April 15
Surface temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are around 66 degrees in the surf.
The biggest change inshore this week is with the flounder, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that more fish are starting to show up in Cherry Grove. The most popular way to target them is trolling or drifting Carolina rigs or even double rigs with live mullet or mud minnows, but you can also spot-lock on a hole and cast.
However, the biggest change this year is that instead of there being 100 boats out there targeting them the fishing pressure is way down and so the flounder are getting a little break.
They are still catching some nice trout, and this bite should only get better in the next few weeks. Fish can be caught at low tide around oyster beds or on the Intracoastal Waterway ledges, and at higher tides they can be caught along the grass lines. The key to catching trout remains live shrimp, although DOA shrimp are producing a little better than they were.
There are also some nice trout being caught at the jetties on the outgoing tide, as well as redfish. There are also plenty of reds shallow around structure such as docks, as well as mixed in with the trout along ledges in the ICW or over shell beds. There are still some schools of redfish on the flats.
Black drum fishing is getting better, with more keepers starting to show up. They can be caught on cut shrimp around docks or other structure.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that rising ocean temperatures have improved the bite, and they are getting good numbers of whiting and they have also had a couple of runs of bluefish. So far they have been small, but as water temperatures stabilize and rise there will be more mature blues and better numbers. They have also had some small flounder caught, but the good fish should not be far behind them. There have been some good keeper-sized Spanish mackerel already, but that bite will also get better. Expect black drum to start to show up, and king mackerel should appear by about May 1.
There are menhaden schools starting to show up at the jetties, and nearshore at the 3-Mile Reef weakfish are plentiful and can be caught on 3/8 ounce jigs with white and chartreuse Gulp! Fish are running up to 5-6 pounds, and they will of course take natural baits too. There are also tons of bluefish and some Spanish that can be caught trolling Clarks spoons, and birds are diving everywhere.

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

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