South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Trends – 10/13/2008

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South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Trends - 10/13/2008Little 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

  • Spanish mackerel: Spanish mackerel action is hot around the jetties and off the beach, and good sized fish are being caught. Throw Gotcha Plugs, Hopkins Spoons, or live mullet under a float to hook up.
  • Spottail bass: Very good. Some really large red drum are being caught around the Little River jetties.
  • Flounder: Good to very good. Most people are using Carolina rigged mullet or minnows, although jigheads rigged with soft plastics are also productive bounced slowly along the bottom.
  • Cherry Grove Pier: Bluefish and Spanish mackerel action has been very good; schools of mullet are in the water and fish are keying on these. A few king mackerel have been caught, for the first time in a few months, and black drum and flounder are still being picked up.

Grand Strand

  • Spanish mackerel: Excellent. The Spanish run is the best that has been seen in years, and lots of 3 to 4 pound fish are being caught. The Spanish mackerel have moved uncharacteristically close to shore, and nice fish are being caught by surf fishermen right off the beach.
  • Black Drum: Excellent. Caught on cut, whole dead, or live shrimp, as well as on crabs (effective for trying to avoid pinfish bites).
  • Trout: Very good. The trout action down around the Georgetown area has been outstanding, particularly around shell banks. Gulp! soft plastics and live shrimp have both been very effective.
  • Bluefish: Very good. Bluefish are being caught right off the beaches and piers on cut bait or shiny lures.
  • Flounder: Good. The large flounder should turn on and feed voraciously, in preparation for moving offshore, from about the middle of October until the middle of November when cold temperatures will push them out of the creeks and inlets.
  • Spottail Bass: Good. Puppy drum are prolific off the beach and slot sized fish are being caught in the creeks. Use live bait beneath a popping float, or Gulp grubs, in the creeks.
  • Pier Report: One of the best Spanish mackerel runs in some time is underway, with large fish being caught. The bluefish action also continues to be hot, and black drum are filling coolers, particularly for anglers at the Surfside and Garden City Piers on the south end of the Grand Strand. Pompano fishing has improved slightly after a slow September, and croaker and spot are also around, although the spot run has not yet started. Occasional very large flounder are being picked up off the piers, and will continue to be caught as water temperatures cool. Trout and spottail bass are also being reported.


  • Trout: Very good. Best trout fishing is coming using live or DOA shrimp under a rattling float against grass and around creek mouths on moving tides; also look for oyster beds and fan cast around them.
  • Spottail Bass: Good. Small redfish in the 15 to 20 inch range are prolific in the creeks right now, particularly around docks, oyster bars, and rockpiles. Fish live shrimp under a popping cork for these fish.
  • Sheepshead: Good. Sheepshead fishing is very strong against pilings and jetties using fiddler crabs.
  • Flounder: Fair. Most fish are being caught on live mud minnows or finger mullet fished around jetties and around feeder creek mouths, and some are being caught against shellbanks. Bucktail jigs tipped with Gulp! are also effective.
  • Folly Beach Pier: Some nice spottail bass have been reported, as well as black drum and traditional bottom feeders like whiting, croaker, and spot.

Hilton Head

  • Spottail Bass: Very good. Big red drum in the rivers are the hot bite. Fish around the edges of the main river channels, including very close to the boat landings, using live or cut mullet or live menhaden if you can get them.
  • Trout: Good. Nice trout are being caught floating live shrimp under rattling floats around grass, and also casting soft plastics around oyster beds. Fish moving tides.