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Fishing report Sept 27 2019

John Duke of Lancaster shows off an 18-inch Spanish mackerel caught adjacent to the Murrells Inlet jetties on Sunday. Gregg Holshouser For The Sun News

Grand Strand Fishing Report: The season is near for bull red drum and king mackerel

By Gregg Holshouser
September 26, 2019


Look For: Red drum, flounder, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service has found a very good spotted seatrout bite this week in the Winyah Bay vicinity, with most fish on the smaller side. “We’ve been doing real good with the trout,” said McDonald. “They’re still small, with some keepers. Most of them will touch 14 (inches, the minimum size) but not over 14.” Also of note, the large spawning red drum, also known as bull reds or, as McDonald calls them, channel bass, have shown up in Winyah Bay and at area jetties. On a Monday trip, McDonald produced 18 trout, three channel bass, three black drum and two juvenile red drum, or as McDonald calls them, spottails. McDonald, who noted a water temperature of 79 degrees, has used a variety of soft plastic grubs to catch the trout and cut mullet to catch the red drum, both channel bass and spottails. “It’s been hot and cold, hot and cold,” Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions in Murrells Inlet said of the fishing action. Connolly has mainly been catching red drum, both lower slot fish in the creeks and bull reds in the 30-40 inch range at the jetties. “We’ve been seeing a lot of 13- to 16-inch fish and a bunch of big fish,” said Connolly. “It’s good to see so many small fish.” Connolly has been using live finger mullet and cut mullet for bait, and has also landed some trout and flounder. Connolly noted a water temperature ranging from 77-80 degrees.

Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, red drum, flounder, spadefish, whiting, pompano, black sea bass, weakfish, black drum.

Comments: Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters hit the normal near-shore spots for the autumn staple of bull reds and weakfish, but found only sharks and black sea bass on a Wednesday trip. “I don’t know if it’s too hot for them or what,” said Maples. With October just days away, look for action for the bull reds and weakfish to take off at any time, most certainly after the next cold front. Bait is plentiful along the beach, and the king mackerel showed up very well over the weekend and earlier this week during superb sea conditions. Catches of kings have been very good off the Apache Pier and Cherry Grove Pier. Pier anglers can also look for whiting, pompano, black drum, flounder, weakfish, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. No reports of spots have come in yet. The ocean water temperature on the surface and bottom was 81 degrees Thursday afternoon at 2nd Ave. Pier, quite balmy for late September.

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

Comments: Capt. Danny Carey of Carey-On Charters headed offshore Sunday on a calm ocean to check out the trolling action in the vicinity of the Georgetown Hole. While he found a few fish on the north side of the famed Hole, he also found plenty of debris which he attributed to the damage done by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas a few weeks ago. “There’s a lot of debris, trees, a lot of lumber,” said Carey. “If you’re going out there, you should use extreme caution.” The trolling was slow, Carey reported. “We caught a few blackfin (tuna), a few barracuda and no wahoo,” Carey said. Bottom fishing is producing good catches of vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, red porgy, white grunts, amberjack and grouper. Red snapper can be found on bottom spots, predominately those in 90-120 feet of water, but must be released in the South Atlantic Region.

Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: “Everybody’s been hunting, hunting, hunting,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle, “but fishing is wonderful. The river levels keep getting better. We’ve got to get these people out of the woods and out on the water.” Stalvey has seen some crappie catches this week, and notes prime crappie time is about here. “The ones I’ve seen have been nice, mixed in with the bream,” said Stalvey. “We definitely should start seeing a lot of crappie, especially with a cool front coming (next week). This is when people really start targeting them.” Look for crappie around brush and creek mouths, hitting minnows and jigs. Bream are hitting crickets and worms equally well in 2-5 feet of water. “Bass are really good on (Texas-rigged worms) right now,” said Stalvey. “Not a lot of big bass but as far as numbers it’s quite amazing right now. Anything that imitates a worm or crawfish on the bottom has been the key.” Use cut eels to catch catfish. “Eels are the hot bait right now,” said Stalvey. “Some of them are using bream and minnows, but eels are the ticket right now.”

Our President since 1999, Gregg Holshouser, is an avid fisherman writing the weekly fishing report and outdoors column for The Sun News since 2004.  Gregg and his sister “Sam” invite you to visit Custom Outdoor Furniture to see how you, too, can Live Great Outdoors.  Click here for more information and to check out this week’s fishing report or find us on Facebook. #LiveGreatOutdoors

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