Look for | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead.
Comments | Overall, red drum action has picked up the last few weeks in local estuaries while flounder catches have slowed down a bit. Best catches of spotted seatrout are in the Winyah Bay vicinity. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown produced an inshore slam on Thursday consisting of reds, trout and flounder in Winyah Bay. McDonald used live finger mullet to catch his fish and reported a consistent water temperature reading of over 85 degrees. “Bath water,” McDonald said. Area jetties are producing a variety of species led by red drum with flounder, spotted seatrout and sheepshead also on hand. Look for whiting hitting cut bait near ocean passes. Tarpon have also made a showing in Winyah Bay and estuaries to the south.
Look for | Spanish mackerel, cobia, king mackerel, bluefish, whiting, flounder, black drum, pompano, sheepshead, weakfish, spadefish.
Comments | Sizable Spanish mackerel are frequenting inshore bottom spots such as Paradise Reef (three miles off Murrells Inlet) and Jim Caudle Reef (three miles off Little River) and providing the best inshore action. Also look for smaller Spanish around the inlet passes at Little River and Murrells Inlet and along the beach. Spanish are governed by a minimum size limit of 12 inches. The near-shore artificial reefs are also producing flounder, spadefish plus an occasional king or cobia. Action has been steady on Grand Strand piers with numerous species caught this week including whiting, Spanish mackerel, black drum, pompano, flounder and spadefish. Tarpon have made an appearance along the beach this week, giving pier king fishermen another species to hope for. The ocean water temperature was a warm 85.61 degrees at 4 p.m. Thursday according to the Apache Pier data station.
Look for | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, billfish, yellowfin tuna, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish, cobia.
Comments | Sailfish action is reaching a peak along the break, with dolphin catches the best among meatfish. Boats are also finding wahoo, blackfin tuna, blue marlin and white marlin showing up in their trolling spreads. Catches of kings have improved in the last few weeks, including a solid showing in depths of around 65 feet and around the Frying Pan Tower, Ocean Isle Fishing Center reports. There have been a good mix of cobia landed while live-baiting for kings. Bottom fishing remains good but has dropped off a bit as mid-summer arrives. Look for numerous reef species including black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, porgy, banded rudderfish and cobia. Red snapper are the only reef species that currently cannot be harvested in South Atlantic waters.
Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments | Summertime bream action continues to be good on local rivers. Top areas are Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Bucksville and the Punch Bowl area with fish hitting crickets and worms in 2-21/2 feet of water. Luke Cannon of Conway had a limit of bream and morgans on Sunday at Bucksport while Wayne Parker and Levon Holt of Conway landed a good catch of bream on the Little Pee Dee River/Punch Bowl area on Wednesday. Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway reports the catfish bite is fair to good on cut and live bait. All fishing is best early and late in the day. Danny Martin of Conway won the Thursday bass tournament out of Conway Marina with a fish weighing 1.5 pounds. Martin also won the Saturday tournament at Yauhannah with a three-fish aggregate of 4.20 pounds. James Wade of Conway had the big fish, 1.7-pounder. The tournaments are set for Bucksport Saturday from safe light to 1 p.m. and Thursday at Conway Marina.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Crappie: Good. Capt. Steve English reports that crappie have more or less moved into a traditional summer pattern and can be found around mid-depth brush piles. Fishing minnows and jigs around brush in 10-15 feet of water has been the best pattern. Bream: Good. Capt. English reports that bream beds are apparent in the shallows on Lake Marion, and around the full moon he expects to see tons of bream bedding. Bream and shellcracker can both be caught in the upper lake fishing worms and crickets around shallow cover. Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Capt. Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing has been pretty tough on Santee Cooper, but anglers are starting to catch fish in the eel grass. It’s important to cover a lot of water, but fish can be ganged up once they are located. The best baits have been fluke-type baits and particularly the Gambler Super Stud fished with a light belly weight in watermelon seed color. Catfish: Slow. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that, while there are exceptions, blue catfishing can be characterized as very slow most days and nights. Decent numbers of channel cats have been caught recently in deeper water by anglers drifting with cut bait, and some catches have been reported in shallow water on commercially prepared baits as well as cut baits.
S.C. Department of Natural Resources