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Great time for fishing seminars

January 19, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Great time for fishing seminars

As winter rears its ugly head, here’s a way to become a better fisherman away from water

By Gregg Holshouser

January 18, 2019 03:03 PM,

With the first major cold front of the winter on the way, it’s perfect timing to kick off fishing seminar season.

Rayburn Poston, founder and operator of the Student Angler League Tournament Trail (SALTT), has got a real doozy of a seminar set up for Feb. 2.

The event is practically three seminars in one, with one setting each for Inshore Fishing, Nearshore/Offshore Fishing and Bass Fishing.

Attendees will have some tough decisions to make with three excellent seminars going head-to-head all morning beginning at 8 a.m. at St. James Intermediate School.

Numerous local captains and experts are donating their time and fishing expertise to the event to benefit Poston’s SALTT, which features divisions for red drum and largemouth bass with middle and high school anglers competing against each other.

From bass fishing on local rivers to targeting wahoo, tuna and dolphin in the bluewater offshore, virtually all types of fishing available to Grand Strand residents will be covered.

The seminars are perfect for newcomers to the area who are eager to dip into the local fishing scene or seasoned veterans looking to glean a few tips from the pros.

“We hope this will help anglers who seem to specialize in a (certain) zone,” said Poston. “This gives someone who is new to the area a chance to take home a cooler full of knowledge. The very best way to learn is hands on by booking a trip with these boat captains who are volunteering their time.”

Aside from the seminars, the event will feature a silent auction and raffle packages.

“The silent auction (includes) fishing charters from Reel Salty Charters, Marlin Quay Marina, Chilly Water Fishing, Yak Kayak Fishing & Outdoor Guides and O-Fish-Al Expeditions,” said Poston. “(Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters) has a voucher for one youth to enjoy his Palmetto Kids Camp in the summer. The raffle packages will be mainly rod and reel combos and fishing tackle bundles.”

The event will be held Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. to noon at St. James Intermediate School, located at 9641 Scipio Lane, Myrtle Beach.

The seminar is designed for adults and students in the sixth grade and up, with students admitted free of charge.

A Kid’s Camp is being held in conjunction with the seminar for youngsters in grades 1 through 5.

For more information, contact Poston at 843-902-4274.
S.C. Wahoo Series

The Captains Meeting for this state-wide tournament will be held Jan. 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Skull Creek Dockside, located at 2 Hudson Road on Hilton Head Island.

The tournament runs from Feb. 8 through April 27 with three weigh-in locations — Hilton Head Harbour Marina, Toler’s Cove Marina in Mt. Pleasant and Georgetown Landing Marina.

For more information, visit
SALTT Seminar Schedule


8 a.m.: Little River Slam, Capt. Patrick Kelly and Capt. Chris Ossman, Captain Smiley Fishing Charters

8:30 a.m.: Motherships and Kayaks, Mike Eady and Johnny Wigfall, Yak Outdoor Guides

9 a.m.: Matching Bait for Target Species, Capt. Jerry Condenzio, Capt. Crumb’s Outpost

10 a.m.: Winter Fishing Trout and Drum, Capt. Dan Connolly, O-Fish-Al Expeditions

10:30 a.m.: Flounder Inshore/Nearshore, Capt. J Baisch, Fishfull Thinking

11 a.m.: Seasonal Fishing Patterns, Murrells Inlet Fishing Center staff

Near Shore/Off Shore

8 a.m.: Murrells Inlet Offshore Reefs, Capt. Alex Hrycak, Marlin Quay Marina

8:30 a.m.: Little River Offshore Reefs, Capt. Bevan Hunter, Chilly Water Fishing

9 a.m.: Trolling for Kings, Capt. Jeff Maples, Reel Salty Fishing

10 a.m.: Offshore Trolling, Capt. Dan Carey, Careyon Charters

10:30 a.m.: Murrells Inlet Offshore Reefs, Capt. Ned Campbell, Murrells Inlet Outpost


8 a.m.: Fly Fishing, Michael Matthews, Orvis

8:30 a.m.: Adapting to Conditions, Bobby Marks, Bass Pro Shops

9 a.m.: Finesse Jig Fishing, Caleb Hartley, Carolina Hook and Line

10 a.m.: Line Choices, Phantom Outdoors

10:30 a.m.: Topwater River Fishing, Rickey Woods, Coastal Carolina Bass Team

Crew lands massive amount of Wahoo

January 12, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Crew lands massive amount of Wahoo

Submitted photo
‘That’s massive’: How this North Carolina crew won inaugural Capt. Roger Wahoo Challenge

By Gregg Holshouser
January 11, 2019 08:12 PM,

The inaugural Capt. Roger Wahoo Challenge based out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., is in the books, and what a testament it was for the quality of wahoo fishing available during fall and winter off the Carolina coast.

Eligible fishing days were Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, 2018, with teams able to fish up to two days and weigh in four wahoo during that stretch.

The crew of Hammer Down out of Carolina Beach, N.C., led by Preston Davis, needed only one day to land their impressive aggregate of four wahoo weighing 288.45 pounds. Hammer Down weighed wahoo tipping the scales at 92.85, 74.45, 69.85 and 51.3 pounds to claim first place in the event.

“That’s massive,” said Capt. Brant McMullan, director of the event.

McMullan said Hammer Down fished an area north of The Steeples, about 85 miles due east of Ocean Isle Beach, trolling ballyhoo. The crew caught the four monster wahoo by 11 a.m. on Dec. 26 and earned $10,875 for the victory.

