May 23 Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report Grand Strand

May 23
Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are in the mid- to upper 70s, and the water is very clear – especially on the incoming tide.
As temperatures have gotten consistently warm the action has really improved, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that for about the last week fishing has been pretty outstanding.
Small shrimp are abundant and can be easily cast-netted, and the best place to fish them has been at the jetties. Rigging the shrimp on a split shot rig with a size 4 hook and casting into the rocks they have been catching an awesome mixed bag of species, including redfish, black drum, trout, bluefis hand even Spanish mackerel.
In the Intracoastal they are also catching some really nice trout, like the 5-pounder pictured below, on topwater plugs like Spooks and Mirrolures fished over shallow water first thing. You will also pick up bluefish up to about 20 inches the same way. After the sun gets up a little then fishing the ledges with shrimp has been effective for trout.
Besides at the jetties, fishing for reds in grass flats at higher tides has been effective. Find small open spots in the thick stuff, and soak cut chunks of mullet. Just like it would for a catfish, the smell will bring the fish in.
Smaller black drum are also biting well around docks in the Intracoastal.
While they are still not seeing the numbers of flounder they would like, live mud minnows, Gulp! jerk shad and shrimp in new penny color are also picking up some flatfish.
Small striper are usually around in the ICW and they are being caught right now.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that whiting and croaker are both being caught off the pier, and there have also been Spanish up to 17 plus inches caught today. A nice 27-inch black drum was caught recently, but kings and flounder have been absent of late.
On pretty days a fantastic cobia bite has just developed, and from 6-10 miles out at the nearshore reefs the fishing has been very strong. One of Captain Smiley’s boats hooked 15 cobia and landed 10 on Tuesday! They are using Sabiki rigs to jig up small reef baitfish like pinfish. Spadefish are also around by the thousands but they have been difficult to get to bite so far.

Jay A’Hern
Angler’s Headquarters (
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250

May 9 2019 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

May 9
Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are around 71-72 degrees.
Flounder fishing has been good drifting Carolina rigs around the tide cycle in Hog Inlet and the Cherry Grove area, but this week Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that fish have also started to show up in the Little River area. They can be caught casting ¼ ounce jigheads with live minnows or Gulp! baits into moving water. Deep holes in the creeks and drop offs have been the best place to fish, and the best bite has been on the falling tide.
They are also some catching redfish in the 15-27 inch range in 2-5 foot potholes in the creeks. Three hours either side of low tide when the water is out of the grass has been the best time, and the fish really seem to want blue crabs or mud minnows on a ¼ ounce jighead.
On higher stages of the tide you have to fish the grass, and if you can find a flat area with sparser grass or a clean bottom then anchoring cut mullet or crab and waiting is a good pattern.
Bluefish are around and in the same low tide holes as the reds.
Black drum can be caught around docks on fresh cut shrimp throughout the tide cycle, but the outgoing has been best.
The trout bite remains slowed down from its peak, but they are catching some undersized fish again.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that last weekend they had several king mackerel in the 21-36 pound range caught, as well as keeper Spanish mackerel up to 25 inches. Bluefish ranging from ½ to 5 pounds are also being caught as well as pompano, whiting and a few trout.
At the jetties Spanish mackereland blues can be caught casting spoons, and at the nearshore reefs spadefish, weakfish, bluefish and Spanish are around. Cobia have also just started to show up.

Jay A’Hern
Angler’s Headquarters (
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250

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