May 26
Inshore surface water temperatures around Little River have risen fast to 75 degrees and above. While there is debris in the rivers the water coming from the ocean is starting to return to a clear, bright blue. They are finally starting to get small shrimp big enough to use for bait in cast nets.
While it’s not as exciting as an influx of big trout would be, Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that right now a ton of small trout are starting to flood into the area eating the juvenile shrimp. They are being caught around grass lines and ledges, and soon some better fish should be mixed in.
While the jetties may be holding some bigger trout it’s been too windy recently to fish them easilty. The pattern should be to fish live shrimp five feet below a slip float 15-20 feet off the rocks.
There’s been some pretty good flounder action in the last day or two, and Captain Smiley reports that he has had success jigging white swimming minnows in Tubbs Inlet. The outgoing tide has been fishing best.
The action has also been good out at the reefs on live menhaden.
This week the big redfish have not been around in the IntraCoastal Waterway, but the small reds and black drum are eating well in 4-foot holes in the shallow creeks on the low rising or low falling tide. On high water the fish are hard to find in the creeks. If there are black drum around then shrimp fished on a jighead is a good bet for both species, and you can also use Gulp shrimp.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that there have been good catches of spot, croaker and whiting off the pier, and while there have been tons of flounder caught they have all been short. At the same time there have also been a bunch of keeper Spanish mackerel in the 16-18 inch range caught, and in the last week there were two good king mackerel caught. Then the water got dirty and the sharks moved in, but they are expecting the clearing water to mean more kings are caught soon.
Surf water temperatures are 75 degrees.
The big excitement this week is that cobia have showed up at the nearshore reefs, and they are being caught on live menhaden, pinfish or most any small baitfish. In addition to flounder there are also plenty of Spanish, bluefish and sharks.

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