Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Capt. R.C.
Winyah Bay is located south of Myrtle Beach, and offers year-round fishing for various species. In the Winter months, Redfish and Trout are primary targets. If you are visiting Myrtle Beach, Winyah Bay will be your destination for an inshore fishing charter.
December is the time where it is make it or break it for Speckled Trout (aka Winter Trout). As the water cools, and bait becomes scarce, this is the last chance trout will have to nourish themselves for Winter. These fish are very sensitive to water temperatures, but the past few mild winters have treated the local population well.
We are still having some great days catching Winter Trout. Right now, we are targeting them near inlet mouths by trolling or casting in to rips. This strategy works well when fishing in Murrell’s inlet or the jetties. Our favorite trolling setups are tandem paddletail rigs and mirrolure 52M in 808 color pattern. When fishing structural rips, we are using popping corks with artificial shrimp or live bait.
Once the water temperatures dip below 50 degrees, Speckled Trout will become more difficult to locate. They become lethargic to conserve energy, so it can be challenging to get a bite even if you do locate them. When we get to this point, our main focus will be on the Redfish.
This is the time of year when the reds instinctively congregate in to large schools. They seek out the backwaters as shelter from dolphins, who are left without much else to prey on during the Winter. These schools can lead to some amazing action since such a large number of fish has to compete for a meal.
The Redfish bite has been consistent right alongside the Winter Trout. They are already forming their schools out of the Fall transition period. Our clients are consistently catching double digit numbers on half day fishing trips.
We are having good luck getting the redfish to bite various baits. With live bait, we are using corks and bottom rigs. What we call ‘snotgrass’ becomes a factor, making more sense to use corks. This helps by keeping the bait off of the bottom and letting it move with the current.
Artificial baits are also working well, including (believe it or not) catching redfish on topwater. While topwater works during the right conditions, we are mostly using paddletails on the bottom. A little bit of scent helps, along with working these baits slowly.
December inshore fishing is something you don’t want to miss, if you find yourself visiting South Carolina! Be sure to book your inshore charter with a local guide who grew up fishing here. When you book a trip with me, you will get the same experience as fishing with me and my friends. Give me a call, or book online today, so I can tailor an experience to meet your needs.