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Fishing report for February 3, 2017

Breezy, cooler conditions hampering some fishing results

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

Look For: Black drum, red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, sheepshead, tautog.
Comments: Fishing action has slowed a bit this week, with breezy and cooler conditions early in the week hampering angler effort. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters went out for a few hours on a fun-fishing trip Sunday on a cold, blustery day. At high tide, Kelly and company caught several black drum while tossing shrimp around docks in the Little River vicinity. The water temperature has remained warm enough for spotted seatrout to remain active, plus red drum are schooled up in their winter mode. Trout, black drum, tautog, sheepshead and red drum are all possibilities at area jetties.
Look For: Black sea bass, sheepshead, black drum, tautog, whiting, croaker.
Comments: The Painkiller crew braved a cool, windy afternoon for the regular Wednesday trip and headed to the near-shore reefs where they found a water temperature of 48 degrees. The crew, including Dr. Jason Rosenberg and Capt. Jay Sconyers, used fiddler crabs to catch sheepshead, including one in the five-pound range, plus caught a large saucereye porgy, a cousin of the sheepshead. Undersized black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit, 7-fish per person) and black drum were also on the catch list. Small whiting, croaker and black drum are the main desirable catch from Grand Strand piers, with spotted seatrout also a possibility, but action is generally slow. Ronnie Goodwin reported a surface water temperature reading of 56 degrees late Thursday afternoon at Cherry Grove Pier, and 54 degrees on the bottom.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, porgy, triggerfish, grunts, amberjack.
Comments: Offshore action has been curtailed by consistently windy weather. But wahoo are there for the taking by trolling boats when conditions permit, along with blackfin tuna. Bottom fishing is excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, red porgy and amberjack. The annual Shallow-water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect through April 30 and red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Look For: Crappie, bream, bass, catfish.
Comments: The Waccamaw River at Conway was at 8 feet Thursday at 4 p.m. and making good tides, making for good fishing conditions. Crappie are hitting minnows around brush and other structure, and bream are taking worms and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Eels and large shiners will work for catfish and bass are hitting crankbaits and plastic worms. The Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry remains up, at 7.9 feet Thursday at 4 p.m.