If you’re planning a fishing trip to Myrtle Beach, you want to make sure you know what fish are biting before you cast your line. Nothing is worse than spending countless hours waiting for a bite that never comes.
But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common types of fish found in Myrtle Beach and let you know what’s biting right now.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” -Unknown
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to fishing, knowing which fish are active can help improve your odds of catching something delicious. From red drum to flounder, we’ll give you all the information you need to plan your next fishing excursion.
You don’t have to be an expert angler to enjoy fishing in Myrtle Beach. With its beautiful beaches and plentiful fish, there’s something for everyone – whether you prefer deep-sea fishing or just casting off from the shore.
So if you’re curious about what fish are biting in Myrtle Beach right now, keep reading to find out!
Redfish: The Most Popular Catch
If you’re wondering what fish are biting in Myrtle Beach right now, redfish should definitely be on your list. Redfish, also known as red drum or simply “reds,” are the most popular catch along the South Carolina coast.
These fish are prized for their fierce fights and tasty flesh. They can range in size from just a few pounds to over 50 pounds, making them accessible to both experienced anglers and beginners.
Where to Find Redfish
One of the best things about redfish is that they can be caught year-round in Myrtle Beach. However, there are certain times and places where they tend to congregate more heavily.
In the spring (March-May), look for reds in shallow water estuaries and bays, particularly around oyster beds, grass flats, and docks. As temperatures rise in the summer (June-August), reds move further offshore and can be found near channels, jetties, and other structures.
In the fall (September-December), redfish begin to school up as they prepare for winter. Look for them in larger numbers around inlets and river mouths.
The Best Bait and Tackle for Redfish
When it comes to bait, live shrimp or crab are top choices for catching redfish. You can pick up these baits at local tackle shops or catch them yourself using a cast net. Cut bait such as mullet or menhaden can also work well when fishing deeper waters.
As for tackle, medium-heavy spinning gear with a 3000-4000 series reel spooled with braided line is ideal for targeting reds. A fluorocarbon leader will help prevent line breakage when fishing around structures. Jigs, soft plastics, and topwater lures are all effective choices for catching redfish.
Cooking and Eating Redfish
If you’re lucky enough to catch some redfish during your Myrtle Beach trip, make sure to savor the flavor by cooking it up properly. The flesh is firm and slightly sweet, making it a versatile and delicious ingredient in recipes ranging from blackened fish tacos to pan-seared filets.
One popular way to prepare redfish is to grill it over charcoal or wood chips. Brush the fillets with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add any other desired spices. Place them on the grill for about 5-6 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
Conservation Efforts for Redfish
“Red drum populations were severely depleted due to overfishing in the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, significant management measures have been put into place to rebuild these stocks.” -NOAA Fisheries
While it’s important to enjoy catching and eating redfish responsibly, it’s also vital to help conserve this species for future generations to enjoy. Here are a few ways to ensure that redfish populations remain healthy:
- Observe size and bag limits: In South Carolina, the minimum size limit for red drum is 15 inches total length and the daily bag limit is three fish per person per day (only one fish allowed over 23 inches).
- Release larger fish: Big females play a crucial role in spawning, so consider releasing any large redfish you catch.
- Practice catch-and-release: If you’re not planning to eat the fish you catch, release it as quickly and gently as possible to minimize stress.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that redfish continue to thrive in the waters off Myrtle Beach for years to come.
Flounder: A Delicious and Fun Catch
If you’re looking for a tasty and fun catch in Myrtle Beach right now, consider targeting flounder! Flounder is a popular fish among anglers due to its unique appearance, delicious taste, and challenging behavior. Here’s what you need to know to increase your chances of catching flounder on your next fishing trip.
Flounder Habitat and Migration Patterns
Understanding the habitat and migration patterns of flounder can help you locate them more easily. In Myrtle Beach, flounder can be found in both freshwater and saltwater environments, but they are most commonly caught in estuaries and bays near the ocean.
In terms of seasonality, flounder tend to migrate inshore during the spring and summer months to spawn, and then move offshore during the fall and winter when water temperatures drop. This means that right now, you should be able to find flounder in shallower waters closer to shore.
Techniques for Catching Flounder
Catching flounder requires some strategy and finesse, as these fish have a tendency to hide beneath the sand or mud beds on the seafloor. One popular technique for targeting flounder is to use a rig with two hooks, one placed above and one below a weight. You can then bait each hook differently to see which works best – some popular options include live shrimp, minnows, or artificial lures.
