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.