Outdoors

Area, state fishing report (August 31)

Estuary

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

Comments | Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had what he termed a “fantastic” day Tuesday in the rain while fishing between the jetties and Conway (actually in Winyah Bay and North Inlet). McDonald and crew produced 15 red drum and 3 spotted seatrout with most of the reds over the slot and weighing 7 1/2 to 9 pounds. McDonald used live mullet for the reds and live shrimp for the trout, and noted bait (mullet, menhaden, shrimp) is still thick in the bay despite recent heavy rain. Red drum are moving to local jetties and estuaries for their annual fall spawning session but anglers should be sure to carefully release all large fish over the 15 to 23 inch slot limit to help protect the spawning stock. Flounder, trout, black drum, sheepshead and bluefish are also available at the jetties.

Inshore

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

Comments | The phenomenon of low dissolved oxygen levels combined with the hot flounder bite came to a close early this week on Grand Strand piers and flounder catches have returned to normal. But, fishing overall continues to be very good for late August on the piers. Numerous species have been caught this week headlined by whiting, pompano and black drum. Other species caught have been Spanish, croaker, red drum, sheepshead and bluefish. Ribbonfish have been thick in areas close to the beach. Cherry Grove Pier reports numerous slot black drum (14 to 27 inches) caught this week while The Pier at Garden City reports a 2-pound pompano landed Wednesday. The ocean water temperature at Apache Pier was 82.73 degrees Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.

Offshore

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

Comments | Look for kings in 65 to 75 feet of water along with a few dolphin and sailfish. Moving out to the break, dolphin are the top possibility with wahoo, blackfin tuna and sailfish available. Time is short for fishermen wanting to harvest black sea bass, as the fishery closes Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and won’t reopen until June 1, 2013. Other reef species available include vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, porgy, banded rudderfish and cobia.

Freshwater

Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments | Heavy rain has had an impact on local rivers but fishing remains good in many areas. “The Little Pee Dee is up a right good bit so it’s kind of off right now,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters. “Yauhannah, Bucksport and Samworth, they’re all fishable right now.” Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water in those areas. “The crappie bite is slowly picking up,” Booth said. The weekly bass tournament will be held out of Bucksport on Saturday from safe light to 1 p.m.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | Crappie: Good to very good. Capt. Steve English reports that crappie fishing is improving and will only get better as water temperatures continue to cool. Already water temperatures are a good bit cooler than usual because of cloudy, rainy weather. Fish can be caught around mid-depth brush piles in 10-20 feet of water by anglers using minnows and jigs. Larger fish are being caught in the lower lake, but the numbers are better in the upper lake. Bream: Good. Capt. English reports that the full moon coming up this weekend will probably be the last chance anglers have this year to catch spawning bream in the shallows. Move your boat slowly through the shallows and look for active bream beds to throw crickets to. Catfish: Fair. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that there has been some improvement in daytime blue cat fishing over the last couple of weeks, and some folks are boating very nice fish both drifting and anchoring. Fish are scattered with some fish being found in the usual deep water for summer and some shallow. Largemouth bass: Slow. Capt. Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing is very tough, and typically August and September are the slowest months of the year. Very little bass fishing is going on in the lakes and most clubs are fishing the Cooper River right now. By late September and October, fishing should improve and fish will make their way to the creeks.

S.C. DNR

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