Another effective method for catching flounder is to use a technique called “dragging” or “slow-trolling.” Basically, this involves moving your boat slowly along the bottom while dragging a weighted line behind it. This allows you to cover a larger area and potentially attract more bites from flounder who are hiding in the sand.
“Flounder are one of the most underrated game fish found in our waters. There’s nothing quite like catching a big fluke on light tackle – they put up a nice fight and make for an excellent meal.” – Capt. Mike Laptew
If you’re targeting flounder, it’s important to use a rod and reel combo that can handle their size and strength. Many anglers recommend using a medium-action spinning rod with a fast action reel, paired with a braided line in the 15-20lb range.
Finally, keep in mind that flounder are known to be picky eaters, so try experimenting with different baits and presentations until you find what works best. And as always, make sure you stay safe while fishing by wearing appropriate gear and following all boating regulations!
Sheepshead: A Challenge to Reel In
Identifying Sheepshead and Their Habits
If you’re wondering what fish are biting in Myrtle Beach right now, one of the species you might encounter is sheepshead. These elusive saltwater fish are known for their distinctive black stripes and protruding teeth, which make them a challenge to catch. To identify sheepshead, look for them around structures like jetties, piers, and docks, where they feed on crustaceans.
According to Captain Smiley’s Fishing Charters, “Sheepshead have a reputation as being picky eaters, so it’s important to know what bait they prefer. They enjoy fiddler crabs, mussels, barnacles, clams, and oysters.” Use fresh bait and be patient when waiting for a bite from these tricky fish.
Sheepshead Fishing Techniques
To increase your chances of catching sheepshead, use light tackle and a small hook. This will allow you to cast your line closer to the structures where the fish are feeding without spooking them. Once you get a bite, set the hook quickly but gently, as sheepshead can be easily scared off by sudden movements.
“The key to successful sheepshead fishing is patience,” says Fishing Booker. “These finicky fish require a slow approach, with bait presented naturally.”
Another popular technique for catching sheepshead is chumming. By releasing bits of chopped up bait into the water, you can attract more fish to your area and increase your chances of getting a bite. However, be careful not to over-chum, as this can also scare off the fish.
Gear and Equipment for Sheepshead Fishing
When it comes to gear and equipment for sheepshead fishing, your best bet is a lightweight rod and reel combination. We recommend using a 6-8 lb test line, a size 1 or 2 hook, and a small split shot sinker to get your bait down to the bottom where the fish are feeding.
You’ll also want to bring along a bucket or cooler to keep your catch fresh, as well as a pair of pliers to help remove the hook from the fish’s mouth without injuring them. When handling sheepshead, be sure to hold onto their lower jaw rather than by the gills, as this can cause damage or even kill the fish.
Cleaning and Cooking Sheepshead
If you’re lucky enough to catch some sheepshead, they make for a delicious meal when prepared correctly. To clean them, use a sharp fillet knife to cut along the backbone of the fish and remove its head and entrails. Then, cut the sides away from the ribcage and peel off the skin. Rinse the fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels before cooking.
“Sheepshead are flaky whitefish that have a sweet, delicate flavor,” says Salt Water Sportsman. “The meat is ideal for baking, grilling, sautéing, or broiling.”
To add some extra flavor, try seasoning your sheepshead fillets with garlic, lemon juice, and herbs like thyme or rosemary. Serve with a side of rice pilaf or roasted vegetables for a healthy and satisfying meal.
If you’re looking for something challenging to catch on your next Myrtle Beach fishing trip, give sheepshead a try. With a little patience, the right gear, and some fresh bait, you just might reel in one of these elusive fish.
Black Drum: Abundant and Great for Beginners
Myrtle Beach is known for offering an amazing fishing experience. As a beginner, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide which fish are best to target. However, black drum should definitely be on your list of options. Not only are they abundant in the Myrtle Beach area, but they also provide a fun challenge for new anglers.
Black Drum Biology and Behavior
Black drum get their name from their dark coloring and elongated bodies that resemble drums. These fish typically weigh between 5-30 pounds and can grow up to 46 inches long. One of the most unique aspects of black drum is their ability to “drum”. They create sound by contracting muscles against their swim bladder, producing a low rumbling noise that can often be heard underwater.
