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Category Archives: Live Great Outdoors Blog

Fishing report Nov 21-23

November 23, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Fishing report Nov 21-23


Maurillo Marquez of Cary, N.C. holds a 21-pound, 12-ounce blackfin tuna, a fish that is now active in offshore waters. Richard Ehrenkaufer
Outdoors
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Blackfin tuna bite is hot in offshore waters

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

November 22, 2018 01:13 PM

Updated November 22, 2018 01:13 PM
Estuary

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

Comments: The torrid trout bite continues in local estuaries with numerous fish being caught from Georgetown to south Brunswick County. By all accounts, spotted seatrout mainly in the 12-13 inch range, just below the minimum size of 14 inches for North and South Carolina, are plentiful. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters had an excellent trip on Monday, also catching a flounder, but the trout were the focal point of the day. “Everywhere we stopped we caught fish,” said Kelly. “We’ve been hammering them – some spots we were catching them every cast.” While floating live shrimp is considered the prime method, artificials are working just fine for the trout. Kelly has used Berkeley Gulp Shrimp and Vudu shrimp, either on a popping cork or jig head. “Anything clear, white or white with chartreuse is working,” said Kelly. Kelly’s crew did harvest 12 keepers on the trip. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a superb trip in the Winyah Bay vicinity and points south, also on Monday. McDonald’s crew caught good numbers of trout, red drum and flounder on plastic grubs, plus a few black drum on cut shrimp. The bite wasn’t quite as good but still decent for McDonald on Wednesday, when a cold front moved through. “It’s been pretty darn good,” said McDonald. “This front spoiled it a little for me (on Wednesday) but I would think it will turn right back on.”
Inshore

Look For: Bluefish, sheepshead, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.

Comments: Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters out of Murrells Inlet headed out to Belky Bear, about 12 miles east of the inlet, Monday in search of king mackerel, but they weren’t home in 66-degree water. Maples eased over to the adjacent 10-Mile Reef and found black sea bass plentiful, including several keepers over the 13-inch minimum size limit. “We had a ton of throwbacks,” said Maples. The highlight of the trip was an 8-pound flounder caught while fishing for the black sea bass. Action from Grand Strand piers has been slow for spots, but plenty of whiting have been caught. There have also been scattered catches of flounder, bluefish, black drum, weakfish and pompano. Michael Wallace of Cherry Grove Pier reports a water temperature of 63 degrees at the surface and on the bottom Wednesday afternoon.
Offshore

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

Comments: The blackfin tuna bite was excellent Sunday at the McMarlen Ledge, located 58 miles south of Little River Inlet, reports Jeff Martini of Dirty Martini out of Little River. “The McMarlen was on fire, the blackfin were stacked up like crazy,” said Martini. Wahoo are on hand, too, with boats averaging one fish each on Sunday. With the water temperature cooling, grouper are moving inshore, and the bite is on. “Grouper are good from 17 to 32 miles out,” said Martini. “They have moved in. The inshore grouper bite is on.” On bottom fishing trips, also look for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, amberjack, red porgy and grunts. Red snapper are common on the offshore reefs and ledges, but must be released indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway is glad to see some activity after the well-documented flooding in September. “More people have been going,” said Stalvey. “It’s good to see some life.” The top reports Stalvey has seen and heard this week are from the Ricefields vicinity in Georgetown County, which has been producing good catches of bream and catfish, both hitting worms and nightcrawlers on the bottom. The Waccamaw at Conway was a little high at 9.06 feet at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. The Pee Dee system, however, continues to be in flooding stages, with the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry at 9.8 feet, in minor flood stage, Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Pee Dee River at Pee Dee continues to be in moderate flood stage.

Team scores, despite handicap

November 17, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Team scores, despite handicap


Kevin Vaughan, Alex Hull and Ryan Watson of Surf City, N.C., show off their tournament-best 60.22-pound king mackerel, caught in the Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship Saturday in Morehead City, N.C. Photo courtesy of SKA
Outdoors
Two members down, this crew hauled in winning fish despite lengthy, vigorous fight

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

November 16, 2018 04:25 PM

Updated November 16, 2018 04:25 PM

The Stormy Gale Fishing Team started the Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship at Morehead City, N.C., with four crew members, but by Saturday, the final day of fishing, was down to two.

On the first day of fishing, David Hull injured his back and Ryan Watson his ankle when the custom-built 29-foot Egret hit a rogue wave crossing the Cape Lookout shoals.

That left David Hull’s son, 22-year-old Alex Hull, and Kevin Vaughan to navigate the final day, amid rough seas that caused numerous problems for the field of 84 boats fishing in the 17th annual event’s Open Class.

Hull and Vaughan came through in a big way, landing a huge 60.22-pound king to go with a 32.25-pounder for a winning 92.47-pound aggregate, earning the team $95,000 in prize money.

“We’re just really blessed to get the one we were looking for,” said Alex Hull, of Surf City, N.C. “We were overjoyed. It’s something a lot of guys have fished SKA for a long time and have never done it. This is our sixth year. We were pretty ecstatic about it.”

Carolina Kings finished second with an 87.59-pound aggregate including a 50.93-pounder, Logan’s Run was third with an 83.89-pound aggregate including a 49.74-pounder and My Hooker was fourth with a 78.67-pound aggregate including a 59.25-pounder.

With their two teammates sitting the day out, Alex Hull and Vaughan headed to a live-bottom area about three miles southeast of Ocracoke Inlet where the team had caught a 52-pounder in a preliminary tournament earlier in the week.

After putting lines in at 8 a.m., Hull and Vaughan got the big bite first, with the smoker king hitting a bluefish on a Bluewater Candy skirt right behind the boat.

