Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet are the crown jewels of South Carolina’s coastline, each offering an array of inshore fishing opportunities that are sure to delight beginners and experienced anglers alike. Here is your comprehensive guide to understanding the types of fish you can catch, the best times to go, and some helpful tips to improve your fishing experience.
Myrtle Beach: A Premier Inshore Fishing Destination
Myrtle Beach is known for its 60 miles of soft sandy beaches and vibrant tourist scene. However, it’s the inshore fishing that truly sets it apart.
Meet the Fish
- Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus): Also known as Redfish, this species thrives in coastal waters, particularly in tidal creeks and marshes. They are bottom feeders, and their diet consists mainly of small crabs and shrimp. Red Drum is known for the distinctive black spot at the base of its tail.
- Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus): These predators are ambush hunters and can usually be found around seagrass beds and oyster reefs. Speckled Trout are most active during the cooler months of fall and winter.
- Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma): This bottom-dwelling fish is an expert ambush predator and changes its color to blend in with the ocean floor. Flounder feed on small fish and invertebrates, and their populations are highest during the warm summer months.
- Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus): This vertical black-striped fish is an omnivore known for its teeth that closely resemble a sheep’s. Sheepshead are typically found around jetties, pilings, and other submerged structures, where they feed on barnacles, mollusks, and small crustaceans.
In addition to Red Drum, Flounder, and Speckled Trout, the inshore waters of Myrtle Beach are a haven for Sheepshead, Tarpon, Southern Flounder, Spot, and a variety of sharks. With opportunities to also hook Striped Bass, Atlantic Croaker, and Cobia, the area truly is a vibrant and diverse fishing destination.
Each species requires a unique approach. Light tackle techniques work well for Speckled Trout and Red Drum. Flounder often fall for live minnows and shrimp presented near the bottom. For Sheepshead, using small hooks with fiddler crabs or barnacles near bridge pilings or docks can yield results. Tarpon and larger species like sharks often respond well to larger live bait or cut bait. Understanding their seasonal patterns and behavior is essential for consistent success.
Murrells Inlet: A Hidden Inshore Fishing Gem
Just a stone’s throw south of Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet offers some of the region’s best inshore fishing. The inlet is home to a wide range of game fish, each with its unique challenges and rewards.
Meet the Fish
- Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis): This highly prized game fish can be found in the brackish waters of Murrells Inlet. Striped Bass is typically caught in the cooler months when they move closer to shore.
- Black Drum (Pogonias cromis): Like their Red Drum cousins, Black Drum are bottom feeders and can often be found in the same habitats. Black Drum is available year-round but are most abundant in the colder months.
- Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix): This aggressive, fast-swimming predator can be found in the waters of Murrells Inlet, especially during spring and fall migrations.
While Black Drum, Striped Bass, and Bluefish are staple catches, the inshore bounty of Murrells Inlet includes species such as Redfish, Speckled Trout, Tarpon, Flounder, and several types of sharks. Further enhancing the area’s appeal, anglers can also encounter Spanish Mackerel, Atlantic Croaker, and Pompano, ensuring a comprehensive fishing adventure.
Successful inshore fishing at Murrells Inlet often involves mastering different techniques. Live bait or cut bait fishing near the bottom can be productive for Black Drum and Redfish. Lure fishing works wonders for Striped Bass and Bluefish. During the warmer months, casting live bait or large artificial lures near schools can entice Tarpon. More diverse species like Spanish Mackerel, Atlantic Croaker, and Pompano require a mix of techniques, so understanding the habits of your target species is crucial for successful outings.
Harvest Moon Fishing Charters
For those seeking the full South Carolina inshore fishing experience, Harvest Moon Fishing Charters offers expert guidance in both Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet. Helmed by Captain R.C., a seasoned angler with a lifetime of experience on these waters, Harvest Moon Charters aims to provide a memorable, educational, and, most importantly, fun day out on the water.
Whether you are interested in targeting a particular species, want to learn new fishing techniques, or simply want to enjoy a day of fishing in beautiful South Carolina, Captain R.C. will customize your trip based on your preferences. Book your charter today and make the most of your Myrtle Beach or Murrells Inlet fishing adventure.