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Pier fishing good

July 5, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Pier fishing good

Garden City Beach resident Charlie Nash shows off a Spanish mackerel caught off Murrells Inlet in April. Spanish mackerel are being caught of Grand Strand piers this week. Submitted photo

Grand Strand Fishing Report: Piers still providing good catches of several species

By Gregg Holshouser
July 04

Estuary

Look For: Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: High tides have been the theme this week, and have put a damper on estuary fishing. “Fishing has been challenging – Monday and Tuesday were pretty tough,” said Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Little River. “The high tides made it challenging. It seems like everything was kind of scattered.” Kelly found some solid action Wednesday, though, in Tubbs Inlet. “There was some real pretty water on a incoming tide,” said Kelly. His crew caught a dozen or more flounder working Berkeley Gulp white swimming minnows on jig heads, plus red drum on mud minnows and spotted seatrout on live shrimp. “We got a Carolina Slam and some pretty good action on flounder,” said Kelly. On Tuesday, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service fished an area south of Georgetown and produced four flounder, four trout, two reds plus blues and ladyfish, all on mud minnows. On Wednesday, McDonald went fun fishing in the Winyah Bay area and caught three flounder and five trout on soft plastic grubs. McDonald then went meat fishing for whiting and wound up keeping 20 plus three large spots, all caught on cut shrimp. McDonald noted a water temperature in the 82-83 degree range.
Inshore

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

Comments: Catches of king mackerel continue to be excellent, particularly on bottom spots in depths of 40-70 feet. Slow-trolling cigar minnows or live bait such as menhaden or bluefish are an excellent method to catch the kings. A decent number of cobia continue to hang around the live-bottom areas and artificial reefs. Be ready with a live bait or bucktail jig if one shows up around the boat. On the artificial reefs in the 3-12 mile range off the beach, look for black sea bass, flounder, spadefish and weakfish, with kings, cobia and Spanish all in the vicinity. Good catches of a variety of fish continue at Apache Pier. After last week’s run of king mackerel (27 in four days), the king action has slowed this week but plenty of Spanish, whiting and flounder have been caught. A few very nice fish have been landed, including a 6.5-pound flounder and a 6-pound tripletail. Other species caught this week include black drum, spadefish, sheepshead and spots. Flounder catches have been good off Cherry Grove Pier, too, with fish hitting mud minnows or finger mullet. Other species landed this week at Cherry Grove Pier include whiting, pompano, spadefish and bluefish. The water temperature was balmy at midday Wednesday, reading 87 degrees at Apache Pier and 85 at Cherry Grove.
Offshore

Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack.

Comments: Head to the break on out to depths of 200-feet plus, then find the blue water, and dolphin are likely to be in the neighborhood, especially around weedlines. Blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, and possibly yellowfin tuna are also patrolling the blue water. Closer in, trolling is producing scattered catches of dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, blackfin tuna, barracuda, bonito and possibly sailfish. Bottom, or reef fishing, continues to be very productive for grouper, especially scamp, amberjack, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, red porgy, white grunts and red snapper. For now, red snapper must be released in the South Atlantic Region. However, the 2019 red snapper season is fast-approaching, with fishing set for the weekend of July 12-14 and again on July 19-20. The recreational bag limit will be one red snapper per person per day with no minimum size limit.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, catfish, bass.

Comments: After months and months with flood stages being the norm, local rivers are getting low as the dry, hot summer continues. “The levels are very good, if not low,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “This heat is taking a toll, drying them up fast.” Bream action continues to be excellent with fish hitting shallow and deep. The standard summertime method is to float crickets in 2-4 feet of water along the banks and dropoffs, but don’t forget fishing on the bottom. “If you drop a red worm on the bottom lead-lining, you can catch some nice bream that way too,” said Stalvey. “They’re catching them both ways.” With the water temperature well into the 80s, bass are being found mainly in deep water. “They want to hunker down in that cooler water, in ditch mouths, deep curves and tree tops,” said Stalvey, who recommends using a Texas-rigged worm for bass. Early and late in the day, working buzz baits and Bang-O-Lures can also be productive for bass.

