Look for | Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments | Red drum are on the flats, in potholes and along shallow grass banks, plus trout continue to be active as the water temperature remains above 50 degrees in local estuaries. This weekend offers a superb weather opportunity to do a little fishing. Tom Craddock of Inlet Convenience and Fishing Supplies reports a water temperature reading of 53 degrees in the inlet on Thursday with reds, trout and black drum the best options. Craddock has heard little on flounder action. “I’ve been seeing a lot of redfish up in the shallows,” said Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown. “The trout are there, but I haven’t tried to catch them.” McDonald’s crew caught 15 reds on a charter trip Tuesday in the Winyah Bay area.
Look for | Whiting, croakers, sheepshead.
Comments | The ocean water temperature at 2nd Ave. Pier in Myrtle Beach had zoomed up to 54.55 degrees as of 4:15 p.m. Thursday with a long stretch of above normal weather on the way. Action is still slow on Grand Strand piers with a few small whiting and croakers being caught along with puffers and small skates and sharks. Cherry Grove Pier reports a bluefish was caught Thursday. Look for sheepshead (10 per person/30 per boat per day, 14-inch minimum size) on near-shore artificial reefs but remember black sea bass cannot be harvested until June 1.
Look for | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, amberjack, triggerfish.
Comments | One would be hard-pressed to find a better weather and marine forecast in January – any January – along the Carolina coast than what is in store for the weekend. The potential is there for the wahoo bite to be very good for crews itching to get offshore and do a little trolling near the Gulf Stream. Blackfin tuna are also a possibility. Shallow-water grouper species including gag, red and scamp, are closed for recreational anglers Jan. 1 through April 30, vermilion snapper (beeliners) are closed until April 1. Also, red snapper are closed indefinitely.
Look for | Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.
Comments | “It’s pretty weather out there and everybody’s wanting to go fishing,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. Bream, including morgans and shellcracker, and crappie are biting in 8-10 feet of water near brush piles and ditch mouths, plus coves in Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Conway and the Peachtree Landing area. Bream are hitting red worms on the bottom while crappie are taking floated crappie minnows. Booth notes bass action has been good on shiners and crankbaits. Smithy Smith of Conway had good success in both the Conway and Ricefields areas, landing several fish in the 2 1/2 to 3 pound range using crankbaits. Smith also caught a red drum in the Ricefields on a spinnerbait. Booth noted a water temperature of 54 degrees at Yauhannah Monday. Booth expects catfish action to pick up as the shad run gets cranked up in the next few weeks. The weekly bass tournament is set for Bucksport Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anglers who fish in four of the weekly events to be held at Bucksport or Conway will qualify for the Fish Four Classic scheduled for September.
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. Bream and White Perch: Good. Capt. Steve English reports that bream and white perch are feeding well in the canal, with fish being caught in 25-28 feet of water on the bottom on worms and nightcrawlers. Catfish: Fair. Capt. Glenn reports that, like striper, blue catfish will also be found in and around concentrations of bait. Fish can be caught at anchor as well as slow drifting. Crappie: Slow to fair. Capt. English reports that on pretty days crappie can be caught shallow in the creeks in 6-12 feet of water. Largemouth bass: Slow. Capt. Glenn reports that largemouth bass fishing is slow most days, which is expected when water temperatures in the low 50s or lower, particularly in the upper part of the Santee Cooper system.