Morning surface water temperatures are around 82 degrees inshore around Little River. Bait is now pretty abundant in the creeks.
Trolling for Spanish mackerel continues to entertain families and clients at the north end of the Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching the fish pulling #1 planer boards with Clarks Spoons at about 6 knots. Tou can also cast small silver spoons when you find the fish. The key is to look for the menhaden balls and glass minnows and they will be nearby.
There are also sharks underneath which provide a lot of action, and they are also catching sharks soaking baits at the sand bars.
The flounder fishing is still really good, and this week they have also been catching a lot of flounder drifting (aided by the trolling motor) along the rocks at the jetties. Live mullet have been working very well. Tubbs Inlet is still producing a ton of fish over 16 inches, and the action is also pretty good in Cherry Grove where you can keep the big ones.
“Peanut pogies” (small menhaden) are also working.
The other big three inshore species have all slowed down a little this week. They are still catching some small trout on Gulp! around oyster beds and creek mouths, and during the heat of the day the best place to look is in deep holes. The bigger trout should still be out at the jetties where the best way to target them is drifting live shrimp around the rocks on moving tides. You will also pick up redfish this way, and you can also still catch reds in shallow potholes back in the creeks on the low to rising tide. Live mullet, pinfish and Gulp! can all work. There are also redfish around docks.
There are also some black drum inshore that can be caught on cut or live shrimp.
It makes sense that the flounder are biting at the jetties this week, because Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that ever since mullet showed up in the ocean they have been killing big 3- and 4-pound flounder off the pier! Spanish have been a bit hit-or-miss, and they haven’t had a king in 10 days, but there have been some tarpon caught off the pier including one yesterday. It’s been a phenomenal year for tarpon, capped off by the day they caught 10! Bluefish, whiting, spot and croaker are all around as well.
At the nearshore reefs there are some flounder which will take finger mullet or live menhaden, but the cobia have left the reefs and wrecks. Small black sea bass are abundant and there are a bunch of sharks.