Adventures on the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier

The autumn fishing season has begun, and here in Cherry Grove, South Carolina, the fishing has been excellent. King mackerel tend to like the pier fishing etiquette, where many tournament champions have brought in prize-winning fish. The bait fish are numerous, and the mullet are making their yearly run. In addition to the Spanish mackerel and blue fish that we have been catching to our daily limits, we have also been catching white pompano, lady fish, pin fish, red drum, black drum, and flounder even though the water is not yet cool enough for it. Red and black drum fishing will flourish in the future due to the abundance of bait fish and the lowering water temperature. We have also caught flounder with mud minnows, pompano on shrimp, Spanish mackerel on gotcha plugs, and sporadically some whiting in addition to bluefish using gotcha plugs and cut bait.

The other day, as I was contemplating my mullet catch, a young man from upstate came up to me and inquired about my fishing techniques. “Use live finger-sized mullet or live shrimp as bait to catch drum, I said. You’ll get incredible outcomes.” “Thanks,” he said before making his way down the pier to try his luck. He strolled down to the end of the pier, where many beginners generally go, despite the fact that the best catches had been coming from the pilings of the pier in the shallow water. Fishing has traditionally been best in the early mornings and late afternoons, when latecomers often struggle to find a good position to fish, especially when the fish are active.

This region recently finished one of the spot runs, a seasonal pier fishing etiquette belonging to the drum or “croaker” family (named for the sound they make). Spots are a widespread fish found in estuary and coastal waters from the Gulf of Maine to Florida along the Atlantic coast, but they are particularly prevalent from the Chesapeake Bay south to South Carolina. They can grow to a maximum length of 14 inches and range in length from 7 inches at maturity. They are typically bottom feeders and reproduce in coastal waters off the coast from fall to spring, which is when people like catching and eating them.

The Cherry Grove Pier’s 965-foot length, which includes the observation deck and gazebo, is ideal for fishing. With its pier-side restaurant and cafe, bait and tackle shop, and, of course, its front-door closeness to Prince Resort, the pier’s pleasant staff manages to maintain a helpful atmosphere. In fact, many of the folks I meet here began their experiences with fishing on the Strand there. They first visited Prince while on vacation, fell in love with pier fishing, and have been going back once or twice a year ever since solely for fishing. They gush at having the pier so close to the resort’s entrance.

For several reasons, I favor pier fishing. One benefit is that I don’t have to spend a lot of money on gas to collect bait fish because I can catch bait fish right here at the pier. If the surf is not too turbulent, I can see what is happening from the elevation of the pier by looking down into the sea while wearing my polarized sunglasses. Water flow, bait, and pilings are three additional essentials for productive pier fishing, in my experience. Before I could understand the indications indicating where and when the fish are ready for me to catch them, each one required a little bit of learning, but I’m enjoying learning as I go. Everyone who has ever caught fish, young or old, has evolved their own methods; like I advised the pier-side fisherman, you must use what is most effective for you. If they are not very focused on their own fishing experience, talking to some of the older “salts” that hang out at the pier will also help you learn. (Hint: you shouldn’t strike up a conversation with someone who is battling a fish on a line.)

Ask Larry, Steve, Annie, Ronnie, or Mike at the bait and tackle store for the most up-to-date information about fishing, as well as news on the types of fish that are biting, the best types of bait to use, and general local events. missed bringing a jacket? Purchase a memento sweatshirt from the tackle shop or even all-weather clothing for those fantastic fishing outings on rainy days, like today or last week’s almost-summerlike weather. Hungry? Great burgers and a variety of other foods are available at the pier side snack bar.

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