Eight-year-old Brayden McMullan shows off the 67.9-pound wahoo he weighed in on April 14 after a day of fishing with Team OIFC in the South Carolina Wahoo Series. McMullan was named the top junior angler in the series for the catch. Submitted photo
Why the 10th annual Meatfish Slam is commencing at just the right time
For The Sun News
April 27, 2018 06:35 PM
Updated April 27, 2018 07:48 PM
After an absolutely horrendous stretch of windy weather in late winter and early spring – virtually February through most of April – area fishermen have finally caught a break.
The wind is cooperating this weekend for boats to get offshore for the fantastic big-game trolling action late April offers, just in time for the 10th annual Meatfish Slam out of Georgetown Landing Marina.
With the way the spring has unfolded, Saturday will serve as a kickoff of sorts for the offshore trolling season.
The Meatfish Slam was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with competing boats able to fish one of the two days and targeting wahoo, tuna and dolphin.
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But with Saturday’s offshore marine forecast calling for 2-4 foot seas with a northwesterly breeze, all 23 boats passed on Friday and will be fishing on Saturday.
“Weather-wise it’s just kept every boat at the dock,” said Ed Keelin, General Manager of Georgetown Landing Marina. “As terrible as the spring has been for wind I don’t think anybody’s been fun-fishing yet. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day, they can have some fun and go catch some fish.”
With the South Carolina Wahoo Series winding up earlier this week after its two month-plus run, the focus will turn to catching a Carolina Meatfish Slam. The heaviest aggregate of one wahoo, one tuna and one dolphin will earn the top prize of $5,000 in the tournament.
While wahoo and blackfin tuna have been commonly caught in recent weeks when boats could get offshore, dolphin catches have been sporadic. In short, while wahoo and blackfin tuna are available throughout the winter and early spring, dolphin are migrating from points south and have yet to arrive en masse.
“They’ve been catching (dolphin) in the Bahamas and the (Florida) Keys but they ought to be there,” said Keelin. “When they come they will be traveling the (western) edge of the Gulf Stream.”
Keelin projects the western edge of the Gulf Stream could be at least 60 miles offshore Saturday.
Lines-in time is at 7 a.m., lines out is 3 p.m. and the scales at Georgetown Landing Marina close at 7 p.m. The first boat to weigh in all three targeted species (wahoo, tuna, dolphin) will earn $1,000.
For more information, call the marina at 843-546-1776.
S.C. Wahoo Series
Despite very few fishable days due to the aforementioned relentless windy conditions, an amazing number of large wahoo were caught in the series, which ran from Feb. 2 through April 15, plus the Hilton Head Harbor Wahoo Shootout which concluded last Saturday.
Georgetown Landing Marina was one of three weigh-in sites for the series.
“A lot of good fish got weighed in across the dock, and that proves (wahoo) are out there even in the winter,” said Keelin.
The big buzz on the docks was created by a 105.5-pound wahoo landed by Reelist out of St. Helena, but Renegade of Mt. Pleasant was the series winner with an aggregate of 156.9 pounds for two wahoo weighing 88.3 and 68.6 pounds. LIQRBOX of Charleston was second with an aggregate of 148.9 pounds.
The Kings Full crew of Conway, led by Jason Johnson, put wahoo weighing 85.5 and 60.1 pounds on the scales at Georgetown Landing, good for an aggregate of 145.6 pounds and third place.
Reelist paired the 105.5-pounder with a 36.5-pounder to finish fourth with a 142.0-pound aggregate.
Nonsense, led by Owen Johnson of Georgetown, finished in fifth with a 139.3-pound aggregate including a whopping 92.6-pounder.
The McMullan crew of Team OIFC out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center claimed sixth place with an aggregate of 130.9 pounds.
Eight-year-old Brayden McMullan was the top junior angler in the series for landing one of Team OIFC’s two wahoo, a 67.9-pounder.
Eight-year-old Brayden McMullan shows off the 67.9-pound wahoo he weighed in on April 14 at Georgetown Landing Marina after a day of fishing with Team OIFC in the South Carolina Wahoo Series. McMullan was named the top junior angler in the series for the catch. Submitted photo