Captain Mike McDonald throws a cast net to catch menhaden to use for bait in Winyah Bay, Georgetown. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews
June 22, 2017 5:22 PM
Rain has brought water temps down, but anglers having little trouble reeling ‘em in
By Gregg HolshouserEstuary
Look For: Black drum, red drum, flounder, spotted seatrout, sheepshead.
Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown found a rain-cooled water temperature of 78 degrees Thursday in Winyah Bay. “The rain has cooled it down from the 80s,” said McDonald. “We’ve got a lot of fresh water in here right now.” Still, McDonald’s customers caught a few red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout and flounder on a Thursday morning trip. McDonald produced the trout and flounder on artificial grubs and the black and red drum on cut shrimp. On a Monday trip, McDonald produced trout, red drum and black drum. Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has found trout responsive on a falling tide in the Little River vicinity. “On the falling tide every morning, we’ve caught a nice mess of trout,” said Kelly, who has used live shrimp on a popping cork. Kelly has also produced black drum, red drum and flounder. “The flounder fishing has not been super great (with) a lot of short fish,” said Kelly. “But fishing’s been good, I cannot complain.”
Look For: Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, black sea bass, spadefish, weakfish, flounder, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum, sheepshead, red drum.
Comments: Rainy and stormy weather has kept some boats from heading out into the Atlantic this week, but Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters slipped out between rain showers Thursday morning and saw a pleasant sight at Paradise Reef, located three miles east of Murrells Inlet. “It was calm and like glass when I got out there,” said Maples. “Spanish were jumping all over the place out there.” The size of the fish was nice, as Maples used a jigfish lure to catch three Spanish, the smallest a 22-incher. Also look for spadefish, flounder, black sea bass, weakfish and sharks on the near-shore reefs. Kings can be found around bait from the beach on out, but head to spots in 50-plus feet of water to find good numbers of fish. The Spring King Mackerel Tournament, staged by the Grand Strand Fishing Rodeo, was held last Saturday and Sunday on two piers this year, the Cherry Grove Pier and Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. There were no kings caught by the 43 competing anglers and a drawing was to be held to determine the winners. The piers are producing scattered catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum, flounder, sheepshead and red drum. Scott Skrzydlinski of Cherry Grove Pier reported a water temperature reading of 80 degrees surface and 77 degrees bottom at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Look For: Dolphin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, white grunts, red porgy, black sea bass, grouper and amberjack.
Comments: Dolphin catches are becoming more scattered and sailfish releases more common for trolling boats on the offshore waters. Blackfin tuna are around, and if a school is encountered and willing to bite, catches can be good. A few wahoo are also being landed. Bottom fishing is very good for vermilion snapper, triggerfish, white grunts, red porgy, black sea bass, grouper and amberjack. Best catches are in depths of 90-plus feet. Cobia cannot be harvested in 2017 in South Carolina waters (to three miles offshore) or federal waters (beyond three miles) and must be released. Red snapper must be released in the South Atlantic region.
Look For: Bream, catfish, bass, crappie.
Comments: It’s been a rainy week, but the Waccamaw and Little Pee Dee rivers remain in good fishing shape. The Waccamaw at Conway was making good tides and at 7.85 feet at 1:15 p.m. Thursday while the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was 5.44 feet at 4 p.m. “The rivers haven’t been affected much at all,” said Ronald ‘Catfish’ Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “Thank God this rain didn’t mess things up. I had one (customer) who limited out in no time (on bream) on the big Pee Dee.” It’s summertime fishing as usual for bream, with fish hitting crickets (or worms) floated in 2-4 feet of water off the banks. Catfish action is good on live bait (black salties, bream) or cut bait (eels, mullet, shad). Stalvey says bass are hitting top-water lures, senkos and frogs.