North Myrtle Beach/Little River – November 15, 2018
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that inshore water temperatures have fallen to the lower sixties, and clarity has improved back to normal. Fishing has been productive for a mixed bag of species, especially trout.
Unfortunately, most of the trout are small, with relatively few keepers mixed in. They will hit almost any white-colored artificial, especially Gulp with chartreuse tails. Live shrimp have also been working.
These small trout seem to be literally everywhere, but the best places to look are channels, sand bars, oyster beds, drop-offs, and anywhere that provides some sort of transition. They are in both deep and shallow water, and can be caught throughout the tide cycle.
Redfish are also biting well, particularly around grass and oyster beds. They can be caught on both Gulp baits and cut mullet. Most of the fish have been found in fairly shallow water.
A few black drum are being caught on fresh or live shrimp fished around docks on the incoming tide.
Even though it’s late in the season, the flounder bite has been consistently strong. On the outgoing tide, they can be caught with Gulp baits.
Ken, of Fin and Feather Light Tackle Fishing Charters, reports that with the recent cold front, speckled trout fishing is getting even better. Both artificial baits and live shrimp are working, with your chances of finding the latter increasing the further back into the marshes that you go.
For the artificials, purple Trout Tricks on 1/8 oz. or 1/16 oz. jig heads work wonders, as do Vudu and DOA shrimp. Root beer is a good color, and so is purple with chartreuse or anything else with a lot of contrast. The falling tide and the top of the incoming tide are the best times to hunt for the specks.
Redfish are hanging out in the same areas as the specks, but if you’re targeting them specifically, look around oyster beds at the peak of the high tide and the first few hours of the falling tide. You can also find them in the backs of creeks on low water, where they’ll be trying to stay warm in the shallows. The same artificials that you’re using for the speckled trout can be effective at fooling the reds and even the few late season flounder that are still hanging around, which have been ranging anywhere from 13-17”.
Keith, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that there are a lot of shrimp around, though most of them are small. To find the bigger shrimp, you have to locate the deeper holes. With that being said, artificial baits are actually out-fishing live shrimp right now, especially when it comes to the plethora of speckled trout in the area.
DOA shrimp in chartreuse have been doing a lot of damage to the specks, too, and while most of the fish are still small, there have been plenty of 18-20” fish mixed in. Look for the specks in the ICW and around the bridge at Sunset Beach.
Red drum are also falling for the DOA shrimp, in addition to live shrimp under popping corks. They can be found around the jetties and in the backwater creeks, and almost all of them have been in the slot. The occasional flounder will come in on the same baits.
Sheepshead in the 15-18” range are falling for fiddler crabs out at the jetties, as is the occasional black drum.
Trips outside the inlet have been difficult due to rough water.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that the red drum and trout bite has been fantastic over the past few weeks, and while both species are falling for just about any bait you throw to them, Gulp and Z-Man paddle baits on jig heads are probably the best producers. MirrOlures are also working well.
On high tidal stages, you’ll have more success working the shoreline, while deeper holes will be more effective at low tide. Shell banks transitioning to grass are also great places to look.
Black drum are falling for both fresh shrimp and live shrimp, if you can find live shrimp. Look for the black drum near older docks with creeks or drains nearby.
Flounder are still around, but not for much longer, as they’ll be making their way to the ocean for the winter soon. Intercept them at creek mouths, especially on a falling tide, with mud minnows on a Carolina rig or a Gulp on a jig head.
Michael, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that spots, whiting, croaker, red and black drum, flounder, bluefish, and pompano are all being caught. Almost all of the fish are being caught on shrimp.
A 41 lb. king was also caught recently.