Estuary• Look For | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead
• Comments | Flounder fishing has been excellent in estuaries along the Grand Strand such as Cherry Grove, Murrells Inlet and Little River. “Flounder fishing has picked up,” said Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River who has been using mud minnows on Carolina Rigs. “We’re starting to see some solid numbers of flounder.” Dickson has also been catching red drum at the jetties and on docks along the ICW. On the south end, Capt. Mike McDonald has found a super bite of spotted seatrout in the Winyah Bay vicinity. On a Thursday trip, McDonald’s group caught 56 trout including 30 over the 14-inch minimum size limit. McDonald reported a water temperature in the 75-78 degree range and was using Cal Bait, Bass Assassin and Haw River grubs on 1/8 and ¼-ounce jig heads to catch the trout.
Look For | Spanish and king mackerel, bluefish, whiting, pompano, flounder, black drum, red drum, sheepshead.• Comments | Inshore fishing in the Atlantic doesn’t get much better than this. The inshore reefs are producing nice Spanish mackerel and spadefish, and the number of nomadic cobia being spotted and caught are at a peak. The big bonus on near-shore bottom spots is black sea bass will be back for the keeping at midnight tonight. The species was open for only 96 days during the 2012-13 season but will be available again for the 2013-14 season which opens on Saturday (June 1). Grand Strand piers are producing a number of species including whiting, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, black drum and flounder. Mirisa Mitchell nabbed her second king mackerel of the season off the Apache Pier on May 23, catching a 17-pound, 3-ounce king to go with the 49-pound, 5-ounce smoker she caught on May 19. The surface ocean water temperature was 79.05 degrees Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Cherry Grove Pier.
Offshore• Look For | Dolphin, wahoo, tuna, grouper, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish, porgy.
• Comments | Offshore trolling has continued to be simply excellent for dolphin and blue marlin. Most boats have easily caught 10-plus dolphin a trip with a few wahoo and blackfin tuna added to the box. But the best news is blue marlin encounters have been numerous. Case in point, the 33 boats fishing in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament last weekend released 21 blues and weighed in 2. More good news. The full complement of reef fish for bottom fishing trips can actually be caught and kept as of Saturday (June 1). Black sea bass can join the party on party boat fishing trips with a minimum size limit of 13 inches and a daily bag limit of five fish per person. Other species also being landed include grouper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, amberjack, porgy and banded rudderfish. The only species that can’t be harvested are red snapper which are off-limits indefinitely.
• Comments | There’s still a rise in the rivers and the water’s a bit cooler than normal for the end of May but fishing still is good on local rivers. “It’s a little muddy but the fish still have to eat,” said Lisa Bean Rabon of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water in areas such as Bucksport, Bucksville, Samworth and Yauhannah. Oren Alford and J.C. Anderson of Conway caught 39 bream and five nice catfish at Samworth earlier this week. Catfish action is good on live and cut eels, plus typical live and cut bait.
By Gregg Holshouser