Fishing is being done on Pier 14 and 2nd Avenue Pier after about five or six sharks were seen in a school of fish at 63 Avenue North in Myrtle Beach on June 13. Janet Blackmon Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
June 15, 2017 7:31 PM
Fishing report: Flounder, black drum offer anglers plenty options in local estuaries
By Gregg HolshouserEstuary
Look For: Flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters reports fishing is very good in the estuaries in the Little River area. “We’ve had some great trips the last few days,” said Kelly, who has fished the Sunset Beach, Little River Inlet and Dunn Sound areas. Kelly has caught smaller spotted seatrout on live shrimp on popping corks and used top-water lures such as Mirrolures to land larger trout. Kelly has used live shrimp on a 1/4-ounce jig head to catch black drum and flounder, and cut mullet on the same jig head to target red drum. Flounder have also been receptive to Berkeley Gulp Shrimp and Shad (pearl white). Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a solid trip on Wednesday catching red drum and croaker while floating cut shrimp in Winyah Bay. McDonald noted a water temperature of 78 degrees on the trip. Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters has had solid success with flounder and black drum this week in Murrells Inlet.
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, flounder, black sea bass, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, flounder, black drum, red drum.
Comments: Kings were very active on the mid-range bottom spots such as Belky Bear and the Jungle early this week, but catches slowed in the last few days. The slow-down is temporary though, and look for concentrations of kings in depths of 50 feet and beyond, hitting slow-trolled live bait such as menhaden or dead bait such as cigar minnows. Don’t be mistaken though, kings can be found anywhere from the beach on out where baitfish is prevalent. Maples of Reel Salty Charters has had best success on down-riggers. The near-shore bottom spots are holding spadefish, weakfish, black sea bass and flounder. “There are some good size flounder showing up,” said Maples, who caught a 3.8-pounder on Monday. There have been scattered catches of several species on Grand Strand piers including whiting, croaker, spots, blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder, pompano and the occasional black or red drum. Scott Skrzydlinski of Cherry Grove Pier reported a surface water temperature of 80 degrees with a bottom temperature of 79 late Thursday afternoon. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released.
Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, grouper, amberjack, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts.
Comments: As we get deeper into June, dolphin are becoming more scattered, as is expected at this time. “The dolphin are kind of sporadic,” said Ed Keelin, general manager of Georgetown Landing Marina. “If you find them you can get them good but it’s kind of spotty.” A few tuna and wahoo have accented the catches for trolling boats. “I think the wahoo and some dolphin have pushed into that shallower water,” said Keelin. “You should be be able to catch some scattered in with the kings in 90 feet of water.” Look for sailfish encounters to be on the rise. Bottom fishing is very good at present, especially in depths of 90 feet and beyond. Look for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, amberjack and grouper. Red snapper must be released in the South Atlantic region. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released.
Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie.
Comments: The Little Pee Dee River has dropped to a very fishable level and the bream-fishing fanatics have taken advantage this week. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 4.54 feet Thursday, and anglers have been catching limits of bream, including bluegill, warmouth and shellcracker. Look for fish in 2-4 feet of water along the banks, with most anglers floating crickets and some using worms. “The fishing’s been really good,” said Ronald Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “The Waccamaw, the Little Pee Dee, Black River, Ricefields, they’re all on fire right now.” Stalvey was actually glad – for the Little Pee Dee’s sake – to see rain in the forecast. “I’m kinda glad we’re getting the rain,” said Stalvey. “The Little Pee Dee was falling so fast it was going to dry up.” Stalvey also said catfish activity is very good with fish hitting a variety of bait including eels, black salties and goldfish
Dennis Anderson TNS
June 08, 2017 3:32 PM
This week’s Myrtle Beach-area fishing report
By Gregg HolshouserEstuary
Look For: Flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments: It’s been a week full of dodging rain showers for anglers fishing the bays, inlets and sounds from Georgetown to Brunswick County, N.C., with a significant cool-down the last few days. The temperatures Thursday morning were in the upper 50s, a real rarity for the second week in June, with a north-northeast wind at 15-25 mph to boot. “I’m still trying to thaw out,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters after a Thursday morning trip in Murrells Inlet. “With the wind and moisture, that’s what was so bad.” Maples fishes the near-shore waters in the ocean when conditions permit, but on this day stayed in the inlet, caught two short flounder and then ended the trip short on request of his customers. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Charters in Little River has had solid success with spotted seatrout, red drum and black drum despite the rain this week. Kelly has used cut mullet for the red drum and shrimp for the black drum. Kelly noted the water temperature had dropped to 74 as of midday Thursday. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had marginal catches of red drum, spotted seatrout and black drum on Tuesday in the Winyah Bay vicinity using mud minnows, shrimp and cut menhaden for bait. McDonald noted a water temperature of 78 degrees Tuesday before the cold front arrived.
