July 24
Surface water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are about 85 degrees and water clarity varies. Some inshore areas are dirty while the ocean is fairly clear today.
Despite the heat Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that inshore fishing has been pretty good, with most species still biting in the usual places. Trout are being caught on live shrimp drifted around drop offs or any type of structure such as oyster beds. With the heat fish are more likely to be in 6 plus feet of water.
Redfish are being caught fairly shallow in the IntraCoastal Waterway and the creeks. On higher stages of the tide they are being caught around grass lines, while on lower tides they are oriented to oyster shells. Cut and live mullet as well as fresh cut or live shrimp are all working. Redfish can also be caught around docks.
There are also some big 30 plus inch fish being caught in the inlet on cut or live mullet or menhaden. The fish are in 20-30 feet off the ends of the rocks.
Some flounder are being caught casting at creek mouths or drop-offs with live mullet or Gulp! swimming minnows.
The black drum remains prolific all over the shallows, around docks, drops offs, oyster beds, and in holes – but almost all of the fish have been undersized. The population should be very strong in a year or two.
In the surf, Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that fishing has been a little slow in the heat, and there has not been a lot of bait around. A few whiting, ribbonfish, small spadefish and sheepshead have been caught, but bluefish, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel have all been absent.
Perhaps the most entertaining fishing has been taking place nearshore recently, and Captain Smiley reports that about two and a half miles offshore at the Jim Caudle Reef they have been catching a mixed bag of species. Plenty of nice flounder and small cobia are around, and there are also a variety of sharks and plenty of bluefish. Trolling
Clarks Spoons on #1 planers around the tide lines and sea buoys there are lots of Spanish mackerel to be caught, and off Hog Inlet has been particularly good.

Jay A’Hern
Angler’s Headquarters (www.AnglersHeadquarters.com)
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250

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