Look For: Red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments: Fishing has been super in the Winyah Bay vicinity during the last days of September, with Carolina Slams available. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown floated live shrimp along grass banks to produce a four-species Carolina Slam for his crew on Tuesday, including 10 spotted seatrout, 10 black drum, two red drum and one flounder. McDonald returned to the bay on Thursday and targeted trout, catching 20 on plastic grubs and top-water lures. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River has also found plenty of species on hand this week. “We’ve caught a lot of puppy drum (red drum) this week 15-17 inches,” said Kelly. “A lot of black drum as well. The trout bite has been good if you can catch the right tide.” Kelly has also produced small flounder, sheepshead and striped bass. On Thursday, Kelly’s crew caught a 5-pound sheepshead. The stripers are making an appearance in the Intercoastal Waterway. Kelly notes plenty of shrimp and finger mullet are available for bait. “I’ve had better luck with cut mullet on the reds,” said Kelly. “It seems like the fall pattern is starting to kick in.” Numerous species can be found around local jetties including black drum, sheepshead, spotted seatrout, red drum, flounder and pompano. Bull reds way over South Carolina’s 15-23 inch slot limit are being caught and should be carefully released.
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Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, red drum, black drum, weakfish, black sea bass, whiting, flounder, sheepshead, pompano, croaker, spots.
Comments: King mackerel have made a strong showing along the beach with numerous fish caught off Grand Strand piers in the last week. The Cherry Grove Pier has led the way with an astonishing 28 total kings caught during a seven-day stretch from Sept. 22 through Wednesday. Kings have also made a very good appearance on bottom spots in the intermediate range, from 10-15 miles offshore. “They’re out there, finally,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters, who caught several kings on a Wednesday trip to Belky Bear on live menhaden.The near-shore bottom spots are producing bull reds and weakfish, and it’s probably a good idea to fly-line a live bait while anchored up or drifting for a passing king or Spanish. Aside from the flurry of kings, Grand Strand piers are producing numerous species including Spanish, blues, whiting, croaker, flounder, black drum, red drum, weakfish, sheepshead and pompano. “The drum species have done well,” said Steve Gann of Cherry Grove Pier on Wednesday. “We’ve caught more slot reds and there are even a few spots trickling in even though the water temperature is 82.”
Look For: Grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, amberjack, porgy, triggerfish, grunts, wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna.
Comments: Wahoo are the best bet for trolling boats with blackfin tuna and dolphin also available. With conditions settling back down from the passing of two tropical storms in recent weeks, bottom fishing is a hot ticket. However, watch out for Matthew in the next week. Bottom fishing is producing very good catches of grouper, especially scamp, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, porgy, triggerfish and grunts. Red snapper are off-limits in the South Atlantic region and must be released.
Look For: Crappie, bream, catfish, bass.
Comments: Catfish Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway reports crappie are starting show up as fall gets entrenched in the area. “Crappie are biting good on small shiners,” said Stalvey. The rivers are well below flood level but remain high, which has kept some anglers off the water. “There’s not a lot of people going but those that are going are smoking the fish,” said Stalvey. Stalvey said good catches of bream have come in this week on worms fished on a throw-line in five feet of water. Catfish will hit a variety of baits including cut eel, live bream and shiners.