Myrtle Beach Area Fishing Report for End of April 2022

The Game On crew shows off a nice catch of dolphins and blackfin tuna earlier this week at Georgetown Landing Marina.  The trolling action at sea has intensified over the past week.

The Game On crew shows off a nice catch of dolphins and blackfin tuna earlier this week at Georgetown Landing Marina. The trolling action at sea has intensified over the past week.


Photo courtesy of Georgetown Landing Marina

Estuary

Look for: Flounder, red drum, black drum, spotted sea trout, bluefish, mutton.

Comments: Spring is flounder time and in 2022 the trick is to find keepers above South Carolina’s new minimum height limit of 16 inches. Anglers should be aware that plaice are closed to harvest in North Carolina waters. Some of the best plaice action can be found just south of the state line in Cherry Grove Inlet, says Captain Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters. “The flukes are starting to show up,” Kelley said. “We see them in Little River and there are a lot of them in Cherry Grove. There are a lot of shorts but there are also a lot of goalkeepers. Kelly struggled to find live shrimp, but did well when available. “When we had live shrimp it was really good with trout and little blues mixed in. We caught black drum in the same areas.” Black drum and plaice were the main species that Captain Dan Connolly of Captain Dan’s Fishing Company had success with in Murrells Inlet. “I had 3-4 nice black drums (one trip) and a semi-decent flounder bite, but it’s still a keeper in 10 fish,” Connolly said. Connolly has used artificials such as Gulp jerk shad or paddle tail larvae on Eye Strike jigheads and Vudu shrimp. Connolly also caught a few trout on mud minnows, but notes the trout bite was tough with no live shrimp. Connolly reports that the water temperature varied from the upper 60s to the lower 70s. Captain Mike McDonald of the Gul-R-Boy guide service in Georgetown had some solid trips to Winyah Bay Piers last week. On Monday McDonald’s produced six trout and two plaice and last weekend came home with seven trout, four black drums, a mutton and a flounder on a trip. McDonald noted that the trout all weighed between 2 and 3 pounds. Trout and flounder took soft plastic larvae while black drum hit cut prawns.

Coastal

Look for: Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, whiting, pompano, plaice, acoupa, sheep’s head, black drum.

Comments: King mackerel are closing in on shore, as Connolly discovered while traveling about 15 miles offshore earlier this week. Connolly’s crew landed a few kings in the 30-inch range and missed a few bites as well. Cigar minnows can also be hard to come by currently, so Connolly improvised, using spanish sardines and a small ballyhoo to catch kings by the typical slow trolling method at 2-4 knots on a one ounce jig head . The crew also investigated bottom action in 55-60 feet of water and caught black bass, grunts and ringtails. Only one out of about 25 black bass caught was a keeper above the minimum size limit of 13 inches. Kelly headed out to Jim Caudle Reef on Sunday and had fun tossing Spanish mackerel with spoons. Kelly’s crew also caught Bluefish and Skipjack. “You just throw anything flashy with a treble hook and pull it real fast,” Kelly said. Spanish mackerel can also be caught in large numbers trolling on spoon-dragged Christmas tree platforms around artificial reefs close to shore, inlet passes and near bait along the beach . A few schools of menhaden appeared along the beach. Joe Nelligan, an angler on The Pier in Garden City, says the Spanish bite has been good on days when there’s pretty, clean water along the beach. Tuesday was such a day, and Nelligan said there were “great Spanish catches” with anglers jigging with straw rigs. Apache Pier general manager Calvin Dickerson also reports good catches of Spanish mackerel with whiting, pompano and flounder as well. “Everything starts to happen for spring,” Dickerson said.

Offshore

Look for: Dolphin, blackfin, yellowfin, wahoo, king mackerel, blue marlin, grouper, amberjack, black bass, red snapper, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red snapper, grunts.

Comments: It’s Carolina slamming season for offshore trolling boats. Dolphins have joined the party in droves over the past week, with many boats arriving from areas such as the Black Jack Hole, Winyah Scarp and Georgetown Hole with a splash of dolphin, tuna and wahoo. “It’s definitely picked up,” said Georgetown Landing Marina general manager David Black. “There are lots of dolphins caught and lots of good fish in the 20 to 25 pound range.” On Monday, Black and company at Georgetown Landing weighed three dolphins over 30 pounds plus one weighing 50.1 pounds captured aboard Margaritaville, owned by Ben Forbes. A bumper catch of 15 dolphins and 14 blackfin tuna arrived aboard Reel Steel owned by David Walters. Blue marlin also made an appearance. Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey and his cousin Matt Winburn of Conway caught and released an estimated blue marlin in the 400-pound range on Sunday aboard Stalvey’s 232 Sportsman Open, powered by a single 250-hp Yamaha. Bottom fishing is also excellent with anglers able to harvest black bass, amberjack, vermilion snapper, triggerfish, red snapper and grunts. Red snappers are plentiful but need to be released in the South Atlantic region. The annual closure of the shallow water grouper spawning season ends in early May, less than a week away. From midnight on Saturday, grouper can again be harvested.

Fresh water

Look for: Sea bream, bass, catfish, crappie.

Comments: Great spring fishing is here on local rivers from the Black to the Santees, Pee Dees and Waccamaw. “The fishing is phenomenal,” said Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway, who noted the best areas in general were near Bucksport, Ricefields and the lower Pee Dee. Breams have gone into warm weather mode and take a variety of baits in 2-4 feet of water. “They hit crickets and worms about 50-50,” Stalvey said. “Also, the beetles are spinning and they start catching a lot of bursting bugs. This insect fishing is fun. Crappie smack minnows and beetles spin on both shallow and deep structure. “I’ve seen some nice crappie lately,” Stalvey said. Bass are mostly in spawning mode, but temperature variations have impacted the fishery. “Some of them have spawned, a lot of them are pre-spawning,” Stalvey said. “The weather has been crazy, these fish don’t know what to do,” Stalvey said. “(Use) plastic worms on tops of brush and mouths of ditches and areas where they prepare to stage themselves and do their job. This is where the big girls hang out. Stalvey calls the catfish action “remarkable” and says “rod and reel, hooking, they catch them any way they can.” The best baits are live crayfish and sea bream, eels and mullet or frozen shad.

This story was originally published April 28, 2022 8:00 a.m.

Related Stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News

Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina University, and track and field, as well as many other sports-related topics worth covering. Well versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the 1992 Northeastern University School of Journalism major has been a reporter for The Sun News since 1993 after working at newspapers in Texas and Massachusetts. He has won eight national Associated Press Top 10 Sportswriter writing awards and 20 SC Press Association Top Three writing awards since 2007.

Comments are closed.