South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Trends – 8/11/2008

No Gravatar

South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Trends - 8/11/2008Little RiverGrand StrandCharlestonHilton HeadTides – S.C. marine recreational fishing regulations (PDF file). Saltwater Fishing License site.

Fishing trends courtesy Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.

Little River

  • Flounder: Very good. Even though the water is starting to get very warm flounder continue to be caught in Cherry Grove and 53rd area creeks using mud minnows. Flounder are also being taken at the Little River jetties.
  • Spottail bass: Very good. Fish Clark Spoons or other heavy, fast dropping lures deep against the rocks at the jetties for big red drum. Fish can be caught on most any tide – the key is getting the spoons deep. Cut mullet or menhaden weighted down may also work.
  • Sheepshead and black drum: Excellent. The sheepshead bite has gotten hot. Sand fleas and fiddler crabs are both very productive around the jetties and any inshore pilings.
  • Spanish mackerel: Very good. Big Spanish mackerel are being caught near the jetties. Look for feeding birds and motor slowly towards the fish; throw Gotcha Plugs, Hopkins Spoons, or anything else with a treble hook to land fish.
  • Offshore: Wahoo and king mackerel are both being caught when boats can get offshore. The dolphin bite has really slowed.
  • Cherry Grove Pier: Whiting up to half a pound and black drum up to three pounds are both being caught on cut pieces of shrimp. A few small sheepshead are also being reported caught, and occasional 16 inch flounder are being landed.

Grand Strand

  • Spottail Bass: Good. Slot sized spottails are being taken at the south end of Murrells Inlet in the backwaters and creeks as well as by flounder fishermen drifting or trolling the main inlet. Mud minnows, live or cut mullet, and cut shrimp are all producing. Large drum continue to be caught at the jetties; fish the incoming tide right after the tide turns against the North Jetty walls.
  • Trout: Sporadic. Occasional reports continue to come in of some very large trout being caught at the jetties, but these are few and far between. Use live shrimp, finger mullet, or mud minnows or fish Gulp.
  • Flounder: Slow. With the very hot water flounder catching has slowed to almost non-existent. Some anglers continue to troll Murrells Inlet, but few fish are being landed.
  • Sheepshead: Excellent. Large numbers of sheepshead are being caught at the Murrells Inlet jetty, but the bite is even hotter down at the Georgetown jetties. Fiddler crabs and live or cut shrimp on a Carolina rig fished vertically are producing. Perry’s Bait and Tackle reports that sheepshead sell as fast as they can catch them.
  • Surf report: Snapper bluefish are prolific as well as good numbers of whiting. Pompano are also around in good numbers – August and September are traditionally the best months for sheepshead in the area. Large, 5 to 7 pound Spanish mackerel are abundant in the surf.
  • Springmaid Pier: Some good sized flounder have been caught, as well as fair numbers of pinfish and spots. Ribbonfish have been prolific, and no kings have been caught recently. Second
  • Avenue Pier: Flounder action is pretty hot; 15 or so are being caught each day, up to 3 or 4 pounds. A few black drum are being caught as well as some Spanish by jig fishermen. Pinfish, whiting, and croaker are also around.
  • Myrtle Beach State Park Pier: Occasional flounder are being caught, as well as whiting, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel.
  • Apache Pier: Fishing has slowed, but some summer trout and flounder are being caught as well as occasional pompano. A 30.8 pound king mackerel was landed a couple of weeks ago.
  • Surfside Pier: Fishing remains off, and only sharks, stingrays, and sea robins are being caught in good numbers.
  • Garden City Pier: Whiting and pinfish are being caught in decent numbers, and lots of small bluefish in the 11 to 13 inch size are being landed. A few pompano are being landed and some Spanish are also being jigged up. No king mackerel have been caught recently.
  • Offshore: Offshore fishing has slowed down, but some grouper are being reported caught at the wrecks and reefs. The hottest bite is big king mackerel – a 35 pounder was recently caught trolling a reef 15 miles out, and lots more approaching that size are also being taken.


