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Near shore fishing worthwhile

February 15, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Near shore fishing worthwhile

Brewer Cannon shows off a flounder in July 2018 while Capt. Mark Allison of Palmetto Kids Fishing Camp looks on. Captain Smiley Fishing Charters
Estuary

Grand Strand Fishing Report: Estuary and near-shore fishing still worthwhile

By Gregg Holshouser
February 14, 2019 07:01 PM

Look For: Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, flounder, sheepshead.

Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River reports the water temperature zoomed up all the way to 59 degrees late last week, thus species such as red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum and flounder are all active in local estuaries in the dead of winter. One of the main enemies of trout and reds, the bottlenose dolphin, invades the estuaries in winter, and these species can be found in holes and depressions in shallow creeks and on shallow flats to avoid them. Flounder can be scarce in the estuaries in February, but a decent number have been caught of late. “The water has never really gotten that cold,” said Capt. Perrin Wood of Southern Saltwater Charters in Murrells Inlet. “Go to some of your honey holes, work some live minnows in there, and I bet you’re going to catch some flounder.”
Inshore

Look For: Black sea bass, sheepshead, black drum, flounder, weakfish, whiting.

Comments: Fishing activity along the beach is often at a standstill in mid-February, but not this year. Lynn Galloway of Apache Pier reported a warm ocean water temperature, relatively speaking, of 53 degrees Thursday morning. Anglers on the pier have caught the occasional whiting and croaker this week. Nearshore reefs within 10 miles of the beach continue to hold sheepshead, black drum and black sea bass. Also look for flounder, weakfish and tautog. Wood of Southern Saltwater Charters reports a few juvenile red drum have even been caught on some of the reefs in recent weeks. Fiddler crabs are the go-to bait for sheepshead, and will also work for black drum and red drum. Plenty of black sea bass are available but most are below or, at best, right at the 13-inch minimum size limit.
Offshore

Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack.

Comments: Offshore spots such as the Georgetown Hole, Winyah Scarp, McMarlen Ledge and the Steeples are likely spots to find wahoo and blackfin tuna, with less desired barracuda and bonito also ready to ambush trolled ballyhoo. Bottom spots are holding black sea bass, triggerfish, red porgy, vermilion snapper and white grunts. Plenty of closures of reef species are in effect for recreational anglers in South Atlantic waters. The annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure is in effect through the month of April. Greater amberjack is closed until March 1, and deep-water blueline tilefish and snowy grouper are closed until May 1. Red snapper are also off-limits indefinitely and must be released.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: After months of little to no fishing action on local rivers thanks to relentless flooding, Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway is excited to see the rivers come alive during this warm February. “The fish are biting,” said Stalvey on Thursday. “The bream are still deep but we’ve got crappie all the way from two feet to 10 feet with this warm spell we’ve had.” Bass action has also picked up. “The bass are stacked in the lakes, the coves and the marinas,” said Stalvey. “They’re in there starting to search for places to spawn.” Stalvey recommends throwing spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and jigs for bass. Shad are showing up in rivers all along the South Carolina coast, with a hot spot for anglers at the Tailrace Canal at Moncks Corner. With shad in the rivers, a prime bait for catfish is, you guessed it, fresh cut shad.

New addition to Jessica’s Reef

February 9, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on New addition to Jessica’s Reef


Over a dozen large concrete cylinders were added to Pawley’s Reef today in honor of Jessica Hill-Doehner as her parents and children watched from a nearby boat. The popular owner/operator of Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet was killed last year. Her ex-husband, Eric Justin Perry was charged with her murder. Feb 01, 2019.Jason Leejlee@thesunnews.com

‘The best way to honor her’: Family, friends in awe of Jessica Perry Memorial Reef

By Gregg Holshouser
February 08, 2019 08:56 PM

Jessica’s Reef dropped to honor Murrells Inlet woman
About a dozen concrete cylinders were added to Pawley’s Reef today in honor of Jessica Hill as her parents and children watched from a nearby boat. The popular owner of Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet was killed in her shop in Sept. 2017.
By Jason Lee

Jessica Hill Doehner Perry positively impacted locals and visitors alike for over a decade as the face of Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet.

Jessica greeted customers with a pretty smile and a wealth of fishing knowledge at Perry’s, a Murrells Inlet landmark that has been in operation since the mid 1950s and at its current waterfront location on the north end of the Marshwalk since 1971.

In the wake of her tragic murder in September 2017, a perfect tribute to Jessica’s legacy has been established.

The Jessica Perry Memorial Reef is in place as part of the Pawleys Island Reef, located 5.5 nautical miles almost due south (177 degrees) of the south jetty at Murrells Inlet.

Whether it was providing tide information, the proper bait, where to fish or the perfect fishing rig, Jessica eagerly offered expert information to the little tackle shop’s customers.

“What Jessica did for fishing in Murrells Inlet was incomparable to anybody else,” said Englis “Capt. E” Glover, host of the local fishing show Reelin’ Up The Coast and co-host of the Southern Anglers Radio Show. “Look at what she did day in and day out in that bait shop — if you walked in that door you got any info you needed to make your day on the water better. She was always willing to share info. She wanted people fishing and wanted them to be productive (while fishing). She was incredible with that.

