November 2017 Fishing Report “The Best time of the Year to Fish”

North Grand Strand (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated November 9

November 9
Inshore water temperatures on the north end of the Grand Strand have dropped into the mid-60s. Without a doubt this is the best time of the year to fish the Little River area, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the big pre-winter feed is in full swing.
The trout bite is as good as it gets, and some nice fish in the 3 plus pound range have been caught recently. Trout are holding on ledges and drops in 6-8 feet of water, and the tide doesn’t seem to make a big difference as long as it’s moving. Live shrimp, Vudu Shrimp, Trout Tricks and ZMan baits have all been working.
Redfish are also on the move and feeding, and lots of fish in the 15-30 inch range are being caught. Reds can be found anywhere from the flats to drop offs to deep holes, and the area you want to fish is dependent on the tide. There are also a good number of slot-sized fish being caught around the jetties, although the bigger bull drum are phasing out.
Despite it being almost the middle of November some really nice flounder are still being caught, and in the recent Captain Smiley Inshore Slam out of Cricket Cove Marina on Saturday there were a couple of five plus pound fish brought to the scales. The best action has been around lower tide in deeper holes inside the creeks, and both finger mullet and Gulp! baits have been working.
Sheepshead are plentiful for anglers who target them, and there are even some sheeps being caught on Captain Smiley’s boat on live shrimp in the shallows.
Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that fishing has slowed in the surf zone, and the catch now is limited to some whiting, croaker, spots, small flounder, and occasional redfish.
Captain Smiley reports that the first annual tournament was a big success with 46 boats, and he would like to thank all the sponsors as well as the winners – particularly the overall winner Clay Morphis on the boat Pork Chop. A 5.40 pound flounder and a 4.74 pound speckled sea trout anchored his 12.56 pound slam.

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

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