Morning surface water temperatures are around 81 degrees inshore around Little River. Bait is now pretty abundant in the creeks.
Even as it gets hot there has been some pretty good inshore fishing, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the flounder are probably the best thing going. Drifting in the Little River Inlet has been about the best way to catch fish, and when you get a bite opening the spool and giving the fish time to eat is the prefered way to catch them. You can also cast and jig with a grub or minnow on a 3/8 ounce jighead.
Probably the best flounder fishing right now is in North Carolina’s Tubbs Inlet where you can’t keep them, but you have to be careful with the sand bars to avoid getting stuck. The Cherry Grove area has also been pretty good and has a fair number of black drum as well.
The few trout that are around are mostly very small, but you can still catch redfish in shallow potholes back in the creeks on the low to rising tide. Live mullet, pinfish and Gulp! can all work. They are also redfish around docks.
There are also plenty of croaker and small black drum around inshore that will take shrimp or Fish Bites.
At the other end of the size range there have also been a lot of giant bull sharks in the Intracoastal that will eat a range of cut baits.
It’s been an incredible week of fishing off Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625), and in addition to the usual suspects of whiting, croaker and a few spots they have had a nice run of bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and even a couple of king mackerel this week. But the most exciting action came on Tuesday when they jumped 10 tarpon on the pier!
Just off the beaches you can cast heavy silver jigs and catch abundant false albacore, and even though this oily fish isn’t good table fare they make for excellent shark bait! You can also troll for Spanish mackerel with Clarks Spoons and #1 planers, and if you see a good wad of them you can cast.
At the nearshore reefs there are some flounder which will take finger mullet or live menhaden, and there are also abundant blues and Spanish mackerel. There are also some cobia at the reefs and wrecks.