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Fishing Trip Turns into Debate

January 14, 2017 Uncategorized Comments Off on Fishing Trip Turns into Debate


Dr. Brian Rabon and Dr. Jason Rosenberg display black sea bass, vermilion snapper and red porgy caught on Wednesday’s trip aboard Painkiller out of Murrells Inlet. Dr. Jason Rosenberg Courtesy photo
Crew’s fishing trip turns into debate over what kind of shark was caught and released

BY GREGG HOLSHOUSER
For The Sun News

The weather along the coast has been on an amazing January journey over the last week.

Last weekend featured snow flurries with high temperatures in the lower-to-mid 30s, before a fling of spring-like weather arrived a few days ago, with temps as high as the mid 70s along the coastal plain.

Of course, few fishermen ventured out during the Arctic blast, but they were ready to go at mid-week when the weather turned nice.

Conditions were good for the regular Wednesday fishing trip with friends hosted by Dr. Jason Rosenberg aboard his 32-foot Contender, Painkiller.

A bottom-fishing excursion was in the works this time as Rosenberg and Capt. Jay Sconyers hosted Jimmy Kaminski of Pawleys Island, Dr. Brian Rabon of Aynor and Justin Scott Witten of Ambush Sport Fishing.

The crew headed out in three-foot seas to a bottom area south-southeast of Murrells Inlet in 85 feet of water.

The surface water temperature was a chilly 56 degrees but the bite was torrid, as the anglers dropped cigar minnows and fresh cut baitfish down to the hard-bottom area.

“It was excellent,” said Rosenberg. “The fish were plentiful. We reeled up hundreds of fish, two at a time off the bottom. We had no problem filling our limit.”

Rosenberg and company loaded the box with five-angler limits of black sea bass (13-inch minimum, seven per person) and vermilion snapper (12-inch minimum, five per person), plus red porgy, triggerfish and white grunts.

The action didn’t stop there, though. They also caught and released three red snapper and three grouper. Red snapper are off-limits in the South Atlantic region indefinitely and must be released, and the annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure went into effect on Jan. 1 and continues through April 30.

But there was even more action.

“Sharks were all over,” said Rosenberg. “We had to reel up our catch quickly or a shark might get it.”

Rosenberg said Atlantic Sharpnose were the main shark species roaming the reef. At one point all five anglers were hooked up with an Atlantic Sharpnose.

Atlantic Sharpnose wasn’t the only shark species encountered, however.

Sconyers had a lengthy battle with a large shark in the 8-foot range. The shark was tail-hooked, and the crew never got a good enough look at it to positively identify it before the release.

At first glance, the shark appeared to be a blacktip as it had black-tipped fins. But, Rosenberg pointed out, the shark appeared to easily be bigger than the 163-pound, 14-ounce and approximately 6-foot long state record blacktip caught out of Hilton Head in 2009.

“Is it a blacktip?” said Rosenberg. “The state record blacktip was caught in the summer months, and the shark we had on the line was much larger than six feet and 163 pounds.”

Rosenberg was left wondering what species it was and considered other possibilities to be spinner shark, juvenile thresher or juvenile great white shark.

Rosenberg did notice one more distinguishing characteristic before the shark was released.

“That shark, the belly was so white,” said Rosenberg.

Check out video of the shark by searching for great white vs. blacktip on youtube.com

Bird Sanctuary Forum
Murrells Inlet 2020 is hosting a public forum on Jan. 26 to discuss designating Murrells Inlet as a bird sanctuary.

The forum will be held at the Murrells Inlet Community Center, located at 4450 Murrells Inlet Road, beginning at 6 p.m.

Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Georgetown, introduced a bill to create a bird sanctuary in the inlet in April of the 2016 state legislative session.

Fishing Report January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017 Uncategorized Comments Off on Fishing Report January 13, 2017

Brief cold snap, swift warm-up allows anglers to dodge bullet

The Sun News | MyrtleBeachOnline.com

Brothers-in-law Abraham Delange and Brent McCord take their children fishing at Cherry Grove Pier last year. The Sun News File photo
BY GREGG HOLSHOUSER
For The Sun News

Estuary
Look For: Black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, sheepshead, tautog.

Comments: Arctic cold fronts like the one experienced in the Carolinas earlier this week can drastically drop the water temperature and really slow down the estuary fishing for several species, including spotted seatrout and red drum. Local anglers dodged the bullet this time, as the cold weather wasn’t prolonged and was followed by a quick warm-up. The drop in water temperature did get fish grouped up in their winter mode, though, as Capt. Lee Thomas of Fish On Charters out of Georgetown Landing Marina found out on Tuesday. Thomas and a three-man crew including Capt. Eric Heiden had a super day, catching a limit of black drum and red drum in the Winyah Bay vicinity. “They were also tagging fish – they had about 30 tags – and they ran out of tags,” said Ed Keelin, Operations Manager of Georgetown Landing Marina.