In terms of behavior, black drum prefer shallow waters and can often be found near shorelines or in estuaries. They feed on crabs, shrimp, and small baitfish, making them a great target with various bait options.
Best Baits and Lures for Black Drum
The best baits to use for black drum include live or cut shrimp, blue crab, sand fleas, and clams. If you prefer lures, try using jigs or soft plastics that imitate crabs or shrimp. Always keep in mind that no matter which bait or lure you choose, presentation is key. Try different techniques such as slow retrieves or bouncing baits along the bottom to entice strikes.
Black Drum Fishing Techniques
Fishing for black drum requires patience and persistence. Since they feed close to the water’s surface, sight-fishing can be effective if you spot a school of these fish. Another technique is bottom fishing. Use a Carolina rig with live or cut bait and allow it to sit on the ocean floor until you feel a bite. It’s important to always keep a tight line when fishing for black drum since they have soft mouths and can easily spit out the hook.
Catching and Releasing Black Drum
Black drum are known for being strong fighters, which can make them fun to catch. However, as anglers, it’s important to practice responsible fishing practices such as catch-and-release. If you do plan on keeping some of your catches, be sure to follow state regulations and only keep what you need. When releasing black drum, handle them gently and try to release them as quickly as possible.
“Catch-and-release angling has become widely accepted by many anglers as an effective way to conserve fishery resources while also contributing to the sportsmanlike enjoyment and personal satisfaction of recreational fishing.” -Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
Spanish Mackerel: A Thrilling Catch for Experienced Anglers
If you’re an experienced angler looking for a thrilling catch in Myrtle Beach, Spanish mackerel may be just the fish for you. These fast-swimming predators are challenging to reel in and prized for their firm, flavorful flesh.
Spanish Mackerel Migration Patterns
To increase your chances of catching Spanish mackerel, it’s important to know their migration patterns. In Myrtle Beach, these fish typically migrate northward along the coast from late spring through early fall, with peak months for fishing being May through September. You’ll often find them near schools of baitfish, particularly around jetties, piers, and other structures.
“Spanish mackerel are usually found between 10-40 miles offshore, but during the springtime they move closer to shore and can be caught within only a couple miles off The Grand Strand,” says Captain Jason Burton of North Myrtle Beach Fishing Charters.
Fishing Techniques for Spanish Mackerel
Once you’ve located a school of Spanish mackerel, there are several effective techniques you can use to catch them. One popular method is trolling with spoons or lures that mimic small baitfish. You can also cast out small jigs or live bait such as shrimp or pilchards and retrieve them quickly and erratically to entice strikes.
“When I’m targeting Spanish Mackerel, I like to troll cigar minnows on short wire rigs behind #1 planers in water depth between 20-25 feet,” suggests Captain Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions.
Tackle and Equipment for Spanish Mackerel
Because Spanish mackerel are strong, fast fish, you’ll need the right tackle and equipment to successfully land them. A medium-heavy spinning or conventional rod with a fast action tip is ideal, along with a quality reel that can handle at least 200 yards of 20-pound test monofilament line or braided line.
“I recommend using fluorocarbon leader between 30-40 lb test tied with #1 hooks, as well as wire rigs in case of a kingfish run-in. It’s also important to have good polarized sunglasses so you can see feeding activity on the surface,” advises Captain Connolly.
For experienced anglers looking for an exciting challenge in Myrtle Beach, Spanish mackerel are a great choice worth pursuing. Understanding their migration patterns, fishing techniques, and necessary tackle and equipment will increase your chances of success and a thrilling experience on the water.
Bluefish: A Strong Fighter That’s Fun for the Whole Family
For those who love fishing or just spending time outdoors with their family, Bluefish is a great target. These fish are known for their strong fighting spirit and can provide hours of fun, especially if caught in groups.
In addition to being sporty, bluefish also have delicious flesh that can be cooked in many ways, making it perfect for family meals. But before anything else, here’s what you need to know about them:
Bluefish Feeding Habits and Migration Patterns
Understanding the eating habits and migration patterns of bluefish is key to catching them easily. Generally speaking, these fish move around depending on things like water temperature and food supplies. They swim from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Northeast Atlantic to spawn during springtime, then return from September till October back down South, stopping mid-way where a bountiful energy source known as the “menhaden” dwells.
