Estuary• Look For | Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead.
• Comments | The water temperature has increased dramatically over the past two weeks, and the fish activity reflects that. At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the water temperature was 75 degrees in North Inlet. The four most sought species in local inlets, bays and sounds are all being caught including flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout and black drum. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a productive trip to the Winyah Bay jetties early this week, catching 6 trout on artificials and 8 black drum on cut shrimp. Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River has caught flounder, reds and trout this week. “It’s nothing red hot but we’re catching fish every trip,” said Dickson. Tubbs Inlet and Cherry Grove Inlet are good areas for flounder and Dickson has landed reds and trout, including a four-pounder, in the Sunset Beach/Calabash area. Dickson has been using chunks of blue crab on a Carolina rig for reds and caught the trout on a Mission Fishin’ jig head/mud minnow combo. Flounder are the top catch in Murrells Inlet, with a few sizable fish being caught. The majority of flounder are under South Carolina’s 14-inch minimum size limit and must be released.
Inshore• Look For | Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, weakfish, black sea bass, whiting, pompano, flounder, black drum, croaker.
• Comments | Capt. Jay Sconyers of Aces Up Fishing out of Murrells Inlet continues to produce very good catches of bluefish, Spanish mackerel and weakfish, plus some keeper black sea bass from the near-shore artificial reefs. Catches are steadily getting better off Grand Strand piers with the water temperature approaching the 70-degree mark. The water temperature topped out at 69.68 degrees on 2nd Ave. Pier on Tuesday afternoon. Spanish mackerel and bluefish have been the top catch this week with Surfside Pier reporting some limit catches of Spanish. Whiting and croaker catches have also been good with scattered catches of flounder, pompano, black drum and red drum. A few of the pompano haven been in the 2-pound range. “It’s been a good week, all in all,” said Curt Kremer of Surfside Pier. Look for kings to show up along the beach and in the vicinity of the near-shore artificial reefs in the next several days.
Offshore• Look For | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy, amberjack.
• Comments | Dolphin officially arrived on the offshore scene with a vengeance last weekend, with plenty of blackfin tuna also avaialble. David Black, Dockmaster at Georgetown Landing Marina, reports that seven boats headed offshore Sunday from the marina and produced a total of 60 dolphin along with 10 blackfin tuna and a wahoo. On Saturday, Nauti Girl, also out of Georgetown Landing, put 11 blackfin, 10 dolphin and a wahoo in the box to complete a Carolina Slam. The great news for reef fishermen is the shallow-water grouper closure ended for 2014 when May arrived. Bottom fishing is excellent for grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy and amberjack. Don’t be surprised to see a few cobia also showing up on the offshore ledges. Red snapper must be released until further notice in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater• Look For | Bream, catfish, bass, crappie
• Comments | “It’s been kind of dead,” said Jamie Dunn of Fishermen’s Headquarters. “We really haven’t had many people going fishing with the water up the way it is. It’s slow everywhere right now.” With the water in the woods, look for bream right on the banks, or in the woods if you can get there, hitting crickets and worms. The Ricefields vicinity is currently the top area for bream. Catfish are the best bet, hitting live bait, worms, or a variety of cut bait.