Look For: Flounder, black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, bluefish, sheepshead.
Comments: Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters in Little River has had success with spotted seatrout, flounder and black drum in the estuaries on the north end this week. Catch of the week for Dickson was a 30-inch trout landed in the Crossroads area. Dickson has landed trout on Vudu shrimp and mud minnows on a jig head, plus has used fresh shrimp and cut shrimp to catch trout, black drum and sheepshead. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown notes a water temperature of 80 degrees in the Winyah Bay area and reports trout and reds are being landed in North Inlet, at the jetties and in the Santee River area. Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters kept to the creeks of Murrells Inlet on Thursday to avoid a stiff northeast wind and produced a handful of flounder for his customers.
Look For: Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, bluefish, whiting, croaker, pompano, flounder, weakfish, spadefish.
Comments: Maples reports spadefish are holding on near-shore reefs such as Pawleys, Paradise, Jim Caudle and Ron McManus but there is one problem – the one bait that is almost a must to catch them is very scarce. “Jelly balls are non-existent, they are nowhere to be found,” said Maples. Other options at the same reefs are black sea bass, flounder and weakfish, with pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and curious cobia also in the vicinity. Maples, however, has found keeper black sea bass, which have a minimum size limit of 13 inches, hard to find on the near-shore reefs as summer sets in. “There’s a ton of them but I’ve been catching a lot of 12 and 12 ½-inch fish and no keepers,” said Maples. Head well offshore, to depths of 75 feet and beyond, to have a better shot at catching sizable, keeper black sea bass. On Grand Strand piers, look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, pompano, croaker and black drum, with plenty of sharks roaming around the pilings looking for a free meal. Ocean water temperature at Springmaid Pier was 79.9 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red porgy, grunts, cobia, amberjack.
Comments: As the water temperature continues to heat up, offshore trolling for meatfish including dolphin, wahoo and blackfin tuna is cooling down a bit. While plenty of boats are bringing in excellent trolling catches, the fish are scattered and the numbers of fish being landed, particularly dolphin, are not as high, as is expected in mid-June. Dolphin are scattered and can also be found in shallower areas such as the Parking Lot. Sailfish encounters are on the increase, and don’t be surprised to find one attacking your slow-trolled king mackerel bait in depths of 75-100 feet. Bottom fishing is very good for grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy and amberjack. Red snapper cannot be harvested in the South Atlantic region and must be released.
Look For: Bream, catfish, crappie, bass.
Comments: Ronald Stalvey, Sr., of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway reports the Waccamaw and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) are the place to be in the wake of the rain produced last weekend by Tropical Storm Colin. Stalvey notes the Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee are “up a little bit.” Best bet is for bream on the Waccamaw and ICW, with fish hitting floated crickets and worms in 2-4 feet of water along the banks. Catfish will hit a variety of live and cut bait, including eels, shad and mullet. With the water temperature on the rise into the lower 80s, bass action is in summertime mode, best early and late in the day.