North Myrtle Beach – July 5, 2018
Ken, of Shallow Minded Guide Fishing, reports that the inshore flounder bite is still red hot. Working finger mullet on Carolina rigs has been the key, and while bigger mullet will produce bigger catches, most of the action has come from using smaller mullet. The average size for the flatties caught has been between 14-20”.
Redfish are spread all around the inshore waters, and your best chance of catching them is to focus on feeder creeks during outgoing tides. Using shrimp on slip float rigs adjusted to the depth you’re fishing has been the best method for fooling the reds—you’ll want to float the bait about a foot or so off the bottom to get a bite.
Black drum are biting in the same areas as their red cousins, but live shrimp on Carolina rigs will work better if you want to target them specifically.
Speckled trout are finally starting to show up in strong numbers, with plenty of 14-20” fish coming in. The best place to find them has been around structure in 3-6’ of water, where a DOA shrimp under a popping cork has been the best and most fun method of tricking fish.
The beach has been producing good numbers of spanish and bluefish. Topwater fishing for both species is a ton of fun, but the fish have also been quick to hit a live mullet. There’s no need for wire, as using a long shank hook on 12-15 lb. leader has been more than effective.
Drifting shrimp along jetty rocks has been producing trout, redfish, and sheepshead.
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been excellent, with plenty of keeper flounder coming in from around Bonaparte Creek. Live mud minnows and mullet have been producing a lot of keepers, but Gulps are doing the trick as well.
There are plenty of small trout around, especially in Dunn Sound and up and down the ICW. They’re biting live shrimp under popping corks, Vudu shrimp, and Gulps.
A lot of nice red and black drum are around, but the flounder fishing has been so good that they’re not often the primary target. If you do want to go for drum, the ICW and shallow water in creeks are holding 18-28” reds, while ICW docks, oyster beds, and structure will usually be holding the black drum.
The nearshore bluefish bite has slowed, and there are plenty of Atlantic sharpnose sharks biting in their place (especially outside the inlet). Bigger red drum can be found there as well. Spanish are biting on the shoals, and the best king fishing has been found between 6-8 miles.
Keith, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that the speckled trout bite has been awesome inshore, especially on the rising tide. Live shrimp under popping corks have been getting a lot of attention, as have DOA chartreuse shrimp.
Redfish have been biting around ICW docks on the rising tide, along with plenty of flounder. Carolina-rigged mullet will do the trick.
Out in the ocean, the water has been calm, and plenty of spadefish are biting jelly balls on the nearshore wrecks.
Kings (12-15 lbs.) are hanging in the 8-15 mile range, with boats limiting out within two hours of getting lines in the water. Dead cigar minnows and pirate plugs are the best bait, as menhaden has been hard to come by.
Shark fishing has been highly productive, especially behind shrimp boats. Blacktips and spinners have both been in the mix.
Bottom fishing has been solid. It’s been easy to limit out on vermilions, and plenty of triggers and grouper have been in the mix as well. American red snapper as big as 20 lbs. have been jumping into the boat, but as of now they are still catch-and-release.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that inshore fishing has been great thanks to plenty of flounder, redfish, black drum, and the occasional speck biting in the area. It’s hard to beat a live minnow when flounder fishing, especially when it’s being dragged on the bottom of a deep hole or around a dock on a jig head or Carolina rig.
Red and black drum are hanging in the same places, but they should be targeted with live or fresh shrimp. In the early hours of the day, artificial baits have been working better.
The specks are falling for live shrimp under popping corks, and while fishing has still been hit or miss, the trout are definitely bigger and in better numbers than they have been at any point in the year so far. Be prepared, though, to deal with a lot of bait stealers when fishing with shrimp.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that sharks (particularly blacktips) have been all over the beach lately, especially in the early morning. A lot of smaller sharks have been found in the 5-8 mile range, where plenty of sea bass and porgies can also be caught.
The 10 mile range has been holding a lot of barracuda, in addition to both spanish and king mackerel. The real king action is in the 30 mile range, where boats are catching limits of fish daily. Drone spoons, planers, and Sea Witches have been the key to catching fish. Along with the kings, some bonita and a couple of small dolphin have come from the 30 mile range as well.
Gulf Stream fishing has been excellent, with lots of big grouper, scamps, cobia, and near-limitless grunts and triggers. The hotspot has been 50 miles out (in 110’ of water), with cut squid and sardines serving as the best bait.
Michael, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that a few whiting and croaker have been caught, as have some nice spanish on jigs. Keeper black drum have been chewing at night, with anglers finding cut shrimp to be the best bait. Quite a few spadefish have come in as well, and really good numbers of kings in the 16-28 lb. range have been pulled in over the last few weeks.