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Near shore action hot

June 8, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Near shore action hot


Frank Hammond shows off a 24-pound, 7-ounce king mackerel he caught this week off Cherry Grove Pier. Cherry Grove Pier Submitted
Outdoors
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Near-shore action fit for kings

By Gregg Holshouser

For The Sun News

Updated June 07, 2018 07:43 PM
Estuary

Look For: Black drum, red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: A mix of flounder, black drum, red drum and spotted seatrout are available in local estuaries, along with plenty of bluefish. Mud minnows work well for flounder and red drum while fresh cut shrimp is the ticket for black drum. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has had a so-so week in the Winyah Bay vicinity. “It’s been nothing to write home about,” said McDonald. “We’ve caught a few reds here and there, most on cut bait, a few on live bait.” The highlight of the week for McDonald was a 45-inch, 30-pound red drum battled by a customer in Winyah Bay. The fish, of course, was carefully released by McDonald, who noted a water temperature reading of 81 degrees Thursday the bay. McDonald also has noticed plenty of freshwater flowing down into the bay. “There’s a lot of freshwater coming down in Santees and in the bay,” said McDonald. “They’ve gotten a lot of rain upstate.”

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

Comments: Fishing from the beach to 12 miles offshore has been fit for kings this week – king mackerel, that is. “It’s been insane, we’ve been catching them left and right,” said Jo Jo Groves of Apache Pier, where five kings, including a 24-pounder, were landed on Thursday. Apache Pier also produced four kings on Wednesday and one on Tuesday. On the north end, four kings were caught from Cherry Grove Pier on Wednesday, including a 36-pounder, plus a 15-pounder was landed from the pier on Thursday. With clear water and plentiful menhaden and bluefish along the beach, conditions have, obviously, been perfect for near-shore king action. By boat, action has been good for kings on mid-range reefs such as Belky Bear and The Jungle. Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters in Murrells Inlet had a super king trip on Thursday to Belky Bear, 12 miles east of Murrells Inlet. Maples’ crew caught 20 kings and kept 10, ranging in size from 26 inches to 15 pounds. “It was a really good bite today,” said Maples. “I slow-trolled cigar minnows. There was so much bait (on the beach) I (netted) menhaden and was tossing them out there in my spread too.” Maples reports the near-shore reefs are producing spadefish, black drum, flounder and black sea bass from the structure, with kings, Spanish, cobia and sharks also roaming the vicinity. Grand Strand piers are also producing scattered catches of whiting, spots, croaker, black drum, red drum, spadefish, Spanish and blues. The ocean water temperature at Cherry Grove Pier on Wednesday was 78 degrees.

Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.

Comments: Don’t be mistaken, kings can also be found further out, on bottom spots in depths of 50 feet on out to the break, too. Look for kings and scattered dolphin in areas such as the Parking Lot. Dolphin, blackfin tuna and a few wahoo can be found near the break in areas such as the Winyah Scarp, Blackjack Hole and the Georgetown Hole. Find the bait and blue water of the Gulf Stream, and blue marlin and sailfish join the party. As usual, bottom fishing is excellent, especially with calm sea conditions this week, making for pleasant rides to the offshore fishing grounds. Look for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, grouper and amberjack. Scamp are the most common grouper species being caught. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.

Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: There is still quite a rise in the rivers, but fishing continues to be very good for bream, catfish and bass. The Waccamaw at Conway was at 9.12 feet Thursday at 4:15 p.m. while the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 6.84 feet at 4 p.m. Look for bream on the edges, hitting crickets and worms in 1-4 feet of water. Catfish action has been excellent with fish taking fresh cut eel, fresh cut mullet and live bream best. Bass action is best early and late in the day with Bang-O-Lures, buzz baits and Senkos among productive lures.

51st annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament

June 2, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on 51st annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament


A crew member aboard Mister Pete watches a blue marlin breach the surface during last weekend’s 51st annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament out of Georgetown Landing Marina. Mister Pete released three blue marlin in two days of fishing to win tournament, which was the second of the 2018 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. Courtesy of Mister Pete crew
Outdoors
This crew is off to a dominating start in S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

June 01, 2018 05:28 PM

It’s two down and three to go for Bob and Rusty McClam’s crew aboard Mister Pete in the 2018 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.

