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Pending State Record for Scamp Grouper

William Henry of Gastonia, N.C., shows off the 27.41-pound scamp grouper he caught while fishing aboard the Sea Rake with Capt. Randall Robinson out of Murrells Inlet on June 8. The scamp is a pending new South Carolina state record. Submitted photo
See what fish caught during a trip out of Murrells Inlet is a pending state record

By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News

June 15, 2018 04:42 PM

Updated June 15, 2018 07:32 PM

William Henry of Gastonia, N.C., is a regular customer with Capt. Randall Robinson aboard the Sea Rake out of Crazy Sister Marina in Murrells Inlet.

When Henry charters the Sea Rake, he prefers to specifically go grouper fishing, and that is exactly what Robinson set out to do on an eight-hour trip on June 8.

Robinson wound up fishing in an area southeast of Murrells Inlet in 100 feet of water, about 35 miles out, perhaps a little shallower than usual.

“I stumbled on a spot I hadn’t fished a while that happened to have some fish on it,” said Robinson. “The bigger fish hadn’t really been biting (farther) offshore.”

Henry and his fellow angler, Alex Stutts of Charlotte, N.C., began catching some very nice scamp on the spot, landing a 20-pounder, two in the 16-18 pound range and a 12-pounder.

Then, they got another big bite on a dead cigar minnow on a single hook rig with a circle hook and what Robinson called a “pretty good leader.”

“I knew it was a pretty good fish,” said Robinson.

A few minutes later, the biggest scamp of all popped up to the surface beside the Sea Rake. This one, Robinson suspected could threaten the South Carolina state record for scamp.

“I hadn’t fished that spot in a couple years,” said Robinson. “We caught five scamps off it and they were all pretty good fish.”

Kris Reynolds, a Wildlife Biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, certified the potential state record on certified digital scales at Harrelson’s Seafood and the official weight was 27.41 pounds.

The existing state record is a 26-pound, 15-ounce scamp caught out of Port Royal in 2011.

Reynolds interviewed Robinson and Henry and submitted paperwork for the potential state record to the S.C. DNR office in Charleston.

For now, the catch is a pending state record awaiting an official ruling on whether the fish will go down as the new state record.

Robinson is a bottom-fishing veteran out of Murrells Inlet. His fishing career in the inlet started as a mate on a head boat in 1994, and he’s now had his captains license for 18 years. That’s plenty of time to glean some bottom spots that are honey holes, in a time when secret bottom spots are very few and far between.

The scamp was listed on the fishing leader board at Crazy Sister Marina, with info such as date, angler, weight and location. Robinson wasn’t exactly specific when filling in the location of the catch.

“I put ‘None of your business,’ ” Robinson said with a laugh.

*Jolly Mon King Classic: The area king mackerel tournament season kicks off this weekend with the Jolly Mon King Classic out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center.

Boats entered in the event can fish either Saturday or Sunday. The weigh-in at the OIFC in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., opens at 2 p.m. on both fishing days. Visit for more information.

Other upcoming king mackerel tournaments include the Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shootout out of Marlin Quay Marina in Murrells Inlet Sept. 7-9 and the Yellowfin/Yamaha Fall Brawl King Classic Oct. 12-14, also at the OIFC.

*Bassmaster Event: Georgetown is the host venue for the BASS Nation Eastern Regional out of the Carroll Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River June 20-22. The public is invited to attend the weigh-ins.