Their primary diet consists of small fish such as sand eels, anchovies, mackerel, herring, and squid; however, they wouldn’t mind attacking larger prey, too. Schools of small baitfish congregate off Myrtle beach between April-November each year. This serves as an added benefit to anyone looking to hook Bluefish; their instinct-driven feeding frenzy causes them to attack whatever they see in front of them whilst aggressively competing against one another using their teeth. The most effective approach when luring this fast-moving predator nearshore would involve using long-jerked baits that blend with the swarm’s appearance.
Techniques for Catching Bluefish
To catch bluefish effectively requires a fair bit more skill than simply casting out a line and hoping for the best. Here are some helpful tips:
- Use heavy-duty gear: Bluefish’s sharp teeth and powerful jaws make them a challenge to catch. An 8-10 foot rod with a medium-heavy power will give sufficient leverage when dealing with their aggressive bites.
- Choose the right lure or bait: Bluefish love flashy baits that mimic their natural food, such as spoons, jigs, soft plastic twister tails, or diamond jigs. If using live bait, try shrimp, squid or sand eels.
- Fishing during the dark hours of the day could result in the best catches, due to the fish’s lower level eyesight and reliance on sound.
Cleaning and Cooking Bluefish
Bluefish is known for its oily texture and pungent taste, which means you must process the fish correctly before cooking it to minimize potential off-notes and improve flavor. Most people prefer baking, grilling and even frying bluefish then seasoning to preference.
To clean the fish, rinse away excess scales, then make an incision from the head to the tail along its belly – remove guts; then slice across the scales again once done up towards the gills- flipping it over and doing this identically on the other side of its backbone until all flesh except small scraps near the bones have been extracted smoothly.
“It’s important to use the right ingredients when preparing any dish containing bluefish.” -Emeril Lagasse
Your catch should be gutted if possible but leaving the skin intact would serve more benefits if one plans on barbecuing the meat later on. Some may opt to brine the flesh before marinating prior to cooking it seasoned with herbs like garlic, rosemary thyme, dill, lemon juice or worcestershire sauce among others, as it helps break down the oiliness of the fish and add more tenderizing properties.
What are you waiting for? Grab your gear, reel in some bluefish, clean, cook & enjoy! A day spent fishing for this species can be an amazing adventure for everyone in the family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of fish can be caught in Myrtle Beach right now?
Right now, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish in Myrtle Beach. Some of the most common species include black sea bass, flounder, red drum, and spotted seatrout. Other potential catches include bluefish, king mackerel, and Spanish mackerel. The types of fish you’ll encounter can vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions.
What are the best fishing spots in Myrtle Beach at the moment?
Some of the best fishing spots in Myrtle Beach at the moment include Cherry Grove Pier, Apache Pier, and Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. Other popular locations include the Winyah Bay and Murrells Inlet areas. Additionally, many anglers have had success fishing from the beach, particularly near jetties or other structures that create natural habitats for fish.
What bait or lures are working well for fishing in Myrtle Beach currently?
When fishing in Myrtle Beach, some of the most effective baits and lures include live shrimp, mullet, and minnows. Artificial lures like soft plastics, topwater plugs, and spoons can also be successful. The key is to match your bait or lure to the type of fish you’re targeting and the conditions you’re fishing in. Be sure to ask local tackle shops for recommendations based on current fishing reports.
What time of day is best for fishing in Myrtle Beach right now?
The best time of day for fishing in Myrtle Beach right now is typically early morning or late afternoon. During these times, the water is cooler and fish are more active. However, fishing can be productive at any time of day if you target the right species and use the right techniques. Keep in mind that weather conditions, tide changes, and other factors can also impact when and where fish are biting.
What are some tips for catching fish in Myrtle Beach at this time of year?
Some tips for catching fish in Myrtle Beach at this time of year include targeting areas with structure, such as jetties, docks, and artificial reefs. Pay attention to tide changes and adjust your fishing techniques accordingly. Use live bait or lures that mimic the local forage. Lastly, be patient and persistent, as fishing can be unpredictable and success may require multiple trips.
What are the current regulations for fishing in Myrtle Beach?
Before fishing in Myrtle Beach, it’s important to be aware of the current regulations. Some common rules include size limits and bag limits for certain species, as well as restrictions on fishing in certain areas or during certain times of day. It’s also important to have a valid fishing license. Be sure to check with local authorities or visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website for the most up-to-date regulations.