  • Spottail Bass: Very good. Haddrell’s Point reports that redfish are scattered across all of the lowcountry estuaries, and anglers continue to have best luck fishing under docks with deep holes and plenty of shade. These fish are being caught on live or cut bait, Gulp, or Rattle Traps. Fishing in the flats is also strong, and spottails are in schools of 5 to 30 fish and being caught on flukes fished on flutter hooks. Bull drum are also schooled up in the harbor, and fish up to 40 pounds or more can be caught on bottom rigs with cut bait. The same method also works at the jetties.
  • Trout: Very good. Early and late in the day topwater action is hot for spotted sea trout. Use topwater lures like Zara Spooks and “walk the dog” around oyster shells and feeder creeks on moving tides. Strong action is also coming fishing shrimp, minnows, or artificial shrimp under a popping cork at high tide. Good action is also coming fishing around points with oyster beds on tides where bait is being pulled in or pushed out; trout will ambush prey from the back side of these points.
  • Flounder: Good. Flounder fishing continues to improve over the last few weeks, and best results are coming fishing around the edges of rock piles and creek mouths. Fish live finger mullet or mud minnows on a Carolina rig.
  • Sheepshead: Very good. Most any structure, from nearshore wrecks to the jetties to inshore piers and bridges, is holding hungry sheepshead right now. Fish fiddler crabs, clam pieces, or cut shrimp.
  • Tarpon: Good. Decent numbers of tarpon are still hanging around the inlets and jetties, and shark fishermen report picking some up accidentally. Fish large live mullet or menhaden in 6 to 15 foot deep slews between the sandbars on the outside of most any Charleston area inlet.
  • Spanish mackerel: Good. Nice catches of Spanish mackerel continue to be made in the Harbor. Fish Gotcha plugs or spoons.
  • Folly Beach Pier: A mixed bag continues to be caught at the pier, including whiting, bluefish, trout, Spanish mackerel, red drum, and sheepshead. Anglers are not having hot action on any one species, but action is pretty consistent for something.
  • Offshore: Grouper and snapper action is good using butterfly jigs and cigar minnows in 85 to 150 feet of water. King mackerel fishing is hot from the shipping channel out to 120 feet of water. Snakes are abundant in 60 to 90 feet; troll sea witches with small ballyhoo, drone spoons, and diving plugs to ensure plenty of action. Dolphin fishing has generally slowed, but Ryan Riggs landed a new state record dolphin weighing 77.5 pounds and measuring 65 inches aboard the “Daymaker” on July 24 while fishing the Governor’s Cup out of Bohicket Marina. He caught the fish just inshore of the 226 hole trolling a naked ballyhoo rig on a circle hook. A few wahoo continue to be caught in 130 to 180 feet. The hottest bite continues to be billfish and particularly sailfish. Sailfish are balling bait in 250 to 300 feet of water, and boats heading deep are getting 5 to 10 shots a day at them. Blue marlin are being sighted less frequently, but several boats have released them in the last few days.

Hilton Head

  • Spottail Bass: Very good. First thing in the morning redfish are hitting topwater; when the sun is higher fish deeper with Gulp Shrimp. Tailing action is strong around high tide and will continue all summer. On the incoming tide fish the edges of the grass 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.
  • Trout: Good to very good. Early morning topwater action is very good, and some big trout are being caught on lures like Spooks. Good fishing is coming under docks or on the outgoing tide where feeder creeks are emptying into bigger water. Shrimp and mud minnows fished under Cajun Thunder rattling bobbers, or Gulp grubs, are producing.
  • Flounder: Good. Flounder fishing has improved slightly, and anglers are catching flounder using traditional flounder rigs with a bobber to float the mud minnows off the bottom. Best fishing is around low tide in the same areas as the spottails and trout, or in the mouths of creeks and inlets.
  • Tarpon: Read about tarpon fishing in the Beaufort report.
  • Offshore: High fuel prices and windy conditions have slowed offshore fishing. Nearshore Spanish mackerel, bluefish and jack crevalle are being caught just outside the Port Royal Sound and at the Gaskins and Whitewater reefs. For more offshore information read the Beaufort report.