Saltwater Fishing Trends
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The Columbia full-service Licensing and Boat Titling office is now located at:
SCDNR at the State
326 Little Brooke Lane
West Columbia, SC 29172
The State Farmers Market has convenient parking and easy access to both I-77 and I-26.
These services are no longer offered at 1000 Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia.
North Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain Patrick "Smiley" 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 when the wind is not too bad to get after them.
South Grand Strand
Inshore: Captain J. Baisch of Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle (843-651-1915) reports that August is often a month where anglers catch a little bit of everything – but not a lot of anything. In August flounder fishing can be a little spotty in the creeks, but when there is a cooler period the bite can pick up on mud minnows. At the jetties or nearshore action can be more consistent as when Murrells Inlet gets very hot some fish head out into the ocean, and some are always there. Trout fishing can be good in slightly deeper water with live shrimp, and at the jetties there should be some big redfish caught on mullet. Inshore some reds will also be picked up, and there are also sheepshead at the jetties.
Surf and pier: Captain J reports that the pompano fishing should stay good throughout August when there is clean water, as should the action for whiting. Bluefish should also be around.
Nearshore/ offshore: Captain J reports that Spanish mackerel should continue to be caught nearshore, while usually you will have to go further out to find numbers of king mackerel. There should continue to be excellent bottom fishing well offshore.
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. This is also the best time of the year to catch a tarpon around sandbars and inlets as well as deeper in the rivers.
Nearshore: Captain Rob Bennett and Redfin Charters report that shark fishing should remain pretty fantastic just off the beaches, and there should be plenty of king mackerel close to the surf as well. Both species can be caught on menhaden and mullet.
Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. (843-513-0143) reports that the creeks will continue to teem 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 decent for undersized and oversized fish on the flats with shrimp, mud minnows or finger mullet, while in the creeks it often slows down in the heat. It should continue to be an above-average year for numbers of flounder 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.
Nearshore/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. July had some excellent tailing activity. Trout should be found around ambush points where they will eat live shrimp or mud minnows, and there continue to be lots of tripletail found near structure. Migratory species like tarpon and jacks will be in the rivers or ocean where they can be caught on mullet or menhaden.
Inshore: 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. Big jacks up to 30+ pounds should also be around through the fall. Bull reds in the 15-18 pound range made their way inshore at the end of July and the action will get better and better.