Better late than never! The fishing has been pretty dang good this spring so far for both inshore and nearshore and should continue to heat up as we move along into the warmer water temps. To get us all ready for the upcoming spring season, keep reading for our Coastal Carolina 2022 Spring Fishing Report.
There have been some really nice-sized schools of red drum that are always a blast to target as always. For the schooled-up reds, depending on how spooky they are I like to throw things like a neg rig with a creature bait (when spooky) and when they are fired up you can sometimes get away with a top water lure. Either way, it’s always a good idea to try and get an idea of how those fish are reacting to baits and the boat and then choose your bait accordingly.
Flounder seem to be starting to show up in good numbers, especially in the cape fear river. I was poling a bank the other day and must have spooked around 50 flat fish and caught a handful when we switched to a spinner bait instead of throwing top waters for redfish. For flatties in the marsh, I absolutely love a spinner bait or a good size jerk shad (6 inch usually) on a jig head.
Sheepshead should also be starting to show up in the backwaters on bridges and docks but are most likely still in their transition stage from the ocean to the backwater. Look for this bite to turn on much more come the summer months.
Well, the Atlantic Bonito showed up about right on time and seem to still be lingering around. If you have not had a chance to get out there and get some sushi might be a good time as they usually don’t stay around too long! I like to look for these fish, either busting on the surface or looking for marks on my Garmin on structure typically. My favorite baits for these are metal jigs in varying sizes. If they are on the bottom, something slightly heavier like a Sting Silver works great.
Sheepshead should be on some of that nearshore structure this time of year if you are willing to go out and find some crabs to drop to them. I have recently gone looking for mud crabs in the oysters and they are starting to get much easier to find as the weather starts to warm. I like to use bottom sweeper jigs and 432 jigs when I have live crabs to pin them to.
Spanish Mackerel seem to be showing up in strong numbers nearshore and if you can get out there early enough, you just might get them while they are all over the surface busting baits. I generally like the same sort of jigs I use for the Atlantic Bonito on the Spanish this time of year, anything that resembles the little glass minnows that are munching on. If you are not able to cast to them trolling a #1, #2 planer and some weighted top lines should get you some bites when trolling lures like Clark spoons.
I have not heard of any cobia starting to pop their heads in but it really should be starting anytime now so if you’re out there I would always have a rod rigged with a DOA bait buster or a bucktail ready to rock n roll in case you get the opportunity. Nothing is worse than seeing one and not being prepared to cast to it.