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Sharks thwart catches

September 7, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Sharks thwart catches


Ed Keelin of Georgetown Landing Marina shows off a nice flounder caught last weekend in the Georgetown vicinity. Georgetown Landing Marina
Latest News
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Blacktip sharks thwart anglers’ red drum catches

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

September 06, 2018 07:27 PM

Estuary

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

Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown was on a solid red drum bite two days in a row earlier this week, but they got interrupted. “We were catching nice spottails until the sharks came in and ran us off them,” said McDonald. “We had two over slot size (15-23 inches) cut off by sharks on two different days – blacktips. I was about to get the net under the fish and the sharks came up and fought us for them.” McDonald also has caught flounder, black drum, ladyfish and juvenile cobia and grouper this week. Capt. Lin Fore of Lowcountry Expeditions in Georgetown has caught reds, sheepshead and tripletail this week. Where was Fore catching the tripletail? “Somewhere between Myrtle Beach and McClellanville,” he said with a laugh. Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions has caught reds both under and over the slot in Murrells Inlet this week on live and cut mullet on the bottom. “The incoming tide has been great and the fish are really hungry during this pre-spawn time,” said Connolly. Connolly also has observed “some really nice shrimp starting to show up” in the creeks. “Once the water temperatures drop back into the 70s, we should see a big increase in (spotted seatrout) activity,” Connolly said.

Inshore

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

Comments: September is known to kick off prime fall pier fishing along the Grand Strand, but as of Wednesday, the ocean water temperature at the Cherry Grove Pier was still 86 degrees. Balmy water aside, Michael Wallace of the pier reports increased activity from blues and Spanish mackerel this week. “It starting to pick up on the end,” said Wallace. “They’ve been catching blues and Spanish in pretty good numbers.” Wallace also notes a good number of mostly small whiting and some pompano have also been caught. Spots such as Paradise Reef, 10-Mile Reef and Belkie Bear, plus other spots in depths of 30-60 feet are holding Spanish and king mackerel. Artificial reefs such as Paradise, Jim Caudle and Ron McManus are producing spadefish, flounder, black sea bass and weakfish with Spanish and kings also in the vicinity. Sea conditions look great for the 2018 Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shoot Out, based out of Marlin Quay Marina and Murrells Inlet, with the Captains Meeting Friday evening and fishing set for Saturday. Call 843-651-4444 for more information.
Offshore

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

Comments: Wahoo and blackfin tuna plus a few dolphin are available along the break from areas such as the Georgetown Hole, Winyah Scarp and Black Jack Hole. Of course, sailfish and possibly blue marlin are also occasionally encountered. Bottom fishing is very good for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, red porgy, amberjack and grouper, especially scamp. Red snapper are also being caught but must be released in the South Atlantic Region.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: The action is slow on local rivers, says Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway, for the anglers but not the fish. Stalvey also notes water levels on the rivers are very low. “The water levels are low, even the North Santee,” said Stalvey. “Technically, the fish don’t have anywhere to go. The quality of fish I’ve seen has been amazing. People need to go.” Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 1-4 feet of water, plus catfish taking eels and bream. With the water temperature still in the mid-80s, bass are hitting top-water lures. With the calendar reading September, crappie action has picked up. “The crappie are starting to take crappie shiners, and crappie jigs are working too,” said Stalvey.

Annual Spanish Mackerel Derby

September 2, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Annual Spanish Mackerel Derby


Russell Baisch, Dan Baisch and Gradyn Baisch were the big winners in the Spanish Derby, held out of the Mullet Hut last Saturday in Murrells Inlet. Gradyn Baisch was the angler on a 4.78-pound Spanish mackerel that was the largest caught in the tournament. Submitted photo
Outdoors
How ‘Plan B’ helped this fishing crew haul in a victory, number of awards

By Gregg Holshouser

For The Sun News

August 31, 2018 04:01 PM

If you’re looking for advice on catching full-grown Spanish mackerel out of Murrells Inlet, the results of the inlet’s annual Spanish Mackerel Derby indicate Baisch Boys Bait & Tackle is the go-to place.

For the third time in the last four tournaments, one of the two Baisch brothers who operate the bait and tackle shop in the inlet finished in the top two.

This time, Capt. Russell Baisch, fishing with his brother Dan Baisch and Dan’s son Gradyn Baisch aboard Superstitious, weighed in a 4.78-pound Spanish to win the coveted Big Fish award Saturday along with the aggregate and Youth Angler awards.

