Great numbers of tarpon sightings and landings in the Georgetown area couldn’t have come at a better time for this past weekend’s annual Lowcountry Tarpon Tournament.

 

“The tarpon fishing has been excellent over the last few weeks,” said Capt. Robert Mayer of Top Knotch Fishing Charters, who won the tournament with two fish caught and released. “Winyah Bay has tons of them right now, but I have been seeing them from the mouth of North Inlet down to McClellanville.”

Waters around Georgetown are flooded with huge schools of mullet and menhaden that are keeping the tarpon in the area.

Mayer gears up for the silver kings when they arrive each summer and keeps tabs on them until they leave in the late fall. If he ever sees calm seas on the forecast, he will make sure to be on the water.

“If you want to catch a tarpon, now is the time to do it, especially during a calm day,” he said.

Mayer prefers to match the hatch or use baits that are the most abundant. While tarpon are capable of swallowing huge meals, they are known to eat very small meals. Mayer prefers to use small baits in the 4- to 6-inch on a 9/0 circle hook.

“Elephants eat peanuts. I always do real good with smaller baits, and I usually get a better hook-up ratio,” he said.

Mayer expects the fishing to continue for the next few weeks until the water temperature begins dropping into the 70s and into the typical fall pattern.