Fall is arguably the best time of year for any type of saltwater fishing along the South Carolina coast and this year has not disappointed. Despite a direct hit from Hurricane Mathew in early October, the fishing has been exceptional in and around Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet and Winyah Bay. Tarpon fishing was in full swing just before the hurricane, however it came to an early close as the storm pushed many tarpon back south. Rest assure they will be back in June 2017.
The most productive fishing in Winyah Bay has been Bull Redfish, Black Drum, and Speckled Trout. In the month of October, my boat landed approximately 536 Bull Redfish which is comparable to numbers I saw last year. We are catching Bull Redfish on a variety of artificial lures, live bait, and fly fishing gear however the most productive method is using fresh cut mullet fished on the bottom. We are also catching good numbers of Red Drum while surf fishing from some of the remote barrier islands leaving out of Georgetown.
Speckled trout began showing in good numbers toward the end of August and the fishing continues to be red hot in North Inlet, Pawleys Island, and Murrells Inlet.
Shallow water fishing has been a challenge due to the runoff and poor water clarity we are experiencing from Hurricane Matthew, however fly fishing anglers continue to get good shots at redfish on the ideal tides.
We are also experiencing on the the best runs of Black Drum that I have seen in years, many of which are 2-4 lbs. Black drum can be caught using a variety of methods including fly fishing with shrimp pattern flies, fresh shrimp near the bottom, and other artificial shrimp lures like the Vudu Shrimp under a popping cork.
King Mackerel have also shown up in good numbers along the South Carolina coast and we are catching them regularly when fishing live bait just beyond the breakers just south of Myrtle Beach.
As we get further into November, our focus will be back in the shallow creeks for schooling redfish and speckled trout in the inlets and open bays. Bull Redfish will begin leaving the estuaries my the end of November to spend the Winter offshore. Speckled trout fishing will continue to be excellent in the month of November.