The McClam brothers of Chapin, owners of the 58-foot C&L with Capt. Alan Neiford at the helm, have dominated the 30th annual Governor’s Cup series thus far, winning the series opener at Bohicket Marina on May 12 and then the 51st annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament last weekend out of Georgetown Landing Marina.

After releasing four blue marlin in the Bohicket tournament, Mister Pete followed it up by releasing three blue marlin to capture the prestigious Georgetown tournament, the oldest billfish tournament in South Carolina, last Saturday.

The series totals through two events reveals just how dominating Mister Pete has been. Mister Pete leads with 4,250 points, followed by Sportin’ Life with 2,450 and Full Pull with 2,250.
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“We’re extremely pleased with the results,” said Neiford.

Glazed and Syked Out both released a blue marlin and a white marlin to finish with 900 points, but Glazed reached its point total first to claim second place.

Glazed, owned by Miles Herring of Murrells Inlet, released its blue marlin Saturday at 10:45 a.m. to get to 900 points, before Syked Out released a white marlin a little over an hour later, at 11:50 a.m., to reach 900.

Blue marlin releases earn 600 points, white marlin 300 and sailfish 200 in Governor’s Cup events.

Mister Pete released one blue marlin on the first day of fishing (May 24), then released two on the second day (May 25) to compile 1,800 points. Entering the third and final day of fishing, Mister Pete held a 1,200-point lead over numerous boats tied for second place with 600 points.

From there, the Mister Pete crew, which also included Terry Caulder, mates George Campsen and J. Rhode, had to sit on the hill and wait to see if the lead would hold up while 26 boats of the field of 58 fished Saturday.

“The suspense, it was terrible,” said Neiford. “We definitely thought there were more than enough people out there with ability to catch us. There’s a lot of talent out there. We were on pins and needles until 3 p.m. (lines out time), but I have a couple happy bosses.”

The 58 boats combined to release 17 blue marlin, 11 sailfish, two white marlin and one spearfish. No blue marlin were brought to the dock.

On the first day of fishing, Neiford headed 80 miles south-southeast of Georgetown to fish an area near the South Carolina Memorial Reef.

Bob McClam was the angler on the lone blue marlin the crew caught and released that day, as the fish hit a deep bait.

The decisive stretch of the tournament came the next day when the Mister Pete crew had three blue marlin encounters in a little over two hours.

They released one blue marlin at 11:10 a.m. and, just after missing the second fish, released another blue at 1:27 p.m.

After fishing well to the south a day earlier, Neiford had changed it up and was working an area just south of the Georgetown Hole, about 50 miles south-southeast of Georgetown.

“In the morning we couldn’t find the water we were looking for,” said Neiford. “We headed north to intercept the good water and we came across the bait that was holding fish. All three (blues) came off the pods of bait.”

Caulder was the angler on the first blue while Sen. Chip Campsen was the angler on the second. Both fish hit trolling plugs.

With a good head start on the field, the Mister Pete crew is in it for the duration with plans to fish all five events in the series, which was inaugurated three decades ago as the brainchild of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell.

“We can’t say how happy we are with the Governor’s Cup and all the sponsors that make all this happen,” said Neiford. “The Georgetown Tournament was great.”

The third event in the series is the Carolina Billfish Classic, scheduled for June 20-23 out of the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mount Pleasant.
Award Winners

The award winners in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament:

Outstanding Billfish Boat – 1st Place: Mister Pete.

Outstanding Billfish Boat – 2nd Place: Glazed.

Outstanding Billfish Boat – 3rd Place: Syked Out.

Outstanding Billfish Conservationist: Mister Pete.

Outstanding Dolphin: Brian McCaffree, Game Changer, 41.3 pounds.

Outstanding Tuna: Carlyle Willis, Christy II, 15.8 pounds.

Outstanding Wahoo: Ryan McFaden, Daymaker, 27.2 pounds.