“The 60-pound fish hit first, skied on the prop wash bait,” said Alex Hull. ”It was something. I can’t get that picture out of my head. We knew it was a good fish.”

The hookup quickly got complicated, though.

“When (the fish) hit the water, he took off straight toward boat and got the line wrapped in the prop,” said Hull. “Luckily that motor was already shut off. (The fish) was still burning the line down.”

Hull and Vaughan raised the motor, spun the prop by hand to free the line and, somehow, the fish was still hooked up.

They chased the fish down with Hull serving as the angler and Vaughan at the helm.

“After fighting for 30 minutes we were able to get to him,” said Hull. “Kevin had a perfect gaff shot on the shoulders.”

Once the fish was in the boat, the duo noticed it was barely hooked.

“It was only hanging on by one treble (hook) in the gill plate,” said Hull. “The other treble had completely broken off. I honestly don’t know how we wound up getting that fish.”

All this happened amid horrible weather and sea conditions.

“It’s pouring rain and blowing while this is going on, (which made) it even more interesting,” said Hull. “I’ve had a nasty cough for the last few days but it paid off.”

Hull and Vaughan drifted over the same spot and caught the 32.25-pounder to complete their winning aggregate.

The Black Pearl, a 25-foot Hydra Sports, won the Small Boat Class with a 46.35-pound aggregate. Dirty South, a 21-foot Kencraft, won the Single Engine Class with a 41.58-pound aggregate.

For more information, visit www.fishska.com.
Capt. Roger Wahoo Challenge

The Ocean Isle Fishing Center is staging a wahoo tournament in honor of Capt. Roger Gales, who passed away Oct. 18 at the age of 48.

A portion of the tournament’s proceeds will be donated to the Capt. Roger Legacy Fund, benefiting his family.

Eligible fishing days are Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, and teams may fish up to two days during that stretch.

For more information, call 910-575-3474 or visit www.OIFC.com.


Alex Hull and Kevin Vaughan of Surf City, N.C., show off their winning king mackerel, including a tournament-best 60.22-pounder, in the Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship Saturday in Morehead City, N.C. Photo courtesy of SKA

Prime season for spotted seatrout

November 16, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Prime season for spotted seatrout


Charlie Nash of Garden City Beach shows off a black sea bass caught on a live-bottom area just offshore of Myrtle Beach. As the water cools in autumn, keeper black sea bass above the 13-inch minimum size limit move into shallower water. Gregg Holshouser For The Sun News
Outdoors
Grand Strand Fishing Report: The prime season for spotted seatrout has arrived

By Gregg Holshouser

For The Sun News

November 15, 2018 05:51 PM

Updated November 15, 2018 05:51 PM
Estuary

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

Comments: It is prime season for spotted seatrout, also known as winter trout or speckled trout, and the consensus is there are plenty of fish available from Georgetown to Brunswick County, N.C. The consensus is also that the majority of the fish being caught are under the 14-inch minimum size limit which applies to North and South Carolina. “There are lots of small trout around,” said Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River. “We’re starting to catch some keepers, but most trout are 13 3/4 inches.” There are also plenty of red drum around, plus black drum and flounder. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown headed down the Intracoastal Waterway south of Winyah Bay and found plenty of fish on a trip early this week. McDonald’s crew caught over 40 trout ranging from 8 to 19 inches in length, with 15 kept for table fare. The group also caught over 20 reds, most on the lower end of South Carolina’s slot limit of 15-23 inches. McDonald used artificial grubs to catch the trout and cut shrimp for the reds. Some of the artificials Kelly used to catch trout included Berkeley Gulp shrimp (white with chartreuse tails) and Vudu shrimp (Cajun Pepper). “With trout, there’s gotta be current,” said Kelly, who noted a water temperature of 62 degrees early in the week. “If the tide’s running good, they’ll be there. Fishing’s really good. If you want to get out there and get your line tight, now’s a really good time to go.”

Inshore

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

Comments: The water temperature has dropped below the 65-degree mark, and king mackerel won’t be available in the near-shore waters much longer. For now, head out to spots in depths of 40-60 feet such as The Jungle, Belky Bear or Buoy City to find kings. “It’s been so nasty and rough,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Fishing Charters in Murrells Inlet. “I’d start at the Bear and then work on out.” The coolest weather of the autumn has arrived, and so have larger black sea bass on bottom spots from 3-15 miles out in 30-50 feet of water. Also don’t be surprised to find some keeper black sea bass at or above the 13-inch minimum size limit on near-shore hard-bottom areas, which are holding weakfish and flounder too. Look for sheepshead to begin showing up on near-shore artificial reefs soon. Michael Wallace of Cherry Grove Pier reports a small run of spots on Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. Otherwise, Grand Strand piers have been producing scattered catches of whiting, croaker, black drum, weakfish and spots. Wallace noted a water temperature of 64 degrees Wednesday afternoon, and dropping.

Offshore

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

Comments: It’s been a sloppy week in the offshore waters, including a gale warning on Thursday. Seas look fishable for Saturday and Sunday, and wahoo is the prime target for trolling action during autumn. Blackfin tuna are also available and king mackerel a possibility. Bottom fishing is excellent for grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, amberjack, red porgy and grunts. Red snapper are common on the offshore reefs and ledges, but must be released indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region.

Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: The lower Waccamaw River is the place to be for anglers looking for bream, bass and crappie, from Bucksport to points further south. “The one location I would go to is the Ricefields,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. For bass, Stalvey suggests working outer curves and well into ditch mouths. Both Pee Dee rivers are on the rise, and fishing is tough. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 8.08 feet Thursday at 4 p.m. and was projected to rise into minor flood stage by Sunday. The Pee Dee at Pee Dee, located between Marion and Florence, was at 19 feet Thursday at 4 p.m. and was expected to rise into moderate flood stage.

 
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