With fishermen looking for 80-degree days on the horizon, despite the fact that winter just won’t give up, charter fishermen out of Georgetown are reporting that good spring fishing has arrived, especially for bottom-fishing, with big catches of beeliners, black sea bass, triggerfish and silver snapper filling coolers.

Capt. Max McMillan of Critter Gitter Fishing Charters out of Georgetown Landing Marina is bringing large returns back to the dock, well worth the fuel bill.

“We are doing real well right now bumping the bottom at the near shore wrecks,” said McMillan (843-319-1430). “Last week, we filled the box full of greenheads, beeliners and pinkies.”

With the offshore water still on the cool side, shallow-water wrecks and artificial reefs are holding massive schools of bottomfish. Until the water warms significantly, anglers can fill up on their favorite bottomfish just a short drive from land. 

According to McMillan, nearshore bottom-fishing is really good and should continue to for the next few weeks at the shallow reefs.

“Any of your local wrecks out of Georgetown and Murrells Inlet in 85 to 95 feet of water are holding some super-nice bottom fish,” McMillan said. “The Greenville, Richmond and the Submarine are very good right now.”

Most of these bottom-dwellers are not very choosy when it comes to what shows up on their dinner table. Anglers are using anything from squid and shrimp to live and dead bait fish. When using squid or shrimp, anything on the reef will take a shot at these baits, including triggerfish, porgies, black sea bass and any one of the snapper species patrolling these underwater paradises. Additionally, any type of small live bait can offer special conditions that will fire up the snapper, black sea bass and any of the more aggressive fishes like grouper. In just a few more days, grouper season will reopen with scamps, gags, reds and snows back on the legal creel limit for anglers fishing in the region covered by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.