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.
Comments: The windy, rainy stretch has kept most boats off the inshore waters, but the action Maples found before the front last Sunday gives an idea of what’s in store once conditions return to normal in a few days. First, Maples limited out on king mackerel and added a 4.4-pound Spanish mackerel at Belky Bear, a bottom spot about 12 miles offshore. With some time still left on the trip, Maples found jelly balls and deployed them at Paradise Reef, where his crew caught spadefish on the jelly balls plus flounder and weakfish on the bottom. Michael Wallace of Cherry Grove Pier reports anglers had a good day Wednesday in the rain catching Spanish mackerel and bluefish, including some large ones, by jigging mackerel trees and casting Gotcha plugs. Anglers fishing on the bottom at the pier have caught whiting, a few spots, small black drum and one large red drum. Wallace noted a cooler water temperature of 75 degrees on the surface and 76 on the bottom. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released.
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.
Comments: The rainy, stormy weather has kept most boats from venturing offshore this week, and the north wind that kicked in Thursday morning produced a gale warning. Conditions were set to improve starting Saturday, with a favorable east-southeast wind in the forecast. Dolphin are still the best bet for trolling boats, although numbers of fish caught has slowed overall of late. Blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish and barracuda are also in the trolling mix. Bottom fishing is very good for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts, grouper and amberjack, especially in depths of 90-plus feet. Scamp are the most common grouper species being caught, with gag and red grouper also available. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released.
Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments: Despite an overload of rain from Monday through Wednesday, the river levels are still in decent shape. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 6.48 feet at 1 p.m. Thursday while the Waccamaw at Conway was at 8.6 feet. Both rivers were forecast to slowly recede. “Fishing’s still great,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. One of Stalvey’s customers caught a limit of bream – bluegill with four shellcracker – on the Little Pee Dee on a rainy Wednesday. The fish were caught on worms in four feet of water. In general, look for bream in 2-4 feet of water hitting crickets and worms. “Bass have been biting good still and there’s a lot of catfish being caught,” said Stalvey
The crew of Artemis celebrates winning the 50th annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. Cameron Rhodes South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
June 02, 2017 5:25 PM
Time of the essence in Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament
By Gregg HolshouserCapt. Legare Smith of Artemis knew winning the prestigious 50th annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament could come down to a quick catch and release last Saturday.
The first day of fishing was canceled due to rough seas on May 25, leaving the 44 boats competing in the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series event with two days to fish two. On May 26, Legal Holiday released two sailfish and a white marlin for 700 points and eight other boats released a blue marlin for 600 points.
A mere 100 points separated the top nine boats as last Saturday dawned at Georgetown Landing Marina, with the title of the golden anniversary of South Carolina’s oldest billfish tournament hanging in the balance.
“I just knew if we wanted to be in the running, we needed to catch one early,” said Smith, captain for Artemis owner John Darby of Charleston.
After leaving the dock at 5 a.m. on Friday, Smith decided on an earlier departure Saturday to the same area where the crew had released a blue marlin the previous day.