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

Comments: Winter water temps have black sea bass grouped up on the near-shore reefs within 10 miles of the beach. Be aware of the minimum size limit of 13 inches and daily bag limit of seven fish per person for the species. Cut bait such as mullet, shrimp or squid is the best bait. Look for sheepshead, weakfish, tautog and flounder on the reefs also. Action has been slow on Grand Strand piers with the water temperature dropping below 50 for the first time this winter. Ronnie Goodwin of Cherry Grove Pier reports the ocean water temperature dropped to 49 degrees on the surface and bottom on Monday. By Wednesday afternoon, Goodwin said the surface temperature was up to 53 degrees and 50 on the bottom. Goodwin reported negligible catches from the pier.

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

Comments: The sea turned nice on Wednesday and the crew of Dr. Jason Rosenberg’s Painkiller including Capt. Jay Sconyers had a superb bottom fishing trip. The crew fished in depths of 85 feet with a water temperature of 56 degrees and caught a five-man limit of black sea bass and vermilion snapper, plus landed triggerfish, white grunts and red porgy. They also caught and released red snapper and grouper as red snapper are off-limits in the South Atlantic region indefinitely and must be released, and the annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure went into effect on Jan. 1 and continues through April 30. The grouper closure means no recreational and commercial harvest or possession of gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper is allowed for the four-month period. Also, tis the season for trolling for wahoo with blackfin tuna also available.

Freshwater
Look For: Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.

Comments: The winter storm dumped plenty of rain along the coast, and, more importantly, snow in the upstate and mountains of the Carolinas, causing a rise in the rivers. With cold weather early this week and water levels up, angler activity has been down says Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “The weather over the weekend shut them down,” said Stalvey. “The water has (risen) up a little bit and the rivers are close to flood stage. High water scares a lot of people away. (The fish) are on the bottom (now) so it doesn’t matter how high the water is. That’s what I try to tell ‘em.” Crappie are hitting medium shiners and bream are hitting red worms and nightcrawlers lead-lined on the bottom. Eels and shiners are producing catfish.

Fishing report 1-6-17

January 6, 2017 Uncategorized Comments Off on Fishing report 1-6-17

Those fishing the Grand Strand can expect fishing to be a tad more difficult this weekend, as colder weather moves into the area.
Approach of frigid temps has anglers expecting the worst

JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews
BY GREGG HOLSHOUSER
For The Sun News

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

Comments: It’s been a great autumn and early winter for spotted seatrout, black drum and red drum, with the water temperature remaining in the mid-to-upper 50s. But those nice water temps are about to change, with three straight frigid days in store beginning Saturday. “It’ll definitely drop that water temperature down into the mid-to-upper 40s, and that ain’t good,” said Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown. While water temperatures in the mid-40s can be troublesome for spotted seatrout, the good news is the forecast calls for a quick warm-up back into the 60s by the middle of next week. Before the cold spell, McDonald had good success with trout on plastic grubs (Calbait, Saltwater Assassin) with chartreuse and Opening Night popular colors. Catches of black drum have also been very good on live or cut shrimp.

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

Comments: Black sea bass on the near-shore reefs are the best bet within 10 miles of the beach, but remember the members of the grouper family have a daily bag limit of seven fish per person with a 13-inch minimum size limit. A variety of baits will work for sea bass, led by cut mullet, shrimp or squid. Also look for sheepshead, weakfish, tautog and flounder on the reefs. Action is generally slow on the Grand Strand piers that remain open, with scattered catches of smallish whiting, croaker, perch and black drum caught. Black drum have a 14- to 27-inch slot limit with most fish caught off the piers well below the slot. Ocean water temperature Wednesday at the Cherry Grove Pier was 55 degrees Thursday afternoon.

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

Comments: Ed Keelin of Georgetown Landing Marina notes the water temperature in the vicinity of the Winyah Scarp was 76 degrees around New Year’s Day, with wahoo and blackfin tuna available. Several boats made it out at the first of the year and most caught two to four wahoo per trip. Ocean Isle Fishing Center reports an 80-pound wahoo was landed from the 100/400 area. The annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure went into effect on January 1 and continues through April 30. The closure means no recreational and commercial harvest or possession of gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper is allowed for the four-month period. Bottom-fishing trips will produce plenty of other species, though, including black sea bass, vermilion snapper, porgy, triggerfish, grunts and amberjack. Red snapper are off-limits in the South Atlantic region and must be released.

Freshwater
Look For: Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.

Comments: “Crappie fishing has been phenomenal,” said Ronald ‘Catfish’ Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “I’ve seen some very nice ones, very healthy crappie.” Some real slabs have been landed from the Waccamaw, including one 2-pound, 4-ounce specimen reported by Stalvey. Medium-size shiners are producing the crappie from areas such as creek mouths and deep holes around structure. Stalvey also reports excellent bass fishing with shiners, shad rap, jerkbaits and plastic worms all producing fish. Stalvey notes a bass tournament out of Bucksport was won by an angler with a 15.5-pound five-fish aggregate. “Crankbaits are the hot topic,” said Stalvey. Bream are hitting red worms and nightcrawlers lead-lined on the bottom while eels and shiners are producing catfish. Action figures to slow down this weekend, with frigid weather on tap. “This weekend’s going to be rough,” said Stalvey.