Outdoors

Area, state fishing report (September 7)

Estuary

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

Comments | Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters had good success with large red drum and flounder while drifting live finger mullet on a Carolina rig at the Little River jetties early this week. Dickson produced reds in the 28-32 inch range, well over South Carolina’s slot limit for the species of 15 to 23 inches. The same method also put a few nice keeper flounder in the boat for Dickson. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service tallied seven trout, five reds and a flounder on a half-day trip Thursday morning while fishing in North Inlet and Winyah Bay. While acknowledging fishing has been pretty good of late, McDonald said “I think it’s just going to get better.” Tom Craddock of Inlet Convenience reports flounder and red drum have been doing “pretty good” in Murrells Inlet this week. Also, whiting and a few spots have been caught inside the inlet. The jetties are producing red drum, sheepshead and flounder, while Spanish can be found between the jetties and sea bouy.

Inshore

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

Comments | The Grand Strand Fishing Rodeo’s Fall King Tournament is being staged on piers all along the Grand Strand, from Cherry Grove to Garden City, Friday through Sunday. Look for the results in next week’s column. Angler Pat Owens of Charlotte, N.C., warmed up for the tournament Wednesday on the Cherry Grove Pier by landing a 27-pound, 4-ounce king mackerel, likely the first king caught on a Grand Strand pier since May. Owens used a bluefish to entice the sizable kingfish. Mike Hilton of Cherry Grove Pier noted fishing was very good for black drum from Tuesday through Thursday. Other species caught on the piers this week include whiting, pompano, spots, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and spotted seatrout. The ocean water temperature was 83.81degrees Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at Cherry Grove Pier.

Offshore

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

Comments | Best action for king mackerel has been found in 60-80 feet of water with dolphin and sailfish also in the mix. Trolling near the Gulf Stream ups your chances for dolphin, wahoo and sailfish. Wahoo action has picked up nicely over the last week. Anglers are reminded the recreational black sea bass fishery has closed and won’t reopen until June 1, 2013. Optional reef species include vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, porgy, banded rudderfish and cobia. Red snapper are the only common reef species that currently cannot be harvested in South Atlantic waters. An extremely limited season for red snapper is upcoming for recreational anglers. On September 14-16 and September 21-23, anglers will be allowed to harvest one red snapper per person per day with no minimum size limit.

Freshwater

Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments | “The big Pee Dee, Waccamaw and the ICW are all making good tides but the Little Pee Dee is still high,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters. “The bream are still biting good.” Booth says to look for bream, morgans and shellcracker on crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water. Top areas are Yauhannah, Samworth and Bucksport. Booth calls the bass bite fair, still early and late in the day. The first cold front of the late summer/early fall will arrive Sunday into Monday. Don’t look for any quick changes, Booth said. “It’s going to take another month for it to get that water temperature down,” Booth said. The catfish bite is good on live bait, plus cut mullet, but crappie action is only fair. Don McCloud of Conway won the weekly bass tournament last Saturday with one fish weighing 1.7 pounds. The Fish Five Classic bass tournament will be held Saturday at Bucksport Marina. The event is the culmination of the weekly bass tournaments staged by Fishermen’s Headquarters. The tournament will be held from safe light to 3 p.m. and spectators are welcome at the weigh-in.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | 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. Overall fishing seems to be a little more productive in Lake Marion than the lower lake, and night time fishing has been limited due to frequent storms and wind. Largemouth bass: Slow. Capt. Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing is very tough on Santee Cooper, and typically September is one of 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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