Ed Keelin of Georgetown Landing Marina shows off a nice flounder caught last weekend in the Georgetown vicinity. Georgetown Landing Marina
Grand Strand Fishing Report: Blacktip sharks thwart anglers’ red drum catches
By Gregg Holshouser
For The Sun News
September 06, 2018 07:27 PM
Look For: Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead, ladyfish, bluefish, tarpon.
Comments: Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown was on a solid red drum bite two days in a row earlier this week, but they got interrupted. “We were catching nice spottails until the sharks came in and ran us off them,” said McDonald. “We had two over slot size (15-23 inches) cut off by sharks on two different days – blacktips. I was about to get the net under the fish and the sharks came up and fought us for them.” McDonald also has caught flounder, black drum, ladyfish and juvenile cobia and grouper this week. Capt. Lin Fore of Lowcountry Expeditions in Georgetown has caught reds, sheepshead and tripletail this week. Where was Fore catching the tripletail? “Somewhere between Myrtle Beach and McClellanville,” he said with a laugh. Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions has caught reds both under and over the slot in Murrells Inlet this week on live and cut mullet on the bottom. “The incoming tide has been great and the fish are really hungry during this pre-spawn time,” said Connolly. Connolly also has observed “some really nice shrimp starting to show up” in the creeks. “Once the water temperatures drop back into the 70s, we should see a big increase in (spotted seatrout) activity,” Connolly said.
Look For: King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, spadefish, black sea bass, flounder, weakfish, whiting, croaker, pompano, black drum.
Comments: September is known to kick off prime fall pier fishing along the Grand Strand, but as of Wednesday, the ocean water temperature at the Cherry Grove Pier was still 86 degrees. Balmy water aside, Michael Wallace of the pier reports increased activity from blues and Spanish mackerel this week. “It starting to pick up on the end,” said Wallace. “They’ve been catching blues and Spanish in pretty good numbers.” Wallace also notes a good number of mostly small whiting and some pompano have also been caught. Spots such as Paradise Reef, 10-Mile Reef and Belkie Bear, plus other spots in depths of 30-60 feet are holding Spanish and king mackerel. Artificial reefs such as Paradise, Jim Caudle and Ron McManus are producing spadefish, flounder, black sea bass and weakfish with Spanish and kings also in the vicinity. Sea conditions look great for the 2018 Marlin Quay King Mackerel Shoot Out, based out of Marlin Quay Marina and Murrells Inlet, with the Captains Meeting Friday evening and fishing set for Saturday. Call 843-651-4444 for more information.
Look For: Wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, king mackerel, sailfish, barracuda, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, triggerfish, grunts, porgy, amberjack, grouper.
Comments: Wahoo and blackfin tuna plus a few dolphin are available along the break from areas such as the Georgetown Hole, Winyah Scarp and Black Jack Hole. Of course, sailfish and possibly blue marlin are also occasionally encountered. Bottom fishing is very good for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grey triggerfish, red porgy, amberjack and grouper, especially scamp. Red snapper are also being caught but must be released in the South Atlantic Region.
Look For: Bream, bass, catfish, crappie.
Comments: The action is slow on local rivers, says Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway, for the anglers but not the fish. Stalvey also notes water levels on the rivers are very low. “The water levels are low, even the North Santee,” said Stalvey. “Technically, the fish don’t have anywhere to go. The quality of fish I’ve seen has been amazing. People need to go.” Look for bream hitting crickets and worms in 1-4 feet of water, plus catfish taking eels and bream. With the water temperature still in the mid-80s, bass are hitting top-water lures. With the calendar reading September, crappie action has picked up. “The crappie are starting to take crappie shiners, and crappie jigs are working too,” said Stalvey.