May 12 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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May 12
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are in the lower 70s. With lots of wind recently the water is not very clear.
Water temperatures have not moved very much and so the inshore fishing patterns remain similar on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand. Overall the action is strong, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the biggest change this week is that the flounder fishing has come on. There have still been a lot of fish caught, including good ones, in the Cherry Grove/ Hogg Inlet area, but the exciting development is that the fish in the Little River area have gotten much bigger. In the last week a 24-incher and a 22-incher were caught! Mud minnows are working the best but they are also catching some fish on Gulp! or Vudu Shrimp.
The trout fishing is still good on a variety of tides. The key is still to have some current – and live shrimp! The best pattern remains fishing the bait on a slip float over ledges in 6-8 feet of water that have oysters, a tree pile or some other type of structure nearby. There should also be good fishing at the jetties with shrimp five feet below a slip float 15-20 feet off the rocks, but the wind has made fishing the jetties unpleasant recently.
While there’s little doubt that redfish and black drum are still feeding at the jetties if you get out there, right now Captain Smiley’s boat is catching more of them along ledges or in holes in the creeks. Fishing depressions is best on the low rising or low falling tide, and on the high water the fish are hard to find in the creeks. If there are black drum around then shrimp fished on a jighead are a good bet for both species, and you can also use Gulp shrimp. But as with the trout live shrimp are the best right now.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that the last couple of days have been slow after the front came through with the catch mostly consisting of whiting, but they expect things to get back to where they were just a few days ago very soon. Spanish mackerel and bluefish have been caught recently, including a Spanish that weighed 6 pounds. There have also been a lot of flounder caught, and while most of them have been small one 24-incher was measured! No kings have been caught despite a lot of hours put into trying.
The water is about 72 degrees off the beach and conditions are murky with lots of stirred up sand.
At the nearshore reefs 2-3 miles offshore Captain Smiley reports that there are a bunch of Spanish around as well as a few bonito. Casting or trolling Clarks Spoons has been working well.

April 29 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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April 29
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are just now hitting 70 but got there slower than usual this year.
Inshore fishing remains strong on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly(843-361-7445) reports that the trout fishing is still good on a variety of tides. The key is still to have some current – and live shrimp! The best pattern remains fishing the bait on a slip float over ledges in 6-8 feet of water that have oysters, a tree pile or some other type of structure nearby. There should also be good fishing at the jetties with shrimp five feet below a slip float 15-20 feet off the rocks, but the wind has made fishing the jetties unpleasant recently.
While there’s little doubt that redfish and black drum are still feeding at the jetties if you get out there, right now Captain Smiley’s boat is catching more of them along ledges or in holes in the creeks. Fishing depressions is best on the low rising or low falling tide, and on the high water the fish are hard to find in the creeks. If there are black drum around then shrimp fished on a jighead are a good bet for both species, and you can also use Gulp shrimp. But as with the trout live shrimp are the best right now.
By this point there are a lot of flounder in Cherry Grove/ Hogg Inlet as is typical for this time of year, and they are starting to see more fish in Little River. However, for now they have still been on the small side. Mud minnows are working the best but they are also catching some fish on Gulp! or Vudu Shrimp.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that they are getting Spanish mackerel, bluefish and whiting as well as a few small flounder.
It has been too windy to get offshore the last few days.

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April 1 

Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are in the mid-60s, and the water is still pretty clear.   

It’s turning into a good spring on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and after a hiatus in the reports due to some telephone issues that kept us from connecting Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the action for both trout and redfish is strong.  Inshore they are drifting the ledges and grass lines with live shrimp under a slip float rig when the tide is up, and at the jetties they are catching fish with the same set-up.  They are also catching mainly redfish on cut shrimp or Gulp! baits around docks, bulkheads, oysters and other structure at the beginning of the outgoing tide.   

Black drum are also being caught around docks on fresh cut shrimp.  

Smaller flounder are just beginning to show up, but so far only a handful of them.   

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that right now the catch is limited to whiting and croaker, but they have seen their first keeper flounder as well as some smaller ones.  The blues and Spanish mackerel should not be far off.   

At the 3-Mile Reef, Captain Smiley reports that they are catching some really nice-sized weakfish bouncing white Gulp! baits with a chartreuse tail on a 3/8 ounce jighead.  False albacore and bonito are also easy to spot under the birds.  Even though they don’t stay up for long, they are a lot of fun to target on light tackle throwing small silver spoons or trolling Clarks Spoons.

