Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 60s inshore around Little River and with big winds and rains again this week the water has been pretty stirred up.
It’s been impossible to get away from wind and rain at the top of the South Carolina Grand Strand, but Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports they have made the best of it and gotten in some good fishing. They have been able to dodge the wind dock hopping along the Intracoastal Waterway around Little River, and with either live or fresh cut shrimp they are picking up some redfish. At higher tides the fish seem to move up on the docks.
The flounder have also started, including some keepers, and the reports from Cherry Grove indicate that they are showing up there early in good numbers like they usually do.
They are also picking up some trout drifting shrimp inshore around oyster shells and drops, but if you get into bluefish immediately switch over to metal spoons or you can run through a lot of expensive bait! They are also catching some trout on the rocks at the Little River jetties on moving tides with live shrimp under a slip float.
Things continue to pick up at the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), with croaker, whiting, lots of bluefish from 6-14 inches and keeper Spanish mackerel running up to the 15-inch range. They are also getting some flounder but so far they have all been small. Reds and trout have not arrived.
Wind has made it almost impossible to get offshore but at the nearshore reefs there should be weakfish and Spanish. The Spanish are also being caught trolling Clarks Spoons right off the beaches.
Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 60s inshore around Little River and with big winds and rains the water has been pretty stirred up.
Unpleasant weather conditions have made for some tough days at the top of the South Carolina Grand Strand, but Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that when they have been able to get out there has been some good fishing.
Lots of 18-20 inch bluefish have showed up recently, and if they are fishing for trout with live shrimp and start catching blues they immediately switch over to metal spoons like Hopkins Spoons or something similar to conserve precious live bait. They are also catching some redfish inshore in the marshes and Intracoastal, but they aren’t seeing the huge schools that were around in the colder months. There are also some random striped bass being caught in the ICW but that action has slowed down.
A few early flounder are being caught in the Intracoastal and Captain Smiley expects the Cherry Grove area marshes to really turn on first like they do every year.
Things continue to pick up at the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), and in addition to whiting they are now getting lots of small bluefish, croaker and a few early keeper Spanish mackerel.
Perhaps the best area bite is coming in the Little River Inlet for trout by floating live shrimp under a slip float off the rocks on moving tides. There are also lots of blues at the jetties as well as some redfish.
Since the Spanish and weakfish have showed up around Murrells Inlet they should get to the reefs at the top of the coast very soon if they have not already. Again, wind has limited nearshore fishing.
Morning inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are up to the low 60s and conditions remain very clear.
Fishing continues to improve at the top of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that just this week they have caught a mixed bag of trout, black drum, and redfish as well as the first good flounder of the season!
Starting on the outside and working in, before the fishing started to pick up inshore they were heading out to the Caudle Reef when conditions allowed. They were getting good numbers of black drum as well as small black sea bass and bluefish on fresh cut shrimp fished on a heavy split shot rig right over the structure. They would also pick up the occasional sheepshead, but with fiddler crabs you will catch more.
Moving in towards the jetties, the action has been a little slow but Captain Smiley’s boats have been catching redfish drifting live shrimp – available at Perry’s in Murrells Inlet – along the rocks. The most bites have been coming about 20 feet out on a slip bobber, and the key is to adjust the depth until you find the fish. They have also picked up some sporadic fish on a paddletail swimbait.
The best trout catches have come in the Intracoastal Waterway, and off the ledges they are picking up some really nice fish. They are anchoring in 5-6 feet; on one side there is a flat and on the other side it drops off to 13 or so feet, and the key is to always cast into and fish the line of current. Live shrimp under a slip cork has been working very well but Vudu shrimp on the same rig or casting are also catching fish as are paddletail grubs. Be sure to add some Pro-Cure shrimp scent to soft plastics.
Finally, inside in the tidal marshes they have been able to creep up on a few reds and the occasional flounder in deeper holes. The best bite is coming around low tide, either rising or falling. Cut shrimp and mud minnows are working as is Gulp! on a jighead. They are occasionally seeing big schools of reds pushing water, and while they are seeing trout back there they are usually not biting.
There’s more improvement in the action at the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), and they are starting to catch some nice whiting. There are also an assortment of small bluefish, croaker, sting rays and pufferfish being caught. Off the pier surface temperatures are about 59 degrees.
Morning inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are in the low to mid-50s and conditions remain very clear.
