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AHQ INSIDER Georgetown (SC) 2024 Week 26 Fishing Report – Updated June 26

  • by Jay

June 26

Morning surface water temperatures are in the mid-80s in Debordieu Creek. Water clarity is above average without much rain, and there are tons of mullet and menhaden around.

The Georgetown area is getting into some fairly typical summer inshore patterns, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that means one key to catching fish is fishing early. Tide also matters, but time of day may be even more important right now – including for the angler’s health!

Captain Greg has spent most of his time targeting redfish, and some days a spot will produce 6-10 fish while the next day on the same tide they might only get one or two there. That’s pretty typical for summer. In general he is soaking cut bait, and they are catching fish throughout the tide cycle but mostly around oyster-lined banks. They did catch one very nice 32-inch fish in the grass on high water. While Greg can’t say the fish are moving deeper in the heat, he is not seeing as much action in small creeks.  Mullet and menhaden will both work, but mullet are more durable. 

Even though he hasn’t targeted trout very much they are certainly around, and at least once each trip he is getting one on dead bait. One trip they caught a 20- and 24-inch trout on whole dead menhaden that were sitting on the bottom. 

 
On cut bait this week with Captain Greg Holmes

The few times they have fished with live bait it’s obvious there are some good flounder around, and you can catch them either casting and trolling or pitching minnows up the current and letting the tide sweep them down. 

June 12

Morning surface water temperatures are around 80 degrees in Winyah Bay. Water clarity is above average and bait shrimp, finger mullet and menhaden are all around for netting. 

It’s been a pretty outstanding early summer bite this week around Georgetown, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that the storm system that came through Sunday night and did some pretty serious damage in the area seems to have cooled the water off a bit. Perhaps because of that the inshore fish are feeding very well, and in particular the redfish bite has been pretty reliable this week. Captain Greg is basically fishing two patterns for reds, and on lower tides he is fishing along shelves that are adjacent to deeper water with live bait or artificials. They have also picked up some beautiful flounder in the 20-22 inch range this way, with the fish coming on the dropping tide on a sandy spot just beside where the channel falls off into deeper water. It’s obviously a good place for flounder to sit and let bait wash over their heads. The biggest flounder actually came on a jerk shad fished on an Eye Strike wobbly head jighead. 

The other major redfish pattern is fishing on higher tides by anchoring cut bait in the sparse grass and letting the reds find it. While cut menhaden will work, mullet is much more durable and you have to check your bait less often.

The big surprise of the week came when they caught a 25 ¼ inch trout on cut mullet four feet back in the grass on high tide. At first they thought it was a nice redfish until they got a clear look!  

There are certainly some good trout around, and while you will catch more of them with live bait around main river points with clean, moving water, this is just another example of a very big Georgetown trout this season being willing to eat cut bait. 

A gator caught this week with Captain Greg Holmes

June 6

Morning surface water temperatures are around 77 degrees around Georgetown and getting into the 80s during the day.  Clarity is above average, especially considering the negative low high tides. Bait shrimp, finger mullet and menhaden are all around for netting. 

The inshore fishing around Georgetown is good for the three major species, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that they actually had the hardest time catching decent slot redfish in the recent Habitat tournament. There are plenty of 17-inch fish around, as well as bigger ones, but 18-23 inch fish are elusive. The small reds seem to be in shallower water around areas like creek mouths and biting best on the dropping tide, while they have had the best luck for bigger fish fishing cut mullet on a 5/0 circle hook deeper in North Inlet in 3 or more feet. You will also catch plenty of sharks fishing this way. 

With the new moon there have been a lot of good trout around, and they are catching them on live menhaden on the rising tide. They have been around points in the main river when there is clean water moving.  Shrimp will also catch trout, but by now you have to deal with a significant by-catch of bait stealers. 

You have to beat the bottom with live bait or swimbaits to catch them, but there are a decent number of flounder around by now – including some big ones. In the tournament they managed an 18 ¾ inch fish on a cut between a shell bar and the mouth of a creek in about 4 feet, and similar funnel areas have also been producing. Their biggest flounder recently was a 22-inch fish (pictured below) caught on a 6- plus inch mullet. When it struck Captain Greg could tell it was a big one and put the rod in the holder, with an open spool, until it had eaten the bait and swam off!

 
A good one caught with Captain Greg Holmes

May 23

Morning surface water temperatures are around 73 degrees off Georgetown and warmer in the creeks.  Finger mullet are showing up while shrimp are still far too small for bait.

The inshore fishing around Georgetown has really picked up, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that the action for both trout and redfish has come on strong this week. The big roe trout have arrived with the full moon, and the numbers of reds have gotten impressive. Captain Greg’s boat caught eleven in one spot on Friday.

The best places to fish have been funnel areas with shallow oyster beds that are out in front of the grass on the first of the rising tide. Fish have to move into these areas to get to bait and back into the grass as the water rises. While 3-4 inch live mullet can be found, Captain Greg has actually had better luck with cut mullet on the bottom. Big trout will eat cut bait, too, like this 22-inch fish that was full of eggs. 

