May 12
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River are in the lower 70s. With lots of wind recently the water is not very clear.
Water temperatures have not moved very much and so the inshore fishing patterns remain similar on the north end of the South Carolina Grand Strand. Overall the action is strong, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the biggest change this week is that the flounder fishing has come on. There have still been a lot of fish caught, including good ones, in the Cherry Grove/ Hogg Inlet area, but the exciting development is that the fish in the Little River area have gotten much bigger. In the last week a 24-incher and a 22-incher were caught! Mud minnows are working the best but they are also catching some fish on Gulp! or Vudu Shrimp.
The trout fishing is still good on a variety of tides. The key is still to have some current – and live shrimp! The best pattern remains fishing the bait on a slip float over ledges in 6-8 feet of water that have oysters, a tree pile or some other type of structure nearby. There should also be good fishing at the jetties with shrimp five feet below a slip float 15-20 feet off the rocks, but the wind has made fishing the jetties unpleasant recently.
While there’s little doubt that redfish and black drum are still feeding at the jetties if you get out there, right now Captain Smiley’s boat is catching more of them along ledges or in holes in the creeks. Fishing depressions is best on the low rising or low falling tide, and on the high water the fish are hard to find in the creeks. If there are black drum around then shrimp fished on a jighead are a good bet for both species, and you can also use Gulp shrimp. But as with the trout live shrimp are the best right now.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that the last couple of days have been slow after the front came through with the catch mostly consisting of whiting, but they expect things to get back to where they were just a few days ago very soon. Spanish mackerel and bluefish have been caught recently, including a Spanish that weighed 6 pounds. There have also been a lot of flounder caught, and while most of them have been small one 24-incher was measured! No kings have been caught despite a lot of hours put into trying.
The water is about 72 degrees off the beach and conditions are murky with lots of stirred up sand.
At the nearshore reefs 2-3 miles offshore Captain Smiley reports that there are a bunch of Spanish around as well as a few bonito. Casting or trolling Clarks Spoons has been working well.

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