Saltwater Fishing Trends
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SCDNR at the State
326 Little Brooke Lane
West Columbia, SC 29172
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These services are no longer offered at 1000 Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia.
North Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain Patrick "Smiley" Kelly (843-361-7445) reports that weather will affect the quality of the bite in August. In milder periods the fish should feed better, but when it is very hot the fish may be more lethargic and it will be even more important to fish early and late. With tons of mullet and shrimp around the action for redfish, trout and flounder should stay good with all of these baits in the IntraCoastal Waterway, and at the Little River jetties the same species should be catchable. It is possible to catch fish on artificial lures but with so much bait around using natural selections is often preferable.
Cherry Grove Pier: (843-249-1625) predicts that whiting, pompano, bluefish, black drum, trout and flounder should all continue to be caught in August. Spanish mackerel fishing should stay good this month, and when the water is clean the king mackerel bite should heat up heading towards September.
Nearshore: Spanish mackerel should continue to be abundant this month.
Southern Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain J. Baisch of Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle (843-651-1915) reports that in August flounder fishing can be a little spotty in the creeks, but when there is a cooler period the bite can really pick up on mud minnows. At the jetties or nearshore action can be more consistent as when Murrells Inlet gets very hot the bite often slows down and some fish head out into the ocean. Trout fishing will be good in slightly deeper water with live shrimp, and at the jetties there should be some big redfish caught on mullet.
Surf and pier: Captain J reports that the pompano fishing should stay excellent throughout August when there is clean water, as should the action for whiting. Bluefish should also be around.
Nearshore/offshore: Captain J reports that big Spanish mackerel should continue to be caught, while it looks like you will have to go further out to find king mackerel. There should continue to be excellent bottom fishing well offshore.
Inshore: Captain Fred Rourk (843-241-4767) reports that this month the usual suspects of redfish, trout and flounder will all be caught around Georgetown. Things have been so unsettled in May that June should bring an improvement in the fishing, but if it gets too hot action will slow down again. Mullet and menhaden are already prolific and will catch all three species, although the trout specialists will likely focus on fishing artificial lures early and late this month. There should also be good action for tailing redfish on flood tides.
Surf and nearshore: Sharks will become prolific this month, and Spanish and king mackerel will also arrive off the beaches. Cobia should also be caught, and when temperatures get very warm tarpon should arrive.
Inshore: Captain Rob Bennett (843-367-3777) and Redfin Charters (843-277-5255) report bait is easily available in the creeks, but in August it will remain important to fish early – particularly if you want to catch trout. Plenty of redfish will continue to be caught in the creeks, and with rat redfish reaching a catchable size they will provide plenty of action on finger mullet or shrimp. It continues to be an excellent year for flounder with live mullet. This is also the best time of the year to catch a tarpon around sandbars and inlets as well as deeper in the rivers.
Surf and nearshore: Folly Beach Pier (843-762-9516) reports that in August the best fishing should continue to be early and late, as by the middle of the day the surf just gets too warm for much action. Black drum, whiting, pompano, bluefish and trout should continue to be caught this month, and Spanish mackerel should continue to be caught off the diamond. Hopefully there will be some kings around.
Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the creeks will continue to overflow with bait shrimp and finger mullet this month, and mullet and menhaden should continue to run the beaches. The trout bite will continue to be strong around main river points with mud minnows, shrimp or artificials. Redfish action should be pretty good on the flats with shrimp, mud minnows or finger mullet, although in the creeks it slows down in the heat. It should continue to be a well above average year for flounder fishing with live minnows or mullet, while the sheepshead catch should continue to be mainly small fish this month. This is peak tarpon season in South Carolina around the inlets and sand bars with menhaden or mullet. The most important consideration to remember this month is that you need to fish in cooler times of day to get bites from almost all inshore species.
Nearshort/offshore: In August, the Spanish mackerel fishing should remain good from a couple of miles out to about 60 feet, and the king mackerel fishing should also stay hot. Bottom fishing will be excellent for a mixed bag in 90-120 feet, and the wahoo bite should get better and better in the bluewater zone – especially around the full moon.
Inshore: Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters (843-524-5250) reports that in August redfish are often a little lethargic, but there should still be some good tailing action on high tide. Trout should be found around ambush points where they will eat live shrimp or mud minnows, and there should be some tripletail found near structure. Migratory species like tarpon will be in the rivers where they can be caught on mullet or menhaden.
Inshore: Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley (843-368-2126) and Captain Kai Williams (843-816-7475) report that August can be a tough month for inshore fishing, and with very warm water temperatures the best bet is to fish early and late. Some redfish and trout can be picked up on live shrimp or finger mullet, but the real excitement this month will be the tarpon and sharks that will be prolific in the Port Royal Sound, Calibogue Sound and on the front beaches this month. Big jacks up to 30 pounds or larger should also arrive and be around through the fall. Bull reds in the 15- to18-pound range made their way inshore at the end of July and the action will get better and better.