With all the flooding along South Carolina’s coast and inland, how long will it take for the fishing to get back to normal? It’s a question of luxury for many anglers, as a number of other South Carolinians struggle to rebuild great loss from the flood of ’15. Still, it’s a question that is, or will soon be, on the minds of anglers across the Palmetto State.

Capt. Ned Campbell of the Murrells Inlet Outpost in Murrells Inlet said there is really only one way to find out. “It’s going to take some people going and reporting on how they’re doing to really know. We’ve never had flooding of this magnitude, so we don’t have anything to compare it to, but usually when big storms cause flooding even on a smaller scale, it takes a few days for things to get back to normal. It may be three days, or it may even be a couple of weeks,” he said.

One of the main problems caused by the recent floods is that the flooded rivers are dumping so much freshwater into the inshore waters. “That amount of fresh water dumping in will push the shrimp out of the inshore waters and into the ocean,” said Campbell, noting that shrimp can’t tolerate the amount of fresh water that will run into the ocean over the next several days. “That’s going to impact flounder more than redfish. Flounder will move off like the shrimp will, but redfish are caught way up our brackish rivers regularly, and don’t seem to mind the freshwater as much as some other species,” he said.

“Usually, big storms make the fishing great just before it hits, then slows things down once it’s over, but you never know. I rode by the ramp in Murrells Inlet and the mullet seem to still be there, so gamefish still have plenty to eat,” said Campbell (843-651-6602).

Campbell is concerned that the worst of it hasn’t even happened yet, at least in terms of the amount of freshwater still heading to the coast from all the rivers north and west of here, which is projected to be arriving by this weekend.

For anglers who get out to cast a line in the next few days, Campbell said using live or artificial shrimp as bait could be a good tactic. With all the mullet in the inlet, and all the shrimp getting pushed out by the freshwater, fish should welcome the chance to eat shrimp.

Find out more about the Murrells Inlet Outpost.