Outdoors

Area, state fishing report (Aug. 10)

Estuary

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 plenty of fish this week, particularly flounder and red drum, but most have not been keepers. McDonald has been using live and cut shrimp and mullet to catch a dozen or more each of flounder and reds each trip. Many of the fish have been in the 10-12 inch size range, which bodes well for the future, even this fall with a 14-inch minimum size limit for flounder and 15-23 inch slot limit for red drum. One of McDonald’s anglers caught a 2 1/2-pound trout and a 3 1/2-pound flounder on Wednesday. Jessica Perry of Perry’s Bait and Tackle reports black drum, flounder, sheepshead and even a few weakfish are available at the Murrells Inlet jetties. Look for red drum at the jetties, also. Don’t forget August is perhaps the top month in South Carolina to catch and release tarpon, with best shots occurring from Winyah Bay and points further south.

Inshore

Look for | Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, flounder, cobia, king mackerel, black sea bass, black drum, pompano, sheepshead, weakfish, spadefish.

Comments | Perry reports good news on the king mackerel front as the Tailwalker Marine Offshore Challenge is underway Friday and Saturday out of Georgetown Landing Marina. Perry reports a decent number of kings, including some in the 25-pound range, have been caught at Paradise Reef (Three-Mile) out of Murrells Inlet this week. “Definitely much better than it was and that was nothing,” Perry said of the king mackerel fishing. “It’s better slow-trolling with live bait, better than cigar minnows, at least at the Three-Mile.” Also look for large Spanish, flounder, spadefish, black sea bass and a few weakfish at the inshore bottom spots. Surprisingly, spots have been consistently caught off many Grand Strand piers this week including some decent numbers. Also look for bluefish, whiting, pompano, Spanish mackerel, flounder, black drum, red drum and sheepshead. The ocean water temperature was 85.63 degrees at 2:30 p.m. Thursday according to the Apache Pier data station.

Offshore

Look for | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, blue marlin, king mackerel, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish, cobia.

Comments | Gulf Stream trolling trips are not producing a tremendous number of fish, but quality fish are available especially dolphin, wahoo and sailfish. The Nauti Girl out of Georgetown Landing Marina landed a 58-pound, 5-ounce wahoo, released a sailfish and on the way back in stopped to add a nice mess of bottom fish to their cooler. A number of reef species are available on bottom spots including black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjack plus porgy, grunts and banded rudderfish. Red snapper are the only common reef species that currently cannot be harvested in South Atlantic waters.

Freshwater

Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments | “The fish are biting in the same areas,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. “The rain hasn’t messed them up at all.” Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water in typical areas such as Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Bucksville and the Punch Bowl. Catfish are hitting live and cut bait while bass action is best early and late in the day. Brett Brown of Conway won the Thursday bass tournament with one bass weighing 1.81 pounds. The winner of the Saturday tournament at Bucksport was Tom Alexander of Conway with a 3-fish aggregate of 6.85 pounds including the big fish of 3.25 pounds. Both of this week’s tournaments will be held out of Conway Marina.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | Crappie: Good. Capt. Steve English reports that crappie are in a traditional summer pattern and can be found around mid-depth brush piles. Fishing minnows and jigs around brush in 10-15 feet of water has been the best pattern. Bream: Good. Capt. English reports that bream beds are apparent in the shallows on Lake Marion and lots of bream are actively bedding. Bream and shellcracker can both be caught in the upper lake fishing worms and crickets around shallow cover. Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Capt. Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing has been pretty tough on Santee Cooper, but anglers are catching some fish in the eel grass.It’s important to cover a lot of water, but fish can be ganged up once they are located. The best baits have been fluke-type baits. Catfish: Slow. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that, while there are exceptions, blue catfishing can be characterized as very slow most days and nights.Fish are scattered, and the few active fish that have been caught are coming from shallow water as well as water down to 30 feet by anglers using both anchoring and drifting techniques.

S.C. DNR

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