If you can’t get mullet bluefish also make good cut bait, and they can be caught easily around current rips on artificials or bait under a popping cork.  Of course, live shrimp are hard to beat for trout. 

Also, on high tides now that fiddler crabs are active don’t overlook the redfish that are starting to tail on the short grass flats. 

Greg’s boat has not targeted flounder but they are showing up in better numbers, and with live bait (or artificials) you will pick them up even when fishing for other species. 

Be sure to check out this year’s Hooked on Habitat Inshore Slam fishing tournament on June 1.  

May 15

Morning surface water temperatures are around 74 degrees in the creeks around Debordieu and maybe a degree cooler in the ocean.  With all the rain visibility is very low in Winyah Bay.

It’s a transition period in the Georgetown area, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that some big 8-inch corn cob mullet are around, small menhaden are in the bay (indicating decent salinity levels), but he isn’t quite yet seeing bigger menhaden off the beaches. But they should show up any day. 

In the dirty conditions he is having the best luck either soaking cut bait for redfish on the dropping tide when fish are being funneled out, or fishing small wiggly baits on popping corks. They are picking up a fair number of bluefish on the live bait – and using blues for cut bait. While not necessarily preferable to mullet sometimes they are just as good.   

 
This week with Captain Greg Holmes

With visibility so low it has not been a great time for trout fishing, but if you can find cleaner areas they will feed. Right now they are seeing more gar than trout which is a bad sign. 

One exciting bite which is just getting started as the water has finally warmed enough and fiddler crabs are active is that on the flood tides redfish are starting to tail on the short grass flats. 

May 2

Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s in the creeks around Debordieu, and more bait is showing up all the time.

More stable weather is improving the bite for everything in the Georgetown area, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that soaking cut bait and fresh dead shrimp for redfish is still working very well.  Topwater action for trout also continues to improve, particularly early, late and on cloudy days. Points with oyster bars have been the best areas for this.  More keeper flounder are also showing up each day and spreading out in the shallow inlet areas. The best place to look for flounder right now is on the dropping tide at creek mouth drains. There have also been fish caught around hard structure just inside the inlets.

But the biggest change this week is off the beaches, and as menhaden schools start to arrive cobia and big drum should be right behind them. Sharks are already starting to get prolific, and fishing the menhaden pods is really as simple as pitching a bait or bucktail in, waiting for a bite, and moving on if nothing is forthcoming. Captain Greg points out that the fish don’t need to be over-taxed and so it’s important to use heavy enough tackle to land them efficiently. 

Finally, the sheepshead that have been offshore are really returning to the jetties.     

April 25

Morning surface water temperatures are around 68-72 degrees in the creeks around Debordieu, and more bait is showing up all the time.

The action for redfish is picking up in the Georgetown areas, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) gives a lot of the credit for that to the fact that the peeler crab season is winding down. There may also be more fish returning inshore as the freshwater levels normalize, while previously they had been pushed out towards the jetties.  This week Captain Greg is having a lot more luck soaking bait for reds, and fresh dead shrimp have been working as well as anything. 

There is also starting to be some good topwater action for trout, particularly early, late and on cloudy days. Points with oyster bars have been the best areas for this.

Flounder are also picking up and they are spreading out in the shallow inlet areas. The best place to looking for flounder right now is on the dropping tide at creek mouth drains. There have also been fish caught around hard structure just inside the inlets.    

April 11

Morning surface water temperatures are around 68-70 degrees in the creeks around Debordieu, and bait is showing back up again. 

Spring is arriving in the Georgetown area, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that in addition to tiny shrimp he is starting to see more big 6-inch mullet swimming in the creeks again. It won’t be a surprise when menhaden arrive again in the next week or two – with sharks and more behind them.

The best action this week has been for trout and bluefish in the 1-2 pound range, and while bait-sized shrimp have been hard to come by artificial lures and mud minnows are working pretty well for both. The action has been best floating grass lines under a popping cork. 

An early spring trout with Captain Greg Holmes

There are also some flounder starting to be caught in the shallow estuaries such as around Pawley’s Island and North Inlet that warm faster. Captain Greg hasn’t personally caught any over 16 inches on his boat, but he has seen a 19-inch fish landed. 

Usually a stalwart, the redfish are actually a little tough right now as they are gorging on peeler crabs and hard to catch with anything else. They may also be filling up on the tiny shrimp that are around, but in a week or two they should be more cooperative again. 

March 27

Morning surface water temperatures in Debordieu Creek were about 63 this morning, while the ocean is around 59 degrees. There is still a ton of freshwater coming into the system and salinity is relatively low. 

It’s typical late March fishing in the Georgetown area, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that means that redfish are in a transition period and you really have to hunt for them. The pattern is basically that they are hard to pattern! While you might still find groups of 5-10 fish, there are also a lot of individual fish moving around and they have pretty much totally broken up out of their big winter schools.

