Look for | Red drum, flounder, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments | The water temperature has risen dramatically over the past week, and flounder have started to make a showing in local estuaries. Flounder usually begin showing up first in the smaller inlets along the Grand Strand, and fish have been caught in Cherry Grove and Murrells Inlet this week. “It’s worth a shot getting out there and trying your flounder tricks, for sure,” said Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Charters in Little River. Tom Craddock of Inlet Convenience and Fishing Supplies reports the biggest flounder he’s heard caught in Murrells Inlet is a 17-inch fish. The minimum size limit for flounder is 14 inches. Snot grass remains a problem but is breaking up with the warming of the water temperature. Craddock suggests using a longer leader to minimize the problem. Kelly, who noted a low-tide water temperature early in the week of 65 degrees, has been catching red and black drum on fresh crab and shrimp and has also landed reds and spotted seatrout on Berkely Gulp baits. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown produced three reds (on floated mud minnows) and a trout (on cut shrimp) on a trip early in the week. As for flounder in the Georgetown area? “It’s a little early for them in Winyah Bay,” said McDonald. Look for red drum, flounder, sheepshead, black drum and trout at area jetties.
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Look for | Whiting, black drum, flounder, bluefish.
Comments | With the about face in the weather, the ocean water temperature has zoomed through the 50s this week. On Tuesday at 4 p.m., the water temperature was 64.89 degrees at Apache Pier. The reading was 62.39 degrees at the same location Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Catches have picked up a bit with whiting and black drum the best bet plus a few bluefish have shown up this week. Flounder are also available off the piers as last weekend six including two keepers were caught off Cherry Grove Pier. Sizable black sea bass continue to be caught on near-shore hard-bottom areas and even an 11-inch black sea bass was caught and released off Apache Pier. Of course, all black sea bass must be released until June 1. Also look for flounder on near-shore reefs such as Paradise Reef (3-Mile) off Murrells Inlet and Jim Caudle Reef off Little River.
Look for | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, amberjack, triggerfish.
Comments | The weather has cooperated enough for boats to get offshore, and so have the fish. Ocean Isle Fishing Center (OIFC.com) reports Kennan Hill of Asheboro, N.C., landed a pair of nice wahoo Wednesday at the Same Old Hole in 300 feet of water using blue/white and purple/black Ilander lures including a 44.4-pounder that took the lead in the OIFC Rodeo’s wahoo division. Hill’s crew found bait at depths of 120 feet and a 74-degree water temperature. On Monday, the crew of 7th Heaven headed offshore and produced a 38-pound wahoo and a nice dolphin which hit a cedar plug. Add in the presence of blackfin tuna and it is game on for offshore trolling action. Bottom fishing is producing vermilion snapper, triggerfish, amberjack and porgy, which all can be harvested. But shallow-water species of grouper (including gag, red and scamp), black sea bass and red snapper all currently cannot be harvested and must be released.
Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments | Lisa Bean Rabon at Fisherman’s Headquarters in Conway has good news for freshwater anglers – crickets are again the ticket for bream fishermen. Local angler Jamie Dunn of Conway used crickets to land 15 bream on Thursday at Bucksville. Dunn floated crickets two feet down to catch his fish near docks, according to Rabon. Dunn also caught an 11-inch bass on a spinnerbait. Bream are still hitting worms on the bottom but the fish are moving closer to the bank. John Guyton and J.C. Anderson of Conway had good success with red drum (spottails) this week using shrimp near Samworth and the Poleyards.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that there has been no particular pattern for catfish, with some caught shallow and some caught deep and little consistency from day to day. Catching fish requires a great deal of prospecting right now. The warming trend just around the corner should improve the bite.