Feb. 23 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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February 23
Water temperatures range from about 48-50 degrees, and after recent weather the water is fairly dirty inshore. Out at the jetties there is some pretty blue water.
Winter fishing continues to be strong on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are still doing very well with the redfish and black drum inshore. Fish are highly schooled up, and they can be found around deep holes in the creeks on low tide and dock pilings on higher tides. Current remains essential and the slack tide on either end has not been good. Live shrimp (available at Perry’s in Murrell’s Inlet) or fresh cut shrimp have been working very well, and they are also picking up some redfish on Vudu shrimp and Zman baits.
The trout fishing has been a little slower inshore, but Captain Smiley reports that a few have been caught inshore around channels and oyster beds on live shrimp. However, the better trout fishing has been in the clean water out at the jetties. Live shrimp on a slip float or on a split shot rig and a #4 hook, live minnows and even Gulp! baits are all working. However, as with inshore the current must be moving for the jetties to produce.
Redfish can also be picked up at the jetties.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) is closed for renovations.

Myrtle Beach Fishing Report Feb. 5 2021

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February 5
Water temperatures are about 49 right now, and particularly on the incoming tide water conditions are gin clear in the creeks.
It continues to be a really good time for fishing on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are still doing very well with the redfish and black drum. Fish are highly schooled up, and they can be found around deep holes in the creeks on low tide and dock pilings on higher tides. However, you need some current to catch fish as the slack tide on either end has not been good. Live shrimp (available at Perry’s in Murrell’s Inlet) or fresh cut shrimp have been working very well, and they are also picking up some redfish on Vudu shrimp and Zman baits.
The trout also continue to bite pretty well, and Captain Smiley’s boats have been catching them drifting the ledges or out at the jetties. Live shrimp are still the ticket for catching trout, although they will also hit Vudu Shrimp and paddletail grubs.
It’s been so rough that getting offshore has been pretty much impossible, but when conditions improve redfish and trout should still be out at the jetties. They can be caught fishing shrimp under a slip float or on a split shot rig and a #4 hook. Again, you need current moving in either direction for the ledges or the jetties to be productive.

January 21 2021 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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January 21
Water temperatures have ranged from about 48-52 over the last week, and water conditions are gin clear in the creeks.
Despite the really cold temperatures, the fishing has been excellent on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that if you have some good spots the redfish and black drumare very willing to eat. Fish are highly schooled up, and they can be found around deep holes in the creeks on low tide and dock piling on higher tides. However, you need some current to catch fish as the slack tide on either end has not been good. Live shrimp (available at Perry’s in Murrell’s Inlet) or fresh cut shrimp have been working very well.
The trout have also been biting pretty well, and Captain Smiley’s boats have been catching them drifting the ledges or out at the jetties. Live shrimp have been the ticket for catching trout, although they will also hit Vudu Shrimp and paddletail grubs.
Out at the jetties anglers can also pick up redfish fishing shrimp under a slip float, and fish can also be caught on a split shot rig and a #4 hook. Again, you need current moving in either direction for the ledges or the jetties to be productive.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) is closed for renovations.

Jan 6 2021 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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January 6
Water temperatures are in the upper 40s and lower 50s and water conditions are gin clear in the shallows when there isn’t a bunch of recent rain.
On some parts of the South Carolina coastline artificial lures are out-fishing live bait, but on the north end of the Grand Strand Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that there are plenty of trout to be caught – if you have live shrimp. It is very hard to get bites on artificial lures. With shrimp trout seem abundant, including some big fish up to 20 plus inches, and the jetties seem to be holding the most trout.
Creek mouths close to the inlet are also holding trout, as are creek mouths close to the ocean. However, the main run of the ICW is a trout desert.
Redfish are in a typical winter pattern, and they are up shallow feeding on the low incoming tide – especially if you can catch a low tide in the warmer part of the day. The best place to look for them is in the potholes and surrounding ditches with 2-4 feet of water where they will school up. Casting pretty much any artificial lure will work but Gulp! or small paddletail grubs have been really good.
In holes, around deeper docks, and at the jetties there are also plenty of black drum that can be caught on live or fresh dead shrimp. There have been good numbers of fish in the 17-19 inch range.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) is closed for renovations.

