Look For: Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, tautog, flounder, sheepshead
Comments: Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters has had a very productive week in the Little River area, catching numerous spotted seatrout along with red drum and flounder. On Wednesday, Dickson and crew produced 23 trout, six red drum and two flounder, using Trout Trick plastics on an 1/8-ounce Mission Fishin' jig head and DOA Shrimp. “It seems like there are plenty of trout everywhere,” said Dickson. “Some places they're smaller, some places you find bigger fish.” Dickson has been fishing areas such as Little River Inlet and the Sunset Beach Bridge. Red drum apparently, according to Dickson, have not gathered in large schools in shallow areas yet. “We're still catching them in the creek mouths, not so much in shallow water,” said Dickson. Jessica Perry of Perry's Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet has not seen or heard of very much fishing activity this week, but has received reports of trout being caught off the inlet's south jetty, plus sheepshead from the Winyah Bay jetties. Also look for black drum, tautog and red drum at area jetties.
Look For: Black sea bass, whiting, black drum, weakfish, flounder, bluefish, red drum, croaker
Comments: Activity on Grand Strand piers is decent for mid-January, a period when fishing can be extremely slow. With the water temperature still in the mid-50s, pier anglers have caught an assortment of whiting, croaker, black drum, dogfish, puffers and even a few bull red drum this week. Ronnie Goodwin of Cherry Grove Pier reports a couple of bull reds were hooked up and broke off at the pilings on Monday, a true rarity for January 11. Springmaid Pier reports a 21-inch keeper black drum was caught earlier this week. Black drum have a 14- to 27-inch slot limit.
Goodwin reports a water temperature of 55 degrees at mid-afternoon Thursday at Cherry Grove Pier. While anglers have been few and far between on near-shore reefs this week, Perry says black sea bass, black drum, sheepshead, tautog, flounder and weakfish are all possibilities on the structure.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, amberjack, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, porgy
Comments: There is a storm warning on tap for this weekend, meaning it will be well into next week before much, if any, fishing occurs in the offshore waters. Water temperatures remain above normal and when conditions are again fishable, look for trolling to produce wahoo, with a few blackfin tuna and dolphin mixed in. Look for king mackerel in depths of approximately 60 to 90 feet of water. While grouper are off-limits due to the annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure which lasts through April 30, bottom fishing is good otherwise. Look for black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red porgy, grunts and amberjack. Red snapper are also on hand but must be released indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region.
Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie
Comments: The high water and flooding conditions continue along area rivers. “It's killing us as a business,” said Rick Woodward of Rick's Bait and Tackle in Conway. “All we can do is try to survive and go on for a better day. I don't recommend being on the rivers if there's houses there. (Not throwing a wake when passing houses when the water is high) is just common courtesy.” Woodward does suggest an alternative to river fishing — local lakes and ponds. “There's a lot of pond fishing going on with a lot of crappie and bass being caught on live bait,” said Woodward.