Brad Wood and crew aboard Ratz Azz finished second with a four-wahoo aggregate of 248.4 pounds, with the fish ranging from 55.9 to 66.25 pounds. Ratz Azz earned $6,525.

Jeff Martini and crew aboard Dirty Martini out of Little River was third with a four-wahoo aggregate of 234.45 pounds, earning $4,350.

Quote Boat was just behind Dirty Martini in fourth place by less than a pound with a 233.50-pound aggregate.

Perhaps most impressive of all was that 10 entries out of the field of 58 boats weighed in aggregates of 200 pounds or more, an average of more than 50 pounds per fish.

The largest wahoo was a 97-pounder weighed in by Doug Illing and the crew of Salty Fin.

McMullan is not surprised at the number of large wahoo and eye-popping weights accumulated in the tournament.

“One of the cool things is this tournament brings to light the incredible fishery we have,” said McMullan. “It’s really a growing fishery. We’re either getting more wahoo or people are getting more effective fishing for them. I think it’s a combination of both.”

Wahoo tournaments have become very popular along the Southeast coast with events such as the NE Florida Wahoo Shootout out of Jacksonville, Fla., the South Carolina Wahoo Series and Martini’s Hook-A-Hoo Rodeo out of Little River becoming established.

The Bahamas are also renowned for its wahoo fishery and has several tournaments targeting the species

“You look at the wahoo tournaments in The Bahamas, that’s thought to be the hotbed,” said McMullan, “but it’s evident on the Southeast coast there is a population of world-class wahoo – they just live here. It’s all the same fish. They just fluctuate up and down the coast.”

McMullan, who says high-quality wahoo fishing is available off the Carolina coast from August through April, hopes his tournament will join the annual list of wahoo tournaments in the Southeast.

“We had 58 boats and I’m hoping now that we’ve got a year behind us, it will have a chance to grow,” said McMullan.
Capt. Roger Legacy Fund

The tournament was established in honor of Capt. Roger Gales, who passed away Oct. 18 at the age of 48.

Gales was McMullan’s brother-in-law and was a fixture at the OIFC. His loved wahoo fishing, thus the tournament was established in his honor and to help his surviving family financially.

The tournament raised $16,950 to be donated to the Capt. Roger Legacy Fund, benefitting his family.

“There’s a very specific purpose for this event,” said McMullan. “Their house payments are being directly drafted from this account.”

For more information on the tournament visit

Red Drum Still Active

January 11, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Red Drum Still Active

Grand Strand Fishing Report: Seatrout bite slows but red drum still active in cool water

By Gregg Holshouser

January 10, 2019 05:58 PM,

Updated January 10, 2019 05:58 PM
Cubby Weaver of Coastal Montessori Charter School shows off a 4.58-pound red drum caught during the Student Angler Tournament Trail out of Georgetown. Weaver won the Middle School Redfish Division.
Cubby Weaver of Coastal Montessori Charter School shows off a 4.58-pound red drum caught during the Student Angler Tournament Trail out of Georgetown. Weaver won the Middle School Redfish Division.

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

Comments: Well, as of Thursday, the run of warm weather in late December and early January came to a halt thanks to the current cold front. The resulting quick drop in water temperature figures to slow the spotted seatrout bite some, but not completely shut it down. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River reported a water temperature of 56-58 degrees at midweek, just before the front moved in. “That’s pretty warm for this time of year,” Kelly said. Before the front, the trout bite continued to be very good, with Kelly catching most of his fish on Berkeley Gulp shrimp (New Penny). “I think you could throw anything out there, Vudu, Trout Trick,” said Kelly. The captain has also had success this week floating mud minnows to catch red drum on a falling tide along the flats. Even if the cold snap shuts down the trout bite, the drum will still be available. “We’re going to catch reds all winter,” said Kelly. “It seems like the trout stop biting but (red drum) should bite regardless of the cold.”

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

Comments: The Cherry Grove Pier reports catches of whiting and croaker this week, but the fish have been very small. One keeper, 16-inch flounder was landed. With colder weather and water now in the offing, look for sheepshead to make a real showing on artificial reefs such as the Paradise, Ron McManus and Jim Caudle reefs within several miles of the beach. Black drum and tautog may be mixed in with the sheepshead. Weakfish and flounder are also a possibility on the reefs. Black sea bass are also plentiful on the reefs, but anglers should be aware of the 13-inch minimum size limit. The ocean water temperature Thursday morning at the Cherry Grove Pier was still 56 degrees but trending down, with a chilly weekend in store.

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

Comments: The cold front with the strong west-northwest wind pushed any pretty water near the break well offshore, replacing it with cooler, green water, which is not conducive for holding wahoo. When conditions improve, the wahoo will return. “If you find the right water you’ll get the bite,” said Capt. Buddy Smith of Underdog Charters. As Smith pointed out, however, the bottom, or reef fish aren’t going anywhere. Look for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, amberjack, red porgy and grunts, especially in depths of 90 feet and beyond. The annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure went into effect on Jan. 1 and lasts through the month of April. Red snapper are off-limits indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region and must be released.

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: What shape are the local rivers in? “High as a Georgia pine,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. Since Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters hit the eastern Carolinas in early September, it’s been a mess on local rivers. “It’s been so high for so long,” said Stalvey. “The water’s running so hard, it’s wicked. I don’t want any rain for four months. Fishing in ponds is all I’ve been hearing.”