As a result it’s all about running the banks and covering water right now, and Captain Greg is finding the most fish back in shallow, tight creeks.  They are pushing tiny shrimp around, chasing early mullet, and on higher tides getting after the fiddler crabs.  The one constant is that if you find bait you should find fish.  Live or Vudu shrimp under a popping cork have been working the best so far, but as more crabs return from the ocean they are also an excellent bait choice. 

Greg was also pleased to pick up an early, keeper flounder on a Vudu shrimp, and they have also found some small groups of trout in the deeper bends of shallow creeks. Again, shrimp and shrimp imitations are working the best for them.

Caught this week with Captain Greg Holmes!

While Greg has not been out there, the jetties are probably holding more fish than normal right now as salinity is down in the rivers – especially further inland where the freshwater concentration is even higher. 

February 29

Morning surface water temperatures in Debordieu Creek were bumping 60 this morning, although are now dropping quickly, and water clarity has improved.  The ocean is holding more steady in the mid-/upper 50s.  

We are coming into a transition period in the Georgetown area, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that this month redfish will break out of their big winter schools and start to move in smaller groups. They will be found in more places, but there won’t be as many fish together when you do find them. They will still be found shallow, and artificials will continue to work well as there is relatively little bait around for them to eat.

At the same time, an excellent bait choice is blue crab sections as fish look for nutrient rich food to replenish reserves after the lean months – and crabs become more prevalent. They will also eat shrimp and mud minnows. 

Trout fishing has been okay but the fish should get much more active this month as water temperatures rise. While they are mostly in 6 plus feet of water now they will also move shallower, and on high tides they will get along grass lines looking for food. Live shrimp are hard to beat but they will also eat mud minnows and artificial lures. 

While some early short flounder will probably return inshore over the next month, it will be the better sheepshead and black drum who start to really make an appearance. As they wrap up spawning both species will return from the nearshore reefs to the jetties where they can be caught on fiddler crabs and shrimp. 

January 31

Morning surface water temperatures in Debordieu Creek were about 54 degrees this morning and with so much water coming out of the rivers the area has been muddy.    

There aren’t a ton of people fishing around Georgetown right now, but Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters(843-241-0594) reports that the right days can be good for inshore fishing. The best time to catch redfish is generally on lower tides when the fish are more concentrated, and they have been finding them in little areas that could be no more than three feet deep. On sunny days they will ease up onto mud flats and shoals that have warmed.

You can also catch fish on higher water, again especially when there is sun to move them up, and they will be found on sparse grass flats where there is a slightly higher temperature and ideally some bait. For these fish it’s important to cover ground and be very stealthy with long, 60-foot or more casts.

Mud minnows, reasonably fresh headed shrimp, and scented baits on jigheads will all work as there is a very limited food supply. In warmer conditions when fish are more aggressive they may even taking a moving bait like a spinnerbait. 

Trout reports have been thin but the fish are generally deeper in 6-10 plus feet of water. If you fish with artificials work them very slowly, but live shrimp are really the golden ticket. Your best bet is probably fishing live shrimp at the jetties. 

Perhaps the most reliable inshore target right now is juvenile black drum, and they can be caught in deeper spots around structure, shell banks, and downed trees that have fallen off high banks. Fresh cut shrimp is the best bait. 

January 25

Morning surface water temperatures in Debordieu Creek were about 54 degrees this morning.  

It’s been a slow couple of weeks around Georgetown, and Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that he hasn’t been on the water this week. We will try to get a new report next week. 

January 4

Morning surface water temperatures in Debordieu Creek were about 47 degrees this morning.  

It’s been cold and the wind has been blowing most days, but (or because of that) Captain Greg Holmes with Fish Skinny Charters (843-241-0594) reports that especially in areas like North Inlet redfish can be found in shallow places staying away from dolphins and looking for some temperature relief when the shallows warm.  They are in tight schools back up in the creeks and drains.

In general the trout are deeper, even in the creeks. They head for deeper holes and bends, although there are times where they will sun just like the redfish – even if they won’t eat. In general creek trout like a good section of live oysters or even dead shells with some depth behind them, and when there is current they will sit downstream of it and wait for bait to wash over them.  Don’t overlook trout at the jetties, either.

In general the best pattern for trout is slowing down, and then slowing down some more. DOA or Vudu shrimp worked very slowly will get bites, which often feel more like a subtle “tick” in the winter, and some scent like Pro-Cure will improve your chances of hooking up.

A unique fishery around Georgetown is the striped bass, and while Captain Greg has not fished for them this week striper can be found around deep ledges, eddies and bridge pilings.  They like a dug-out channel which has been dredged for navigation. 

Finally, there should also continue to be plenty of black drum up to about 18 or 19 inches inshore. Soaking pieces of shrimp on the bottom at the edges of oyster mounds or in creek holes will both work. 

 

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