Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand range from about 69-72 degrees, and there is still excellent visibility on the incoming tide.
May is here on the upper end of the Grand Strand, and as is customary Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly(843-361-7445) reports that fishing is taking off. Flounderhave arrived, and although there are a lot of smaller fish plenty of big females are around, too. Captain Smiley reports that a key to catching the better fish has been using really big baits, and he is fishing the biggest mud minnows he can catch or 6-inch Gulp swimming minnows, both on ¼ ounce jigheads. Flounder can be found in deeper holes on lower stages of the tide, particularly in 4-10 feet of water. A sandy bottom helps and Tubbs Inlet and Hogg Inlet have been productive.
Black drumfishing has been really good, and they are killing both soft shell or hard shell crabs. Fishing around oyster bars or docks in 4-10 feet of water on the low to rising tide has been the best pattern.
Action for redfish has also been very strong, and nice 15-18 inch fish have been everywhere. They are catching them around oyster beds on the edges of grass, very shallow, and around drop-offs. Reds are taking live mud minnows or Gulp! baits fished on a ¼ ounce jighead, and overall the rising tide has been most productive.
Mixed in with the redfish have been nice 15-23 inch bluefish in the 2-4 pound range, and these are eating the same baits as the reds. Sometimes a bait will get snapped in half by a blue and then a redfish will end up eating it. When there are a lot of blues in an area you can try throwing casting jigs in there, and they are also biting topwater plugs very well.
Cherry Grove Pier(843-249-1625) reports that the last three days they have had a run of king mackerel, with seven fish landed and several more getting off. Just today they have also had some very large ten-pound bluefish, and some nice Spanish mackerelup to 16-18 inches.
Remember that SCDNR is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatroutthrough the end of September. To read the full news release click here.
Angler’s Headquarters (www.AnglersHeadquarters.com)
P.O. Box 50225
Columbia, SC 29250