South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Trends – 6/2/2008

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Little River

Strong winds have continued to make for tough fishing this week in the Little River area. Spottail Bass: Fair. Anglers are catching spottail bass along structure in the ICW, around creek mouth drains, and in the upper creeks using live mud minnows and Berkeley Gulp. The jetties are also productive right now.

Trout: Good. The trout bite is strong and 3 to 5 pound fish are being taken at the Little River jetties where some big trout are being caught on live shrimp. Berkeley Gulp baits and DOA shrimp have also been effective.

Flounder: Excellent. Most of the flounder have now returned inshore and can be caught in Cherry Grove and 53rd area creeks using mud minnows. Flounder are also being taken at the Little River jetties. Fish up to 8 pounds are being reported caught.

Surf Report: Whiting and pompano are prolific, and sand fleas have arrived. Bluefish are also being caught in good numbers.

Cherry Grove Pier: The bluefish bite is still excellent, with lots of blues up to 9 pounds and averaging 5-6 pounds caught. Spanish mackerel, trout and lots of medium and small flounder are also being caught.

Grand Strand

A few menhaden and finger mullet schools have begun to arrive; expect the bait to arrive in full force in the next couple of weeks.

Spottail Bass: Good. The large schools of spottail bass have broken up for the year, and fish are cruising alone or in small packs. Spottails are being caught in the backwaters and creeks, and many drum are being caught by flounder fishermen drifting or trolling Murrells Inlet. Some larger fish are also being caught around the Murrells Inlet jetties. Mud minnows, live or cut mullet, and cut shrimp are all producing.

Trout: Fair. There are few recent reports of trout catches but the Georgetown area has been most successful for trout. Also, some trout are being caught on the outside of the jetty walls. Try Mirrolures, Gulp shrimp, or live shrimp.

Flounder: Very good. Flounder fishing is hot and nice numbers of fish are being reported with about half of these fish being keeper sized. Drift or troll live mud minnows in Murrells Inlet or other inlets and creeks.

Pompano: Very good. Pompano have showed up and are feeding aggressively in the surf. Fish with sand fleas in areas that have not been dredged for best results. The fish are mainly small but a 2.5 pounder was weighed in recently. Perry’s Bait and Tackle sells sand fleas.

Bluefish: Very good. Huge bluefish by South Carolina standards are being caught in the surf, including large numbers of fish between 8 and 15 pounds as well as lots of 12 to 14 inch fish.

Piers: This is one of the best years in memory for Spanish Mackerel off the piers, and the bluefish run continues to be one of the strongest in some time.

Springmaid Pier: Spanish mackerel are being caught in large numbers, although most are on the small side. Bluefish are also being caught, and croaker and whiting generally ranging from half to one pound are being caught, with occasional flounder and black and red drum mixed in.

Myrtle Beach State Park Pier: Good sized whiting are being caught and the 2 lb. 10 oz. state record was tied off the pier recently. Lots of good sized Spanish Mackerel and bluefish are being caught, and pompano have also arrived.

Apache Pier: Blues and Spanish are still very good, and lots of flounder have been caught recently, including a 10 pound 14 ounce doormat. A 34 pound 8 ounce jack crevalle was also landed in the last few days, and lots of nice sheepshead up to 9 pounds have been caught.

Surfside Pier: Large Spanish mackerel up to 6 pounds 5 ounces and bluefish in the 6 to 10 pound range are being caught. Pompano and whiting have also been abundant.

Garden City Pier: Large numbers of 10-14 inch bluefish are being caught with some occasional monsters up to 10 pounds mixed in, and lots of keeper sized Spanish mackerel are being caught. Pompano, whiting, and flounder up to 18 inches are being taken, although most flounder are in the 14 to 15 inch range.

Offshore: Spadefish are prolific at the near shore reefs, and large numbers are being caught using jelly ball teasers to draw the fish up and then fishing with pieces of cut jelly balls. The 3 miles reef has been very good. King and Spanish mackerel are stacked up at Belkie Bear and Paradise Reef. Dolphins, including some big bulls, tuna and some wahoo are being caught 40 miles offshore and at the Parking Lot. Grouper and Snapper are still biting out at the Ledge.

Cape Romain/ McClellanville

Spottail Bass: Good. Fish are not difficult to locate on the flats, but at times it is difficult to draw strikes. Try a variety of lures to get them to bite, ranging from DOA or Gulp shrimp to topwater plugs to gold spoons to flies. Mud minnows or live mullet may also be effective.

