▪ Look For | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead.
▪ Comments | Flounder remain the top catch in inlets such as Pawleys, Murrells Inlet, Cherry Grove and Tubbs Inlet. Bob Kay of Garden City Bait and Tackle reports good numbers of flounder in Murrells Inlet, but a majority are under South Carolina’s 14-inch minimum size limit. Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters has seen the same trend in the Little River area. On Thursday, Dickson’s crew caught 11 flounder with one keeper. “There are a lot of flounder out there,” said Dickson. “If they’ll grow up we’ll have a good late summer and fall for them.” In the Winyah Bay area, action has been slow this week for Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown. McDonald caught a few red drum on a trip Thursday, with a water temperature of 82 degrees. Look for red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum and sheepshead at area jetties.
▪ Look For | Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, bluefish, whiting, pompano, flounder, spadefish, black sea bass, weakfish, sheepshead.
▪ Comments | Dickson notes balled up schools of pogeys (menhaden) have been plentiful just off the beach in the Little River area and he has put his customers on plenty of sharks this week. Dickson has used cut menhaden fished on the bottom around the schools to hook up with bonnetheads, blacktips and sandbar sharks in the 3-5 foot range. “We caught eight in one hour,” Dickson said of a Thursday trip. Spanish, kings and cobia can be found around the same schools. As for finfish, Spanish are the best bet along the beach and near inlet passes. Spadefish are the best bet on the near-shore artificial reefs with black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit), flounder, weakfish and sharks also available. Spanish, kings and cobia are also in the vicinity of the bottom spots. Lisa Austin landed a 10-pound, 15-ounce king a week ago off the Apache Pier. Catches of Spanish, whiting, croaker, pompano, spadefish and flounder are scattered off Grand Strand piers. The surface ocean water temperature was 81.91 degrees Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Apache Pier in Myrtle Beach.
▪ Look For | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, amberjack.
▪ Comments | John Horton, General Manager of Georgetown Landing Marina, summed up offshore trolling the best. “The water’s warming up and the fishing’s cooling down,” said Horton. With water temperatures at or over 80 degrees, the fish – dolphin, wahoo and tuna – have scattered and aren’t being caught in as great numbers as a few weeks ago. Billfish action is very good led by blue marlin, with the number of sailfish encounters on the rise. Bottom fishing is excellent for grouper (especially scamp), black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy and amberjack. Red snapper are off-limits indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region and must be released.
▪ Look For | Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
▪ Comments | “They’re really, really working on the flatfish and the catfish,” said Rick Woodward of Rick’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “There shouldn’t be a problem for anybody to go out on a boat on the river and catch a limit of (bream) at any time.” Woodward has been in business for nine years and says this is the best bream fishing he has seen since. “There are some big, fine grown bluegill and warmouth (morgans) out there. The Waccamaw to me is producing as good as I’ve seen. Some of the fishermen have made the same comment.” Woodward says crickets floated in 1 to 4 feet of water have produced 30-fish limits of bream on the Waccamaw. The Little Pee Dee is low, with sandbars becoming exposed. Boaters should beware.