Shem Creek - Honest Opinions

Hey Y’all, Newbie here…Need some honest opinions…

I’ve put in at the public launch at Shem Creek the last 3 times I’ve been out and have been blanked all 3 times. I’ve tried frozen shrimp, live shrimp, live finger mullet, frozen cut mullet, mm, crabs, doa, top water, pink and white grubs. I’ve fished around the docks, oyster beds, marsh edges, creek mouths at high tide, low tide, coming in and going out…All of these with no success. I’m beyond frustrated right now!

I know y’all are very reluctant to give up hot spots and tactics to catch reds but any experience with what works in Shem Creek and where you’ve caught them would be GREATLY appreciated.

On that same note, if anybody with some experience around Shem Creek/IOP is looking for someone to go fishing with/ come with me on my boat, I’d be more than happy to throw down for gas/food/drinks. Same goes for people on my boat…I’ll gladly trade up taking you out for some simple knowledge. I love to learn from anyone and everyone…hence why I love this site!

Thanks in advance y’all…

hehe, welcome to fishing!

15’ War Eagle w/60 Evin.

Keep trying, it is part of fishing. Relax and enjoy yourself. I spent a lot of time on the water not doing very well initially fishing inshore. Fish can be caught everywhere, but they do move around. Don’t be afraid to try different places. Set some specific and attainable goals for each trip like trying a new stretch of river or finding a new bait spot Take time to observe an area for signs of bait, swirls, diving birds, etc. before committing time to fish. Many times the signs are very small and you have to train yourself to identify them. Go to seminars. Join a club. Fish with Stonoman…

Iain Pelto
Sea Hunt Triton 160 w/ 90 ETEC “JB3”
Native Manta Ray 14

I often put in at Shem Creek but have never fished there. I used to see kayak fisherman as well as the occasional guide fishing the dock on the right just before you go out of the creek. But, that was before the new dock system was put in. I have not seen folks fishing there like they used to. Don’t know why. There are tons of places to go from Shem. I wish I could be more specific but to be honest, I struggle more than most to find the fish. If you live down there (I don’t), you are lucky. Proximity = more time on the water which means more scouting for spots, experimenting, etc…

Good luck

id try somewhere else, only because shem creek is/was heavily fished, and any fish that are there have become picky and hard to catch. keep trying though, the fish will come.

What ratherbefishin said is pretty spot on info. I have fished Shem Creek, but only to escape the wind. There are way better fishing areas around. Like hairball said, join a club, go to seminars and hire a local guide.

19’ Sea-Pro CC
“Swagger Wagon”
Yamaha 115 - 2 stroke
14’ CMF Skiff
25 Johnson - 2 stroke
14’ Heritage Redfish

“There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”
Ernest Hemingway

put your time in…no need to cyberscout…people learned to fish before the internet showed up and shortened learning curves to nearly straight lines.

if you’re not catching them in a particular area then go somewhere else.


Fish are too valuable to be caught only once.

Welcome to fishing my friend! Having moved around alot up and down the coast recently, I know it can be tough to fish new places… Take an afternoon at low tide, and and just scout the area. Remember or plot your gps with all of the spots you think will hold fish. Factor in moving current, oyster bars, mud flats, depths, drop offs ect… Just being persistant, and having fun will pay dividends soon enough. Like the late Jose Wejebe says… You’ll never be a sucessful fisherman by the internet, or magazines. You just have to go do it.

Tight Lines

Like the Jose quote!

Thanks, Captain Ross folding, stainless steel T-Tops fit most center consoles entry level folding, stainless T-Top for your Boston Whaler Montauk, Dauntless or Outrage shade for Flats Boats

Drop your top and go T-Topless!

Dear Sharkhunter…Shem creek is a tourist stop and not a fishing spot. That’s not to say that many years ago that was not true, but boy times have changed. The activity and pollution in that stretch of water is a gajillion times worse today than ever. Back when Red Simmons ran a real ice house on the creek for the commercial fisherman there were no restaurants, dry stack marinas, or parking lots full of SUV’s leaking oil and anti-freeze onto the ground. There also wasn’t a constant parade of skiffs, kayaks, paddle boards, and DNR officers ogling the bow candy on display. I’m not in love with Shem creek for fishing anymore, but I’ve caught my share of flounder out of it back in the day, and the locals loved to sit under the bridge with a cane pole and a 5 gallon bucket for the spots when they ran. Sorry Sharkhunter, but you should have been here 30 years ago. Now you’ll have to burn some of that $4.00 gas and beat the pay for play fishing pros to some new territory while it still lasts.

Sol Mate
Mako 20B
225 Optimax

I’ve caught fish in Shem Creek, but only because it is a no wake and its a looooong haul to where I WANT to fish! LOL!

You might try a Hot Spots map to get you started. Will give you a base to begin your learning. Then fish, fish, fish. Time on the water fishing and noting tide, water temp, location, etc will teach you more than some guy on your boat, IMO. Since you are new, TIDE will be your biggest riddle I’m guessing. Fish can be stacked up like cord wood one weekend and you go back the next - NOTTA! Difference - probably tide.

Welcome to the site and god luck!

“Every saint has a past, every sinner a future”
2011 Carolina Skiff 178DLV
90 HP Honda

Thanks fellas! The tips and info is great…the funny thing is that of all your recommendations I have done most of em. I have hired a local guide (caught about 25-30 slot reds at low tide under a couple docks, an absolute blast!), gone out multiple times just to scout areas at low tide, have attended multiple seminars at the local tackle shops, and have even been out with the great Stonoman! Hope to do that again because I learn a boat load and had a blast doing it. It may have sounded like I was complaining and well, I was. haha. I was just looking for some tips and that’s exactly what y’all provided…From all your recommendations, it sounds like I’m trying some of the right things. Thanks and here’s to turning fishing into catching in the near future.