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Hot days mean great fishing

August 16, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Hot days mean great fishing

The hot days of August and early September are prime time to find tarpon roaming the waters of Winyah Bay and other estuaries along the South Carolina coast. Photo courtesy of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service

Grand Strand Fishing Report: Bottom fishing a solid option with high water temperatures

By Gregg Holshouser
August 15, 2019 06:22 PM

The hot days of August and early September are prime time to find tarpon roaming the waters of Winyah Bay and other estuaries along the South Carolina coast.

Estuary

Look For: Flounder, red drum, spotted seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: Early this week in Murrells Inlet, the water temperature was 86.5 degrees at 7 a.m., just after high tide. In the next few hours, the temperature soared to near 88 degrees in a main channel on the north end of the inlet. On the same excursion, finger mullet quickly died after being cast-netted and placed in a bait bucket. Yes, it’s August. “I think the hot temps has got a little of the low (dissolved) oxygen thing going on,” said Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions. “I think a lot of fish are going closer to the ocean right now.” Still, Connolly has managed to catch some spotted seatrout, red drum and flounder using mainly large finger mullet. He has also caught redfish on fresh cut finger mullet. Connolly recommends a few select hours to catch fish. “I’ve had a brief couple hours of success, the first few hours of the fall and the first few of the incoming,” said Connolly, who has been using a Carolina rig with a 3/4-ounce egg sinker and a 1\4-ounce Organized Chaos jig head (chartreuse). August means tarpon are roaming the estuaries along the South Carolina coast, including Winyah Bay. Use large mullet, menhaden or croaker and deploy them near the jetties or channel of the bay, sit back and wait for the big bite. Although there is absolutely no reason to kill a tarpon, the South Carolina regulations for the species are 1 per person per day with a 77-inch minimum size limit (fork length).
Inshore

Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia, bluefish, whiting, pompano, black sea bass, spadefish, weakfish, black drum, flounder.

Comments: Near-shore artificial reefs such as Paradise and Pawleys out of Murrells Inlet and Jim Caudle and Ron McManus out of Little River are holding black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit), flounder, spadefish and weakfish, with Spanish and possibly kings and cobia roaming the vicinity. Spadefish activity has been high with fish spotted at the surface adjacent to the Murrells Inlet jetties earlier this week. Cannonball jellyfish are the preferred food of spadefish. Spadefish are among the species Tony McElveen reported caught from the Cherry Grove Pier, along with whiting, croaker, pompano and bluefish. The ocean water temperature at Cherry Grove Pier was 83 degrees Thursday morning.
Offshore

Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, red snapper.

Comments: One of the best bets of late summer fishing is trolling for wahoo. When August rolls around, wahoo show up in better numbers along the break, in areas from the Georgetown Hole to the Winyah Scarp to the Black Jack Hole. Of course trolling in these areas can also produce scattered catches of dolphin, blackfin tuna, barracuda, king mackerel and possibly yellowfin tuna and billfish. Of late, the best bet has been bottom fishing, with very good catches of vermilion snapper, red porgy, grey triggerfish, black sea bass, grunts, grouper and amberjack reported. Scamp have been the most common grouper found. Red snapper seem to outnumber the grouper these days, but alas they are once again off-limits in the South Atlantic Region and must be released.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, crappie, catfish, bass.

Comments: “Fishing’s been absolutely wonderful,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “We’ve been seeing a pile of bream. The Little Pee Dee and the big Pee Dee (are the best rivers) as far as biggest size and quality.” The bream are hitting crickets, worms and beetle spins mainly in 2-4 feet of water. Bass action has also been very good, Stalvey says. “It’s been taking some big weights and big fish to win tournaments,” said Stalvey, who recommends using Texas-rigged worms and spinner baits. Catfish action is very good on fresh cut eel. “All the river levels are good but they’re getting low,” said Stalvey. “The Little Pee Dee is low and the Waccamaw is low north of Conway. Be careful out there.”

Our President since 1999, Gregg Holshouser, is an avid fisherman writing the weekly fishing report and outdoors column for The Sun News since 2004.  Gregg and his sister “Sam” invite you to visit Custom Outdoor Furniture to see how you, too, can Live Great Outdoors.  Click here for more information and to check out this week’s fishing report or find us on Facebook. #LiveGreatOutdoors

Local Duo Wins Redfish Tour Event

July 26, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Local Duo Wins Redfish Tour Event

Custom Outdoor Furniture Eric Gobbett of Georgetown is hooked up with a red drum during Saturday’s IFA Redfish Tour event out of Georgetown. Photo courtesy of Capt. Rob Beglin

This Georgetown County duo finally broke through in a Redfish Tour event in home waters

By Gregg Holshouser
July 25, 2019

After 16 years of close calls but no trips to the winner’s circle on the IFA Redfish Tour, Capt. Rob Beglin and Eric Gobbett decided to take a different approach.

