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AHQ INSIDER Little River/ North Myrtle Beach (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated April 23

  • by Jay

The most recent Little River fishing report, updated May 9, can be found at:

April 23 

Inshore water temperatures are ranging from about 68-70 in the Little River area.  Water clarity has been pretty good, but with the big rain this morning visibility has declined.

It’s been a good month for fishing in the Little River area, and Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that inshore fishing has been pretty consistent with a little bit of everything biting right now.

Trouthave been hitting well on Vudu Shrimp and Gulp! Shrimp fished under popping corks, and topwater plugs and Mirrolures have also been working well.  Fish are mostly being caught along ledges and drop-offs in the ICW where the depth goes from about 5 feet down to 13, and the best bite for trout (like most species) has come on the incoming tide.  Most of the trout being caught have been keeper-sized.

Some nice trout caught recently on Captain Smiley's boat
Some nice trout caught recently on Captain Smiley’s boat

This spring the redfishpopulation seems to have rebounded from last year, and while Captain Smiley’s boat is not catching a lot of big fish they are catching plenty of 17-20 inch redfish.  The fish are biting around oyster beds and docks, with the best success coming with mud minnows or Gulp! Shrimp fished on a ¼ ounce jighead.  Again the rising tide has been best.

A young angler with a pretty fish caught on Captain Smiley's boat
A young angler with a pretty fish caught on Captain Smiley’s boat

The black drum fishery is also strong, and black drum are biting well on cut shrimp fished around bulkheads, docks and deep holes with oyster bottoms.

There has been a very good run of bluefish so far this spring, and lots of 18-inch fish as well as some random, very large fish up to 10 pounds or more have been caught inshore.  They will eat topwater plugs, live bait and most anything that moves.  Inshore fish have been caught on the outgoing tide around deeper holes where water runs across shell beds, and they are also in the Little River Inlet around the jetties.

Flounder traditionally move into all the other inlets along the Grand Strand (Murrells Inlet, behind Pawley’s, Tubbs, etc.) before they migrate back into Little River Inlet, and this year appears to be no exception.  Already they are catching lots of short 12-inch fish as well as some occasional 15 inchers, but the better flounder on up to doormat size have certainly not shown up yet.

March 28 

Inshore water temperatures have risen to the low-60s in the Little River area, while the water generally remains gin clear.

While conditions have been pretty windy in the Little River area, Captain Patrick “Smiley” Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that inshore fishing is off to a good start this spring.

There have been some big troutcaught out at the Little River jetties, while on the inside some smaller ones have been landed.  There have also been some keeper-sized fish caught around the Sunset Beach Bridge and Dunn Sound.  In the Inlet the falling tide has been most productive, with the incoming best in Dunn Sound and the outgoing best in the Calabash River.  Vudu Shrimp and Mirrolures have been working well.

Some smaller redfishhave been caught dock hopping in the IntraCoastal Waterway, and they will bite on Gulp! baits fished on a jighead.  However, there are plenty of black drum around as well, and so the best bet is to fish fresh shrimp which both species will eat.  The main bait stealers right now are some small Virginia perch, and so fishing with shrimp is not too bad.  By the time you can throw a cast net for shrimp in the creeks the pinfish and other bait stealers will have arrived en masse – and fishing shrimp gets tougher.

Small black drum and redfish can also be caught in the smaller creeks, particularly on the falling tide.  However, boats can’t stay too long or else they will be stranded.

A healthy spring redfish caught this week on Captain Smiley's boat
A healthy spring redfish caught this week on Captain Smiley’s boat