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Fishing Report 12-3-16

Hundreds of fishermen lined the rails of the Apache Pier during an event last year. Jason Lee

Fishing slows from inshore piers, but anglers flourishing elsewhere
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News
Look For: Spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments: It’s been a great autumn for anglers in the estuaries along the Grand Strand. “We’ve had a phenomenal year with the big reds and now the trout fishing is great,” said Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow-Minded Inshore Charters. In addition, there have been excellent catches of black drum with scattered catches of flounder. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service had a super day on Monday, fishing in Winyah Bay and points south. McDonald’s crew caught 36 trout and 16 reds, with the majority of the fish caught on fly rods. “Fishing’s pretty good,” said McDonald. “The fish are starting to get in their winter pattern, with the reds ganging up pretty good. It’s time for them to start that.” On Thursday afternoon, McDonald reports the water temperature had increased to 67 degrees in the bay, but was headed down again with cooler weather arriving.
Look For: Black sea bass, whiting, weakfish, black drum, red drum, flounder, perch, croaker.
Comments: Fishing has slowed along the surf from piers along the Grand Strand. Carsten Fischer of Apache Pier reports there have been decent catches of one pound-plus whiting this week. “We’ve had palm-sized spots and very few of them,” said Fischer, who also noted a few black drum have also been caught. Ronnie Goodwin of Cherry Grove Pier reports catches of small whiting and croakers. The water temperature at both piers was 61 degrees Thursday afternoon. With the water temperature about to move below 60 degrees and December here, look for keeper black sea bass over the 13-inch minimum size limit to become more numerous on near-shore bottom spots and artificial reefs. Also look for weakfish and flounder.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, porgy, triggerfish, grunts, amberjack.
Comments: Find pretty water near the break, and wahoo are likely to be in the vicinity. Ocean Isle Fishing Center reports the Get’n Bent Fishing Team headed out on Monday in hopes of finding plenty of wahoo. The crew wound up catching a pair of barracuda on a temperature break in 110 feet of water, then at the 160-foot mark landed a 50-pound wahoo and missed two more. They then moved back inshore and landed grouper, vermilion snapper and black sea bass. Last week, the OIFC’s Derek Treffinger reports a yellowfin tuna was landed on a trip, along with a wahoo and a few dolphin. Bottom fishing is very good for grouper, black sea bass, vermilion snapper, porgy, triggerfish, grunts and amberjack. Red snapper are off-limits in the South Atlantic region and must be released.
Look For: Crappie, bream, catfish, bass.
Comments: The water levels are in good shape, plus it has been a warm autumn, and the fish are cooperating on local rivers. “Everything’s biting tremendous,” said Catfish Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “Morgans, bream, bass, crappie, catfish.” Look for crappie hitting minnows around structure and brush. Lead-lining worms and nightcrawlers is the top method to catch bream, including morgans. Catfish will hit a variety of live or cut bait.