Murrells Inlet

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Fishing in Murrells Inlet

For the inhabitants of Murrells Inlet, fishing is a way of life. Described by the locals as ‘a small drinking town with a big fishing problem’ (get it?), this popular vacation spot has salt water running through its blood. Famous for its great air quality and miles of uninterrupted beaches (this is part of the Grand Strand after all), this is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. And when it comes to the fishing, South Carolina’s coastline seems determined to uphold its reputation as a favorite amongst anglers of all types and denominations.

Known For

Murrells Inlet seafood is famous as the best in South Carolina, and when you look at the fish species on offer, it’s not surprising. From the backwater creeks that are home to Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder, to the favorite haunts of Bull Redfish around the jetties, you don’t need to go far to find a nice game fish that could well end up on your dinner table. And with a healthy collection of reefs and wrecks nearshore, you could be catching your fill of Sheepshead and more just four miles from the coastline. Further out, the Gulf Stream is home to a steady population of Wahoo during the winter months, with Blackfin Tuna, Sailfish, and Mahi Mahi also joining forces according to the season.

Join a local aboard a Murrells Inlet inshore fishing charter to see the beauty of the area at its best. Most trips will take you exploring in areas such as the peaceful Waccamaw River, a haven for wildlife such as Ospreys, Alligators, and Bald Eagles. These are some of the only waters along the coastline that are not connected to the Intracoastal Waterway or coastal waterways, making them unusually clean and healthy. Check out favorite fishing spots such as the shell bank at Main Creek, the tip of the North Jetty, Oaks Creek, and ‘Charlie’s Cut.’

The Marsh Walk is another favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. Pay a visit to the local restaurants and bars while enjoying some of the best views over the inlet: we’re struggling to think of a better way to end a long day on the water.

But there’s more than just inshore fishing available round here. Big game sportfishing addicts will also find that fishing Murrells Inlet has plenty to offer. Whether that means heading 60 miles out into the Gulf stream to find citation-sized Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, and Sailfish, or staying within the 20 mile mark and hunting for Cobia, there’s no doubt that this is a fishery you won’t want to miss out on. Top offshore fishing spots include the Georgetown Hole, a ten-mile long ledge running perpendicular to the Gulf Stream and the coastline.

Rules & Regulations

Saltwater fishing licenses are essential for all anglers over 16 years old. Just like in the rest of South Carolina, licensed Murrells Inlet fishing charters cover fishing licenses for all anglers on board while under hire.

Types of Fishing

Murrells Inlet inshore fishing will take you on the hunt for Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, and more. Trout is particularly good in the fall and early winter - target them by throwing topwater plugs and other artificial lures (DOA Shrimp and Matrix Shad are popular) or by floating live shrimp. Flounder is great from April through late fall and responds well to Gulp! Shrimp on Jigheads.

For a tasty meal, target Sheepshead over the nearshore reefs and wrecks from four to ten miles out. They will respond particularly well to fiddler crabs and barnacles - just be sure to set the hook right in their toothy mouths!

Murrells Inlet deep sea fishing mainly takes place about 60 miles offshore, where the water reaches 140-250 ft deep and the Gulf Stream brings rich bait and pelagics within fishable reach. Target species such as Wahoo and Tuna by trolling skirted ballyhoo over ledges in the seafloor.

Murrells Inlet
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Based on 19136 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Murrells Inlet Fishing Seasons

January

New Year's fishing kicks off in Murrells Inlet with what is usually a steady inshore bite. Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Black Drum are the name of the game. Offshore, fast trolling for Wahoo is fun and exciting.

February

This is the coldest average month in Murrells Inlet, but what better way to warm up than fighting with a Redfish or Speckled Trout? Black Drum and Sheepshead are caught on the reefs, and Wahoo is going strong 60 miles out.

March

Redfish are feeding up as bait becomes more abundant. Sight fish for them in shallow water. Cobia arrive nearshore. Offshore fishing can be windy but Wahoo and BlackfinTuna are great when conditions allow.

April

Bait fish become more and more plentiful, bringing desirable species close to shore. Trout fishing tapers off and gets replaced by excellent Flounder fishing. Tarpon and Sharks begin to show up in the later part of the month. 

May

The Shark bite gets serious, making this a good time to catch a big fish in shallow waters. Look for Spanish Mackerel nearshore or make the most of the excellent Flounder bite inshore.

June

Temperatures average at 77 degrees and fishing is excellent inshore, nearshore, and offshore. The warm waters attract a large number of species, including Spanish Mackerel, Black Drum, Spadefish, and more. 

July

This is the month to catch pretty much every game fish that calls the waters of Murrells Inlet home. Tarpon begins to settle into its summer patterns and is found around the inlet and beaches. Look for Tripletail hiding under structure.

August

The excellent summer bite continues, only to be enhanced by the opening of the Amberjack season. This is a peak time to get out on the water, with warm temperatures and summer vacations making charter boats book up fast.

September

With crowds thinning out and vacationers going back to work, this is a great time to check out Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk. Temperatures remain warm but not uncomfortable and the Redfish bite starts to get serious inshore.  

October

If you are a fan of pan fish, now is the time to fish in Murrells Inlet. This is the peak of the area's famous Spot fishery. Kingfish are caught off the beaches. Inshore, Redfish and Trout are on fire.

November

As the waters cool, the fishing also changes. Bull Redfish and Trout are feeding up for winter and devouring shrimp, Gulp baits, and more. Black Drum is bottom feeding.

December

Gear up for the holiday season by seeking out Redfish near oyster bars and creeks, as well as over seagrass beds. Look for Trout around creek mouths or head out to the Gulf Stream to fish for Wahoo and Sailfish.

Murrells Inlet Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Murrells Inlet

Half day trip with Capt. Jimmy
Jennifer S. fished with Wild Thang Fishing Charters on September 15, 2020
Fun and they teach you. Just let them know you need help
3 hour trip with Captain Chuck.
David B. fished with Murrells Inlet Outpost Charters on September 7, 2020
Tell the captain you are a novice and he will be very helpful.
1/2 Day with Capt Al
Douglas M. fished with Brag and Release - 28 Fantasea Lady on July 26, 2020
It is certainly hot in the summer months and July is no different. Going on a private charter and 7 miles from shore was well worth it. I would not expect a great deal of fish as it is probably unreasonable to expect when it is so hot unless you go further out and would require a full day trip. Fun for the family and caught lots of different fish that we released that include Shark, Pin Fish, Puffer Fish, Sea Bass and Cobia.
A Grand Trip with Captain Todd Vic
George H. fished with Fishn' Freshwater Charters on July 23, 2020
Go in the early morning or late evening with a captain who knows the tides.
Fishing with Todd
Heather G. fished with Fishn' Freshwater Charters on July 5, 2020
Just listen to the guide he’s very knowledgeable about fishing this area.
Half day+ with Capt Todd
Phil B. fished with Fishn' Freshwater Charters on October 17, 2019
Try inland fishing for beginners,no worry about seasickness
Half Day - Bass
Gary S. fished with Fishn' Freshwater Charters on October 8, 2019
Check the tide tables for your planned trip and book accordingly. I did not but I had a good captain and I got lucky
Half day near shore
Julie S. fished with Y-Knot Fishing Charters on August 21, 2019
August if you want to catch fish you can keep, go deep water if possible. They encouraged us to do 3/4 day, but we really were looking for 1/2 day nearshore as our first experience. Will return for the deep water next time.

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