“There was an eddy with some south current to it, north of the (Winyah) Scarp,” said Smith. “We left at 4:15 a.m. to have time to look around. Luckily I sat down right on top of one. Lines were in at 8 a.m. and we were hooked up at 8:05 a.m.”
Just after dropping the lines back, the crew watched a blue marlin approach a squid chain teaser.
“We pitched him a Spanish mackerel with a big ol’ circle hook,” said Smith.
Tommy Chimento, a high school fishing buddy of Darby, took the rod – 50-pound standup gear – to battle the estimated 300-pounder.
“We were on that fish for an hour,” said Smith. “The fish went deep so we couldn’t catch it quick. We all just kind of rooted Tommy on. He was strapped in and it was all him working the fish up.”
The Artemis crew released the blue at 9:34 a.m., and, sure enough, time was of the essence. Artemis, Anticipation and Chasin all finished the tournament with 1,200 points after releasing two blue marlin, one each day.
Anticipation, owned by Paul Coury and captained by Harvey Shiflet, released its blue marlin at 10:51 a.m. Chasin, owned by Smyth McKissick and captained by Bennett Griffin, released its blue at 12:56 p.m.
Earliest time of release was the deciding factor, and Artemis declared the winner with Anticipation taking second place. Chasin was third.
“Time was the big thing,” said Smith. “We got lucky and got our bite early.”
Artemis also received the Outstanding Billfish Conservationist award.
Darby, Smith and crew weren’t sure of the outcome of the tournament until they returned within phone range approaching the jetties at Winyah Bay Saturday evening.
“When I turned my phone on, I had already received congrats on voicemail,” said Smith.
Smith has a long history with the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, dating back to when he was a 15-year-old fishing aboard Petrel.
“It’s cool to win the Georgetown Tournament,” said Smith. “It’s a classic, one that’s been around forever. I’m 42 and it’s been going on longer than me.”
The two days of fishing produced 16 blue marlin releases with five sailfish and four white marlin also released. One blue marlin was brought to the dock but was under the 105-inch minimum size to be eligible for Governor’s Cup events.
Angler Robby Harrison aboard Tina’s Trippin’ weighed in the largest dolphin, a 51.2-pounder, while Tripp Johnston aboard Big Sky caught the largest wahoo, a 38.6-pounder. No tuna were weighed in.
Johnston is the nephew of Big Sky owner and captain Jim Johnston of Georgetown, who has fished in all 50 Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournaments.
Before the tournament, all competing boats received a vintage lure made by tournament founder, and Johnston’s late friend, Wallace Pate. The first boat to catch a blue marlin on one of Pate’s lures was in line to receive $2,000 and a trophy in honor of Pate.
Fittingly, Johnston and the Big Sky crew were the first boat to catch a blue marlin on one of Pate’s lures.
“We caught the only (wahoo), and we caught a 103-inch blue that we released that won the Wallace Pate trophy,” said Johnston. “The tournament itself went off well, the only glitch was the weather.”
Johnston was already eyeing another milestone.
“I’m planning on fishing No. 60 but I’m taking it one year at a time,” Johnston said.
Other award winners included:
1st Place Youth Angler: Sam Daly, 15, Voodoo Child, white marlin release
2nd Place Youth Angler: EJ Nettles, 15, Short People, 30.2-pound dolphin
3rd Place Youth Angler: Chandler Griffin, Gryphon, 25.2-pound dolphin
1st Place Female Angler: Eugenie Barrow, Legal Holiday, sailfish release
2nd Place Female Angler: Angie Matthews, Nauti Girl, 20.2-pound dolphin
3rd Place Female Angler: Lisa Loud, Bruno, 16.8-pound dolphin
The late South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell is considered the founding father of the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, and members of his family, including wife Iris Faye, were on hand to participate in the tournament’s awards ceremony.
CCA Murrells Inlet Oyster Reef Build
Members of the local Waccamaw Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association will coordinate an oyster reef enhancement project in Murrells Inlet on June 8.
The event will get underway at the Murrells Inlet Public Boat Ramp beginning at 1 p.m. The public is invited to help. For more information, call 843-455-0371.