Look For: Red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments: On a blustery, cool day on Thursday, Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions in Murrells Inlet had a catch that bodes well for the upcoming weeks – a keeper flounder that measured over 16 inches in length. "I'm sure I just got lucky," said Connolly. "It shouldn't be long though, spring's only a week-and-a-half away." Connolly's crew had also caught a handful of red drum by midday Thursday, plus he has landed a few black drum on recent trips. "We've caught a few nice black drum but it's still not a very strong black drum bite at all, it's been mostly reds," Connolly said. Connolly has mainly found the reds in deeper holes in the creeks, plus around oyster beds and structure. Fresh shrimp and fresh cut mullet, along with artificial grubs have produced the reds. Capt. Ken Salos of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River produced trout and reds on a trip earlier this week using Vudu shrimp, Trout Trick and Gulp shrimp.
Look For: Sheepshead, black sea bass, black drum, tautog, weakfish, flounder, whiting, bluefish, croaker.
Comments: Cabin fever abounds for anglers itching to do a little fishing, but the wind has been relentless for the last week to 10 days. Sheepshead are the best option on the inshore waters, but they've gone unbothered on the near-shore artificial reefs during the windy stretch. Anglers are reminded there is a daily bag limit of 10 sheepshead per person, a boat limit of 30 per day and a minimum size limit of 14 inches (total length). Michael Wallace of the Cherry Grove Pier reports only a few whiting and croaker have been caught this week, most of them small. The ocean water temperature at the pier was 56 degrees on the surface and 55 on the bottom at noon Thursday.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, grouper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy, black sea bass, grunts.
Comments: The wind has been relentless over the past week, meaning offshore trolling and bottom fishing has been at a virtual standstill. But when conditions permit, trolling in the month of March can be super for wahoo, with blackfin tuna also in the mix. Look for dolphin to join the fray sometime in April. Bottom fishing is good for black sea bass, grey triggerfish, vermilion snapper, amberjack, red porgy and white grunts. The annual Shallow-Water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect through April 30 and red snapper are closed indefinitely in the South Atlantic region and must be released.
Look For: Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.
Comments: The rivers are a little high and the water temperature has cooled to the upper 50s over the last week, but the bream are still biting. Stalvey's Bait and Tackle in Conway reports good catches of a variety of bream, with fish hitting crickets floated off the banks. Also look for crappie hitting minnows around structure in lakes or ditch mouths. Catfish are taking cut shad or eels. The Waccamaw River has a rise in it, with a reading of 8.46 feet in Conway at 11:15 a.m. Thursday. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was also a little high, at 6.98 feet at noon Thursday.