April 1

Inshore surface water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are in the upper 60s, but the water is fairly dirty.  

Just as public boat ramps have closed and it has become possible only to access the waterways and beaches from private access points, Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that spring fishing has gotten really good.  In fact it is better than normal for the season.  

They are catching some nice trout and, while they have been doing the most fishing on low tide around oyster beds or on the Intracoastal Waterway ledges, at higher tides they can also be caught along the grass lines.  The key to catching trout has been live shrimp, which can be netted in the deep holes with taped nets, and they are making a night-and-day difference.  You can catch 1 or 2 fish on DOA shrimp in a spot, but you cast out a live shrimp you realize just how many fish there are.  

There are also some nice trout being caught on live shrimp at the jetties on the outgoing tide, as well as redfish.  There are also plenty of reds shallow around structure such as docks, as well as mixed in with the trout along ledges in the ICW or over shell beds.  

Black drum are also very plentiful, but even though there are some keepers overall fish are on the small side.  They can be caught on cut shrimp around docks or other structure.  

A few flounder are also showing up in the Cherry Grove area as they start to migrate back. 

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that ocean temperatures are down to 61 degrees but good numbers of whitingas well as pufferfish, rays and small sharks are being caught.  Before temperatures dropped some bluefish had showed up and they should return once temperatures rise again.  

At the jetties bluefish are starting to be caught in good numbers, while nearshore black sea bass and sheepshead are still strong.  After being abundant last week the false albacore have disappeared, but as soon as some clean water gets blown back in they should be just a few miles out again.

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