Inshore surface water temperatures in the morning on the north end of the Grand Strand are around 83 degrees. There are massive schools of finger mullet in the IntraCoastal Waterway and its tributaries, but it is a little hard to find shrimp.
The flounder fishery is closed to harvest in North Carolina, but on both sides of the border Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that there is still excellent flounder fishing. Yesterday his boat caught a fish that was almost 6 pounds as well as some 3-pounders. The key to catching fish is still fishing in places where there is an abundance of mullet and current, be that on the flats, around grass, etc. Tide does not seem to make a huge different as long as mullet and current are present. Both finger mullet and Gulp! baits are working well.
The redfish population seems to be in excellent shape, with a good number of fish and a broad range of sizes being caught. Inside the creeks there is one group of fish that runs from under 15 inches to about 28 inches, and these fish are very plentiful. They can be caught on mullet fished on a ¼ ounce jighead, and they are around grass and oyster beds on the outgoing tide.
There is a second, bigger group of fish in the 25-35 inch range that can be caught out at the jetties on cut bait or live mullet. Again, these fish are biting best on the outgoing tide.
There has also been some good black drum fishing with fresh cut shrimp. At the Tillman docks fishing on the bottom with a Carolina rig in 15-20 feet of water on moving tides has been working. There have also been good catches in Bonaparte Creek in 5-10 feet of water.
Trout action is not as good as it will be soon, but some fish can be caught at the jetties on the falling tide. Live shrimp fished on a split shot rig or under a floating cork are the best bait.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that they have had good catches of whiting, pompano, and black drum. There are some small red drum and some in the slot being caught, as well as Spanish mackerel. A few small bluefish are around.
Angler’s Headquarters (www.AnglersHeadquarters.com)
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250