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Fishing report for October 12 2017

October 13, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Fishing report for October 12 2017

A fisherman lands a redfish in Pawley’s Island, S.C. this past summer. JASON LEE
Fishing report: Warmer temps producing equally hot fishing in certain locations

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

October 12, 2017 6:58 PM

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

Comments: Despite a water temperature that is way warm for mid-October, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has had a productive week catching spotted seatrout in the Winyah Bay area. On Wednesday, McDonald produced 20 trout along with two red drum using various artificial grubs on jig heads. At 8 a.m. Thursday, McDonald’s crew had already landed four trout and two flounder on grubs fishing in 78-degree water. “They’re small but they’re fun,” said McDonald, noting most of the trout were in the 12- to 15-inch range. Black drum and red drum have provided the best action this week for Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River. “There are a lot of three-pound black drum about 18 inches and we’re catching slot-size reds in the creeks,” said Kelly. “The big (red) drum are at the inlet.” Trout action has been a little slow for Kelly with a water temperature of 77 degrees Thursday morning. “The water temperature is still up a bit and the trout haven’t reacted like they should,” said Kelly. As Kelly mentioned, bull red drum can be found at area jetties and along the channels of inlets such as Little River Inlet and Winyah Bay, along with near-shore hard-bottom spots in the Atlantic. Anglers are urged to catch these fish quickly with beefed up tackle and release them carefully, being sure they are revived before letting them go.

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

Comments: Finally, sea conditions calmed down enough at midweek for boats to get out and check out the anticipated fall bite of king mackerel in the near-shore waters. They found out the bite was on fire. “It was crazy,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters in Murrells Inlet. Maples’ crew headed to Belky Bear, a hard-bottom area about 12 miles east of Murrells Inlet, where his crew of four caught a limit of 12 kings in two hours of fishing. “We couldn’t get any more than two to three lines in, they were just smoking it,” said Maples, who noted many of the kings were in the 15- to 20-pound range. Maples was trolling dead cigar minnows on King Chaos Skirts. King mackerel have a 24-inch minimum size limit and a three-per person daily bag limit. On near-shore hard-bottom areas bull red drum, weakfish and black sea bass are available for some fine fall action. Michael Wallace of Cherry Grove Pier reports good catches of whiting and croaker, plus a few mini-runs of spots, although the real run of the popular fall panfish has yet to get underway. Black drum, most under the 14- to 27-inch slot limit (three per person), have been caught, with a few keepers. Anglers continue to successfully jig for Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Also look for pompano, with a few unusual palometa caught this week. Wallace reported a water temperature of 77 degrees Thursday morning.

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

Comments: Jeff Martini and crew aboard Dirty Martini out of Little River trolled in the 100 to the Blackjack Hole vicinity for several hours on Wednesday, and wound up with only one barracuda. “It was dead, man – no flying fish, nothing,” said Martini. The crew resorted to bottom fishing and found a good bite of triggerfish and black sea bass in 90 feet of water. On better days, trolling will produce wahoo and blackfin tuna, plus a few dolphin. Bottom fishing should be fantastic in the fall with vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grouper and amberjack all available. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released. Also, red snapper must be released in the South Atlantic region.

Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie.

Comments: The water temperature hasn’t cooled off at all for mid-October, but “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait & Tackle reports some anglers are going deeper for bream and crappie. “They’re fishing 2-6 feet deep – some are shallow, some are on the ledges,” said Stalvey. “A few guys are starting to lead-line a little bit in some of the holes.” The lead-liners are using worms for bream, although floated crickets will still catch fish. Crappie are hitting minnows. “There are a lot of small crappie but a few good ones too,” said Stalvey. “They’re catching good, eating-size bream.” Catfish action is good as usual, with fish hitting eels, bream, shiners and cut mullet, among other cut bait. “There’s plenty of numbers out there,” Stalvey said of the catfish. Bass action has been good with trick worms and Bang O Lure working.

M.I. Fishing community suffers a loss

October 13, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on M.I. Fishing community suffers a loss

Jessica Hill, shown here on duty at Perry’s Bait and Tackle, left a lasting legacy in Murrells Inlet. Picasa
Our little fishing village still reeling from loss of Jessica Hill’s knowledge, smile

By Gregg Holshouser

For The Sun News

October 06, 2017 5:32 PM

A week later, the Murrells Inlet fishing community is still trying to come to grips with the loss of Jessica Hill. For over a decade, Hill was the face of Perry’s Bait and Tackle, a Murrells Inlet landmark that has been in operation since the mid 1950s and at its current waterfront location on the north end of the Marshwalk since 1971.

Hill left this life on Sept. 29 in a manner that was unfathomable and heinous, and absolutely devastating to her family, including her three children, and many friends, near and far. With her departure, a part of the personality and charm of the little fishing village is gone too.

