North Myrtle Beach/Little River – July 4, 2019
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that the Little River jetties continue to produce. Fishing live shrimp on a slip bobber or a split shot rig has been working well for attracting some nice trout. The tide does not make a huge difference, as long as there is moving water in either direction around the rocks.
On the inside, fishing the ICW ledges with a popping cork and live shrimp has also been productive. The jetties seem to consistently have more keeper-sized specks, while inside the inlet, there is a mix of big and small ones.
Redfish can be caught out at the jetties, too, and the reds have also been active inside the creeks. Soaking cut mullet in and near the grass around high tide has been regularly picking up some slot-sized fish.
Even though this year has been a little slow so far for flounder around Little River, anglers have been catching some keeper-sized fish on live finger mullet, mud minnows, as well as on Gulp swimming minnows and molting shrimp. The best time to fish has been the switch between the incoming and outgoing tide (from an hour before high tide to the first hour or two of the fall). The majority of the flatfish have been around grass banks and oyster beds.
There are lots of small black drum being caught on live or fresh cut shrimp around oyster beds and docks off the Intracoastal.
Bluefish and ladyfish are also being landed inshore.
Bob, of Strange Magic Fishing Charters, reports that the bite in general has cooled somewhat now that the water temps have heated up. The trout are out primarily in the early mornings, and they’re hitting everything from topwaters to Gulps on jig heads; however, as the sun warms, the action definitely slows. Even bluefish, which are in the same areas, are reluctant to eat when the sun gets overhead and hot.
Black drum are around in larger sizes and numbers. Look for them in the deeper creek holes and around docks. Fresh shrimp on the bottom seems to work best. Live shrimp will also work, but the bait stealers will beat the bigger, more desirable fish a lot of the time.
Redfish are being caught on the flats and grass/shell banks, especially during higher tide times. Keep on the move for the most success, as you should be prepared to cover some water to find the smaller summer schools. Popping corks with live minnows or shrimp are working well for fooling the red drum.
Flounder are finally being caught in larger numbers. Try using white Gulp soft plasticson a jig head near structure (or put a live mud minnow on a jig head). After the familiar flounder thump, remember with live bait to wait 30-40 seconds before initiating a hook set in order to let the flounder spin the bait around in its mouth prior to swallowing.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that sharks (particularly blacktips) have been all over the beach lately, especially in the early morning. Also, 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 the kings. 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.
Cameron, of Little River Fishing Fleet, reports that out at the Gulf Stream, mahi have been brought in using drift lines behind the boat, and large African pompano have been falling for jigs. Grouper, snapper, and large black sea bass are all coming in off the bottom.
King mackerel are biting in the 20-35 mile range. Bottom fishing in this range has been fantastic, with the action including triggerfish, sea bass, grouper, scamps, and grunts.
Nearshore there have been reports of blacktip and Atlantic sharpnose sharks, sea bass, and larger sharks. There has also been reports of schools of sea trout.
Gray grouper and scamps (around 20+ lbs.) have been seen in the 10 mile range.
Michael, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that whiting, pompano, small spanish mackerel, black drum, sheepshead, and a few bluefish have been caught recently. Most are falling for live/fresh bait, with shrimp being the top choice.