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The Catch of a Lifetime

May 6, 2017 Blog, Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on The Catch of a Lifetime

image: men with fish
Capt. Danny Juel and Capt. T.J. Nixon of Fish Screamer Charters in Little River show off the 115-pound wahoo they caught on April 29. Submitted photo
Outdoors
May 05, 2017 2:45 PM
After long fight, local fishing crew hauls in catch of a lifetime
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

Capt. Danny Juel of Fish Screamer Charters was fishing a bottom spot 45 miles southeast of Little River in 90 feet of water last Saturday for the typical reef species such as grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass and triggerfish.
As usual, Juel and his mate for the day, fellow Capt. T.J. Nixon, also deployed what Juel called a “light line” for any marauding pelagic species attracted to the action around the boat.
“We had that light line out for whatever would eat it,” said Juel.

When something did eat the dead sardine used for bait on the light line a little before 10 a.m., Juel immediately knew this wasn’t your ordinary pelagic.
“He took about every drop of line I had (on the reel), 150 yards or more,” said Juel. “I told T.J. that has to be a wahoo, that’s the only fish that will run like that.”

A member of Juel’s crew for the day took the rod and the battle was on, with the fish on an Avet reel loaded with 40-pound line on a Shakespeare rod, a standard set-up for king mackerel.
Although Juel had a good idea what he was hooked up with, it was over an hour before he knew for sure.
“We fought the fish for an hour and five minutes when he rolled up behind the boat,” recalled Juel. “We said ‘Whoa man, that’s a heckuva wahoo.’ We got lucky and got him.”
Juel gaffed the fish but quickly realized he needed help from Nixon getting it over the gunwale. That afternoon at Juel’s home marina – Hurricane Fleet Marina in Calabash, N.C. – the wahoo weighed 115 pounds even on certified scales.
“I’m sure he lost some weight, we put him in the boat at 11 a.m.,” said Juel.
One thing is for sure, it was the wahoo of a lifetime, even for a veteran fisherman like Juel.
“I’ve been fishing 40 years in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and a lot in the Bahamas when I lived in Florida,” said Juel. “I’ve caught a lot of wahoo, several in the 80-pound range, but never one like that.”
The fish measured 73 inches long with a 34-inch girth.
The North Carolina state record for wahoo is a 150-pounder caught by Kevin Elwell out of Ocracoke in 1994. The South Carolina state record for wahoo is a 130-pound, 5-ounce fish landed by R.J. Moore out of Murrells Inlet in 1998.
Far Out Shoot Out
The Far Out Shoot Out, staged by Ocean Isle Fishing Center, opens Saturday, with competing boats able to fish one of 15 days through May 20.
But a gale warning was in effect Friday morning, and Monday looks like the next fishable day for boats to get offshore to catch the event’s target species, wahoo, dolphin and tuna.
The event was originally scheduled for an eight-day run but was extended to 15 days by tournament director Capt. Brant McMullan on Thursday.
For more information, call 910-575-3474 or visit www.OIFC.com/FOSO.
S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
The 2017 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series kicks off next week with the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament.
Fishing days in the tournament are Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13. Bohicket Marina is located at 1880 Andell Bluff Blvd. in John’s Island, south of Charleston.
Next up in the series is a historic event – the 50th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament out of Georgetown Landing Marina May 24-27. For more information, call 843-546-1776.
Meatfish Slam
The 9th Annual Meatfish Slam, also out of Georgetown Landing Marina, was originally scheduled for April 27-29 but was postponed.
As of Thursday afternoon, a make-up date had not been set.
Southern Redfish Cup
The series makes a stop at Harbourgate Marina in North Myrtle Beach, with fishing set for Saturday. Weigh-in opens at 3:30 p.m. at the marina.
The series returns to the area on Sept. 9 with a stop in Georgetown.

Welcome gift to Grand Strand anglers

February 10, 2017 Blog, blogs Comments Off on Welcome gift to Grand Strand anglers


Captain Mike McDonald throws a cast net to catch menhaden to use for bait in Winyah Bay, Georgetown. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews

