Look For: Flounder, black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish, ladyfish, tarpon.
Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has had a ball entertaining attendees of the Palmetto Kid's Fishing Camp again this week. "Fishing's been pretty good," said Kelly. "Every day they're catching fish and they're stoked about it." Kelly has put the youngsters on flounder, black drum, red drum and spotted seatrout while fishing the ICW, Dunn Sound and Bonaparte Creek. "We've been consistently catching flounder, small black drum, red drum and a bunch of little trout in the 12-13 inch range," said Kelly. The trout, black drum and reds have been taking live shrimp under popping corks while live mullet or mud minnows worked on 1/4-ounce jig heads have produced flounder. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown produced several red drum and black drum on a Tuesday trip in the Winyah Bay vicinity. McDonald also says "there have been a few tripletail around." The Poor Man's Tarpon, or ladyfish, are also assaulting baits in local estuaries. With the calendar about to turn to July and McDonald reporting a water temperature of 82 degrees, look for tarpon to start showing up in estuaries from Winyah Bay and south.
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Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.
Comments: It's been another hot king stretch on the Cherry Grove Pier. With pretty water still entrenched along the beach, Ronnie Goodwin of the pier reports seven kings ranging in size from 14 to 30 pounds were caught on Wednesday, then four were reportedly landed on Thursday. Ann Ball of North Myrtle Beach landed the largest, a 30-pound, 1-ounce king. A tarpon estimated to be in the 80-pound range was also hooked and broken off by an angler on the Cherry Grove Pier this week. Several other species have also been caught off local piers this week including Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, croaker, spadefish, sheepshead, black drum and red drum. Kings aren't just being caught along the beach. Slow-troll dead cigar minnows or live menhaden around a live-bottom area in 30-65 feet of water and you're likely to find kings. "The kings have been just like, nuts," said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters. A sailfish was reportedly caught and released at Belky Bear, located 12 miles east of Murrells Inlet. There's plenty of action on near-shore artificial reefs such as Paradise Reef, Jim Caudle Reef and Ron McManus Reef too. Maples reports flounder, spadefish, black drum and black sea bass are all active on the reefs, along with Spanish mackerel, the occasional cobia and king mackerel, plus plenty of sharks also around.
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.
Comments: Dave Christian of Marlin Quay Marina reports there's plenty of action from a variety of species in the sprawling Parking Lot area including king mackerel, plus a few dolphin and even blackfin tuna. Capt. Alex Hrycak of Carolina Fly produced a blackfin in 80 feet of water. Hit the bottom there and you'll find a variety of species such as vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, white grunts and amberjack. Christian notes that grouper are hanging on ledges in 120-180 feet of water, and plenty of red snapper are being caught and subsequently released in about 100 feet of water. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments: "All your river levels are great and they're catching the fool out of the fish," said Ronald "Catfish" Stalvey of Stalvey's Bait and Tackle in Conway. In particular, the bream action is hot, Stalvey reports, with fish hitting crickets and worms in 2-4 feet of water. "The bream are unbelievable right now," said Stalvey. "Grab a pole, grab the cricket cage, put it on a hook and throw it in the water. That's really about all it takes." Stalvey also notes catfish catches have been especially good on bush hooks. Eels are a prime bait for large blues and flatheads. "We've had a lot of 40-50 pounders on eels come by the last few weeks," said Stalvey. As for bass, Stalvey says Bang-O-Lures on top and Senkos on the bottom are currently the go-to baits.