Diehard Murrells Inlet anglers with a taste for speckled trout can get enough for Christmas dinner in just a short time at the rock jetties guarding the inlet. The bite there is sizzling, with many big, gator-sized fish making up the catch.
For Jason Burton of Fly Girl Fishing Charters, trout fishing has reached new levels on days with calm seas along the beachfront within casting distance of the jetties.
“It’s the best trout bite I have ever seen in Murrells Inlet,” said Burton (843-798-9100). “On Monday, we caught well over 50 fish in a short time.”
Typically, trout have been biting on both the incoming and outgoing tides, but lately, the bite has been overwhelmingly superior on the incoming tide.
“The incoming tide is best right now because the lack of shrimp and baitfish inside the estuary. A few weeks ago, the outgoing tide was good, but now all of the bait is migrating south along the beach, making the incoming tide the best,” Burton said.
As the water pushes along the beach and into the inlet, the southerly migration of shrimp is being preyed upon by these big schools of speckled trout. Since the jetties protrude into the ocean and into the shrimp’s pathway, the northern side of the jetties is the hot spot. The water is 12 to 14 feet deep along the ends of the jetty, and Burton is catching these fish suspended 2 to 3 feet of the bottom with both live bait and artificial options.
“I always start floating live shrimp on a slip cork and then start casting artificial lures when all of my live shrimp are consumed. But, the artificial bite is still real good,” said Burton, whose most-productive artificial lures have been Vudu shrimp and Gulp! swimbaits, but his hottest lure has been Egret’s 3 ½-inch Wedgetail Mullet.
“As soon as I put on the gold rush Wedgetail, I caught four in a row,” Burton said.
With little bait available on the inside and a limited source of food on the outside, the speckled trout flurry will be good in the coming weeks, with the Murrells Inlet jetties remaining as ground zero, according to Burton.
“Since the water temperatures are still abnormally warm in the middle of December, the bite should continue until the first of the year. Just look for calm weather and run straight out to the jetties to get a piece of the action,” Burton said.