always available for those that go with what they know. It also makes for an excellent fish for fish ‘n chips.  

Cobia:

The Port Royal Sound is one of the few breeding grounds for cobia in the spring and summer. These fish are eating machines, gorging on stone crab, calico crabs, blue crabs, and other baitfish. They have a large plated jaw instead of teeth that they use to crush their catch. The largest of South Carolina’s inshore predatory fish, the filet of cobia is light, clean, and buttery, and almost steak like in texture. They are fun to catch and even more fun to eat. 

Salmon:

We source our salmon from an open enclosure aquaculture operation in Canada. Due to the location and the extremely cold conditions the salmon develop and incredible amount of omega-3 fatty acids. We have visited the farm and very impressed with the quality. Because of its distinctive flavor profile, and texture, Atlantic salmon is a perfect crowd-pleaser and we offer it year-round.

Swordfish:

Swordfish has a slightly sweet, nutty taste, a moist, meaty consistency, and high fat content. Most of our swordfish comes from Bill Cox and his 74-foot commercial vessel, the Ellen Jean from Yonges Island, South Carolina. Bill takes special care to bring the fish down to a temperature just above freezing prior to dressing the fish. The subsequent result is a fish that stays incredibly fresh when it gets to the end user. Bill’s crew usually fishes between 150 and 175 miles off shore. Many of our customers comment on the fact that swordfish they are accustomed to eats dry. Ours is one of the least dry fish on the menu. The texture is nice and firm but supple. 

Flounder:

Flounder is super lean, very delicate, and extremely mild in flavor. It is a flat fish with two eyes on one side of its body. Flounders hug the bottom of our local bays and creeks and cover themselves with mud in an attempt to ambush their prey. They feast on crabs, shrimp, and fish and are caught or gigged daily by local fisherman. We often will substitute other species for flounder when this fresh product is unavailable.

Grouper:

Grouper is a firm, mild-flavored, fatty fish with a slight sweetness to it. Grouper is caught in deep, local water by local fisherman. The season is highly regulated and varies each year. We will not purchase imported grouper as the quality is a moving target. If it is available locally and from fisherman in our network, we will do our best to have it on the menu. It is one of our owners very favorite fish, so he is always trying to find it. 

Mahi:

Also known locally as dolphin (not flipper), or dorado, mahi is harvested by Bill Cox out of Yonges Island, South Carolina on his 74-foot commercial vessel, the Ellen Jean. They are migratory and tend to be in our area in the summer and again in the fall. These fish are often recognized by their blue and yellow coloration. They are harvested in and around the Gulfstream and like to hang around wrack and other floating debris. Mahi has a slightly firm texture, and incredibly mild flavor for such a moist fish. The flesh is tinted when raw, but when cooked turns almost white. 

Black Seabass:

The black sea bass is one of our favorites at Hudson’s. Andrew Mahoney, a member of our commercial fishing fleet, harvests these fish about thirty to forty miles offshore. They are rarely harvested in this area above three pounds. They are known for having a very sweet flavor, and delicate flaky texture. When cooked properly, the fish is extremely moist.  Depending on the size, we may filet them or serve them whole. Black seabass can also be trapped locally in pots much like crab pots. 

Tilefish:

There are two distinct species of tilefish caught off the coast of South Carolina. The gray tile is slightly smaller than the golden tile. These fish are caught on the upper reaches of the continental shelf in very deep water. Tilefish was rarely seen on menus several years ago and is one of the many wonderful “off the radar” species that have emerged as the price of some more recognizable names have become more expensive. Tile is one of our staff’s favorite fish to eat and recommend to guests because of its firm but pleasing texture, sweet flavor and chunky flakiness. If you haven’t tried this fish, you should order it when you see it on the menu.

Triggerfish:

Gray triggerfish and queen triggerfish are the two species of this fish found in our waters.  Triggerfish were once a bycatch of grouper, and because of the poor yield of filets to bones/skin/head etc., these fish were seldom seen on restaurant menus. As the grouper and red snapper got more expensive, restaurants started to see the value in serving triggerfish.  Triggerfish has a unique locking dorsal fin that acts much like a locking blade pen-knife.  It is very sharp and literally locks into an upright position. This sharp spike prevents predators from effecting a head-on attack, which is the preferred method. There is a “trigger” under the dorsal fin, really more like a button, that if you press it, you can unlock the spiky fin. Hence the name triggerfish. Triggerfish has an incredibly pleasing texture for a thinner filet. The meat cooks to a bright white and flakes beautifully. The inherent sweetness is what attracts people to this beautiful fish. The Charleston Bump and another area known as the Hump are popular destinations for harvest.  

Yellowtail snapper:

Yellowtail snapper is harvested locally by The Number 1, a commercial vessel, captained by Andrew Mahoney, in our very own fleet. This fish is a cousin to the red snapper, and an even closer cousin to the vermillion snapper. As one of the smaller snapper species, they can be identified by their pinkish hue, big eyes, and two-toned yellow tail. The flavor of yellowtail snapper is a little more pronounced than that of its cousins. This due to a slightly higher oil content. The freshness of this fish is paramount, and thus we are very fortunate to catch these and serve them within hours of their harvest.

Check Us Out!

Come down today and check out the best fresh fish restaurant on Hilton Head Island. We want to bring back what it truly means to experience fresh local fish. By shortening the supply chain, it allows our customers to eat seafood the way it is intended. Our number one goal is to always get the freshest seafood onto the plate as quickly and efficiently as possible – and have you saying “Wow, this is the best seafood I’ve ever had.”

View our menus for current fresh fish options!