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Opportunity follows rough weather

image: man with fishing net
Captain Mike McDonald throws a cast net to catch menhaden to use for bait in Winyah Bay, Georgetown. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews
Outdoors
June 01, 2017 5:41 PM
Fishing report: Opportunities aplenty for anglers following rough stretch of weather
By Gregg HolshouserEstuary
Look For: Flounder, spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, bluefish.
Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has had a nice week catching spotted seatrout and black drum in the Little River area. “We’ve caught a 4.5-pound trout on Thursday, a 5.5-pounder on Wednesday and several 2-3 pound fish,” said Kelly, who has used live shrimp on a popping cork to catch them. Kelly has also had good success catching black drum using live shrimp on a 1/4-ounce jig head. Kelly’s best success has come in Tubbs Inlet. “The shrimp are pretty plentiful if you know where to look,” said Kelly. “There are a lot of small fish and a few spots where the big ones are. You’ve gotta wait until the current starts moving.” Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown has pounded the area from North Inlet and south to catch red drum and flounder. McDonald has used live bait (mullet, menhaden, mud minnows) and plastic grubs to catch his fish. On a Wednesday morning trip, McDonald caught four reds and a few flounder. On Thursday, McDonald had a productive shark-fishing trip and noted a water temperature reading of 78 degrees in the Winyah Bay vicinity. Flounder and black drum action has been solid this week in Murrells Inlet with flounder and red drum also available.
Inshore
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum

Comments: After a windy, stormy stretch, conditions are calming back down and fishing is picking up again. “The water’s still a little bit muddy but it’s getting clearer,” said Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters in Murrells Inlet. Maples has hit the near-shore reefs this week to catch sizable weakfish to four pounds, plus reports flounder have made a decent showing. Also look for spadefish, blues and black sea bass (13-inch minimum size limit) on the near-shore reefs. King mackerel catches on bottom spots in the 10- to 15-mile range have slowed a bit this week but are still decent. Maples notes cobia are roaming the near-shore reefs and can be found on bait pods near the beach but cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released. Maples notes pods of menhaden are “everywhere” along the beach. Water clarity has improved as the week has progressed along the beach with catches fair from the piers for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, croaker, pompano and flounder. Cherry Grover Pier reported a water temperature reading of 79 degrees on the surface and 76 on the bottom Thursday afternoon.

Offshore
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, sailfish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.
Comments: Trolling action offshore in areas such as the Black Jack Hole, Winyah Scarp and Georgetown Hole is good for dolphin, blackfin tuna and a few wahoo. Blue marlin, sailfish and a few white marlin are also on hand. Many boats fishing in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament last weekend ventured 70+ miles offshore to find the blue water, thus the billfish. Bottom fishing is simply excellent for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, porgy, grunts grouper and amberjack. Scamp are the most common grouper species being caught. Red snapper cannot be harvested and must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Freshwater
Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments: “I’ve been seeing a lot of nice bream, a lot of bass and decent catfish,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “The Waccamaw is catching good fish, (and) the Ricefields. On the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry they’re catching some beautiful fish (bream and bass). We are in a full-fledged summer pattern.” Look for bream in 2-4 feet of water hitting crickets and worms. “In some places they’re in six inches to two feet, around trees and cypress stumps but no more than four feet,” said Stalvey. Bass are hitting worms worked on the bottom, crawl-type baits and top-water such as Bang-O-Lures and buzz baits.