Look for | Red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead.
Comments | Although March has arrived, winter has made its presence known late in the season. Nasty weather combined with cold temperatures means little fishing activity. The best bet is for red drum grouped up in the shallows with spotted seatrout also available. Try inlets with little freshwater influx. Estuaries such as Winyah Bay and the Santee Delta are muddy from recent rains. “We’ve got a lot of freshwater coming down, right now,” said Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service. The water temperature is in the lower 50s, with a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the arrival of spring on March 20. Look for reds, trout and black drum at area jetties.
Look for | Black drum, sheepshead, croaker.
Comments | The surface ocean water temperature at Cherry Grove Pier was 52.61 degrees on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. Nothing has changed along the beach or in the near-shore waters. Only sharks, skates and possibly croaker are being caught off Grand Strand piers. Look for black drum and sheepshead on near-shore artificial reefs such as Jim Caudle, Paradise (Three-Mile) and Pawleys but remember to release black sea bass, which can’t be harvested by recreational anglers until June 1.
Look for | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, amberjack, triggerfish.
Comments | Another weekend, another cold front. When the weather stabilizes and the Gulf Stream moves closer to shore, look for wahoo to be lurking on the offshore ledges. Blackfin tuna are another possibility for trolling boats. Bottom fishing is a tough gig with numerous reef species off-limits to recreational anglers. Black sea bass are closed until June 1, 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. When conditions permit, amberjack, triggerfish, porgy and banded rudderfish are among the main species anglers can keep.
Look for | Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.
Comments | There’s a definite rise on local rivers including flood warnings at the Santee River at Jamestown and the Great Pee Dee at Pee Dee. With plenty of water moving down the rivers, fishing conditions leave a lot to be desired. Look for bream and crappie in the normal local areas such as Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport and Conway. Bream are hitting worms in 8-10 feet of water while crappie are in the same depths taking minnows around ditch mouths and brush piles. Catfish activity is good with fish hitting cut shad. The weekly bass tournament will be held Saturday at Conway Marina from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Catfish: Fair to good. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that the best technique on Lake Marion recently has been anchoring in 25 plus feet of water and fishing flat lines on the bottom with just about any type of cut bait. Fish in the 20-55 pound range have been boated with some regularity, and anglers should look on their graph for areas that contain baitfish before setting up. Fishermen need to stay on the move and prospect in different spots. One other productive pattern on most days is fishing suspended baits on down rods along the edge of the river channel on Lake Marion.