For well over a decade, Beglin, of Pawleys Island, and Gobbett, of Georgetown, were ultra-intense while fishing in the series, beginning in 2004. The results were numerous top 10 finishes, but none in first place.

“We’ve learned over the last couple years to just go out there and let the cards fall where they may,” said Beglin. “We now just go out there and act like it’s a regular day of fishing.”

In the second tournament in the 2019 tour’s Atlantic Division out of Georgetown’s Carroll Campbell Marine Complex, the duo headed south to waters Beglin is familiar with through his Inshore Xtreme Fishing Charters.

Fishing on a rising tide, Beglin and Gobbett first worked grass banks along the Intracoastal Waterway south of Georgetown and then headed to a few spots farther south.

They wound up catching a total of 15 red drum using a Berkeley Gulp Pearl White shrimp and one of Beglin’s own concoctions, a homemade redfish magic lure – a spinnerbait tipped with a curly-tail Gulp grub.

Needing two large slot fish on the upper end of South Carolina’s 15 to 23-inch slot limit, the duo caught and placed in the live well redfish measuring 22 1/2 and 22 inches.

“We caught all our fish by 10 a.m. – as soon as the tide changed it just stopped,” said Beglin. “High (tide) was at 11.”

With the action now slow, Beglin and Gobbett decided to head back to Georgetown for an early weigh in.

“We were tired and headed on back,” said Beglin. “We were making a joke out of it. We said, ‘We know we’ll be leading if we weigh in first.’ We figured within five minutes we’d be gone. We’ve sat on top half a dozen times and got knocked down.”

The two reds weighed 4.27 and 3.76 pounds for a two-fish aggregate of 8.03 pounds.

“It wasn’t bad, but going from past tournaments we said ‘No way eight pounds is going to win it.’ We didn’t know it was that hard of fishing (for the field),” said Beglin. “Georgetown’s usually nine pounds (for the winner’s weight), especially this time of year.”

After weighing in their two fish, the duo sat back and watched the proceedings.

“I don’t know how many other teams weighed and we were still in first when everybody else had weighed, which was shocking,” said Beglin. “I told Eric ‘I can’t believe it actually happened.’ I said ‘It’s finally over. We were shaking, just disbelief.’ “

There was one very close call among the other 61 two-man teams that weighed in.

Hank Edwards of Darlington and Ian Matthews of Florence were just off the pace with a two-fish aggregate of 7.93 pounds and finished in second place.

A local entry, brothers Clay and Mark Gallup of Georgetown and Pawleys Island, claimed third place with a two-fish aggregate of 7.85 pounds.

Beglin, who is competing in the Redfish Tour event this Saturday in Houma, La., and Gobbett were fishing on the captain’s Ranger 191 Cayman, powered by a Yamaha 200.

They now have another Ranger at their disposal, a fully rigged Ranger RB190 powered by a 90-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury they were awarded for the win.

▪ IFA Kayak Tour: Dave Jaskiewicz of Wando won the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour event at Georgetown, held in conjunction with the regular Redfish Tour event.

Jaskiewicz fished his home area near Mt. Pleasant and finished with a combined 52.25 inches of spotted seatrout and red drum, including a large 23.5-inch trout.

Our President since 1999, Gregg Holshouser, is an avid fisherman writing the weekly fishing report and outdoors column for The Sun News since 2004.  Gregg and his sister “Sam” invite you to visit Custom Outdoor Furniture to see how you, too, can Live Great Outdoors.  Click here for more information and to check out this week’s fishing report or find us on Facebook. #LiveGreatOutdoors

Steady Catches Despite Heat

July 20, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Steady Catches Despite Heat

Courtesy of Jason Rosenberg
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Catches have been all around steady despite extreme heat

By Gregg Holshouser
July 19, 2019 04:53 PM

Estuary

Look For: Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has had a mixed bag of a week. “We’ve had some good trips and some struggling trips,” said Kelly, who has taken youngsters from his Palmetto Kids Fishing Camp out this week. Kelly has been fishing mainly around the Little River Inlet and produced red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder. The highlight of the week was a 5-pound trout that hit a live mullet. The best action, Kelly said, has been red drum hitting live or fresh cut finger mullet. Kelly noted a water temperature of 85 degrees Friday morning. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown is seeing fishing pick back up a bit after a slow stretch. “It’s been tough but it’s starting to open up pretty good,” said McDonald. While many of the fish have been on the smaller side, McDonald produced spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, ladyfish and bluefish on a Wednesday trip in the Winyah Bay vicinity. McDonald noted a water temperature of 82 degrees in the bay.

