AHQ INSIDER Greater Murrells Inlet (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated August 2
Water temperatures in the Murrells Inlet area are around 83 degrees, and clarity varies.
Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) reports that this week they have had northeastern winds that have made for muddy conditions, and as a result he has been fishing for black drum. Drum have super sensitive senses of smell, and so fishing for them is almost like targeting catfish. Captain J. puts out several rods with cut shrimp on the bottom, and then waits for the drum to arrive. You have to feed the pinfish at first, but once the drum move in they will run off the pinfish. If after 20 or 30 minutes you are still just catching pinfish then you need to move on to the next spot.
Some of the spots they fish are in 10-14 feet, and some are in only 5 feet or less. The incoming tide has been good recently, but the real key is the right kind of bottom. Some old, laid down shell that has growth, crabs, and other critters feeding in it is ideal. Live oyster shells are not as good.
The redfish fishing has not been great, but there have definitely been some fish caught recently. They will eat live mullet, but probably the most common way Captain J. has been catching them recently is while he is black drum fishing. In Murrells Inlet there is a lot of boat traffic and so the reds don’t get super shallow, and 5-6 feet around the same shells the drum are frequenting is a great place to look for them.
Trout fishing has been pretty good, and the key has been floating live shrimp around grass edges, little rips or off the ends of points. Suspended jerkbaits have also been working. Unlike drum trout are not as particular about the bottom structure – they just want a good ambush point that has some current flowing around it and where bait is disoriented.
A few flounder have been picked up but that bite is slowing down.
In the surf whiting, pompano and bluefish are around.
Just offshore there are a bunch of Spanish mackerel right now, and once you locate them you can troll or throw lures. King mackerel fishing has been very good, and while you have to weed through lots of small fish there are also some good ones around. Either trolling dead cigar minnows, or fishing spoons on planer boards, will catch fish, and fishing over live bottom areas (best) or near reefs can both work.
Water temperatures in the Murrells Inlet area are in the lower-80s. Inshore water has been kind of muddy lately, but there was some green (instead of brown) water yesterday before another round of rain came through.
Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet (843-651-2895) reports that they are still getting some good catches of flounder along the South Grand Strand, but they are receiving really strong reports on redfish and black drum. Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) says that he is catching both species on pieces of shrimp fished over shell bottoms where there is some current. The shells can be live or dead, but the key is just not having a mud or sand bottom. The tide hasn’t mattered much, and it will take some patience to weed through the pinfish but after a few minutes the drum show up and seem to run off the bait stealers.
Trout fishing has also been pretty good inshore, with plenty of 15-16 inch fish being caught on live shrimp and smaller live finger mullet.
At the jetties sheepshead fishing has been strong, and off the beaches there have been a lot of sharks, bluefish, ribbonfish, ladyfish and croakers caught. Before the storms pompano were doing well, but they have slowed down since the rain started.
Nearshore Perry’s reports weakfish, gulf flounder and spadefish at the 3-Mile and 10-Mile reefs, although Captain J. says that at times it’s been a little tough to catch spadefish with so much of their natural bait (small jellyfish) around.
Captain J. is having a lot of success trolling 16-18 miles offshore in 30-60 feet of water for king mackerel. Pulling live menhaden and cigar minnows over live bottom areas has been producing a good number of smaller 10-12 pound fish, while the artificial reefs have barracuda which often don’t mix well with kings. Perry’s has gotten good king reports at Belkie Bear.
Georgetown Landing Marina (843-546-1776) reports that they have had some bottom fish hit the docks, and the trolling trips have produced some spotty dolphin fishing. Blackfin tuna are in their traditional areas – the trick is just getting them to bite!