Trout: No reports.


Spottail Bass: Very good. More and more bait is showing up everyday and tailing action is starting to get hot on the flats. Lots of fish are also being caught in the ICW, creeks, and Wando River, with tons of 5-12 pound redfish being caught on live and dead mullet, shrimp and crabs. The Harbor, inlets, and creeks are teeming with bait, and some monster spottails are being caught out around the Charleston jetties fishing cut bait.

Trout: Very good. Fish are in the Wando, Cooper, and the creeks around Wild Dunes. Early morning topwater action on Spooks has heated up, and during the day anglers should fish live shrimp under a float, or DOA and RipTide shrimp with a slow retrieve around oyster beds. Night fishermen have also done well fishing DOA shrimp under well-lit docks. Flounder: Very good. Flounder can be found throughout inlets, the ICW, and creeks. Target flounder using live mud minnows fished slowly on the bottom. Small flounder are also being caught in the surf.

Sheepshead: Very good. Sheepshead are schooled up at the nearshore reefs such as Capers Reef and are also being caught inshore. Reports of nice catches around inshore structure, as well as at the Charleston jetties, are common.

Folly Beach Pier: Some whiting, spots, pompano and a few trout are being caught, but pier fishing has yet to really pick up in the area.

Offshore: Out at nearshore reefs sea bass are still being caught in good numbers, and spadefish have started to show up as well as large bluefish. Dolphin are abundant and being caught in large numbers, and wahoo fishing is great. Barracuda are out in full force, and some tuna are being caught at the Georgetown Hole.

Hilton Head

Spottail Bass: Very good. Tailing action is strong around high tide. At other times fish the edges of grass on the incoming tide with rattle floats and natural colored Gulp Shrimp to catch slot sized fish as well as larger ones. Also use brown Gulp Swimming Minnows, or mud minnows. On the beginning of the falling tide bigger spottails can be found schooling and feeding aggressively for brief periods. The topwater bite is also very good on shallow and medium depth flats when the weather is calm.

Trout: Very good. Trout fishing is very good and some nice-sized fish are being caught. Use Gulp shrimp imitations or live shrimp and target drops on the falling tide, or fish around the grass when the water is high. Large fish in the 18 to 20 inch range are being taken when the water is up. Topwater fishing is also productive in the morning.

Cobia: Read about cobia fishing in the Beaufort report.

Offshore: Wind has been tough but wahoo have been caught offshore on days when boats can get out. Dolphin are also around in large numbers.


Spottail Bass: Good. Fish are spread out and feeding aggressively on the large mullet schools which are showing up. Spottails are beginning to tail in large numbers in the grass and can be sight-fished for by lure or fly fishermen. Some topwater action is also being reported.

Trout: Few reports. There are scattered reports of some trout up to 4 pounds being caught in the last few days, but most of the local guides are concentrating on cobia or tailing redfish.

Flounder: Good. Flounder are in the inlets and beginning to be caught throughout the creeks. Fish mud minnows along the bottom. Most fish are still at or below the legal limit; this may improve somewhat as the season continues but biologists suspect the average size of the flounder stock is smaller than usual this year.

Cobia: Cobia have arrived in full force in the Port Royal Sound and Broad River, and the fishing has been better the past few days after the full moon. The Christmas Tree rip has been productive. Fish are being caught on all types of baits, such as threadfin, eels, squid, and whiting, when anchored up or drifting. Sight fishing with plugs has been off and on, and the fish have been willing to take flies at times, too. Puglisi fly patterns have worked the best. Best fishing is two hours each side of the tide change – when tides are running strongest fish are unlikely to bite. Lots of cobia are being seen at artificial reefs like the Betsy Ross, although enticing them to eat has been difficult. The best cobia bite may still be yet to come inshore.

Paradise Pier: Some decent whiting have been caught as well as black tip sharks and stingrays. The biggest catch is blue crabs which are being caught by the 5 gallon bucketful around low tide.

Offshore: Spanish Mackerel are being caught off Bay Point 8 miles out, and little tunny and king mackerel are 20 miles out. Bottom fishing has dropped off somewhat but spadefish are at the reefs are biting well. Dolphin and wahoo are abundant in the Gulf Stream, and yellowfin tuna are being taken sporadically fishing deep. In the Fripp Island Memorial Day King Mackerel tournament the big king was 36 pounds, and the big dolphin was a 35 pound bull. Wahoo catches were off for the day.