Abnormal February temps a welcome gift to Grand Strand anglers

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

Estuary
Look For: Spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments: How’s the fishing currently for spotted seatrout in February, sometimes a month when the species is lethargic and clinging to life due to cold water temperatures in local estuaries? It is just great, as Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown found out earlier this week. On Monday, McDonald’s customers caught 28 trout in the Winyah Bay vicinity including a couple gator trout weighing 5 1/2 and 6 pounds. “That’s a damn good day anytime, much less February,” said McDonald. McDonald’s crew was simply fishing with artificial grubs on 1/4 and 1/8-ounce jig heads. “Those are some of the biggest trout I’ve ever caught with my guide service,” said McDonald. “It was just a monster bunch of fish for this area down here. They get them in Murrells Inlet and Little River, but we just don’t get that many big (trout) in this inlet.” The bay was alive and warm for February said McDonald, who noted schools of mullet and glass minnows and saw a consistent water temperature of 54 degrees, plus one area with 58-degree water. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River produced eight trout on a Wednesday trip using Mirrolures and Berkely Gulp artificials.
Inshore
Look For: Sheepshead, black drum, croaker, whiting.
Comments: You need to know exactly where to go, but there are sheepshead and black drum holding on near-shore artificial reefs, including some monster sheepshead upwards of five pounds. Black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit, 7-fish per person) are also prevalent on the reefs, but finding keepers can be a challenge. Also look for tautog and possibly weakfish and flounder. On Grand Strand piers, small whiting, croaker and black drum are being caught but action is slow overall. The ocean water temperature at Cherry Grove Pier Thursday afternoon was 54 degrees.
Offshore
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, red porgy, amberjack.
Comments: There was a window of opportunity early in the week, and a few area boats made it to the offshore ledges and found trolling for wahoo to be productive. Blackfin tuna are also a possibility. Bottom fishing continues to be excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, red porgy and amberjack, if conditions permit. Be ready to release some fish though, as the annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect through April 30, plus red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater
Look For: Crappie, bream, bass, catfish.
Comments: Ronald ‘Catfish’ Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway reports very good action on local rivers for February. Stalvey noted the Ricefields area and ponds off the Waccamaw River at Conway have been productive areas. Crappie have been caught on minnows both on floats on structure and lead-lining. Bream are hitting worms and nightcrawlers lead-lining on the bottom. Catfish are taking eels and large shiners. Bass action has been very good, Stalvey said, with fish in pre-spawn mode hitting plastic worms, jerkbaits and crankbaits. “Bass are hot right now,” said Stalvey. “They are fanning things out, hanging off ledges.” The Waccamaw at Conway was at 7.8 feet at 6 p.m. Thursday and making good tides.

Fishing report for February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 Blog, blogs Comments Off on Fishing report for February 3, 2017


Photospin.com

Breezy, cooler conditions hampering some fishing results

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

Estuary
Look For: Black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, sheepshead, tautog.
Comments: Fishing action has slowed a bit this week, with breezy and cooler conditions early in the week hampering angler effort. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters went out for a few hours on a fun-fishing trip Sunday on a cold, blustery day. At high tide, Kelly and company caught several black drum while tossing shrimp around docks in the Little River vicinity. The water temperature has remained warm enough for spotted seatrout to remain active, plus red drum are schooled up in their winter mode. Trout, black drum, tautog, sheepshead and red drum are all possibilities at area jetties.
Inshore
Look For: Black sea bass, sheepshead, black drum, tautog, whiting, croaker.
Comments: The Painkiller crew braved a cool, windy afternoon for the regular Wednesday trip and headed to the near-shore reefs where they found a water temperature of 48 degrees. The crew, including Dr. Jason Rosenberg and Capt. Jay Sconyers, used fiddler crabs to catch sheepshead, including one in the five-pound range, plus caught a large saucereye porgy, a cousin of the sheepshead. Undersized black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit, 7-fish per person) and black drum were also on the catch list. Small whiting, croaker and black drum are the main desirable catch from Grand Strand piers, with spotted seatrout also a possibility, but action is generally slow. Ronnie Goodwin reported a surface water temperature reading of 56 degrees late Thursday afternoon at Cherry Grove Pier, and 54 degrees on the bottom.
Offshore
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, porgy, triggerfish, grunts, amberjack.
Comments: Offshore action has been curtailed by consistently windy weather. But wahoo are there for the taking by trolling boats when conditions permit, along with blackfin tuna. Bottom fishing is excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, red porgy and amberjack. The annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect through April 30 and red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater
Look For: Crappie, bream, bass, catfish.
Comments: The Waccamaw River at Conway was at 8 feet Thursday at 4 p.m. and making good tides, making for good fishing conditions. Crappie are hitting minnows around brush and other structure, and bream are taking worms and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Eels and large shiners will work for catfish and bass are hitting crankbaits and plastic worms. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry remains up, at 7.9 feet Thursday at 4 p.m.