For much of her time at Perry’s, I called to get her thoughts on the saltwater-fishing scene to include in the fishing report I have written weekly for The Sun News since 2003. Her observations from that particular week would come in rapid succession as she went over what was happening inside the inlet, at the jetties, in the surf and at the near-shore reefs.

Many a time I would say, “Slow down, Jessica, I can’t type that fast!” And we would laugh, and she would go over it again, but a little slower.

Customers, from the most experienced local old salt to the tourist fishing in saltwater for the first time, were drawn to Perry’s for Jessica’s welcoming personality, local fishing knowledge and of course her beautiful smile.

Hill was a natural at rig-tying, and was well known for her expertise at the craft that is of the utmost importance to a serious angler. More than a few local charter captains have credited Hill with teaching them the intricacies of tying various successful rigs.

It can be difficult for visitors to find local fishing knowledge, but Hill made many an inexperienced tourist feel right at home in the little inlet, helping them catch fish with her expertise.

“When she tied (a rig or knot), she explained why it worked and she was teaching valuable knowledge for anybody, from a 9- to an 80-year-old,” said Capt. Jason Burton of Murrells Inlet Fishing Center. “She made a lot of people who weren’t very good at fishing experts overnight.”

The Murrells Inlet fishing community showed its support and love for Hill and her family Monday evening, an event Burton helped organize.

“She loved boats and fishing, so we thought why don’t we ride around the inlet and throw some flowers into the water for her?” said Burton.

In just over a day after the tribute was planned, over 30 boats with approximately 200 of her family and closest friends aboard cruised from the Marshwalk to Marlin Quay Marina and back before anchoring up adjacent to the Marshwalk. After tributes to Hill were given over VHF radio, flowers were tossed into the water and a last cast was given in her honor.

Hill was instrumental in having an artificial reef established in memory of her father-in-law, Winston Perry, the founder of Perry’s Bait and Tackle who passed away in January, 2010. Just five months later, in June, 2010, she had accomplished that feat when the Winston Perry Memorial Reef was placed on the ocean floor at the Paradise Reef site located three miles east of the Murrells Inlet jetties.

The idea of establishing an artificial reef in Hill’s honor is being discussed by local residents, along with supporting her three children, but details aren’t complete. Details will be provided in this column as they become available.

Rest in peace, Jessica. You will be greatly missed.

Gregg Holshouser:

King Mackerel Tournament Kicks Off

October 13, 2017 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on King Mackerel Tournament Kicks Off

The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is underway this weekend out of Southport Marina in Southport, N.C., with two fishing days, Friday and Saturday. Submitted photo
This fish is the target in several fishing tournaments as calendar shifts to fall

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

October 06, 2017 3:18 PM

Fall is here, so tis the season for king mackerel tournaments along our section of the Carolina coast.

Before the cold front pushed through last weekend and the relentless wind kicked in ever since, kings had been found along the beach.

Conditions were expected to improve over the weekend, and look for king action to take off.

The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is underway this weekend out of Southport Marina in Southport, N.C., with two fishing days, Friday and Saturday.

Scales were to open at 11 a.m. both days. is streaming live from the weigh-in on Friday (2-5 p.m.) and Saturday (2-4 p.m.). Visit for more information.

Next weekend a pair of tournaments will be on tap – the Fall Brawl King Classic at Ocean Isle Fishing Center in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., and the Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout at Marlin Quay Marina in Murrells Inlet.

In the Fall Brawl, competitors can fish one of two days – Oct. 14 or Oct. 15, with weigh-in closing both days at 5 p.m. For more information, visit

The Marlin Quay Shootout features one fishing day, Oct. 14, with the weigh-in beginning at 3 p.m. For more information, call 843-651-4444.

Last Saturday, the crew of Wahooligans, led by Capt. Billy Goss, won the Shallotte Point King Mackerel Tournament out of Inlet View in Shallotte, N.C., with a 36.21-pounder.

Windy conditions greeted 29 boats fishing in the second event of the Student Angler League Tournament Trail last Saturday in Georgetown.

Noah Payne and Kadyn Kellahanbrought of Andrews High School claimed the Red Drum Division with a pair of reds totaling 8.33 pounds.

Sisters Hailey and Christy Edmonds of Carolina Forest High School finished second with 8.06 pounds followed by Ashton Rouhselang and Lance Cooper of Conway Middle School with 7.98 pounds including the big fish of the division, a 4.39-pounder.

Conway High School won the Bass Division with an aggregate of 9.82 pounds including the big fish of 3.33 pounds.

Andrew Vereen of St. James High School was second with 9.79 pounds, followed by Brandon Porter of Andrews High School with 7.92 pounds.

The next event on the trail is set for Oct. 14 out of the Carroll Ashemore Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River.

Area high school and middle school anglers can continue to register for SALTT events. For information, visit

Gregg Holshouser: