Outdoors

Area, state fishing report (August 17)

Estuary

Look for | Red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, tarpon.

Comments | John Horton of Georgetown Landing Marina reports very good catches of spotted sea trout and red drum along with a few flounder in Winyah Bay. Horton also noted the prevalence of baitfish including mullet and menhaden in the bay. “There’s more bait than I’ve ever seen in my life,” Horton said. Tarpon are in the neighborhood, too, Horton noted. “Tarpon are in the bay but you can’t get them to bite in the bay,” Horton said. “They’re at the marina even.” A few tarpon have been caught at the Winyah Bay jetties. On the north end, Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters reports decent catches of red drum and flounder. On a Thursday trip, Kelly’s crew caught a 4-pound flounder and four reds ranging from 15 to 25 inches. Kelly used Gulp new penny shrimp and molting shrimp along with live finger mullet while fishing Tubbs Inlet, Sunset Beach Bridge and Bonaparte Creek.

Inshore

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

Comments | The top option on the inshore waters is Spanish mackerel at inshore bottom spots such as Paradise Reef (Three-Mile Reef) and Jim Caudle Reef. “Spanish, Spanish and Spanish are the only thing we’ve been fishing for,” said Michael Stone of Marlin Quay Marina. “Spanish at the Three-Mile. There have been a few kings caught with them but kings are [mainly] in deep water.” Also look for flounder, black sea bass, weakfish, bluefish and possibly spadefish and cobia on the reefs. Spots, surprisingly, continue to be landed off Grand Strand piers this week along with scattered catches of Spanish, blues, pompano, whiting, flounder and black drum. A 4-pound, 1-ounce flounder was caught off Apache Pier, where the water temperature was 85.31 degrees Thursday at 2:45 p.m.

Offshore

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

Comments | Kings were landed in a variety of areas during last weekend’s Tailwalker Marine’s Offshore Challenge but mostly in depths of 60 feet and beyond. Ocean Isle Fishing Center (www.oifc.com) reports good catches of kings near the Shark Hole early in the week. Look for dolphin, wahoo, sailfish and blackfin tuna on ledges from about 80 feet deep and beyond, with a few dolphin and sailfish venturing even closer to shore. Numerous reef species are available on offshore bottom spots led by black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjack. Also look for porgy, banded rudderfish and cobia. 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 | Summertime fishing is firmly entrenched in Grand Strand rivers, with one possible hint of the autumn fishing to come showing up this week – crappie. “I’ve been hearing of a few crappie hitting crickets and worms,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. Bream continue to be the best bet with fish hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet in the normal areas such as Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Bucksville and the Punch Bowl. Catfish are hitting cut bait, such as menhaden, and live bait while bass action remains best early and late in the day. Seth Ricketts and Teaton Cobbs of Conway won the Thursday bass tournament with one fish weighing 1.4 pounds. Tom Alexander of Conway won the Saturday tournament with 6.02 pounds for a three-fish aggregate including the 2.64-pound big fish. Both upcoming tournaments will be held out of Conway Marina.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | Catfish: Slow to fair. Some decent catches are taking place at night on Lake Marion in relatively shallow water while anchoring some good fish have also been caught in both lakes drifting during the daytime in less than 20 feet of water. There are also reports of intermittent success fishing around mussel beds in shallow water both day and night. Some fishermen have switched to mullet fillets but most are using cut herring and perch. Largemouth bass: Slow. Fishing has gotten even tougher, and you pretty much have to fish before 10 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. One technique is to fish in the shade of cypress trees in 5-10 feet of water with soft plastics. In the main lakes the shallow bite has turned off, but a few fish can be caught off drops or around stumps on Carolina rigs fished in 12-18 feet of water.

S.C. DNR

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