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

Billfish Tournament results

June 28, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Billfish Tournament results

The crew of Blue Sky battles a blue marlin beside the boat. The Pawleys Island crew won the Carolina Billfish Classic last Saturday out of Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mt. Pleasant, the third of four legs in the 2019 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. Photo courtesy of Debra Todd

Carolina Billfish Classic win puts Pawleys Island crew in position to take Governer’s Cup

By Alan Blondin
June 28, 2019 12:41 PM

The crew of Blue Sky battles a blue marlin beside the boat. The Pawleys Island crew won the Carolina Billfish Classic last Saturday out of Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mt. Pleasant, the third of four legs in the 2019 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.

The Pawleys Island crew of Blue Sky has designs on winning the overall championship in the 2019 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series and, after capturing the Carolina Billfish Classic out of Charleston Harbor Resort last Saturday, they are in prime position to do so.

Owner Greg Smith and Capt. Jay Weaver, both Pawleys Island residents, head the crew aboard the 2017 60-foot Spencer yacht. In previous years, Blue Sky has fished billfish tournaments in the Bahamas while skipping the Governor’s Cup series opener at Bohicket Marina.

This year, Smith and Weaver will fish all four tournaments in the 2019 series, with only the season finale at Edisto Marina remaining.
Teads

The Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament is set for July 17-20, and three boats are separated from the pack. Home Run is the leader with 2,475 points followed by Jackpot and Blue Sky both with 2,275.

“We’re trying,” said Smith, owner of East Coast Honda and Volkswagen. “If we have a good showing in Edisto, maybe we’ll be in the mix.”

Smith has fished in the Governor’s Cup since 2003 and has yet to win the overall championship.

“It’s something that has eluded me for a number of years,” said Smith. “I would like to check that one off someday.”

Amid a host of Charleston area-based boats, the final leaderboard had a distinct Georgetown County flavor in Mt. Pleasant.

Blue Sky released two blue marlin and three sailfish for the winning points total of 1,800. Jackpot, out of Toler’s Cove in Mt. Pleasant, was second with 1,600 points after releasing one blue marlin and five sailfish.

Glazed, owned by Miles Herring of Murrells Inlet, finished third with 1,400 points for releasing two blue marlin and one sailfish.

After releasing a blue marlin and two sailfish last Friday (June 21) on the first day of fishing, Blue Sky released a sailfish at 12:39 p.m. and a blue marlin at 1:33 p.m. the next day to account for the winning points total. Dan Webster was the angler on the two blue marlin releases.

Capt. Weaver fished south-southeast of Charleston both days and had mates Josh Motte and Bill Turbeville deploy a trolling spread of predominately naked ballyhoo with the required circle hooks.

“The first day (the fish) were in 100 fathoms and the second day the water had pushed into 50 fathoms,” said Weaver. “We pull 4-5 naked (ballyhoo) and 1-2 lures in tournaments like this since there’s so many (fish) besides blue marlin around. We wound up catching the second blue on 60-pound flourocarbon, a small setup with a naked ballyhoo.”

Visit http://govcup.dnr.sc.gov/ for more information on the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.

▪ Pier Kings: Typically the best king mackerel fishing during the calendar year from Grand Strand piers comes in the late spring and early autumn.

But anglers on the Apache Pier and Cherry Grove Pier were treated to an unusual late-June run of kings early this week.

No kings had been caught from the Apache Pier until last Saturday when angler Ron Hayes caught the first one of the year, a 10.30-pounder.

Over the four-day stretch from Saturday through Tuesday, a total of 27 kings were caught from the pier, including a 37-pounder landed by angler Sara Barnhardt.

King catches were also excellent on the Cherry Grove Pier, where 10 were landed between Sunday and Wednesday.

“The water temperature is 82 degrees, and that’s getting on up there,” said Apache Pier manager Calvin Dickerson. “Typically better fishing (for kings) is in the 65ish (degree) range and going up from there. It’s definitely unusual to catch this many kings this late, but we’ll take it.”

Dickerson noted this week large schools of menhaden and mullet have shown up along the beach, ushering in the mackerel.

In 2018, a total of 85 kings were caught off the Apache Pier, with the first one landed on April 28. This year, the first king wasn’t caught until Hayes landed his fish on June 22.

