Overall the inshore fishing was very productive last month, however inconsistent weather patterns also resulted in inconsistent fishing at times. We experienced several rain events that coincided with windy weather and extreme tides, thus making the water clarity challenging for sight-fishing and fly-fishing. Things started to settle down the last half of the month as a more summer like weather pattern set up for us and the fish have seemed to respond. Flounder fishing has been exceptional the last two weeks but many of the flounder we are catching are on the small side. Bigger flounder are moving in as I type and the average size seems to improve each day. May is the peak of flounder fishing in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet and based on the number of fish we’ve been catching the last two weeks, I expect it to be a great month for the tasty flat fish.
Baitfish and grass shrimp are beginning to fill the creeks and so have the trout. Although we arnt catching the big numbers of trout right now, there are still plenty of them around. Mirr-O-Lures and soft plastics have been working on the trout on the high-falling tide, and we’ve also had some good topwater bites the last few days which is a good indication that Summer is not far away.
Redfish have been very cooperative on the falling tides in the shallow creeks and bays. Fly-Fishing for them has been a bit challenging due to the poor water clarity from all the rain, but we’ve had some excellent catches of redfish on fly. One of the flyfishing highlights this month was a 32in tagged redfish that Dr. Antonio Castellvi stuck using the new Orvis Helios – H2 9wt. This redfish was a personal best on fly and he has decided to have a replica mount made by King Sailfish Mounts. When were not targeting redfish on fly, live minnows on a jig head have been working great, particularly on the low tides.
The last round of “tailing tides” came with some wet weather, and the fish never really did their thing on the flooded grass flats. The next round of flood tides should be epic so stay tuned for a report.
Tag Data from Redfish “102824”:
The tag data we received from SCDNR revealed that Dr. Castellvi’s Red Fish was originally captured and tagged by DNR biologists in March, 2011, in Winyah Bay near Georgetown. At the time, the Red Fish was 15.4″, grew 16.5″ in 1140 days, and was caught approximately 3 miles from the original tag location. This particular fish is nearing sexual maturity and I would expect this year to be the last it will spend in the shallow estuaries before joining the larger breeding schools in deeper water.Big kudos to our state biologists who dedicate their lives to studying our natural resources in South Carolina, their efforts will ensure good fishing for future generations.