Outstanding Youth Angler – 1st Place: Chandler Griffin, Gryphon, one blue marlin release.

Outstanding Youth Angler – 2nd Place: Rance Jennings, Micabe, one sailfish release.

Outstanding Youth Angler – 3rd Place: Iain Rhye, Grander, 29.4-pound dolphin.

Outstanding Female Angler – 1st Place: Holly McAlhany, Syked Out, one blue marlin and one sailfish released.

Outstanding Female Angler – 2nd Place: Eugenie Barrow, Legal Holiday, one blue marlin and one sailfish released.

Outstanding Female Angler – 3rd Place: Kathy Baxley, El Tejano, one blue marlin released.

King Mackerel Action Hot

June 1, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on King Mackerel Action Hot


Bill Ellis of Georgetown shows off a red drum caught in Winyah Bay over Memorial Day weekend. By Gregg Holshouser
Outdoors
Grand Strand Fishing Report: King mackerel action hot in 12-20 mile range

By Gregg Holshouser

For The Sun News

May 31, 2018 11:01 PM

Updated 9 hours 51 minutes ago
Estuary

Look For: Black drum, red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: Memorial Day arrived with lots of rain, meaning there has been plenty of freshwater in local inlets and bays this week. “The last couple days have been a little slow, I guess due to the rain,” said Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River. “It seems like it was better before all this rain.” Kelly still has had success with red drum and black drum on ledges of the Intracoastal Waterway. Fresh cut shrimp is a prime bait for black drum while reds are hitting finger mullet or mud minnows on 1/4-ounce jig heads. Kelly notes a few flounder and spotted seatrout have also been caught, but bluefish are thick. “We’ve been pounding the bluefish,” said Kelly. “Those things seem to be pretty plentiful.” Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a solid outing on a quick two-hour trip Wednesday in the Winyah Bay vicinity. McDonald’s crew caught five black drum under the 14-27 inch slot and five red drum on cut shrimp and plastic grubs. McDonald notes a water temperature of 79 degrees on the trip. Also look for flounder and ladyfish in the bay.

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

Comments:On Sunday, Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters headed to the old standby, Belky Bear, to catch king mackerel. Fishing about 12 miles east of Murrells Inlet in 40-45 feet of water, Maples’ crew quickly found the kings were there, but they were small – under the 24-inch minimum size limit. Maples headed further offshore, to the 20-mile range and fished in depths of 50-55 feet. The kings were there, too. “There was a better quality fish out there, 28-29 inchers,” said Maples. “We caught a (three-person) limit, nine fish, within an hour. The bite was good.” Maples also reports there is plenty of action on near-shore reefs such as Paradise (three miles east of Murrells Inlet) and Jim Caudle (three miles south of Little River Inlet). Look for spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish and Spanish, plus be ready with a live bait in case a cobia approaches the boat. Ronnie Goodwin of Cherry Grove Pier reports whiting, croaker, spots, Spanish and bluefish have been caught this week, but no kings. Goodwin noted a water temperature of 81 degrees at the pier at 4:20 p.m. Thursday. Richard O’Leary of 14th Ave. Pier reports a few whiting and croaker have been caught this week, but sharks and rays are currently dominating the surf around the pier.

Offshore

Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.

Comments: Trolling action offshore in areas such as the Black Jack Hole, Winyah Scarp and Georgetown Hole is good for dolphin, blackfin tuna and a few wahoo, but don’t be surprised to see a blue marlin, sailfish or white marlin show up in the spread. Bottom fishing is excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, grouper and amberjack. Scamp are the most common grouper species being caught. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.

Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: There has been plenty of rain over the past several days, including a deluge on Memorial Day, and the rivers show it. The Waccamaw at Conway was up to 9.8 feet Thursday at 3:15 p.m. while the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 6.45 feet at 4 p.m. While the fish may be in the edge of the woods, still look for bream in 1-4 feet of water hitting crickets and worms. Catfish will hit a variety of baits including cut eel, cut mullet and live bream. With the water temperature near the 80-degree mark, bass action is best early and late in the day with Bang-O-Lures, buzz baits and Senkos working well.