Grand Strand Fishing Report: Rain hasn’t hampered fishing in ocean or rivers

Dr. Jason Rosenberg, Ruby Rosenberg, Capt. Jay Sconyers, Lainey Rosenberg and Zachary Rosenberg show off their mackerel catch from Wednesday aboard Painkiller out of Murrells Inlet.
Dr. Jason Rosenberg, Ruby Rosenberg, Capt. Jay Sconyers, Lainey Rosenberg and Zachary Rosenberg show off their mackerel catch from Wednesday aboard Painkiller out of Murrells Inlet.


Look For: Flounder, black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, ladyfish, bluefish, tarpon.

Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has had a few productive trips this week in the Winyah Bay vicinity. On Monday, McDonald’s crew caught five flounder including four keepers over the 15-inch minimum size limit, plus a few red drum and spotted seatrout. On Thursday, McDonald produced six reds, two flounder, two trout and two ladyfish, all caught on finger mullet. “There are plenty of mullet out there,” said McDonald, “and fishing’s been better than it was the last few weeks.” Look for tarpon roaming Winyah Bay and estuaries to the south. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has endured a rainy week in the Little River vicinity, but has caught plenty of red drum and black drum, along with flounder. On Thursday, Kelly found reds in “super shallow water” in the creeks, but they were easily spooked. Kelly has caught the reds and flounder on live finger mullet while live shrimp are working for the black drum. An angler on one of Kelly’s other boats caught a 7-pound flounder. “It’s been a wet week, but it didn’t seem to interrupt the fishing,” said Kelly.


Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.

Comments: Dr. Jason Rosenberg’s typical Wednesday Fishing with Friends aboard his 32-foot Contender, Painkiller, had a bit of a twist this week - it was Wednesday Fishing with Family. Rosenberg and Capt. Jay Sconyers of Aces Up Fishing were joined by Rosenberg’s two daughters, Lainey and Ruby, and son, Zachary, and slow-trolling cigar minnows for mackerel was on the docket. Lainey Rosenberg, 14, was the angler of the day, first catching a lunker 5 1/2-pound Spanish mackerel near Belky Bear, then capping the day with a 35-pound king mackerel near Buoy City. Lainey fought the king for 45 minutes on a Penn 4500 spinning reel, before Sconyers gaffed the smoker and pulled it aboard. Also on the quick trip, Ruby caught her first king mackerel and Zachary also caught a king, both in the 10-pound range. “It was an amazing fish for an amazing kid with a very small fishing rod,” said Dr. Rosenberg, “and we made it home just before the storms. It was the perfect day.” On the near-shore artificial reefs, look for spadefish, flounder, black sea bass and weakfish, with Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and cobia also roaming the vicinity around the reefs. Sharks are also on the reefs, including some big ones. Morgan Marohl of the Cherry Grove Pier reported a balmy water temperature reading of 86 degrees Thursday afternoon. Marohl reports whiting, croaker, black drum, spadefish and a few tripletail have been caught off the pier this week, but no kings and few Spanish mackerel.


Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.

Comments: Boats trolling inshore of the break on live bottom areas in 80-100 feet of water have had scattered catches of king mackerel, barracuda, dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna and even a few sailfish. Further out, near the break (the Continental Shelf) and beyond, dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, sailfish and blue marlin are in the trolling mix, with yellowfin tuna a possibility. Bottom fishing continues to be excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, grouper and amberjack, with best action in depths over 100 feet. Anglers are catching plenty of red snapper but the species cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.


Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: “Fishing’s been phenomenal,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “Thank God we did get some rain because the rivers were about to dry up. The river levels are right, right now.” Stalvey said bream are hitting crickets and worms “shallow and deep.” Catfish action remains good on fresh eel and live bream, both on bush hooks and by rod-and-reel. “The top-water bite has been amazing lately (for bass),” said Stalvey, who suggests using buzz baits and Bang-O-Lures.