For the past few weeks, Capt. Jordan Pate of Carolina Guide Service has had little difficulties putting huge smiles on his client’s faces with a fishing experience few can ever forget. 

“It’s been hot lately,” says Pate (843-814-7900). “One day last week, I got together with Jay Nelson (of Winyah Fishing Charters) for a short afternoon trip, and we caught over 50 speckled trout on topwater, grubs and artificial shrimp.”

With the exception of topwater lures fished at dawn and dusk, artificial shrimp are producing best for Pate: the D.O.A. Shrimp and Vudu Shrimp in a variety of colors from root beer to glow. But 1/8- and ¼-ounce jigheads rigged with 3- and 4-inch soft-plastic paddletails, curlytails or flutter-tailed jerkbaits will also produce aggressive strikes.

“When these trout are in feeding mode, they will inhale anything resembling a tasty shrimp or vulnerable baitfish swimming by their kitchen table,” said Pate, who has caught fish all the way from the brackish creeks around Georgetown to the Winyah Bay jetties.

“The jetties, shell banks, Muddy Bay, North Inlet and even the Sampit River are all hard to beat under these conditions when the fish are biting so well. Target ambush spots or places where the current is broken by some sort of structure and near deeper water,” he said.