Reel in the big fish with one of our handpicked fishing reels. Shop by brand or reel type.

Shop our collection of fishing rods to find the one that best matches your needs.

AHQ INSIDER Little River/ North Myrtle Beach (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated Dec. 2

  • by Jay

December 2

Water temperatures are in the mid- to upper-50s in the Little River area, and water clarity is improving but not great.

It continues to be an excellent fall for fishing in the Little River area, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that they are catching lots of trout to go along with redfish and black drum.

Trout are falling prey to Vudu shrimp as well as suspended twitch baits such as Mirrolures fished around the Little River jetties and in the IntraCoastal Waterway.  The incoming tide has been the best time to fish, and when the water is lower fish are holding in 6-8 feet around drop offs in the ICW.  When the tide gets in fish will be up against the edges in 2-3 feet of water.  It has been a great season for trout and Patrick is optimistic that the fishing will hold up through the middle of January.

On incoming/ higher stages of the tide the trout fishing has dominated, while on both sides of low tide the redfish and black drum have been feeding well in the IntraCoastal.  For about an hour before low tide through the first couple of hours of the rising tide redfish are eating cut mullet, cut shrimp, and Gulp! shrimp (scent is key), while the black drum are eating shrimp.

A beautiful redfish caught recently on Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly's boat
A beautiful redfish caught recently on Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly’s boat

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that fishing has been a little slow off the pier.  Whiting, croaker, sea perch, and isolated small black drum have been the main catch.

November 2

Water temperatures are about 71 degrees in the Little River area, and even though water clarity is poor Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that fishing is still very good.

Patrick’s boat is catching lots of smaller redfish in the 15-20 inch range, which are biting well on the low to rising tide.  Fish are up against the oyster shell rakes and they are eating shrimp as well as Gulp! baits.

Trout are feeding well along the ICW and channel ledges in about 5-6 feet, and they are feeding on most moving tides.  Slack tides at both ends of the cycle have been poor.  Live shrimp have been dynamite and artificial baits such as DOA and Vudu shrimp have also been catching fish.

The trout bite has been very good in the last week on Captain Smiley's boat
The trout bite has been very good in the last week on Captain Smiley’s boat

Good numbers of black drum have been caught in certain areas, particularly around docks.  They can be caught on any tide, but the falling tide has been best.   Live shrimp or fresh cut shrimp are the best baits.

Flounder have mainly been showing up as a bycatch, but they are eating well on the lower to rising tide around shell rakes.

Nearshore there have been a lot of king mackerel caught close to the beach on menhaden slow-trolled.  The bull red drum bite is just about over.

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that bluefish, some whiting and some spots have been caught off the pier.  A few small pompano have also been brought to the deck.  With the full pier back online they have seen some kings breaking the water but have yet to land one.  Some bull red drum have been caught in the evenings.

October 18

There is still flooding around the Waccamaw River, which only crested this past Sunday, but Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that for most residents of the Grand Strand power is back on and waters have receded after the hurricane.  Water temperatures are in the lower 70s.

Tides have been extremely high for the last few days, and under the circumstances Patrick says that fishing when the tide is out of the grass has been critical.  Inshore redfish have been no exception to that rule, and on the lower stages of both the rising and falling tide fishing has been good.  They are mainly catching a lot of smaller redfish around oyster bars and channels, and live menhaden, cut menhaden and live shrimp have all been working.  While Patrick’s boat hasn’t been targeting tailing fish they can be found on the right tides.

Inshore black drum are also being caught in the same areas where redfish are being found, as well as around docks and other hard structure.  Black drum have been eating live shrimp on a Carolina rig and the stage of tide has not made a huge difference – as long as water is not high in the grass.

Trout fishing is also picking up, with trout eating both live shrimp and topwater lures.  Drops in the IntraCoastal Waterway have been the best areas to target trout, and lower stages of the tide have been working.

Bull red drum in the 30-40-inch range are still being caught in the Little River Inlet as well as off the front beaches on live or fresh cut menhaden.

A bull red drum caught recently on Captain Patrick Smiley's boat
A bull red drum caught recently on Captain Patrick Smiley’s boat

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that even with the end of the pier closed off catches have still been strong.  Strong numbers of redfish, trout and smaller flounder have been caught as a well as some big flounder and a bull red drum (this morning).  Whiting and small pompano are also around.

