Inshore surface water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are around 50 degrees, and the water is not particularly clear.
The redfish bite has gotten really good on the north end of the Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching very good numbers of fish. There have been a lot of fish in the middle of the slot, as well as some that are pushing 30 inches. The population seems very strong.
On low tide the best pattern has been making long casts to very skinny water in areas where anglers can see reds pushing water. The best bait has been cut shrimp on a 3/8 ounce jighead, good for long casting. Cast ahead of the school and let the bait sit as the fish approach.
On higher stages of the tide anglers need to fish docks, bulkheads in the Intracoastal Waterway, or other structure. There are also fish that head up in the grass on high tide, but they are more difficult to locate and get to bite. Black drum are mixed in with the reds around structure.
Trout fishing has gotten tougher, but a few fish have been caught on the ledges in the ICW with Vudu Shrimp. Last March the bite got good at the jetties, and so look for the action to pick up there soon.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that the catch still mainly consists of whiting, dogfish, and the occasional croaker. In the ocean water temperatures are around 54 degrees, but when they hit 60-62 then first bluefish, then Spanish mackerel and then flounder will arrive. Last March there was an excellent bluefish run.
At the nearshore reefs there are abundant sheepshead and black drum, but it does take some work chumming to activate the schools and keep the small black sea bass at bay. Fiddler crabs have been the best bait.
The black sea bass bite in about 70 feet of water remains strong.
Angler’s Headquarters (www.AnglersHeadquarters.com)
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250