Look For | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, tarpon.
Comments | Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has caught a variety of species this week, starting with a trip to the Winyah Bay jetties on Wednesday. While targeting sheepshead and black drum with shrimp, McDonald and crew caught a very nice mess of large spots and croakers, some in the 11-to 12-inch range. On Thursday, McDonald fished inside the bay and caught several trout, flounder and topped the trip with a catch and release of a large red drum on a mullet on a Carolina rig. Tarpon are available in the estuaries from Winyah Bay and points south. On the north end, Capt. Mark Dickson has drifted the Little River jetties with mullet on a Carolina rig to catch reds, flounder and weakfish. Dickson also has caught red drum in Bonaparte Creek and flounder in Tubbs Inlet. “Overall it hasn’t’ been a dynamite week by any means,” Dickson said. “We’ve kind of just been picking at them. With all the freshwater we’ve had it’s not surprising.” Dickson noted a water temperature of 81-82 degrees.
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Look For | Spanish mackerel, spadefish, king mackerel, bluefish, cobia, black sea bass, whiting, pompano, flounder, black drum, croaker.
Comments | Dickson also has made the quick 3-mile jaunt from the Little River jetties to the Jim Caudle Reef, where he produced a nice batch of weakfish in the 16- to 17-inch range. The near-shore reefs are also holding flounder, spadefish and black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit). Also look for Spanish mackerel and possibly cobia and king mackerel roaming the reefs. Near the beach, the most likely areas to find Spanish are near the inlets at Little River and Murrells Inlet. There have been scattered catches of a variety of species off Grand Strand piers, although Spanish have been hard to find this week. Look for whiting, Spanish, blues, flounder, sheepshead, pompano, croaker and spots off the piers. The ocean water temperature was 83.72 degrees Thursday at 4:45 p.m. at 2nd Ave. Pier.
Look For | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, grouper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy, amberjack.
Comments | A year ago, during the Dog Days of August, wahoo made a surprisingly good showing for trolling boats in the offshore waters. Could it happen again? On Wednesday, the Blue Sky out of Georgetown Landing Marina headed offshore and caught four wahoo in the 30- to 40-pound range to go with three gaffer dolphin, plus released a sailfish south of the Georgetown Hole. Bottom fishing is producing good catches of black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjack. Red snapper are now off-limits in the South Atlantic region until further notice.
Look For | Bream, catfish, bass, crappie
Comments | “I saw one big cooler full of copperhead bream from the Ricefields,” said Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters. Despite the rivers being up, bream continue to be caught in 1-4 feet of water mainly on crickets. “It’s slow on worms right now, it’s mostly on crickets,” Dunn said. Aside from the Ricefields, Dunn pinpointed the Black River, and the Waccamaw River near Wacca Wache as top bream spots. Dunn noted with the water up, few anglers are trying to catch catfish.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper system
• Crappie: Good. Capt. Steve English reports that crappie seem to have settled into a healthy summer feeding pattern and some nice fish are being caught right now. However, while some fish can be caught around deep brush more fish are up relatively shallow where they seem to have followed the shad. The best depth has been fishing minnows 6-7 feet down over 12-14 feet of water, and the upper lake has produced better than Lake Moultrie. Bream: Good. English reports that he has seen lots of bream beds but not a lot of fish actually on the beds. However, with the full moon Saturday there should be a lot of fish spawning. Even after the bedding ends this is the time to prowl the banks and cast crickets and worms to shallow cover. Largemouth bass: Slow. English reports that bass fishing activity is light to non-existent on the Santee Cooper lakes right now. If anglers are willing to put in a lot of time fish may be catchable around cypress trees, but there is no easy pattern right now. Many fish are probably out deeper following bait schools where they are more difficult to target.