Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are in the mid- to lower-80s, and water clarity has actually been pretty good for the season.
Despite the summer heat, Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly(843-361-7445) reports that fishing has been wide open in the Little River/ North Myrtle Beach area. This morning they found a good topwater bite first thing for trout from sunrise to about 7:30, and Zara Spooks were hot for fish up to about 4 pounds. Overall the trout fishing has really picked up in the last couple of months, with much improved numbers as well as plenty of big fish.
Outside of the early morning window they have also been catching trout on live shrimp fished under popping corks over shelly bottoms, oysters beds and along grass edges. The best fishing has been in about 6 feet of water on any tide that has the current moving.
Remember that SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September. To read the full news release click here.
Some redfish have also been taking the topwater lures in the morning, but in general the best drum bite has come on the low to rising tide. Fish are shallow – and when the water is just getting over the oyster shells the fish are there, and when the water is getting into the grass fish are along the grass line or moving into it. Cut or live mullet have been working really well for the reds.
Today Captain Smiley’s boat caught a bunch of flounder, with both live mullet and white, Gulp! swimming mullet working well. On low tide they have been finding them in deep, 10-foot holes in shallow creeks.
Rounding out an inshore grand slam, black drum have also been feeding well. They have been around ledges or docks in the Intracoastal Waterway, usually in 4-15 feet. Cut or live shrimp fished on a ¼ ounce jighead are working well.
Cherry Grove Pier(843-249-1625) reports that it continues to be a phenomenal year for king mackerel, and they have caught a good 40-50 fish in the last month. They have also caught some big Spanish in the 5-6 pound range on the king rigs. The bluefish have slowed down a bit except for the small fish which are still around, and they are only seeing the rare, undersized flounder. Whiting and even a few spots have been caught here and there. Finally, several big black drum up to 8 pounds and some bull red drum have been caught.
Nearshore, from the pier report it’s no surprise that there has been a red hot bite for Spanish and kings. Bull drum are also in the Little River inlet, and Atlantic sharpnose sharks and some bonnethead sharks are around.
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