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AHQ INSIDER Greater Murrells Inlet (SC) Summer Fishing Report – Updated August 18

  • by Jay

August 17

Inshore water temperatures are hot in the Grand Strand area, and Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) reports that after temperatures reached their (likely) peak for the year fishing slowed a bit.  The king mackerel kind of disappeared, and Spanish mackerel have been few and far between.  Nonetheless the inshore bite has stayed decent.

Flounder have moved a bit deeper, particularly in the heat of the day.  Early in the morning and in the late evening/ at night they can still be found in the shallows, but during the day they are spending more time in deeper holes in the Inlet in the 5-6 foot range all the way out to 10-12 feet.   As for many species right now finger mullet have been the best bait.  Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet (843-651-2895) reports that there haven’t been many flounder to brag about caught in the Inlet since it got hot, but there have been some good catches out at the 3 Mile Reef.

Captain J reports that larger redfish are few and far between, but plenty of fish just under as well as just inside the slot have been caught.  Finger mullet have been the best bait for reds, too, and the abundance of smaller fish is promising for the future.

One species that is still concentrating on shrimp is the trout, and during the day they are biting well on live shrimp.  Because of the abundance of pinfish, croaker and other bait stealers at this time of year anglers need to carry a lot of shrimp, but some good trout in the 3-5 pound range have been caught on them.  There have also been some good ones caught early and at night on topwater plugs.  Perry’s also reports that they have had some nice speckled trout caught at the north end of Pawley’s Island as well as out at the jetties – which is unusual for this time of year.

Perry’s reports that black drum are biting well on shrimp and other crustaceans, but there is only about a 1:10 keeper ratio.

Weakfishhave begun to show up at the ledges north of Surfside Pier where they will take cut strips of mullet.

In the surf and off area piers whiting, croaker and bluefish are around, and in a couple of weeks bluefish should show up en masse. Bull redfish have started to appear in the Georgetown area and at the Pawley’s Island reef, and before long they should be making an appearance off the ledges around Surfside.

Nearshore Captain J reports that spadefish are prolific although not very large.  Jelly balls have been hard to find and so anglers are using cut squid and shrimp to tease them up and then to catch them.

A nice spadefish caught recently with Captain J Baisch
A nice spadefish caught recently with Captain J Baisch

June 16

Inshore, Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet reports that black drum continue to be caught in the creeks, while redfish activity has been a little slow.  The flounder bite slowed down for a couple of weeks as it got very hot, but it has started to pick up again.  The incoming tide has been best.  Sheepshead have been feeding very well around both the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet jetties and Perry’s has been selling fiddler crabs like hot cakes!

Jay Brown with a big sheepshead caught June 11 on Perry's fiddler crabs at the Georgetown Jetties
Jay Brown with a big sheepshead caught June 11 on Perry’s fiddler crabs at the Georgetown Jetties

Some random winter and summer trout have been caught off the beach at the southern end of Garden City, and in the surf throughout the Grand Strand bluefish, whiting and pompano are being caught.  Perry’s has sand fleas for pompano.

Captain J of Fishful Thinking Guide Service (843-902-0356) reports that a bunch of menhaden bait schools recently showed up off the beach and migratory predators are following them.  Captain J. saw a school of tarpon yesterday and his boat has caught some jacks as well as a few late cobia.  The cobia season closes June 20.

At the 3-Mile and 10-Mile Reef, as well as at the Parking Lot, Perry’s reports that spadefish are being caught.  There are not as many kings at Belkie Bear as a few weeks ago, but now they are catching a lot of big 24-27 inch Spanish.

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