Pier Fishing Tips
Successful fishing requires both the right equipment and knowledge
of the conditions that effect the fish. For information on catch and size limits,
download the South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Regulations from the SC Department
of Natural Resources in Adobe Acrobat format by clicking
A fishing license is not required to fish from the Cherry
Grove Pier with your admission.
Conditions that effect fishing
The position of the sun, moon and tides. The sun and moon affect
the level of the tides, and their light appears to influence the feeding habits
The sunrise and sunset seems to increase the activity levels
of fish. Some fish feed at night while others feed mainly during the day. Both
day and night feeders become more active with the changing light and tides. Because
of this, the changing tide at dawn or dusk can be among the best times to fish.
When fishing from the pier
Cast and let your bait drift with the tide, or fish on the bottom.
The marine life attached to the pier's pilings means a supply of readily available
food to the fish, so they naturally tend to gather around the pier.
To catch more fish
Come see us often and bring the whole family. Fishing is a great
time of togetherness for families, and some of the fondest memories can be of
father or grandfather teaching the kids to fish, and sharing a dinner of the day's
Ask the fishing pros in our tackle shop how the fish are biting
and what is the best bait to use. We have everything you'll need to make your
outing fun and prosperous. Read our Carolina Pier Fishing Encyclopedia below.
It will help you identify some common pier fish, and understand their habits.
Use the proper tackle. Monofilament line should be replaced
periodically, and tackle should be well maintained. Many a fisherman has lost
"the big one" because of old, weakened line, dull hooks, or an improperly maintained
drag. Our tackle shop pros can help you keep your equipment in top shape.
Use fresh bait. It will always attract more fish especially
if you are using live bait like shrimp or sand fleas. Change bait frequently for
the best results.
Use enough weight on your line when bottom fishing for the current
and tide conditions. Bottom feeders will usually not surface to reach bait that
is above them. Our fishing pros can advise you about the tide and current conditions
Keep loud conversation, music, and noises to a minimum. Sound
carries great distances under water and can drive fish away.
Watch the experienced fishermen. You can learn a lot from the
pros just by watching their techniques. Fishermen are friendly people who love
the sport. Most will gladly answer a question or two, and some will even offer
colorful stories about "the one that got away".
Grove Pier South Carolina Fishing Encyclopedia
Known for their power and voracious appetite, bluefish are incredible fighters
and when a school is actively feeding any free-swimming bait will work. Bluefish
have sharp teeth, so a wire leader is needed above the bait, and a spinning or
level-wind rod in the medium to medium-heavy range is suggested.
Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel
King Mackerel are one of the most highly prized fish by pier anglers along the
coast and the subject of dozens of tournaments. Use an anchor line with a heavy
pyramid sinker that has wire legs attached to it. Slip another line onto this
one by using a sliding trolley that allows the bait to float freely down into
the water. Live bait such as menhaden, mullet, bluefish, pinfish, spots, or croakers
is suspended on a pair of treble hooks attached to a wire leader with three-way
swivel that releases from the trolley clip when the king mackerel strikes. Cast
your line into the ocean from one of our 50 King spaces on end of the pier where
the water is at its deepest.
Pompano can't survive in water temperature below the mid-50's and prefer water
temperatures is in the 80's so they are caught in the Carolinas throughout the
summer and into the fall. Shrimp, clams, sand fleas, and small crabs all make
good baits. The small mouth of the pompano means use small hooks and bait. Fish
the bottom with a fish-finder rig, or run a line with two or three dropper loops.
Allow your bait to rest on the bottom a minute or two before retrieving slowly.
The best times are usually in the morning and evening on an incoming tide.
Red drum also known as redfish are excellent food fish. They were intensely harvested
by commercial fishermen until fishing restrictions or outright bans were enacted,
allowing the population to undergo a dramatic comeback. Red Drum like to search
for food just inside the breakers on the surf and congregate around piers and
docks. Red drum will strike natural bait like a sand flea, fiddler crab, shrimp
or mullet on sliding-sinker bottom rigs, and are known to bite around sunset at
the beginning of a falling tide.
Trout, Specs, Gray Trout or Weakfish
The most common bait fish for larger sea trout are menhaden, spot, mullet and
mud minnows. There are two types of live bait rigs commonly used to target sea
trout. The main line from the reel should be 6 to 12 pound test monofilament with
a leader about 18 inches long and a barrel swivel. Hook size can vary from 1 to
2/0. Spinning or baitcasting rods work well depending on your preference. Sometimes
a sinker will need to be used because of the tide and current. Prior to attaching
the main line to the barrel swivel, an egg sinker can be added, and split shot
placed on the leader as needed to keep the bait on the bottom. Fish on the bottom
in one spot or slowly move the bail along the bottom with the current.
These game-fighting bottom feeders are primarily caught on bait with bottom or
float rigs, usually with light or medium tackle. Crabs, clams, mussels, shrimp,
or cut baits are the primary natural baits, sometimes used with sliding sinker
rigs. Sheepshead have small mouth so use a small, sharp hook. They bite lightly,
sometimes remaining undetected and stealing baits, and can be tough and frustrating
fish to hook. Be sure to set the hook firmly because of the fish's hard mouth.
The easiest times to catch spadefish are during low current and calm seas. Popular
bait includes clam strips, squid, and shrimp bits. Pick the largest and strongest
hook that you can get away with and tie it to a short (18-24 inch), 20lb leader.
The other end of the leader is tied to a swivel which is tied to your main line.
An egg sinker about a half of an ounce, depending on the current, is threaded
on the line above the swivel. The baited rig is lowered to the level of the fish,
not to the bottom. These fish pull hard and their mouths tear easily. They also
straighten many hooks and can break your line on the pier pilings. Since Spadefish
generally hook themselves, don't set the hook. You may feel the the fish nibble
for a while before it gets hooked.
Spots are one of the most sought-after fish on the Carolina coast. Spot runs often
last for days, and always draw a crowd at the Cherry Grove Pier. Spinning or baitcasting
rigs work well for spots with a 2 or 3 ounce pyramid sinker and a two-hook bottom
rig. Casting a few feet directly out from the pier is the preferred method, and
bloodworms fresh shrimp and mullet bits are effective bait choices.
Summer Flounder are also known as fluke because both of their eyes are on the
same side of their body. Flounder are usually caught using live baits, dead baits
or strip baits that are drifted along the current near the bottom. Flounder use
their flat bodies and camouflage color to lie on the bottom and ambush prey as
it swims past. Once they bite, they orient the baitfish head-first in their mouth
before swallowing it so don't attempt to set the hook at the first nibble or you'll
miss your flounder.
Whiting are both fun to catch and good eating. Cut squid cast out from piers on
a two-hook rig and left on the bottom will work well for whiting. Because of their
characteristics and relative ease to catch, fishing for whiting from the pier
offers an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to the fun of fishing.
Crabbing is excellent at Cherry Grove Pier. Drop nets and collapsible traps, usually
baited with herring, can be fished from the pier. Another method called "dipping"
uses a long-handled dip net, several yards of string and bait. The bait, usually
a chicken neck or fish head, is tied to the string and thrown into the water away
from the bank. Once a tug is felt, the crabber pulls the bait and crab close enough
to be quickly dipped from the water and placed into a waiting bucket.
About Us | Fishing Tips | Tackle Shop | Photo
Gallery | E-Mail