▪ Look For | Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
▪ Comments | Usually toward the end of June, area fishermen are dreading the upcoming Dog Days of Summer when the water temperature is in the mid-to-upper 80s, fish are scattered and fishing is slow. Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River notes things are different this year. “They’re already here,” Dickson said. “The water temperature was 86 degrees in the Intracoastal Waterway (Thursday). It's real early for that. This is like a late July-early August water temperature.” Dickson has been able to find a few fish near the Sunset Beach Bridge, Bonaparte Creek and Dunn Sound, with the catch of the week a 4.5-pound trout. Dickson has used menhaden to catch trout, red drum and flounder. Murrells Inlet has been producing a few flounder and red drum. Garden City Bait & Tackle reports action is best at Pawleys Island, especially for flounder and spotted seatrout.
▪ Look For | Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, whiting, pompano, flounder, spadefish, black sea bass, weakfish, sheepshead.
▪ Comments | Overall, action is slow along the beach with a warmer than normal water temperature for late June. The surface ocean water temperature was 83.9 degrees Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Cherry Grove Pier. Spanish mackerel are the best bet off the piers and can also be found near inlet passes and near-shore artificial reefs. Sharks are prevalent in many areas including the reefs. Capt. Jay Sconyers of Aces Up Fishing has made a living catching and releasing large tiger sharks off the reefs this week. On Tuesday, Capt. Brant McMullan of Ocean Isle Fishing Center had a good outing targeting king mackerel. McMullan produced numerous kings in the 8-12 pound range with a large fish of 28 pounds in 60-65 feet of water. McMullan noted a water temperature of 83 degrees.
▪ Look For | Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, amberjack.
▪ Comments | Offshore action is also in the Dog Days mode, with trolling boats producing scattered catches of dolphin and wahoo. Billfish encounters are a distinct possibility, specifically blue marlin and sailfish. Bottom fishing is producing good catches of grouper (including scamp, gag and red), 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 | “Most everybody is still concentrating on bream and catfish,” said Rick Woodward of Rick’s Bait and Tackle. “Fish are going to bite twice a day, whether that tide is rising or falling. In that hour in and around sunrise and sunset, that’s your feeding time.” Woodward notes bream are hitting crickets, and red worms if offered. “Right now, because of the heat, I’d back off and fish 3-4 feet deep to get the good bream, your hand-size bream,” said Woodward. “If you fish right on the bank you’re going to deal with what I call stumpknockers, small bream.” Bass action is also best at daybreak and dusk. Catfish action is good with cut eel a prime bait. ``I’ve seen a lot of 20-pound catfish this week,” said Woodward.