S.C. Saltwater Fishing Trends – 11/3/2008

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S.C. Saltwater Fishing Trends - 11/3/2008Little RiverGrand StrandCharlestonHilton HeadTides – S.C. marine recreational fishing regulations (PDF file). Saltwater Fishing License site.

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

Little River

  • Spottail bass: Very good. Very large red drum are available at the Little River jetties, but a series of windy fronts have kept many inshore anglers from going after them. Fish the incoming tide with large chunks of cut bait, or live mullet and menhaden.
  • Black Drum: Very good. Cut shrimp are productive in the Dunn Sound area, and black drum are plentiful in the 15 to 18 inch range.
  • Trout: Slow. Try live shrimp under a popping cork against grass, or Gulp shrimp imitations.
  • Cherry Grove Pier: Pompano, including some very nice fish in the 1.5 to 2 pound range, are being caught, and snapper bluefish continue to be common. No king mackerel have been caught in the last week despite October being a traditionally strong month for kings.

Grand Strand

  • Spot: Excellent. Spot have flooded into Murrells Inlet for the first time in three years. Fish cut shrimp or blood worms on small hooks and look for the crowds.
  • Black Drum: Very good. Large numbers of black drum are being caught around jetties, piers, and sea walls, with lots of 14 to 27 inch eating size fish. These can be caught on cut, whole dead, or live shrimp, as well as on crabs.
  • Sheepshead: Very good. Pressure on sheepshead is very light, but anglers targeting them at the Murrells Inlet jetties are still doing very well. Fish fiddler crabs vertically on a Carolina rig.
  • Spottail Bass: Good to very good. The very largest drum have arrived at the jetties and can be caught using cut mullet or menhaden, and slot sized fish are being caught in the creeks.
  • Trout: Good. Trout action is strong in the creeks behind Pawley’s Island. Fish live shrimp or Gulp imitations.
  • Flounder: Good. The large flounder should turn on very soon and feed voraciously until the middle of November when cold temperatures will push them out of the creeks and inlets.
  • Surf and Pier Report: The Spanish mackerel run has tailed off, but a very good run of spot is underway and schools are slowly making their way down the coast. Black drum are prolific off the piers, and whiting and snapper sized bluefish are still abundant. Pompano are being caught in good numbers, too, and seem to be grouped in schools that are very small or very large (1 to 2 pound) for pompano. The Second Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach reports summer trout (weakfish) being caught in good numbers, and winter trout (spotted sea trout) are occasionally being caught off most Grand Strand Piers.


  • Trout: Excellent. Fantastic trout catches are being reported in the North Edisto River, Wando River, and ICW north of Charleston. Target shell banks in 3-7 feet of water on moving tides, and particularly the incoming tide. DOA shrimp, Gulp Jerk Shads, and Z-Man Chatter Baits and Chatter Shrimp have all been effective, and live shrimp fished below a popping cork will of course work too.
  • Spottail Bass: Very 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, or cast artificial grubs or plugs, for these fish.
  • Sheepshead: Good. Sheepshead fishing continues to be productive at the jetties and against inshore structure. For now fiddler crabs are the bait of choice, but as these crabs go into hibernation live shrimp will become an effective bait.
  • Folly Beach Pier: Fishing should improve in the next few weeks, but for now the main catch is small whiting, small black drum, and snapper bluefish.

Hilton Head

  • Spottail Bass: Very good. Red drum are on the verge of getting really hot, and as soon as the huge tailing tides are over the bull drum will be thick out in the Port Royal Sound over live bottom areas. Small redfish about 14 or 15 inches long are abundant in the feeder creeks when water drains out of the grass, and they can be caught on live shrimp or mullet as well as Gulp shrimp and minnows.
  • Trout: Good. Lots of small trout are being caught with live shrimp fish against the grass, and some better fish are mixed in, too. Fish two hours each side of high tide; when the really high tides pass and the water clears up fishing will get even better.