North Myrtle Beach – September 13, 2018
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that fishing over the past two weeks has been great, with the most recent days on the water providing excellent topwater action. The inshore waters are holding redfish, trout, and ladyfish, with Zara Spooks, Badonk-A-Donks, and Bomber Lures all putting fish in the box.
Plenty of flounder are biting as well, with live finger mullet serving as the bait to use.
Outside the inlets, spanish are just about everywhere, and the topwater bite has been fantastic.
Ken, of Fin and Feather Light Tackle Fishing Charters, reports that flounder and redfish are still the biggest target over any other species due to their abundance in area waters. Working the “Y’s” and “T’s” where three creeks come together during a falling tide has been the ticket for the flatfish, where slowly retrieving live mullet fished on the bottom will increase your chances of getting a big bite. Putting the mullet on a pink 1/4 oz. jig head can make the difference when the current isn’t as strong, but for fast-moving water, 1/2- 3/4 oz. Carolina rigs work better.
The first two hours of the falling tide have been the most productive, but the flatties will chew all the way through the tide. Lately, the flatfish have been ravenous, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility to bring 20 or so fish over the rails in the span of 30 minutes.
Throwing Vudu shrimp while flounder fishing has also been bringing in 23-30” red drum. The reds are being found in creek mouths and deep holes. On low water, pitching mullet (on a 1/8 oz. jig head) around oyster beds has been successful as well.
Keith, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that there are good numbers of reds in the ICW, where jigging live shrimp under popping corks has resulted in big bites, though Carolina-rigged mullet can do the trick as well. Almost all of the fish have been over the SC slot.
A few trout have been swimming in the backwater creeks, and as with the reds, popping cork/shrimp combos are putting up numbers.
The black drum bite has been great in the deeper ICW and backwater holes. When targeting them, keep the shrimp but switch the popping cork out for a Carolina rig. Almost all of the fish caught over the past few weeks have been above the 18” mark.
Flounder have been biting here and there, primarily at the reefs and near the jetties. While the fish have been sizeable (averaging around 18”), they haven’t been as active as they were earlier in the year.
Swimming above the flounder are plenty of spanish mackerel. Once again, popping corks are key, though the spanish prefer a mullet underneath. You can see the 5 lb. fishing busting on the surface, so be patient and sight cast in order to get a bite.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that the redfish bite in the area has improved dramatically thanks to slightly lower water temperatures and the fact that the fish are anticipating the fall mullet run.
You can find the reds in the back creeks near structure, as well as the ICW. When fishing the ICW, look for docks and oyster banks that transition to grass, and then throw minnows and Gulp baits to find your drum.
Trout can also be found in these spots, though live shrimp under popping corks work better than any other bait.
Flounder are still around and are mostly falling for minnows on jig heads and Carolina rigs, though Gulp baits are also working. Fishing creek mouths on a falling tide is the key to drawing a strike.
Black drum have been spotty, but the bite should get much better with the falling water temperatures. Anticipate them at docks and ICW oyster banks.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that in the calm before the storm, half-day trips have been providing anglers with a great opportunity to get in on the hot spanish mackerel bite right outside the inlet. There are also plenty of sharks in the same waters, which is good news for some and bad for others.
Boats going 25 miles out are finding a plethora of big king mackerel and plenty of pretty bonita. Pulling spoons and big ballyhoo is putting fish in the box.
The Continental Shelf is holding plenty of fish, and an overnight trip to the 50 mile range provided fantastic bottom fishing action. Beeliners, triggerfish, big porgies, amberjacks, and sizeable grouper were all coming over the rails, with squid and cigar minnows getting the most attention from the bottom dwellers.
Dylan, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that spanish, bluefish, whiting, and croaker (all good sizes) are being caught. Spot are starting to show up, and at least one 30” red drum has been caught as well. The spanish are being caught on seven-hook jigs, while the bottom fish have been falling for standard bottom rigs with shrimp.