| Red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, black drum.
| Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Charters has had loads of fun catching spotted seatrout, red drum and Spanish mackerel on top-water lures this week in the Little River area. Specifically, Kelly has used Mirrolures mimicking mullet to catch reds and trout in shallow areas such as the Bonaparte Creek vicinity and Spanish mackerel around Little River Inlet. The trout have been on the larger side, including a five-pounder, the reds have been up to 30 inches in length and the Spanish have also been large including a five-pounder. Jessica Perry of Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet reports numerous species have been landed in Murrells Inlet and Winyah Bay as autumn inches closer. “It’s like the beginning of everything,” said Perry. “Its time.” Look for bull reds at both jetties and tarpon at the Winyah Bay jetties. Catch the tarpon quick before they head south as the water cools. Perry also notes the trout bite has picked up in Winyah Bay and black drum catches have increased in Murrells Inlet. Also, flounder catches have been good and a few spots have been caught in Murrells Inlet. Anglers are reminded there is an aggregate limit of 50 fish per person per day for any combination of spot, whiting or Atlantic croaker in South Carolina waters.
| Spanish mackerel, whiting, pompano, spots, flounder, weakfish, bluefish, king mackerel, croaker.
| The calendar reads mid-September, cooler weather is on the horizon and the superb fall fishing anglers anticipate along the beach is about to kick into gear. Perry reports a few spots have been caught in the surf, along with whiting and sizable pompano. Also look for weakfish, which should be making a strong showing on hard-bottom areas near the beach at any time. Weakfish can already be found at near-shore spots such as Paradise Reef (off Murrells Inlet) and Jim Caudle Reef (off Little River) along with flounder. Still for now, large Spanish mackerel are the top catch in the near-shore waters, with some fish in the 3-4 pound range being caught near the reefs and inlet passes at Little River and Murrells Inlet. Perry also notes kings have been caught in the Belky Bear vicinity. Grand Strand piers are producing scattered catches of a variety of species including whiting, pompano, croaker, spots, flounder, black drum, Spanish and bluefish.
| Wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna, sailfish, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, porgy, triggerfish, amberjack.
| Capt. Shawn Thomas of Underdog Charters in Murrells Inlet reports blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin and kings are available for trolling boats, as the fall bite gets started. “It’s safe to say fall fishing is starting to happen,” said Thomas. “The cooler temperatures are helping.” On his latest trip earlier this week, Thomas’ catch included two large blackfins weighing 28 and 30 pounds. There has been an upswing in catches of dolphin this week, though most fish are slingers. Bottom fishing is very good with grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, porgy, triggerfish and amberjack being caught. Hogfish are also available, but the trick is getting them to bite. Red snapper are off-limits indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region and must be released.
| Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
| Bream remain the best bet on area rivers, which rose a bit following some heavy rain early in the week. Jamie Dunn of Fisherman’s Headquarters reports bream are hitting crickets and worms, still in 1-4 feet of water. Angler activity has been slow this week. “It’s been steady, some (anglers) have been catching about 10-15 fish,” Dunn said. Dunn personally targeted catfish on a Saturday night trip, and caught nine fish between 3 and 9 pounds while fishing on the Great Pee Dee in the vicinity of the U.S. 378 bridge. Dunn called the action on that trip “slow.”