Jetty reds bite hot in Murrells Inlet

Redfish like this are a dime a dozen along Murrells Inlet’s jetties in September. (Picture by Tom Cushman)

‘tis the season for the jetty redfish bite

Murrells Inlet is well known for supporting a sustainable population of redfish, and September is a perfect time to connect with one of these bronzed beauties. And the jetties are one of the best places to find them chewing.

Capt. Tom Cushman of Cush’s Calmwater Charters spends nearly every day on the water going after just about whatever will bite. But, this is one of his prime months to target redfish in Murrells Inlet from backcountry waters all the way to the jetties along the ocean’s margin.

“September is one of my favorite months to fish Murrells Inlet for reds,” said Cushman (843-997-5850). “Bait is everywhere in September and the reds are feasting all over the place. We catch them regularly at the jetties and back in the creeks.”

Anglers catch redfish in a wide variety of places. But the jetties are the best bet for hooking into multiple reds in one sitting. And fish at the jetties are typically larger this time of year. The jetties serve two purposes. For one, it is a perfect place for redfish to stage up and feed as the tides flush out bait from the estuary. But the jetties also serve as a barrier to divert the migratory fishes moving down the coast.

Baitfish and some other species are beginning to exit the estuaries in the north and begin their southern journey as they migrate down the Eastern Seaboard. These migratory fishes get caught up at the jetties. So redfish set up along the rocks and feed.

The larger redfish also migrate down the coast this time of year. And the jetties provide a great stopping point. Anglers can have plenty of action fishing along all sides of the jetties and on just about any tide.

Cushman typically relies on live bait this time of year due to the availability of menhaden, shrimp, and mullet in the area.

“We will use live pogies, finger mullet, and even live shrimp at the jetties. The big reds can’t turn down these live baits on the bottom,” he said.

Cushman uses a Carolina rig with just enough lead to get the baits to the bottom. He prefers to fish in areas with a current seam or somewhere the fish can ambush their prey.

Anywhere along the rocks on the inside or the outside can provide excellent places to sink a live bait. But, one of the best spots will always be the last third of the jetties on either side. It is always a killer place to land a fat redfish in September.

About Jeff Burleson 1292 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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