Fishing report, July 17

July 17, 2014 

Estuary

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

•  Comments | Fishing conditions have been anything but stable over the last week, with plenty of wind and rain in the offing, muddying up the water. Fishing hasn’t been the greatest in local estuaries but there are still fish being caught. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River has caught red drum and spotted seatrout on live shrimp on popping corks and flounder on jigs tipped by mud minnows. “All in all the past week has been pretty slow,” said Kelly. “We’ve been catching a few trout, a few reds and a few small flounder but it’s been nothing to write home about lately.” The silver lining? Kelly noted there was “pretty blue water” on the incoming tide on Thursday. On the south end, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had good success with flounder in North Inlet on Thursday. Earlier in the week, McDonald also had a very good catch of whiting and croaker on a charter trip. Murrells Inlet has been an exception this week, with flounder catches continuing to be very good.

Inshore

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

•  Comments | It’s been a little slow along the beach this week but conditions had begun stabilizing as of Thursday afternoon. Overall, Spanish action has been slow this week but expect them to pick up again over the weekend. The near-shore reefs such as Jim Caudle and Paradise (Three-Mile) are producing Spanish, spadefish and flounder with cobia and kings a possibility. Numerous species are being landed off Grand Strand piers led by whiting and croakers. Cherry Grove Pier reports good catches of whiting, including some fish over a pound, Wednesday evening. Other species to look for on the piers are spadefish, flounder, black drum and sheepshead with weakfish and ladyfish also a possibility. The ocean water temperature was 83.97 degrees Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Cherry Grove Pier.

Offshore

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

•  Comments | The first three days of the 2014 red snapper season in the South Atlantic Region are in the books and numerous fish were caught locally last weekend. John Horton of Georgetown Landing Marina reports Miss Lily caught a four-person limit of sizable red snapper and assorted reef fish Sunday including black sea bass and vermilion snapper. Seth Williams of Crazy Sister Marina reports Sidekick caught a 20-pound red snapper Saturday plus a nice catch of three grouper, and assorted black sea bass, vermilion snapper and triggerfish. The red snapper season continues this weekend (Friday through Sunday) and next weekend (July 25-26). The limit is one red snapper per person with no minimum size limit. Dolphin are the best bet for trolling action with blackfin tuna, wahoo, king mackerel and sailfish also available.

Freshwater

•  Look For | Bream, catfish, bass, crappie

•  Comments | “It’s been kind of slow this week,” said Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Conway. “We’ve had the rain and the water is up. People have slowed up going fishing.” But the unusual cold front for mid-July has cooled things off a bit and conditions look great for the weekend. Look for bream in 1-4 feet of water hitting crickets and worms. With the Pee Dees up, best areas are the Waccamaw, ICW, Bucksport and the Ricefields. Catfish action is only decent in the heat of summer, and bass action is best early and late.

Gregg Holshouser

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