The weather plays a big part in just how adventurous anglers can be this time of year, but one of the safest fishing spots in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, is also one of the best. The Mount Pleasant Pier at Memorial Waterfront Park in the Charleston, S.C., suburb boasts great November fishing.
The 1,250-foot long pier juts into Charleston Harbor under the Arthur Ravenel Jr. (US 17) Bridge;it’s unlike most coastal piers in that it’s made of concrete instead of wood, and it sits in relatively calm water instead of the crashing surf.
Bull redfish, sheepshead, and even flounder are available to anglers this month, but the really hot bite is for speckled trout. Jerry Grenier, locally known as “Jiggin’ Jerry,” is one angler you’re likely to see there throughout November doing his best to entice a trout. He’s caught trout longer than 24 inches off the pier, and he isn’t afraid to share his tips on catching them.
“You can use live shrimp or mullet. The trout really like them, but I prefer using artificial lures like plastic shrimp and curly tail grubs,” he said.
Grenier focuses a lot of his attention on structure that is just below and around the perimeter of the pier. You’ll see some of this structure at low tide, but Grenier also has gotten a feel for most of it just by fishing and feeling the debris with his lures.
One of his favorite methods is to cast parallel to the pier, then slowly reel the lure back, pausing and snapping his wrists slightly to add action. He pays attention to which direction the tide is moving; it determines what side of the pier he fishes.
“On the incoming tide, I want the tide pushing my lure toward the pier. On the outgoing tide, I want it doing the same thing, so that means I switch sides depending on the tide,” he said. “I will often make a cast away from the pier, because sometimes the fish are out there a little. But for the most part, I want my lure close to the structure of the pier,” he said.
Grenier also likes casting a curlytail grub under a popping cork away from the pier. He sets that rod against the railing or in a temporary rod holder. Then, he gets back to fishing with a plastic shrimp on another rod.
“That popping cork keeps the grub up off the structure, and the current gives the lure all the action. I just keep an eye on that rod while I’m fishing with the other one. When I see it’s getting bit, I just pick it up and reel the fish in,” he said.