Estuary• Look For | Red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, black drum, sheepshead.
• Comments | “Got a good nor’easter going, got 1 ½ inches of rain last night,” Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service said from the hill Thursday afternoon. In other words, conditions could be better in the Winyah Bay vicinity, but the fish are still there. McDonald has been catching red drum and spotted seatrout in the Spartina grass, plus bull reds are at the jetties and in the channels near the ocean. The bull reds, ranging from about 30 to 45 inches, well over South Carolina’s slot limit of 15-23 inches, are on a spawning mission and can be found around all local jetties and near inlet passes. These fish must be released and anglers are urged to do so carefully.
Inshore• Look For | King and Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, pompano, flounder, black drum, sheepshead.
• Comments | Water on the beach looked like chocolate milk on Thursday afternoon, limiting action near shore, and the northeast wind is expected to blow through the weekend. Still, the mullet are schooled up and heading south with the kings and Spanish right with them. Weakfish (summer trout) can be found on hard bottom areas near the beach but anglers can keep just one fish per day. Flounder, black sea bass, spadefish and weakfish are on near-shore artificial reefs, and be on the lookout for kings and Spanish to make an appearance. The water temperature at 2nd Ave. Pier in Myrtle Beach dropped a few degrees over the last week to a reading of 76.93 Thursday at 4:45 p.m. While water conditions aren’t ideal on the pier with the stiff northeast wind blowing, catches of whiting, croaker, spots and pompano should be good. Also look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, flounder, red drum and black drum.
Offshore• Look For | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, black sea bass, grouper, vermilion snapper, porgy, amberjack, triggerfish.
• Comments | Conditions offshore have been rough this week, limiting fishing opportunities. Trolling for wahoo has been very productive in recent weeks and should continue to be so when conditions improve. Blackfin tuna, dolphin, barracuda and king mackerel are also available for trolling boats. When boats can get there, bottom fishing trips to the Continental Shelf are very productive with anglers catching black sea bass, grouper, vermilion snapper, porgy, triggerfish and amberjack. Red snapper must be released until further notice in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater• Look For | Bream, catfish, bass.
• Comments | Water levels continue to be very good for fishing on local rivers, reports Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Conway. Bream action tops the list with fish hitting floated crickets and worms in 2 feet of water, but also biting on the bottom in 4-5 feet. Top areas are the Little Pee Dee, Great Pee Dee, Punch Bowl and the Ricefields. With cooler weather here, crappie activity has increased with fish hitting minnows around submerged brush, especially in creek mouths in the Ricefields. Bass are hitting artificial worms and shiners. Kyle Johnson won the weekly bass tournament with an aggregate of 6.08 pounds including a lunker of 2.12 at Black River. Saturday’s tournament will be held at Bucksport, safe light to 2 p.m.