Estuary• Look For | Red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, black drum, sheepshead.
• Comments | Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River has had some success with red drum, spotted seatrout and black drum this week, but it hasn’t been much to write home about. “There’s not much to it,” said Dickson, who fished Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. “Everything I’m seeing is small.” Dickson has used cut shrimp, Gulp swimming mullet and Vudu shrimp to catch his fish. Dickson, who noted water temperature readings of 55-56 on Tuesday and 50 on Thursday, has produced black drum in the Sunset Beach Bridge vicinity. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown noted the fish can be hard to find this time of year when the water is starting to warm up. “When (red drum) start scattering out, you lose your big masses of them and it can be hard to find them,” said McDonald. “Your best bet still is in shallow water. When that water starts warming up more the trout will start showing up.”
Inshore• Look For | Black sea bass, sheepshead, black drum, croaker, whiting.
• Comments | The ocean water temperature made a nice jump over the last week to a reading of 52.73 at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at 2nd Ave. Pier in Myrtle Beach. The best inshore action continues to be for black sea bass on artificial reefs and hard-bottom areas. Dogfish are annoying in some areas for anglers targeting black sea bass, plus many of the fish are under the 13-inch minimum size limit (5 fish per day) and must be released. Head further offshore to spots in 40-plus feet to find a higher number of keepers. March arrives on Saturday and better days are on the horizon, but for now action is slow on Grand Strand piers with a few small croaker, whiting and undersized black drum being caught.
Offshore• Look For | Black sea bass, vermilion snapper, porgy, amberjack, triggerfish, wahoo, blackfin tuna.
• Comments | The father-son team of Jeff and Chance Martini, of Mid-Town Bistro in North Myrtle Beach fame, joined Capt. Brant McMullan and Capt. Chris Dawson of Ocean Isle Fishing Center for an offshore excursion on Monday. Wahoo is what the experienced crew were after and wahoo is what they caught in the Winyah Scarp vicinity, fishing in green, 68-69 degree water. The crew came home with eight wahoo with most of the fish in the 35-40 pound range capped by one in the 60-pound class. Blackfin tuna and bonito are also currently in the trolling mix. Bottom fishing is producing large black sea bass, particularly in depths of 65-90 feet. Also look for vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy and amberjack. The annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure is in effect until April 30. Grouper species that must be released include, gag, black, red, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin and yellowmouth. Red snapper must be released until further notice in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater• Look For | Bream, crappie, catfish, bass.
• Comments | The water’s in the woods but the fish are still biting. “The water is high but the (anglers) that have gone have done pretty decent,” said Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Conway. “No limits, but most of them have been catching 10-15 bream or 10 crappie or so.” The Ricefields vicinity on the Waccamaw has been a likely spot to find bream and crappie. Look for bream in 15 to 20 feet of water on the bottom hitting worms and crappie on brush or other structure in the same depths. “The shad (migration) is picking up, so the catfish are also picking up,” Dunn also noted.