Look for | Red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, tarpon.
Comments | Fishing continues to be very good in local inlets and around the jetties with red drum leading the way. Large bull redfish on a spawning mission can be found at jetties and near ocean passes, hitting cut or live bait. Please carefully release these fish above the 15 to 23 inch slot limit which are the future of the species. Inside the inlets, smaller reds from 15 to 30 inches are available near grass banks and oyster bars. At midday Thursday, Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters had caught three reds in the 25 to 30 pound range while drifting at the Little River jetties. His customers were also catching Spanish and blues on topwater lures just outside Little River Inlet. “Bait’s everywhere, the whole inlet is alive,” said Dickson, who noted most of the Spanish were in the 3-pound range. On a Wednesday trip in Winyah Bay, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown started the morning by catching three trout and two reds (31 and 26 inches) on topwater lures then moved to the channel to catch a pair of huge reds (44 and 42 inches) on cut bait. His customers finished the trip by catching 14 more trout on artificials. McDonald noted a water temperature of 76.6 degrees Thursday morning in Winyah Bay.
Look for | Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, flounder, cobia, king mackerel, black sea bass, black drum, pompano, sheepshead, weakfish, spadefish.
Comments | Best bet is for Spanish mackerel which are ripping into schools of menhaden and mullet along the beach, with plenty of bluefish also in the mix. “I’ve fished out of [Ocean Isle Beach] for 20-plus years,” Capt. Brant McMullan told his audience on www.oifc.com earlier this week. “There are more pogys [menhaden] outside the inlet right now than I have ever seen.” The surf is producing good catches of whiting and pompano. Look for weakfish, also known as summer trout or grey trout, gathering on nearshore hard-bottom areas. The daily bag limit for weakfish is one fish per person. Spanish are also the top catch on nearshore artificial reefs, with flounder, weakfish and spadefish also available. King mackerel and cobia are also possibilities. Numerous species have been caught on Grand Strand piers this week including whiting, pompano, black drum, red drum, bluefish, Spanish, spadefish and sheepshead. A manatee was spotted moseying around the Cherry Grove Pier on Thursday. Anglers are reminded the recreational black sea bass fishery is closed until June 1, 2013. Ocean water temperature was 78.29 degrees Thursday at 2 p.m. on the Cherry Grove Pier.
Look for | Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, king mackerel, sailfish, grouper, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish.
Comments | Trolling action has been very good offshore with dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, sailfish and even blue marlin available. Georgetown Landng Marina reports The Christy II landed two sizable wahoo, 10 blackfin tuna, a dolphin and five kings on a trip last weekend. Big Sky released a blue marlin. Bottom fishing is in fine fall form with vermilion snapper, grouper, triggerfish, porgy and amberjack available. The two whirlwind weekends of the recreational red snapper season have come and gone and the species is now off-limits indefinitely again.
Look for | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments | “It’s as good as I’ve seen it in a long time for this time of year,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway. “We’ve got good tides, mixed in with good weather at a good time. I think you’ve got optimum conditions. The fish aren’t messed up by a drastic change in weather.” Bream fishing including morgans and shellcracker is excellent with fish hitting crickets and worms in 2-3 feet of water. Booth noted the bream “are still up in shallow water,” and mentioned the Punch Bowl, Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport and Bucksville as prime areas. Booth called the crappie bite fair to good on minnows in 5-6 feet of water around structure and ditch mouths. Catfish action is fair on cut mullet and live bait. Booth himself landed 20 bream and shellcracker plus three bass while fishing on the Great Pee Dee Tuesday afternoon. Tom Alexander of Conway won the weekly bass tournament with a three-fish aggregate of 5.01 pounds. The next tournament will be held out of Bucksport Marina Saturday from safe light to 2 p.m.
By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News
Santee Cooper System | Bream: Good. Bream are starting to leave the shallows and grouping up on mid-depth brush piles. As temperatures continue to cool almost all of the better fish will be around brush where they can be caught on crickets.