The fishing is just starting to pick up at the top of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly(843-361-7445) reports that with temperatures just a little bit warmer species like redfish are getting more active. They have had some decent days recently sight-casting for fish on the low to rising tides in skinny creeks when the water is just starting to come up. In contrast, docks are fishing very slowly.
They are seeing a ton of trout in the same areas, but it is harder to get them to bite.
There have been some inshore trout caught at the swing bridge, where there is a lot of structure in 6-13 feet for the fish to get around. Anglers are throwing Rapalas, Mirrolures and paddletail grubs and catching a mixed bag including trout, striper, and some reds. The same smorgasbord of species is also available at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club on the same baits.
There’s some marginal improvement at the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), where they are now catching some small bluefish, croaker, whiting and pufferfish. Off the pier surface temperatures are about 55 degrees on the top and 54 at the bottom.
Out at the Little River jetties Captain Smiley’s boat has caught some trout with live shrimp fished under a slip cork. Most of the fish are within 20 feet of the rocks. They have been fishing the falling tide, but moving water in either direction is really the key.
They have also caught some black drum and small black sea bass at the Caudle Reef on shrimp. While they have not picked up any sheepshead, if you have fiddler crabs you can catch them.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are about 57 degrees and the water is pretty clear. Out in the inlet on the incoming tide there is beautiful blue water coming in.
Trout are all over the place right now, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching them in the backs of creeks, on the ledges in the Intracoastal Waterway, and out at the jetties. Many of them are undersized but there are also plenty of better ones mixed in. Moving tides are still fishing the best and live shrimp under a popping cork are hard to beat. Chartreuse Vudu Shrimp are also working well.
Out at the jetties they are picking up plenty of sheepshead on live shrimp while trout fishing, and if you want to target them specifically use fiddler crabs.
The redfish and black drum are also biting pretty well in the shallower creeks, where the largest trout also seem to be, and on the incoming tide they are doing well with fresh cut shrimp around structure. Reds will also take Gulp!
There are also some big schools of redfish in the Intracoastal.
There is inconsistent action on the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) for croaker, whiting and pufferfish.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are about 58 degrees and the water is pretty clear. In skinny water it appears to be gin clear.
It’s been really good inshore fishing for black drum and redfish on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching both species with fresh cut shrimp fished on the bottom in the Intracoastal Waterway. Fish are related to docks in about 7 feet of water as well as oyster beds, and on lower tides the reds are schooled up in only 1-2 feet of water around the ICW. They are very spooky and so casting artificials to them is tricky, but you can cast a piece of cut mullet nearby and wait for them to eat it.
The trout fishing is still really good in the area and Captain Smiley reports that the larger fish seem to be in the Intracoastal. Moving tides are important with the incoming fishing best. Live shrimp are the best bait, but a DOA Shrimp, Trout Trick or Vudu Shrimp will also catch fish.
There are still plenty of small flounder around.
It’s getting to be that time of year where it’s spotty fishing on the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), and they are still having some times where the whiting fishing is really good but other days when they barely bite. They are also picking up some small black drum, flounder, croaker and perch.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River dropped to about 58 degrees.
The trout fishing is still on fire on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly(843-361-7445) reports that it doesn’t get much better than this. The best fishing continues to be on the low to rising tide, but they will also bite on the outgoing. Overall having some current is still key, whichever way it is moving, and on the slack tide fish usually don’t feed much.
The trout are still around shell beds near the edge of spartina grass in about 6 feet of water in creeks off the IntraCoastal. Live shrimp have been working the best, but it’s also a good time to try out different artificial lures since the fish are feeding so well. DOA shrimp and chartreuse-colored Vudu Shrimp have also been good.
The action for redfish has also been strong in the creeks, and – while the fish will also take live bait – Gulp! in new penny colors has been working really well.
The flounder fishing is still pretty good on both sides of the state line. The best action has come on flats with live mullet or Gulp! baits.
Big black drum are still being caught on shrimp or crab baits around oyster beds and docks, especially off the Tilghman docks.
It continues to be wide open whiting fish on the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), and they are also catching small croaker, a few spots and some nice pompano. They are also picking up the occasional flounder.
Conditions are still so windy that it has limited fishing at the nearshore reefs, but there should be bluefish, big red drum and some flounder on the bottom.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are about 77 degrees.
It’s a really good time to fish in the Little River area, and from inshore to the inlet to the beaches to nearshore it’s getting to be a strong fall bite. Perhaps the most exciting bite is in the Little River Inlet, and big red drum in the 30-40 plus inch range are being caught. The incoming tide has been the best time to fish and live or cut mullet and menhaden will both work.
