Area, State fishing report (Dec. 21)

December 20, 2012 

Estuary

Look for | Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, flounder, sheepshead.

Comments | In the middle of a fishing trip on Thursday, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had produced 19 trout and eight red drum by 2 p.m. while fishing south of Georgetown. The majority of the trout took artificial grubs on 1/4-ounce jig heads while most of the reds hit cut shrimp fished near the banks under floats. McDonald noted a water temperature of 58 degrees. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Charters had good success with black drum and red drum on a few trips in the Little River vicinity this week but has noted a downturn in the action. “Fishing has been mediocre compared to what it was two weeks ago,” Kelly said. “The reds are in transition to shallow water in creeks. We’ve been fishing pot holes, and poling definitely helps. You want to creep up on them.” Kelly has caught the reds, which are typically in the 15 to 20 inch range, on Berkeley Gulp’s shrimp and swimming minnow. Kelly is catching the black drum on cut shrimp on 1/4-ounce jig heads.

Inshore

Look for | Black drum, whiting, weakfish, spotted seatrout, sheepshead.

Comments | The best bet near the beach is to find a rocky area – such as those adjacent to Surfside Holiday Inn and 2nd Ave. Pier – and target spotted seatrout and weakfish. Weakfish have a one fish per person daily bag limit. Overall action is slow on Grand Strand piers with a few black drum, whiting and trout being landed. The water temperature at the 2nd Ave. Pier Thursday at 2 p.m. was 57.2 degrees. Artificial reefs such as Jim Caudle Reef, Paradise Reef (Three-Mile Reef) and 10-Mile Reef are holding black sea bass, sheepshead and possibly weakfish. Typically, anglers must catch numerous black sea bass to reach the sheepshead on the reefs. Remember black sea bass must be released until June 1, 2013.

Offshore

Look for | Blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, grouper, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish.

Comments | Ocean Isle Fishing Center (www.OIFC.com) reports Ricky Rozier and crew aboard On Time had a super trip to the 100/400 and Black Jack Hole area on Saturday, catching five blackfin tuna and a pair of wahoo weighing 70 and 35 pounds. Unfortunately, there won’t be too much offshore fishing going on this weekend leading up to Christmas thanks to the arrival of the strongest cold front of the season thus far. Bottom fishing is good for grouper, amberjack, triggerfish and porgy. The recreational vermilion snapper fishery is closed until April 1, 2013, while the red snapper fishery is closed indefinitely.

Freshwater

Look for | Crappie, bream, catfish, bass.

Comments | “[Fishing is] better than I would expect it to be this time of year,” Jay Booth of Fisherman’s Headquarters said Thursday, prior to the cold front. “Maybe it’s because of the warm weather but everything is still in 8-10 feet of water.” Catches of both bream and crappie have been good in the Punch Bowl, Bucksport and Samworth vicinities. Catches of catfish have also been good. Ryan Marsh of Conway won the weekly bass tournament out of Bucksport on Saturday with a three-fish aggregate of 5 pounds, 10 ounces. The tournament is tentatively scheduled to be held at Bucksport Saturday, from safe light to 3 p.m.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | Striped Bass: Fair. Although still not frequent, reports of striper being caught are picking up. Catfish: Good. Catfish are deep but feeding extremely well in the lower lake; gizzard shad drifted or anchored are very effective.

S.C. DNR

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