Look for | Red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead.
Comments | Weather conditions have made for a slow week on local estuaries, save for the shad fishermen. “By the end of the weekend it ought to start straightening up some,” said Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service. Red drum and trout were active until the weather turned sour early in the week, McDonald notes. Tom Craddock of Inlet Convenience and Fishing Supplies reports fisherman activity has also been slow in Murrells Inlet but red drum and sheepshead have been available at the jetties. A few flounder are available in deep holes inside the inlet, where the water temperature was in the low to mid 50s late in the week.
Look for | Black drum, sheepshead, croakers.
Comments | While action remains relatively slow on Grand Strand piers, the best action on the inshore waters is on artificial reefs such as Jim Caudle, Paradise (Three-Mile) and Pawleys. Problem is, the banned black sea bass are thick and anglers are having a hard time getting to species they can harvest. “If you want to work through all the black sea bass you can catch something on the bottom out there,” Craddock said. Sheepshead, black drum and possibly weakfish are the main species available besides the black sea bass, which are off-limits until June 1. A glimmer of hope on the piers came on Wednesday, when Apache Pier reported a decent number of croakers were landed. The ocean water temperature was 53.49 degrees at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday at Apache Pier.
Look for | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, amberjack, triggerfish.
Comments | It's hasn't exactly been a bluebird week on the offshore waters, either. As usual for February, wahoo are available when conditions calm down, along with blackfin tuna. Bottom fishing is virtually pointless for at least another 1 1/2 months thanks to a number of closures in effect for recreational anglers. Shallow-water grouper species including gag, red and scamp among others, are closed until May 1 and vermilion snapper (beeliners) are closed until April 1. Also, red snapper are closed indefinitely. Amberjack, triggerfish, porgy and banded rudderfish are the main desirable species than can be harvested.
Look for | Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.
Comments | The rivers took a rise with needed rainfall early in the week. “The rivers aren't too high, just a little high on the Little Pee Dee,” said Jay Booth of Fisherman's Headquarters. Angler activity hasn't been very high this week but bream are available at Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport and Conway, hitting worms on the bottom in 8-10 feet of water. Look for crappie in the same depths and areas, hitting floated minnows especially around ditch mouths and brush piles. With the shad run in full swing, catfish action is very good on cut shad. Shawn Taggert of Conway won the weekly bass tournament with a three-fish aggregate weighing 5.3 pounds. The next tournament will be held Saturday at Bucksport with fishing set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Striped Bass: Good. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that striper fishing is good in both lakes, with striper concentrated in and around large schools of baitfish. Bait will be suspended in deep water in Lake Moultrie as well as in some of the bigger creeks in Lake Marion. There are also concentrations of baitfish along the old river channel in Lake Marion as well.