Further inshore they are also catching redfish and very good numbers of black drum in a little deeper water inside the main channels, typically in 15-20 feet. Both species will take shrimp and crabs, while the live menhaden or mullet will catch redfish.
On lower tides they are also catching shallower redfish on the flats, while at higher tides they are locating them around structure like docks in the Intracoastal or along grass edges.
The trout bite inshore has been decent with live shrimp fished under a float along the ledges, and fish can also be caught on slip floats at the jetties.
There’s not a lot of change in the flounder fishing, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that live mullet on the bottom as well as Gulp! baits are both working.
For the last few days the fishing off Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) has been very strong, and yesterday they had three king mackerel caught as well as some big Spanish mackerel on the king rigs – including a 6 pound 2 ounce fish! They are also catching some smaller Spanish jigging. Today the water was a little dirtier, but it should get back to clear very soon.
Occasional keeper flounder and drum are being caught, as well as some whiting, spots, and croaker. However, the fall run of these species has not started in earnest.
Surf temperatures off the pier today were 79 degrees.
Unsurprisingly considering the catches at the pier, Captain Smiley reports that along the beach or right outside the inlet there are lots of big Spanish mackerel around chasing the mullet. You can catch them on big topwater plugs or live chumming with mullet and then doing a bait-and-switch!
At the Jim Caudle Reef there are lots of flounder as well as bluefish and Spanish mackerel.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River have dropped in the upper 70s.
The North Carolina flounder season ended this week, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the brief season was a mix of good days and bad days. Now that they are back to only fishing South Carolina waters for flounder they are having similar, patchy success – but there are definitely still some fish to be caught.
Probably the best thing going inshore is the redfish, and using live finger mullet they are catching lots of 18-30 inch fish. On lower tides they are catching fish on the flats, while at higher tides they are locating them around structure like docks in the Intracoastal or along grass edges.
The trout bite inshore has been decent with live shrimp fished under a float along the ledges, and while Pat has not targeted them out there they should also be at the jetties.
It’s getting to be an exciting time in the surf, and Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that in the last 24 hours they have had a couple of king mackerel and some large Spanish mackerel on the king rigs. They are catching some smaller Spanish jigging. The only flounder caught recently have been small, while whiting, croaker and a few spot are around.
With mullet going down the beach there are also lots of 2-5 pound Spanish mackerel on the shoals near the jetties. They can be caught on live bait or any walk-the-dog style topwater plug. There are also some big drum in the inlet that can be caught on cut mullet, cut bluefish or live mullet on the bottom.
One good way to fish is to put out baits on the bottom and then cast for Spanish.
There are also some tarpon at the jetties.
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are in the mid-80s.
This week there’s no doubt the hot bite on the north end of the Grand Strand is for redfish, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the best action has come on higher tides when fish are feeding on large schools of finger mullet in and around the edges of the grass. Naturally the best bait is mullet, and if you find areas where the redfish are feeding the bite can be really hot. Sometimes you want to put baits inside the grass, and sometimes the fish are feeding just along the outside the grass line.
There are also some trout being caught along drops in the Intracoastal Waterway and around shell beds, with live shrimp the ticket. They are also catching trout on live shrimp fished under a slip float out at the jetties. Fish are often about ten feet off the rocks.
The black drum fishing has been slow, but there are some flounder being caught in deep holes in the marshes or along the same grass edges where reds are feeding. While live finger mullet are working, jigging Gulp! jerk shad has been just as good and sometimes better.
Note that effective July 1 flounder regulations changed, with a new limit of 5 fish per person (from 10) and 10 per boat(from 20). The minimum size moved to 16 inches (from 15).
While you can catch some flounder insides the creeks, if you want to get into the big ones the Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) is the place to be! In addition to plenty of smaller fish, even with only limited numbers of anglers targeting them some monster flatfish have been caught. They have had two 7.3 pound fish as well as one 6.5 pound fish in the last few days, caught midway along the pier.
Lots of croaker, good numbers of whiting and too many small sea robins have also been caught.
While they are not getting any kings right now, lots of big Spanish mackerel have been caught on the king mackerel rigs.
Clarity in the ocean depends on whether the tide is coming in or going out, and water temperatures are about 84 degrees.
Out at the jetties there have been a ton of sharks and some big drum are on the bottom.