Morning surface water temperatures are around 82-83 degrees inshore around Little River, and most of this week conditions have been calm.
The mullet run is underway along the Grand Strand, but with the brief window where you can keep a North Carolina flounder open right now Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that it’s been hard to focus on much else. For a while now they’ve know just how many big ones were living in North Carolina waters, and that was proven this week when they caught a 24-incher! Mud minnows, finger mullet, live shrimp, Gulp!, Vudu Shrimp and more will all catch fish.
With calm conditions, they have also still been able to get after the Spanish mackerel and the bite has been pretty outstanding. Fish can be caught anywhere nearshore that there are pods of bait (and usually birds diving on them), but probably the best fishing has been out by the jetty rocks. Live chumming and then casting out live baits has been working really well for nice fish up to the 3-5 pound range, and they have found the hook-up ratio is better hooking the baits through the tail. You can also cast topwater lures at the fish.
Inshore the usual early fall patterns for redfish are working, and Captain Smiley reports that you can catch fish around docks, oyster beds and downed trees. While you can certainly get into an area where there are more very small redfish regardless of bait, in general it seems like live shrimp are getting more little bites while cut mullet are catching bigger fish.
Out at the jetty rocks the big breeder-sized redfish have moved in, and you can catch them on live or cut menhaden or mullet.
Trout have not been especially prolific yet but if you drift with live shrimp you will find them.
The last couple of days the water got dirty and so the fishing on the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) fell apart, but before that the fishing was pretty good for Spanish mackerel and spot. Today they did have a cobia just under the limit but under than that it has gotten pretty slow.
Bluefish and small cobia can also be caught out at the nearshore reefs, but the flounder fishing has been really good out there.