Call Us Monday - Saturday 9 am to 5 pm EST

843.651.9633

Category Archives: Live Great Outdoors Blog

Fishing report for June 9, 2017

June 9, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Fishing report for June 9, 2017


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.
Inshore
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.

Offshore
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.
Freshwater
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

Blue Marlin Tournament beats the weather

June 3, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Blue Marlin Tournament beats the weather

image: fishing boat
The crew of Artemis celebrates winning the 50th annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament. Cameron Rhodes South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
Outdoors
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.
Notes
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.

Opportunity follows rough weather

June 2, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Opportunity follows rough weather

image: man with fishing net
Captain Mike McDonald throws a cast net to catch menhaden to use for bait in Winyah Bay, Georgetown. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews
Outdoors
June 01, 2017 5:41 PM
Fishing report: Opportunities aplenty for anglers following rough stretch of weather
By Gregg HolshouserEstuary
Look For: Flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has had a nice week catching spotted seatrout and black drum in the Little River area. “We’ve caught a 4.5-pound trout on Thursday, a 5.5-pounder on Wednesday and several 2-3 pound fish,” said Kelly, who has used live shrimp on a popping cork to catch them. Kelly has also had good success catching black drum using live shrimp on a 1/4-ounce jig head. Kelly’s best success has come in Tubbs Inlet. “The shrimp are pretty plentiful if you know where to look,” said Kelly. “There are a lot of small fish and a few spots where the big ones are. You’ve gotta wait until the current starts moving.” Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has pounded the area from North Inlet and south to catch red drum and flounder. McDonald has used live bait (mullet, menhaden, mud minnows) and plastic grubs to catch his fish. On a Wednesday morning trip, McDonald caught four reds and a few flounder. On Thursday, McDonald had a productive shark-fishing trip and noted a water temperature reading of 78 degrees in the Winyah Bay vicinity. Flounder and black drum action has been solid this week in Murrells Inlet with flounder and red drum also available.
Inshore
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum

Comments: After a windy, stormy stretch, conditions are calming back down and fishing is picking up again. “The water’s still a little bit muddy but it’s getting clearer,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters in Murrells Inlet. Maples has hit the near-shore reefs this week to catch sizable weakfish to four pounds, plus reports flounder have made a decent showing. Also look for spadefish, blues and black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit) on the near-shore reefs. King mackerel catches on bottom spots in the 10- to 15-mile range have slowed a bit this week but are still decent. Maples notes cobia are roaming the near-shore reefs and can be found on bait pods near the beach but cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released. Maples notes pods of menhaden are “everywhere” along the beach. Water clarity has improved as the week has progressed along the beach with catches fair from the piers for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, croaker, pompano and flounder. Cherry Grover Pier reported a water temperature reading of 79 degrees on the surface and 76 on the bottom Thursday afternoon.

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. Blue marlin, sailfish and a few white marlin are also on hand. Many boats fishing in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament last weekend ventured 70+ miles offshore to find the blue water, thus the billfish. Bottom fishing is simply 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: “I’ve been seeing a lot of nice bream, a lot of bass and decent catfish,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “The Waccamaw is catching good fish, (and) the Ricefields. On the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry they’re catching some beautiful fish (bream and bass). We are in a full-fledged summer pattern.” Look for bream in 2-4 feet of water hitting crickets and worms. “In some places they’re in six inches to two feet, around trees and cypress stumps but no more than four feet,” said Stalvey. Bass are hitting worms worked on the bottom, crawl-type baits and top-water such as Bang-O-Lures and buzz baits.