Russell Baisch, the youngest of four Baisch brothers, is co-owner of the shop with his oldest brother, Capt. Jay Baisch, who was among the tournament’s winning crew in 2014 and finished second in 2016. The tournament, based out of the Mullet Hut on the Marshwalk, was canceled in 2017 due to rough seas.

Superstitious is a 28-foot catamaran owned by Chad McIntosh of Murrells Inlet, and it was a good day to be on a big boat, as a stiff northeast wind churned up dicey seas for boats competing in the tournament.

Russell Baisch didn’t want to be specific on the area he chose to fish, but the Baisch trio headed to a hard-bottom area located east-northeast of the Murrells Inlet jetties, right into the teeth of the wind.

The crew had intentions of live-chumming with finger mullet to get large Spanish mackerel fired up, but nixed that idea.

“We had 2,000 finger mullet in the live well and didn’t even throw ‘em out,” said Russell Baisch. “We thought the ocean wasn’t good enough for it – 15-20 out of the northeast with three-foot seas and choppy.”

The Baisch boys wisely had a Plan B – slow-trolling cigar minnows.

“Because of the sea conditions, a lot of people resorted to spoons,” said Russell Baisch. “We kept trolling bigger baits, hoping for a big one.”

The big one came in the form of a nice 4.78-pound Spanish, with 13-year-old Gradyn Baisch serving as the angler.

The fish wound up winning the crew the Big Spanish award, earned Gradyn the Junior Angler award, and was key in the winning 10.32-pound aggregate (three fish).

In all, they caught four Spanish and one king (17.76 pounds).

“The first (Spanish) we caught was 3.5 pounds, so we knew we had something decent,” said Russell Baisch. “The second fish was the king, the third fish was the 4.78. After that we caught a pair of Spanish at one pound each.”

Eddie Fisher aboard Warrior finished second with a 4.15-pound Spanish, followed by Brian Reynolds aboard Outcast with a 3.95-pounder.

Russell and Jay Baisch opened their bait and tackle shop after the building was left vacant following the death of David Altman, known as Big Dave, who passed away unexpectedly in January and was owner/operator of Big Dave’s Bait & Tackle at the location.

The Baisch boys saw a need to fill the void left in Altman’s untimely absence. And, like Altman, they are happy to offer quality fishing advice to their customers.

“We just wanted somewhere locals could come and have a family atmosphere,” said Russell Baisch. “We’ve got a big local base of friends that fish, and we wanted to bring local back to the bait business, really just give good honest information. Every day we have someone come in here and thank us for the info.”
Marlin Quay Shootout

The 2018 Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shoot Out is set for next weekend out of Marlin Quay Marina and Murrells Inlet.

The tournament marks the fourth and final event in the Southern Kingfish Association’s Division 3 (South Carolina).

“Kingfishing has been excellent,” said Chris Lawhon of Marlin Quay Marina. “Hopefully it holds through next week. We’ll see.”

Lawhon noted fishing teams don’t have to be members of SKA to compete in the tournament.

First place for the largest king mackerel weighed in is $15,000 guaranteed.

A mandatory captains meeting is scheduled for Friday (Sept. 7) at 6 p.m. Fishing is set for Saturday (Sept. 8), with scales closing at 6 p.m., and the awards ceremony to follow at 7 p.m.

Lawhon noted all proceeds of the tournament go to the Garden City Chapel Youth Ministries.

For more information, call 843-651-4444.
SALTT’s Back

School is back in session for the 2018-19 school year across South Carolina, and that means Coach, or Capt., Rayburn Poston is in action.

Poston’s Student Angler League Tournament Trail, well known as SALTT, is about to get rolling into its fifth year of youth fishing tournaments.

SALTT features divisions for red drum and largemouth bass, with middle and high school anglers competing against each other.

The SALTT, as Poston calls the trail, has consistently grown since its inception in 2014.

“We expect to have over 100 kids representing about 30-35 schools in mainly Horry and Georgetown counties, and the Charleston area,” said Poston.

The trail officially begins with the first tournament on Sept. 15, with other fall tournaments set for Oct. 20 and Nov. 3. All SALTT tournaments are held out of the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River in Georgetown.

But first, Poston has a doozey of a pre-season event set up for Saturday, Sept. 8.

