Look for | Red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, tarpon.
Comments | Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown continues to produce good catches of red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder in Winyah Bay, with red drum particularly receptive. “It’s been going pretty good and I think it’s going to get better,” McDonald said. “If we don’t get a bunch of rain in here [from Tropical Storm Isaac].” On a Wednesday trip, McDonald’s crew caught 15 red drum, several flounder and a few trout on finger mullet. A McDonald client also caught and released a tarpon in the 120-pound class last weekend. McDonald noted very good numbers of shrimp, mullet and menhaden of all sizes in the bay. It’s been a mild August and Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River considered it even a bit chilly Thursday morning, wearing a windbreaker to start a trip in overcast conditions with a northeast wind. Dickson has used live mullet on a Carolina rig to catch red drum and flounder this week. Dickson caught six reds and five keeper flounder drifting the rig near the jetties and also has caught reds at Bonaparte Creek and the Sunset Beach Bridge.
Look for | Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, flounder, cobia, king mackerel, black sea bass, black drum, pompano, sheepshead, weakfish, spadefish.
Comments | The big event of the week has been the astounding catches of flounder off Grand Strand piers in relation to the hypoxia event in ocean water near the beach. From The Pier at Garden City to the Cherry Grove Pier, catches of the flatfish have been off the charts. “Usually if you catch 1 or 2 flounder in a day off a pier you’ve done real well,” said Mike Hilton of Cherry Grove Pier who noted one angler caught 87 flounder including 55 keepers in three days. Catches of black drum, including a five-pounder off The Pier at Garden City, and whiting also appeared to be better than normal off the piers. Excellent flounder fishing also extended to the inshore reefs. “The Jim Caudle Reef has been on fire for flounder,” Dickson said. “It’s one of those things if you’re there when they fire off you’re going to catch 6-10 keepers.” Dickson also noted the Spanish bite was good this week right outside Little River Inlet. The ocean water temperature at Apache Pier was 83.35 degrees Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Levels of dissolved oxygen in the water appear to have improved on Wednesday and Thursday according to the data stations at 2nd Ave. Pier, Apache Pier and Cherry Grove Pier.
Look for | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, blue marlin, king mackerel, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish, cobia.
Comments | Ocean Isle Fishing Center reports kings can be found in depths of 65 to 75 feet of water, and don’t be surprised if a few dolphin, sailfish and cobia crash the party, too. Further out closer to the Gulf Stream look for dolphin as the best bet with wahoo, blackfin tuna and sailfish also in the mix. Bottom fishing is good for the Dog Days of August with black sea bass, vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjack providing the best action. Other possible reef dwellers include porgy, banded rudderfish and cobia. Red snapper are the only common reef species that currently cannot be harvested in South Atlantic waters.
Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments | “The bream bite has been real good,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. “It’s just everybody’s trying to dodge the rain. The river’s are up but it’s nothing major.” Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water in the typical areas – Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Bucksville and the Punch Bowl. Keaton Cobb of Conway won the Thursday bass tournament with one fish weighing 2.53 pounds. The Saturday tournament was won by Shawn Taggert of Conway with a three-fish aggregate of 5.01 pounds. There will be no Saturday tournament this week but the event will resume at Bucksport on Sept. 1.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Crappie: Good. Fish 10-12 feet deep over brush in 12-18 feet of water, and use the trolling motor to tight-line live minnows to the fish. Deeper water has very little oxygen, so don’t expect fish to go to super deep brush. Largemouth bass: Slow. The best fishing is in the river below the lake.