North Myrtle Beach – Aug 2, 2018
Ken, of Shallow Minded Guide Fishing, reports other than having to duck and dive a few storms over the past two weeks, the weather hasn’t had too much of an effect on the best inshore flounder and redfish summer that’s been seen in a while. The reds are in big schools, typically around oyster beds, and quality flounder can be found just about everywhere in the creeks, though muddy banks have been holding the best fish.
Live Carolina-rigged finger mullet are catching the majority of the fish, especially during the three hours either before or after a high tide. Sometimes, pulling in a big red is as easy as sitting at a creek mouth during the early stage of an outgoing tide and waiting for the fish to come out. Targeting the flounder is all about finding the deepest holes in a muddy creek and working your mullet a little slower than usual. Despite the bite being delicate, though, most of the flounder coming in have been between 2-4 lbs. and 20-27” long.
Plenty of black drum have been caught during the falling tide as well. They can be found around docks or any type of structure and are eager to hit a small piece of fresh cut shrimp hooked to a Carolina rig. Most of the black drum have been 14-17”.
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that fishing has been productive over the past few weeks, especially for red and black drum. The fish have moved to deeper water due to the rain and fresh water, but they can be consistently found in 15-20’ of water. Live shrimp has been the best bait by far, and the shrimp are easy to find. Redfish will fall for the occasional mullet, too. Most of the reds caught have been between 20-29”.
The flounder and trout bite has slowed, but oyster beds and shallow creek mouths and channels are the best places to look.
A few sheepshead have been caught on live shrimp, though there haven’t been many.
Keith, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that speckled trout are tearing up live shrimp under popping corks in the ICW around the docks, as well as up by the bridge at Sunset Beach. Most of the specks have been around 12”, but a few keepers have been mixed in. Up to 30 fish are coming in per day, though, so targeting the trout is certainly a great way to keep poles bent.
While the rain has slowed down the flounder bite a bit, it’s not hard to find fish if you know where to look. Right now, the best place with clean water is Tubbs Inlet, so target the deepest holes to get a bite. The flounder (almost all of them between 2-3 lbs.) are hitting 4” Gulp shrimp in pearl white with chartreuse tails, especially when combined with 1/4 oz. Blue Water Candy jig heads.
Slot redfish (mostly between 22-25”) are being caught near Bonaparte Creek on live shrimp under popping corks.
A few sheepshead have been pulled in from the waters around oyster shells, banks, and beds, and some big black drum are hitting Carolina-rigged live shrimp fished on the bottom under bridges and structure.
The weather has been too bad to get outside of the inlets, and even if you can get out, expect to find nothing but dirty water.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that fishing has been tough lately due to all of the rain in the area. Prior to, and after, the deluge, flounder were being caught in good numbers, with the sizes increasing by the week.
Mud minnows dragged on Carolina rigs and Gulp/jig head combos have both worked well, and the best way to cover water is to use both at the same time. Let your trolling motor pull your mud minnows parallel to creek banks while casting the Gulps toward the grass, and your chances of getting a bite will increase exponentially.
Red drum and the occasional speckled trout have both been hitting soft plastics in the same places that the flounder are biting. The specks prefer live shrimp under popping corks, and they’re showing up in better numbers and sizes.
Black drum have been responding well to fresh shrimp fished near docks, deep holes in creeks, and in the ICW.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that the waters 3-5 miles out of Little River Inlet have been holding a lot of spanish mackerel and barracuda, while the 5-8 mile range has been producing plenty of black sea bass and small sharks.
Trolling in the 25 mile range has seen boats limiting out on kings and catching plenty of mahi, as well as large numbers of bonita.
Fishing the bottom in 120’ of water has produced a good mix of fish, with vermilions, grunts, triggers, snappers, big scamp grouper, and some cobia all coming over the rails.
Steve, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that anglers are seeing a lot of action, but a lot of the fish coming up have been small. There has been a plethora of croaker, lots of whiting, a few nice spadefish, some pompano, small black drum (with a few keepers mixed in), and a few under-slot reds in the suds.
Flounder are starting to come around a little bit, and while most of them have been small, a few keepers have been mixed in.
Absolutely no spanish or bluefish have been seen, presumably due to the weather and all of the dirty water around the pier.