“Jessica was just special.”

There have been two deployments on Jessica’s portion of the Pawleys Island Reef site, known as Permitted Area (PA) 11 within the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Marine Artificial Reef Program.

The first drop was in mid-December, when 20 pieces of four foot diameter concrete culvert pipe were put in place on Jessica’s portion of the half-mile square permitted area.

On Feb. 1 during the second drop, observers were on hand on several boats to watch as 18 concrete cylinder-shaped manholes measuring five feet in diameter with 14-inch thick walls were placed on the bottom in 35 feet of water.

Jessica is survived by her parents, Craig and Sharon Doehner, and her children, Liam, Aden and Bella Perry, who were all on hand on a perfect, balmy winter day to see the second deployment on the reef.

“It just felt really, really wonderful to have this time and remember her,” said Sharon Doehner. “These were things that were so important and close to her heart.”

Claire Collins, manager of Perry’s Bait and Tackle who spearheaded the drive to create the reef in Jessica’s honor, also witnessed the reef deployment.

“Jessica loved the ocean, she loved the people who fished it, she loved all the inhabitants inside of it,” said Collins. “We just thought it was the best way to honor her.

“In 20 or 30 years if (her children) want to go fish the Pawleys Island Reef, where their mother’s memorial reef is, that’s there for them.”

Jessica’s reef is likely not yet complete, however.

“We do a half-dozen deployments in that (Horry-Georgetown County) area each year,” said Bob Martore, S.C. DNR’s Artificial Reef Coordinator. “It’s very likely we will do more deployments on that site.”

Springlike weather brings fishing surge

February 8, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Springlike weather brings fishing surge


Nathan Richardson of Conway shows off a red drum caught in the Winyah Bay vicinity Wednesday with Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service. Photo courtesy of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Angler activity surges with spring-like weather conditions

By Gregg Holshouser

February 07, 2019 06:13 PM

Look For: Spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, flounder, sheepshead.

Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown took brothers Nathan and Jacob Richardson of Conway out Wednesday amid spring-like weather conditions. McDonald noted a general water temperature reading of 57 degrees, except right in Winyah Bay’s main channel, which was 49 degrees due to cold freshwater flowing down the rivers. McDonald targeted spotted seatrout to start then changed tactics. “We caught those little fellows (trout) and tried something else,” said McDonald. Red drum were McDonald’s Plan B and the crew caught 25, with most measuring within South Carolina’s 15-23 inch slot limit. “Most were in the slot with 1 or 2 undersize and several over the slot,” said McDonald. The reds were caught on cut shrimp on a Carolina rig along with soft plastics. Capt. Chris Ossman of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters found reds receptive on the flats on an outgoing tide in the Little River vicinity Wednesday. The reds hit Vudu shrimp and Berkeley Gulp shrimp in the shallows on the Intracoastal Waterway in clear water.
Inshore

Look For: Black sea bass, sheepshead, black drum, flounder, weakfish, whiting.

Comments: Nearshore reefs such as Paradise, Pawleys, Jim Caudle, Ron McManus and the newest addition to the Pawleys Reef, the Jessica Perry Memorial Reef, are holding sheepshead and black drum. Fiddler crabs are the go-to bait for sheepshead, and black drum will hit fiddlers and shrimp. Black sea bass numbers are good on the reefs but be aware of the 13-inch minimum size limit. Other possibilities on the reefs are tautog, weakfish and flounder. Micheal Wallace of Cherry Grove Pier reports very good angler activity this week with the balmy February weather, but only a few smallish whiting have been caught. Wallace noted warm – for February – ocean water temperatures including 55 on the surface and 52 on the bottom Thursday afternoon.
Offshore

Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.

Comments: Greg Coleman of Greenville headed out on his 30 Sportsman on a calm ocean Wednesday and was joined by Capt. Englis Glover, Capt. Justin Witten and Capt. Adam Goodwin. “We went through five bags of ballyhoo, and had one blackfin (tuna) and one wahoo bite,” said Glover. “There were lots of bonito and barracuda. The ocean was beautiful. Two to 3 miles from the Winyah Scarp the water temperature jumped up six degrees (into the 70s). Everything was perfect except I don’t think the fish were feeding.” On the way in, the crew stopped in the Parking Lot in 105-110 feet of water and, as Glover says, “went to the grocery store,” catching black sea bass, triggerfish, red porgy, vermilion snapper. They also released a 20-plus inch red snapper. Numerous closures remain in effect for reef species in South Atlantic waters. The annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure is in effect through the month of April. Greater amberjack is closed until March 1, and deep-water blueline tilefish and snowy grouper are closed until May 1. Red snapper are also off-limits indefinitely and must be released.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: With water levels trending down, fishing action has ramped up on the Waccamaw River. “Fishing is on fire,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle. “The Waccamaw is (producing) the nicer quality of fish.” Anglers are lead-lining on the bottom with worms to catch bream. Catfish are hitting large shiners, plus cut shad. Crappie are taking medium shiners. Stalvey recommends using crankbaits and shaky heads for bass. The Waccamaw at Conway was at 8.83 feet Thursday at 2 p.m. and trending down.