Fishing report, May 22

May 22, 2014 

Estuary

Look For | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead.

Comments: A cold front last weekend and windy conditions have stymied local estuary fishing a bit, but plenty of fish are being caught, especially flounder. Top areas for flounder are small inlets with little freshwater influx such as Cherry Grove Inlet, Tubbs Inlet and Murrells Inlet. Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River had a good trip on Thursday, catching several flounder including three keepers along with two nice red drum. Dickson caught the flounder in Tubbs Inlet and the reds on docks on the Intracoastal Waterway in Sunset Beach, N.C., all on mud minnows. Early this week, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service had a good trip, catching six trout, one flounder and one red while fishing Winyah Bay and the jetties. McDonald caught all the trout on plastic grubs, and noted there are plenty of menhaden and a few finger mullet available for bait. McDonald noted muddy water conditions in the bay and surrounding area are hampering fishing.

Inshore

Look For | Spanish mackerel, cobia, king mackerel, bluefish, weakfish, black sea bass, whiting, pompano, flounder, black drum, croaker.

Comments: Spadefish have arrived on local near-shore reefs, and their preferred food, jelly balls, are currently plentiful. Dickson fished the Sherman Wreck and 410/510 area in about 50-55 feet of water on Tuesday and caught spadefish, Spanish mackerel, small cobia, keeper black sea bass and even released a 16-inch gag grouper. Grand Strand piers are producing numerous species led by catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. “The Spanish, they’re just eating up the gold hook rigs,” said Steve Gann of Cherry Grove Pier said Thursday. “It’s been pretty good (fishing) the last four or five days.” Other species caught this week include whiting, croaker, spots, black drum, red drum and flounder. The surface ocean water temperature at Cherry Grove Pier was 71.58 degrees Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

Offshore

Look For | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy, amberjack.

Comments: It will be an active Friday and Saturday in the offshore waters near and offshore of the Winyah Scarp and Georgetown Hole with boats fishing in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. Billfish action has increased in the last few weeks, which bodes well for the tournament. Dolphin action is very good with a good number of gaffer fish in the 10-20 pound range being caught. The number of blackfin tuna being caught is also good with a few wahoo mixed in. Bottom fishing is very good for grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass and triggerfish. Red snapper cannot be harvested in the South Atlantic region and must be released.

Freshwater

Look For | Bream, catfish, bass, crappie

Comments | Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Conway reports bream fishing has been best this week along the Waccamaw River between Conway and Bucksport and further south in the Ricefields vicinity. Bream are hitting crickets and worms with the biggest fish being found in 2.5 to 3 feet of water. The water is up on the Pee Dee in areas such as the Punch Bowl and Gallivant’s Ferry. Catches of catfish are average on a variety of cut bait, including eel.

Gregg Holshouser

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