Charlie Nash of Garden City Beach holds a spotted seatrout he caught. Action for the fish is heating up in local estuaries. Gregg Holshouser For The Sun News
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Seatrout an active species in cooling water temperatures
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News
November 01, 2018 06:09 PM
Updated November 01, 2018 06:11 PM
Look For: Spotted seatrout, black drum, red drum, flounder, sheepshead.
Comments: Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters has had a solid week fishing the creeks and jetties of the Little River area. “We’ve been catching a little bit of everything,” said Kelly. “Lots of black drum and trout, some red drum and flounder.” Kelly says the biggest numbers caught have been spotted seatrout which have a 14-inch minimum size limit. “There have been a lot of shorts, but I found some nice keepers (Thursday),” Kelly said. Kelly has used Vudu shrimp, Berkeley Gulp shrimp and live shrimp to catch the trout, both on jig heads on the bottom and under popping corks. The Little River jetties are producing bull red drum and trout, along with black drum and sheepshead. “It seems like the bigger trout are at the jetty rocks,” said Kelly, who noted a water temperature of 67-68 degrees. Kelly is hosting the second annual Inshore Slam and Festival Saturday out of Cricket Cove Marina. The Captains Meeting is Friday at 6 p.m. For more information call Kelly at 843-361-7445. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a solid day Wednesday on the lower end of Winyah Bay. McDonald and his fishing partner caught 35 fish on cut shrimp, including plenty of black drum, along with trout, red drum and a few large spots. “We kept 10 black drum, we didn’t target the reds but there were a few mixed in there together,” said McDonald, who also noted a water temperature of 67-68 degrees. The trout bite is on in Murrells Inlet, too. “The trout bite has been on fire,” said Capt. Perrin Wood of Southern Saltwater Charters. “We’re seeing a lot of 13 to barely 14 inch fish. We have just slayed them the last two weeks on plastics and floating live shrimp.” The inlet is also holding a good number of black drum, plus red drum and flounder.
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, red drum, bluefish, spadefish, sheepshead, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.
Comments: Wood reports a water temperature of 68 degrees in the inshore waters near the beach. “That’s my target temperature for Spanish and kings,” said Wood. “I saw Spanish and blues out there Wednesday.” Bull red drum continue to be found on hard bottom areas within a few miles of the beach. “The big reds are still running but they’re moving around a little,” Wood said. “They’re not at the automatic spots.” The same hard-bottom areas continue to hold good numbers of weakfish. “I’ve caught them 100 yards off the beach and three miles off the beach,” said Wood. With the water temperature down into the 60s, black sea bass numbers are increasing on bottom spots from 3 to 15 miles out in 30-50 feet of water, including some keepers over the 13-inch minimum size limit. King mackerel action has slowed a bit along the beach this week, but Grand Strand piers are producing scattered catches of whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum, red drum, blues, Spanish mackerel and flounder, with a few brief spot runs reported.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, king mackerel, dolphin, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.
Comments: Another weekend, another cold front as a Gale Warning was in effect for the offshore waters as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The window of opportunity this week was Wednesday, when beautiful, calm seas allowed boats to get out. Fall is an excellent time for wahoo action along the offshore ledges, and Capt. Ryan Powers and crew aboard Fear Knot found them Wednesday in 160 to 230 feet of water. Powers trolled near the McMarlen Ledge and the Winyah Scarp, and produced three wahoo including a 58-pounder plus one dolphin. “There was a good bit of life, and the big one hit on the planer,” said Powers. Blackfin tuna and king mackerel are also available for trolling boats. Bottom fishing is fantastic for grouper, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, amberjack, red porgy and white grunts. Red snapper must be released indefinitely in the South Atlantic Region.
Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments: Another heavy dose of rain from the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Willa has brought another rise to local rivers, another blow to homeowners trying to recover from the flooding of Hurricane Florence. Fishing is practically non-existent on the freshwater scene. “Everything’s pitiful,” said Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway. “I’ve had little to none (fishermen going). There’s been some pond fishing and that’s it. Everybody’s scared to mess with the freshwater.”