October 13

Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that most of the upper Grand Strand has power again, with the exception of many homes around the Waccamaw River (which is still rising).  Between the storm and cooler weather Little River-area water temperatures have plummeted to around 70 degrees, a drop of almost 10 degrees in the past two weeks.  However, all things considered Patrick says that the water conditions aren’t too bad.  In other good news the fish are biting again, including the big drum in the Little River Inlet (on cut menhaden).  In the creeks small redfish are also biting again.

A bull red drum caught minutes ago on Captain Patrick Smiley's boat
A bull red drum caught minutes ago on Captain Patrick Smiley’s boat

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that they sustained some structural damage to the pier, and so they are only operating with 550 feet.  However, the pier is open and they have some excellent fishing.  Just today five slot-sized reds have been caught, and yesterday a 4-pound flounder was caught to go with a 3 ½ pounder today.  Whiting, small pompano, and a few spots have also been caught.

September 28

Little River-area water temperatures have dropped roughly one degree to 78, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that despite frequent wind blowing out of the northeast and dirty water they have still been catching fish pretty well.

Bull red drum are still being caught in the inlet, and that pattern remains mostly unchanged from a week ago.  Bluefish up to about 18 inches are also being caught on live menhaden and mullet, and if you have live shrimp weakfish can also be picked up.

In Dunn Sound slot-sized redfish in the 16-18 inch range are biting pretty well, and flounder up to 2 pounds have also been caught on live finger mullet.  They are being caught in 2-5 feet of water up against shell beds.

In Tubbs Inlet smaller redfish and smaller flounder are both being caught on the low to rising tide on finger mullet, shrimp and Gulp! baits.  Trout are also falling prey to the same baits in this very shallow inlet.

Around Tillman Point lots of black drum are being caught on shrimp, crabs or generally any crustacean on the outgoing tide.

Spanish mackerel are still around and can be caught on live finger mullet off the beaches.

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that fishing has been excellent off the pier, and the first king mackerel caught since last May have been landed in the past week… In fact, 31 ½ (after a shark bite) of them have been landed off the pier since last Thursday!  Fish caught off Cherry Grove Pier took 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in last weekend’s Grand Strand king mackerel tournament.  Additionally, bull red drum, some nice bluefish and Spanish, whiting, croaker and small black drum have been caught.

A shark got to this king before it could be landed on the Cherry Grove Pier
A shark got to this king before it could be landed on the Cherry Grove Pier

 

Some nice flounder caught this week on Captain Smiley's boat
Some nice flounder caught this week on Captain Smiley’s boat

September 20

Little River-area water temperatures are about 79 degrees, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that the fall bite is really starting to crank up.

The biggest story has to be that the bull red drum in the 30-40-inch range have arrived in full force in the Little River Inlet. These fish can be caught drifting over well-known holes in about 15-36 feet of water.  Live menhaden or finger mullet fished on the bottom have been the best bait.

A bull drum caught on Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly's boat
A bull drum caught on Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly’s boat

Last week Captain Smiley says that they really got on some good trout, and he found the best fishing on the low to rising tide.  Live shrimp fished under a popping cork have been working well, and they have also caught some fish on the surface on topwater Mirrolures.

With the mullet still running good numbers of flounder continue to be caught, and large numbers of Spanish mackerel and bluefish continue to be caught live-lining finger mullet.

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that bluefish have been caught in the morning.  Sporadic croaker and whiting as well as small black drum have also been landed.

September 8

Little River-area water temperatures are down to around 78 degrees after the recent rains.  Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that fishing was very strong before the storm came through, and it looks to be getting back to there again.  Seasonal improvements should also be just around the corner.

There has been a pretty consistent trout bite on the rising tide along the ledges in the IntraCoastal Waterway.  Fishing shrimp under popping corks in about 8 feet of water has been the best pattern.

A strong mullet run is taking place in both the ocean and in the creeks, and as a result there has been a good flounder bite.  The best pattern is fishing mullet on a split shot rig on the rising tide.

While slot-sized redfish have been hard to come by, big red drum are starting to be caught in the inlets and surf.  A 44-incher was caught on one of Captain Smiley’s boats last week, and as the season progresses more and more fish should move inshore.  Either cut or live mullet are the best baits, as right now the drum are concentrating on the big schools of mullet.  Before long menhaden should move through and the fish will focus on them as well.

Some nice Spanish mackerel have also been caught in the inlets, and live-lining mullet has worked well for them.  Topwater Mirrolures are also hard to beat.

A big Spanish caught on Captain Smiley's boat
A big Spanish caught on Captain Smiley’s boat

Cherry Grove Pier (843-249-1625) reports that with a mullet run in full force lots of bluefish are being caught as well as quite a few small redfish.  Whiting and croaker are also fairly prolific.

Search