Poston’s Student Angler Pre-Season Kickoff Tourney will be held out of Bucksport Marina, with bass divisions for both high school and middle school anglers.

The prizes to the top three two-angler teams in each division will be substantial.

For more information, visit www.SALTTFishing.com or contact Poston at 843-902-4274.

Wahoo fishing stays hot

August 31, 2018 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Wahoo fishing stays hot


Capt. Alex Hrycak and Chris Lawhon show off a 45-pound wahoo caught aboard Molar Man out of Marlin Quay Marina earlier this week. Courtesy photo
Outdoors
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Late-summer wahoo bite gets hot

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

August 30, 2018 05:12 PM

Updated August 30, 2018 06:50 PM
Estuary

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

Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has produced plenty of fish this week, just not too many lunkers. “I’ve been catching a lot of fish, mostly small fish,” said McDonald. On a Wednesday trip, for instance, McDonald’s crew caught 12 flounder, with one keeper above South Carolina’s 15-inch minimum size limit for flounder. Red drum, most under the 15-23 inch slot limit, and black drum, most under the 14-27 inch slot, were also caught on the trip. The flounder and reds hit finger mullet while cut shrimp worked for the black drum. Capt. Jordan Pate of Carolina Guide Service in Georgetown has had a super week catching tarpon out of Georgetown Landing Marina, including a pair of releases on Thursday. The first of September is hours away and, to McDonald, the end of the tarpon season is also on the horizon. “There’s still some around,” said McDonald. “I looked for them Tuesday and saw some. You’ll see them here in good numbers if nothing happens (weather-wise) for two more weeks. There may be a few scattered ones left after that.”

Inshore

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

Comments: As soon as the competitors in the Spanish Mackerel Derby finished battling a stiff northeast wind and sloppy seas last Saturday, the seas turned nice and superb near-shore action for Spanish and king mackerel was on. It’s been a super mackerel week on spots such as Paradise Reef, 10-Mile Reef and Belkie Bear out of Murrells Inlet and other spots in depths of 30-60 feet. Artificial reefs such as Paradise, Jim Caudle and Ron McManus are holding good numbers of spadefish, flounder and black sea bass, plus weakfish activity is picking up. Apache Pier reports undersized red drum, croaker, Spanish mackerel, flounder and a few whiting have been landed this week. The ocean water temperature was 83 degrees on the surface and bottom at the pier Thursday morning.
Offshore

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

Comments: The late-summer wahoo bite turned hot over the last week on areas along the break. “We’ve had a good week, we’ve had a 76-pounder, a 70, a bunch of 50s and 45s,” said Chris Lawhon of Marlin Quay Marina. “They’re definitely showing up.” Lawhon fished with Derrick Blanton aboard Blanton’s boat, My Boat, and the crew caught four wahoo out of six bites Monday, then for good measure hit the bottom to catch vermilion snapper, grouper and triggerfish. Also look for blackfin tuna, kings, barracuda and a few dolphin to show up in the trolling spreads. Other reef species available are black sea bass, amberjack and red porgy. Red snapper are being caught, as usual, but must be released in the South Atlantic Region.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: With the holiday weekend signaling the end of summer, conditions are in place for superb late summer and fall fishing on local rivers. “(The rivers) are looking good, everything is looking promising,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “It’s going to be amazing coming up.” Bass action has been good, highlighted by River Squires’ 5 1/2-pound lunker that won the Tuesday evening tournament out of Conway Marina. Squires fish hit a top-water lure. “Bream fishing has been hot and heavy,” said Stalvey. “The best reports have been on the Little Pee Dee between Pitts Landing and the Punch Bowl. All that area has produced some nice, nice limits for the fellows who have been going lately.” Catfish action has been consistently good. “Catfish have been good right on, even with the high water we had,” said Stalvey. Fresh cut eel and bream are top baits for catfish. The Waccamaw at Conway was in great shape, 7.65 feet at 7:15 a.m. Thursday, and making good tides. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was also looking good, at 5.02 feet at 7 a.m. Thursday and slowly falling.

Capt. Jordan Pate of Carolina Guide Service (CarolinaGuideService.com) and Jim Allison of Georgetown show off a tarpon caught and released in the Winyah Bay vicinity. The Silver King was Allison’s first tarpon. Photo courtesy of Carolina Guide Service