The wait is over for anglers around Georgetown who have been looking for tarpon, the pinnacle of many lifetime fishing achievements. The silver kings have arrived and are chomping away

While a few fish were detected earlier in the summer, sipping along the surface, by a few anglers and commercial crabbers, the major push has come in August, as result of last weekend’s Lowcountry Tarpon Tournament out of Georgetown have validated.

Capt. Jordan Pate of Carolina Guide Service started putting tarpon in the boat in good numbers over the past week.

“Last week, my clients released four tarpon during three short trips,” said Pate (843-608-8307), “and we came in second place in the tournament last weekend with an early release on the first day.”

Capt. Newman Weaver of Kingfisher Guide Service nailed the top position in the tournament with two tarpon releases.

Because baitfish are scattered, fishermen are hunting for tarpon from well up the Waccamaw River at Sandy Island to Debordieu Beach. Anglers have to stay on the move and check their favorite tarpon spots to find willing participants.

“It’s a big playing field at the moment, (because) the tarpon are stretched out far and wide, but you can find fish feeding on schools of menhaden in the usual places,” said Pate, who has been fishing North Santee Bay, Bulls Bay, the Winyah Bay jetties and the beaches between Litchfield and North Island. Finding large groups of menhaden is the key to finding feeding tarpon.

According to Pate, the tarpon bite should just get better from here on out.  

“The bulk of the mullet run is just around the corner, and the awesome tarpon fishing, the Georgetown area is known for, is starting to show its face,” said Pate, who has had tarpon fall for free-lined live mullet and menhaden over the past week, but will also use artificials like a D.O.A. swimming mullet, Hogy lures or big plugs. In fact, Weaver caught both the tarpon he released in the tournament on artificials.

“Newman took everybody to school catching both of his fish on artificial plugs,” