Look For: Black drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, red drum, sheepshead, bluefish, tarpon.
Comments: Maybe the nickname of Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway should be switched to “Black Drum” this week. Stalvey went from the freshwater of local rivers to the saltwater of Murrells Inlet to wet a hook early this week, and had good success with black drum on fiddler cribs. The black drum bite in the inlet has been very strong with fish preferring to dine on crustaceans such shrimp (live or cut) and the aforementioned fiddler crabs. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had what he called “a pretty good morning” fishing North Inlet on Thursday. McDonald’s crew had a super slam of five flounder, five red drum, three spotted seatrout, four weakfish (summer trout) and a few ladyfish. McDonald, who was using live mullet for bait, noted a water temperature of 83 degrees in the Winyah Bay vicinity.
Look For: Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, black sea bass, spadefish, weakfish, flounder, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum, sheepshead and red drum.
Comments: The Spanish mackerel bite has been absolutely on fire this week in near-shore waters, with charter trips loading up. Look for fish in the vicinity of jetty passes and near-shore artificial reefs. A variety of methods will catch Spanish, including trolling mackerel trees and Clark or Drone spoons, or live-baiting mullet or menhaden. If trolling use a No. 1 planer or a trolling weight to get the artificials below the surface. Flounder action is good on the near-shore reefs with black sea bass, spadefish and weakfish (summer trout) also available. Morgan Marohl of the Cherry Grove Pier reports whiting and croaker are providing the most action on the pier, with black drum active in the morning. Marohl noted a water temperature of 85 degrees on the surface and 84 on the bottom Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Look For: Blackfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, white grunts, red porgy, black sea bass, grouper, amberjack.
Comments: Gulf Stream trolling trips are producing good catches of blackfin tuna, with a few wahoo and dolphin mixed in. Find the bait and the bluewater, and sailfish will be around. Closer in, areas such as the Parking Lot are producing good catches of king mackerel and barracuda, with a few dolphin, wahoo and sailfish mixed in. Bottom fishing continues to be excellent with vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish and grouper leading the way. Porgy, grunts and amberjack are common, too. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released. Red snapper must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie.
Comments: “It's been pretty hot this week (temperature-wise) but the people that are going are catching some fine, fine, fish,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle. “Bream, the bass fishing’s been good, catfishing’s been good.” With the heat of summer entrenched and the dog days of August arriving soon, Stalvey says go a little deeper in search of bream. “A lot of people are catching bream deeper now,” said Stalvey. “They’re using throw lines and fishing on the bottom with worms, up to eight feet deep. When it’s so hot the small ones are up shallow and the big ones are going to be a little deeper.” The bass bite has been best early and late in the day, with Stalvey recommending swim baits, spinnerbaits, jerk baits and Texas-rigged worms. As for catfish, Stalvey says live black salties have worked well along with goldfish and cut eels.