Grand Strand Fishing Report: Catches have been all
around steady despite extreme heat
Inshore

Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia, bluefish, whiting, pompano, black sea bass, spadefish, weakfish, black drum, flounder.

Comments: Capt. Danny Juel of Fish Screamer Charters in Little River reports the excellent mid-range king mackerel action of this spring and summer continues. “The kings, right now you can catch all you want in 50-70 feet, 10-12 miles out,” said Juel. Areas adjacent to Little River Inlet such as The Jungle and 65-Foot Hole have been holding good numbers of fish. “There’s a lot of bait balls, a lot of fish in there,” said Juel. The near-shore bottom spots such as Paradise Reef and Pawleys out of Murrells Inlet and Jim Caudle and Ron McManus reefs out of Little River are holding black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit), flounder, spadefish and weakfish, with Spanish and possibly kings and cobia roaming the vicinity. Juel reports Spanish action is very good 3-5 miles offshore in the Little River vicinity. It’s been a slow week overall from Grand Strand piers, with scattered catches of whiting, pompano, black drum, sheepshead and trout reported off the Apache and Cherry Grove piers. However, pier angler extraordinaire Joe Nelligan of Garden City has landed some nice Spanish off The Pier at Garden City this week, including one weighing in at 4 pounds, 11 ounces. The ocean water temperature according to the Apache Pier data station Friday at 11:30 a.m. was 83 degrees on the surface and 82 on the bottom.
Offshore

Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, red snapper.

Comments: The first weekend of the 2019 red snapper mini-season is in the books, and plenty were brought to the docks as recreational anglers were able to harvest one red snapper per person per day with no minimum size limit. Like most other area boats, Capt. Juel’s Fish Screamer III sat out last Friday due to rough seas but fished Saturday and Sunday out of Little River. “(Fish Screamer III) limited out on red snapper,” said Juel. “They were real nice fish, anywhere from 18-25 pounds.” Two party boats, Juel’s Atlantic Star and the New Inlet Princess out of Murrells Inlet, also had solid catches of red snapper along with typical reef species last Saturday and Sunday. The red snapper mini-season continues Friday and Saturday, but after midnight Saturday the species will be off-limits until the next mini-season, likely in 2020. Juel reported trolling is decent, but well offshore. “We’re still picking away at scattered (dolphin), wahoo and blackfin (tuna),” said Juel. “We’re having to fish a little deep, anywhere from 400 to 600 feet, looking for good purple-blue water that’s been pushed offshore.”
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, crappie, catfish, bass.

Comments: “Fishing in general, even though it’s been hot as the dickens, seems to be better and better for the people that are going and toughing it out in the heat,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “Normally right now (this time of year) it’s good but not that good.” Bream fishing in particular has been very good. “It’s taking people an average of two hours to get their limit of bream, I’m talking nice, nice bream,” said Stalvey. “The Little Pee Dee and big Pee Dee have the best quality of bream. They’re catching them around mouths of creeks 2-4 feet deep on crickets.” Stalvey is also surprised at the quality of bass action in the heat of summer. “The bass are still good on topwater, but more on Zoom trick worms and Texas-rigged worms,” said Stalvey. “Any kind of u-tail worm, Senko or craw in deep curves and ditch mouths. If you’re fishing shallower, use the Zoom trick worm, let it sink, twitch it and hang on tight.” Stalvey said catfish action is good on live bream and cut eels.

Our President since 1999, Gregg Holshouser, is an avid fisherman writing the weekly fishing report and outdoors column for The Sun News since 2004.  Gregg and his sister “Sam” invite you to visit Custom Outdoor Furniture to see how you, too, can Live Great Outdoors.  Click here for more information and to check out this week’s fishing report or find us on Facebook. #LiveGreatOutdoors

 
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