Look For: Flounder, spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments: Catches of flounder continue to be good in many estuaries, especially North Inlet, Pawleys Inlet, Murrells Inlet, Cherry Grove Inlet and Tubbs Inlet. A variety of methods will catch flounder, with mud minnows the tried and true bait of choice. A Carolina rig with an egg sinker will work, but a two-hook rig with a bank sinker is very popular among experienced flounder anglers, especially for trolling. Stand-up jig heads are also a very effective method to deploy mud minnows or, if available, finger mullet. Spotted seatrout, red drum and black drum are also available. Bluefish and even Spanish mackerel can be found entering local inlets, especially on an incoming tide. Look for black drum, spotted seatrout, red drum, sheepshead and flounder at area jetties.
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Look For: Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, bluefish, whiting, croaker, pompano, flounder, weakfish, spadefish.
Comments: The kings are on the beach, as catches off Grand Strand piers proved earlier this week. Andrea Garcia landed a 30-pounder on Tuesday and Quinton Caldwell followed with an 18-pounder Wednesday, both off Cherry Grove Pier. The biggest king of the week, a 33-pounder, was caught off Apache Pier on Sunday. The angler’s name was not available. Spanish and bluefish are being caught consistently on the piers, with jigging straw rigs, also known as mackerel trees, producing the most fish. Try casting and quick retrieving Gotcha plugs also. The piers are also producing whiting, pompano, black drum, flounder and red drum. Pier anglers shouldn’t be surprised to see a cobia check out that kingfish bait in the next few weeks, either. Look for Spanish, kings, cobia, bluefish, weakfish, flounder and spadefish on the near-shore artificial reefs. The ocean water temperature was 71.2 degrees Thursday at 6 p.m. at Springmaid Pier.
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red porgy, grunts, cobia, amberjack.
Comments: Offshore trolling has been consistently good and sometimes excellent over the last week. Dolphin and blackfin tuna are being landed in the highest numbers, with a few wahoo mixed in, in areas such as the Georgetown Hole, Winyah Scarp and Black Jack Hole. The arrival of May meant the end of the annual shallow-water grouper closure for the remainder of 2016. Anglers can now keep shallow water grouper species including gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper and yellowmouth grouper. Gag, scamp and red are the grouper species most commonly caught locally. Other reef species available include black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red porgy and grunts, along with amberjack and cobia. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic Region.
Look For: Bream, catfish, crappie, bass.
Comments: “There has been some fine, fine bream caught on the Waccamaw,” said Rick Woodward of Rick’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “Some grown ones, especially the warmouth. Anybody that wants a mess of bream, they can go to the Waccamaw, I don’t care what part, and they can catch them a mess of bream.” Anglers are fishing the bank, 2- to 3-feet deep, floating mainly crickets, although worms will work too. “Sometimes they’re (finding the bream) six inches deep,”' said Woodward. The rivers are still a bit high, but nothing like the levels that have plagued the area since the historic rainfall of early October, 2015. “They’re full,” said Woodward. “The Waccamaw is making a tide, but not much of a tide. The Little Pee Dee is still high and it’s tough to fish it. (The bream) are still up in the swamp (on the Little Pee Dee), getting fat.”