Dec. 20 2020 Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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December 20

Water temperatures are in the lower 50s, but the water has not yet gotten to its typical gin clear winter color.

Even though the weather has been pretty tough recently, when they can get out on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that inshore fish are settling into winter patterns. They have caught some really big trout on artificial lures recently, with fish around drops in the IntraCoastal. The jetties are also holding good numbers of trout. However, if you really want to slay the trout live shrimp (available at some area stores) are hard to beat.

The redfish are also getting into their winter patterns, and the best time to catch them is on the low to rising tide when they are bunched up in big groups in deeper potholes in the shallows. You can still catch some on the higher tides but they aren’t grouped up as well. Gulp!, fresh cut shrimp, or live mud minnows will all work.

If you fish with fresh cut shrimp you will also catch some black drum in the same areas, and they are also schooled up around shell beds and docks. At times the black drum will group up very tightly.

Thanksgiving Myrtle Beach Fishing Report

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November 19
Water temperatures did fall into the 60s but then heated back up to 70, but it finally looks surface water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand have dropped backed into the 60s for good. With the recent king tides, wind and rain clarity is low. Bait is just starting to leave the creeks.
The last couple of days have finally seen more seasonal weather on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, but Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that water temperatures started out so warm that things are still running a couple of weeks behind. The trout bite slowed down as temperatures got warm, but as temperatures drop they are looking for the action to get very hot and the best is almost certainly yet to come. The strongest pattern is drifting shrimp suspended under a float, and the incoming tide has fished the best. Trout are around ledges, areas with current, grass lines and covered oyster shells. Look for fish in about 6 feet of water.
Redfish are being caught on the same pattern as the trout, but they are also catching fish shallower around docks and structure with jigs fished on the bottom. However, live shrimp is still the best bait for reds.
The black drum are also biting pretty well but they are generally hanging a little deeper. The best place to fish for them is around ledges on the incoming tide.
In the surf, Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that they are catching redfish and black drum, a few flounder, croaker, whiting, and the last of the pompano. While spot are not running there are a few around.
While there are probably plenty of fish to be caught out at the jetties, it has been so rough that Captain Smiley’s boat has stayed inside the inlet.

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

Myrtle Beach Fishing Report October 24

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October 24
Surface water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand have risen to 74 degrees. Particularly on the incoming tide the water is a pretty blue color. While finger mullet remain abundant in the creeks and menhaden are thick off the beach, shrimp are still hard to come by.
The redfish action has been outstanding for the last couple of weeks, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that inside the creeks they are catching lots of smaller reds, a bunch of 18-23 inch fish, and some up to 26 inches. Spots are tide-dependent, and on lower tides they are fishing holes in the creeks while on higher tides they are fishing around grass and oysters. The best baits have been live finger mullet on a jighead, but Gulp! shrimp are also working.
The flounder fishing is still pretty good, but right now they are catching more short fish and lower numbers of keepers. Live finger mullet and Gulp! baits are both working.
On the incoming tide they are catching black drum on fresh cut shrimp fished around docks and certain oyster beds that the fish seem to like.
The trout fishing continues to be off, and it seems likely that this is the result of a couple of factors. First, shrimp are still hard to come by and so floating live shrimp around has not been as much of an option. Second, temperatures have not dropped yet. They did catch a nice trout on finger mullet today, perhaps a sign of good things to come.
In the surf, Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that whiting and croaker are both biting well, and there have been a few black drum too. But by far the most exciting action is with the king mackerel, and in the past two weeks more than 70 fish have been caught. In the last two days 17 have been landed! A few Spanish mackerel are also around although they have slowed off the pier.
While smaller redfish are biting inshore, the fishing for bigger drum has been pretty good in the inlet and off the beaches. Fish from 30 to 40 plus inches have been caught around the rocks, in holes in the inlet and following the schools of menhaden down the beach. Some of these schools are half an acre or more and if you drop baits into them you will pick up drum and sharks. They are usually just outside the breakers in 5-20 feet of water and the pelicans will point you to them.
There has also been some outstanding Spanish mackerel fishing in the inlet, with many of the fish 2-3 pounds and better. It’s as simple as looking for the diving birds and then casting spoons to them, and you can also troll or cast Mirrolures at the Spanish.

Jay A’Hern
Angler’s Headquarters (www.AnglersHeadquarters.com)
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250
jay@usfishingreport.com

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