North Myrtle Beach/Little River – Aug 16, 2018
Ken, of Shallow Minded Guide Fishing, reports that water conditions have finally caught up with the fishing action in the area. While there are still good numbers of redfish and flounder out there, both species have been a little on the lazy side, and baits need to be worked slower than usual in order to get their attention.
The reds have been schooling big on oyster rocks, and one good strategy for finding a big red is still to just sit at a creek mouth right as the tide begins to fall and wait for the school to come out. Live Carolina-rigged finger mullet will draw a strike.
The majority of the flounder (between 2-4 lbs.) can be found on muddy banks, though you can come across the occasional flattie just about anywhere in the backwater creeks. Live Carolina-rigged finger mullet are accounting for the majority of the flounder, and the best time to fish for either species is still the three hours on either side of a high tide.
Black drum in the 14-17” range are being found on the falling tide around docks and other inshore structure. Carolina-rigging a small, fingertip-sized piece of shrimp is all the drum need to get interested.
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that fishing has been consistent lately, with over-slot redfish and flounder both biting live mullet and Gulp baits. The most fish have been found in the deeper channels in the ICW, although reds can be found in the shallows on higher tides. Soaking cut baits or live mullet will draw them out.
Plenty of black drum are being caught as well, and a fair amount of sheepshead have come into the estuaries. Both can be caught on live shrimp.
Keith, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that fishing has been great, with speckled trout averaging around 18” coming from the inshore waters. Live shrimp under popping corks are working the best for the specks, especially when fishing on oyster beds and grass about two hours before or after high tide.
There’s been a decent black drum bite, with fish between 18-20” being the norm. Deep holes and docks in the ICW seem to be holding fish the best, and there have been some nice sheepshead in the same areas.
Flounder in the 4-5 lb. range are being caught in Tubbs Inlet, with Carolina-rigged menhaden serving as the best bait.
Redfish (most of them in the slot) are swimming in the waterway near docks. Live shrimp under popping corks or Carolina-rigged mullet will entice them to bite.
Spanish and sharks can be found just off the beach, especially near Cherry Grove Pier in about 30’ of water. Hooking a 00 Clarkspoon to a #2 planer and then trolling at about 7 knots should get in on the action.
Kings (between 12-18 lbs.) and some cobia can be found a little further out in about 55-70’ of water. The kings are going after Pirate Plugs and dead cigar minnows.
Bottom fishing has been awesome, with plenty of grouper, vermilions, triggers, and grunts coming over the rails. American red snapper were also easy to come by (in the first weekend that they were allowed to be kept).
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that flounder have been going for live minnows, as well as fresh and live shrimp. Black drum are still being fooled with fresh shrimp. Reds and trout have been a little harder to find, so make sure to move around to cover lots of ground. Live shrimp under popping corks are working best.
Overall, the bite has been difficult as of late due to the aftermath of the rain. The water has been muddy, and salinity changes have been noticeable. Fish that would ordinarily respond to baits by sight will be harder to catch, so you have to change your delivery to include baits with scent. Gulp dipped in Pro-Cure, fresh shrimp, and cut baits are some of the best options, and you can add sound into the mix with popping corks. Slow up your presentation to let the scent permeate the water to increase your chances of a bite.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that plenty of blacktip and spinner sharks are being caught just off the beach. Outside of the inlet, fishing has been excellent for spanish mackerel, and there are a ton of barracuda swimming on the nearshore wrecks.
Trolling in the 35 mile range has produced king mackerel in the 20 lb. range, as well as plenty of bonita and amberjacks.
About 50 miles offshore of Little River Inlet in 120’ of water, bottom fishing is producing vermilion snappers, a couple of American red snappers, a bunch of triggers, big porgies, and scamp grouper. It’s been easy to fill the box with a variety of fish, and some nice kings have even been hitting sardines on the drift lines while bottom fishing.
On the troll, wahoo and blackfin tuna are being caught at the break.
Morgan, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that fishing has been relatively slow the past few weeks due to rain, but there have been a few whiting and croaker caught, in addition to some spanish, spadefish, and pompano. Sizes have been hit or miss, with a lot of small and keeper fish mixed in.
The vast majority of the catch has been pulled in with shrimp. Bloodworms, live bait, and assorted jigs are doing damage as well, and the spanish are preferring spanish mackerel trees. The early morning from 6:00-9:00 has been the best time to fish, as well as later in the day around 6:00 pm.