On June 1-2, the Spring King Mackerel Tournament was held on the Apache and Cherry Grove piers with no kings caught during the two days of fishing

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

Mackerel action hot

June 28, 2019 Live Great Outdoors Blog Comments Off on Mackerel action hot

Ron Loveless caught this large Spanish mackerel from the Apache Pier earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Apache Pier
Grand Strand Fishing Report: King and Spanish mackerel action gets hot on north end piers

By Gregg Holshouser
June 27, 2019

Estuary

Look For: Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, bluefish.

Comments: It’s been a summertime mixed bag for Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in the Winyah Bay vicinity. On Monday, McDonald hit the Winyah Bay jetties and caught flounder, whiting and croaker. On Tuesday in the creeks of the bay and North Inlet, McDonald produced four red drum, three flounder plus scattered spotted seatrout, black drum and ladyfish. The water temperature is certainly in summertime mode. “It’s 82 at the jetties and everywhere,” said McDonald. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Capt. Smiley Fishing Charters hit the Little River jetties Thursday morning with a group of youngsters attending his Palmetto Kids Fishing Camps. Kelly and the kids caught red drum plus bonnethead sharks and one hammerhead shark while working cut menhaden on the bottom. Live shrimp on a float rig also produced spotted seatrout. On Wednesday evening, Kelly hit the creeks and the Intracoastal Waterway in the Little River area and caught reds on an outgoing tide plus trout while floating live shrimp.
Inshore

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

Comments: The Apache Pier went from zero kings in 2019 to a virtual feeding frenzy earlier this week. Last Saturday angler Ron Hayes caught the first king of the year on the pier, and that set the stage for excellent king action over the next four days. A total of 27 kings were caught from the pier, ending on Tuesday including a 37-pounder landed by angler Sara Barnhardt. Pier manager Calvin Dickerson also reports very good action for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black drum and sheepshead. King catches were also excellent on the Cherry Grove Pier, where 10 were landed between Sunday and Wednesday. Whiting, blues and Spanish have also been caught from the Cherry Grove Pier. The ocean water temperature Thursday was 82 degrees. King mackerel action is also excellent on bottom spots in depths of 40-80 feet. The near-shore reefs are producing some real doormat flounder along with spadefish, weakfish and black sea bass. Be on the lookout for Spanish, kings and cobia roaming the vicinity.
Offshore

Look For: Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack.

Comments: The Dog Days of Summer are fast approaching, but if you get far enough offshore, outstanding catches of dolphin remain available. “Everyone thinks the dolphin are gone but if you find the blue water or a weedline and start trolling at 250-300 feet out to 800 feet, you’ll probably find them,” said Capt. Ryan Powers of Murrells Inlet. On Monday, Powers fished with Capt. Charlie Mize on Blue Mile and found plenty of dolphin on a scattered weedline in 800 feet of water off the Georgetown Hole. The crew caught 31 dolphin and one blackfin tuna while trolling and pitching chunks of ballyhoo to fish following hooked fish to the boat. Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey and Brody Lovoie headed offshore early this week on a 23 Sportsman. The duo started fishing past the Georgetown Hole in about 1,000 feet of water and found a scattered weedline, where they caught nine dolphin to 23 pounds along with a dozen or more peanuts under the 20-inch minimum size limit that were released. They headed back in to a few bottom spots and added two scamp and two gag grouper, plus vermilion snapper, grunts and red porgy. They capped the day with a keeper cobia measuring 38 inches. Red snapper cannot be harvested in the South Atlantic Region but in two weeks, the 2019 red snapper season will open, with fishing set for the weekend of July 12-14 and again on July 19-20.
Freshwater

Look For: Bream, catfish, bass.

Comments: Stalvey, of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway, hit the Ricefields area early in the week and caught 24 solid bream in an hour. “It was the same spot I fished 12 years ago with my granddad,” said Stalvey, who fished crickets on floats three-feet deep. “If you’re in deeper water, fish a worm on the bottom on a two-hook rig and you can catch good bream and catfish too.” A good summertime bait is the black salty, a minnow that will produce catfish and bass. Stalvey reports Steve Martin won the weekly Tuesday bass tournament held out of Conway Marina with a 4.68-pounder.

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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