Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand are in the low 80s and clarity is poor. Surf temperatures are around 80.
Inshore fishing has been pretty good at the top of the Grand Strand, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching a mixed bag of species in the early summer heat.
In the Intracoastal Waterway they have been catching redfish and black drum on live or fresh dead baits including shrimp, and fishing an hour before high tide in 8-10 feet on the ledges has been hot. On lower tides you can catch fish in about 4 feet of water. Black drum have been pretty consistent in the 10-20 inch range on live or fresh cut shrimp.
While targeting drum an exciting by-catch has been some really nice bluefish up to the 10-plus pound range that have been caught inshore – catching small blues inshore is normal, but having these sizes in the creeks is a rarity. And proving that you never know what you are going to catch in the ocean, today Captain Smiley’s boat caught striped bass on live shrimp! He speculates that all the fresh water has changed the salinity and fish movement patterns.
Flounder have been pretty consistent on live finger mullet, mud mullet, and even Gulp! baits fished on a ¼ ounce jighead. The best pattern has been fishing deep holes in the backwaters on lower tides.
A few trout have also been caught on live shrimp fished under a popping cork, including a 20-incher today! Remember that SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September. To read the full news release click here.
Some bonnethead sharks have been caught shallow in creeks like Bonaparte Creek, and out in the inlet bull red drum, stingrays, and Atlantic sharpnose sharks have been caught.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that small whiting, croaker, occasional spots, a few black drum, a few bluefish, and some small Spanish mackerel have been caught off the pier. But the most exciting news is that it has been a marquee year for king mackerel and over the past few weeks they have had 25-28 keeper fish caught.
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