North Myrtle Beach/Little River – April 11, 2019
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that speckled trout have been the main focus over the past few weeks. The specks have been plentiful inshore and at the jetties, and quite a few of them have been in the 25-30” range.
Inshore, the best action is coming from shelly or sandy bottoms on the low to rising tide, where Gulp and Vudu shrimp have been connecting with the trout.
The biggest specks are out at the jetties, where drifting with live shrimp on either the incoming or outgoing tide (as long as there is some current) has been connecting anglers with fish. Drop your shrimp 5-8’ down on a suspended cork right along the rocks to get a bite, and don’t be surprised if you pull up a 24-28” redfish at the same time.
Reds are biting inshore as well, as are black drum, especially in 5’ of water or less around docks and drop-offs in the ICW.
A few flounder are being caught, but keepers are sparse. The flatfish should be plentiful in the Cherry Grove area soon.
Nearshore, spanish mackerel are starting to show up, as well as bluefish and dogfish, and black sea bass are becoming prolific at the three-mile Jim Caudle Reef.
Ken, of Fin and Feather Light Tackle Fishing Charters, reports that this is a good time of year for flounder fishing with a Carolina-rigged mud minnow, with 14-16” fish continuing to bite, and the bigger fish starting to move in.
Black drum are falling for cut shrimp around ICW docks.
Speckled trout are swimming in the marshes, where Trout Tricks on 1/8 oz. jig heads will get attention. The specks can also be found around the jetty rocks, along with some solid sheepshead and the occasional upper-slot redfish. Floating shrimp will draw the reds’ attention, while barnacles and fiddler crabs will get the sheepshead.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that the inshore speckled trout bite has been fantastic, with Gulp baits on jig heads behind popping corks pulling in plenty of fish. Plain jigging has been working as well. The specks are showing up in their usual spots, but they are also far back in the creeks alongside some drum and flounder.
Black and red drum can be fooled with fresh shrimp (though live shrimp is preferable, if you can find it). Both species can also be found around inshore docks.
Flounder aren’t around in any big numbers yet, but with water temps consistently in the 60s, it won’t be long before they start showing up in force. Deeper creek holes and drain openings are the best places to look, but be mindful of the tide. Both bait and the larger flatties push up into the grass on a rising tide, and they move out on a falling tide.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that Atlantic bonito are being caught between 8-15 miles, with Clarkspoons and planers doing most of the damage.
The 10 mile bottom is holding plenty of black sea bass.
The best bottom fishing, however, has been with squid and cigar minnows on the offshore bottom in 110’ of water. There have been plenty of beeliners, triggerfish, grunts, big porgies, and large black sea bass. Boxes are filling up every trip, and the bite has been nothing less than spectacular.
Cameron, of Little River Fishing Fleet, reports that nearshore waters are warming up nicely, which makes for great black sea bass, flounder, porgie, and ringtail fishing. Plenty of big keepers have been in the mix, with squid and cut bait working well for all the bottom species.
Shark fishing has also been productive for this early in the season, though there has been a strange absence of Atlantic sharpnose, which are usually biting this time of year.
Nearshore bluefish have been biting here and there, but the better trolling action has been in the 25-30 mile range, where Atlantic bonito are starting to make an appearance and the king mackerel are happily chewing. Schoolie kings have been hitting spoons, and bigger (30-35 lb.) kings are attacking drift baits.
Gulf Stream bottom fishing has been phenomenal, with anglers limiting out and filling boxes every day. Vermilions, black sea bass, turbo grunts, rudderfish, cobia, and a variety of other bottom species are all coming up from the depths, and kings are hitting the drift lines.
Michael, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that whiting have started to pick up, and at least one trout and a couple of bluefish have been caught.
There have been plenty of skates swimming around the pier as well.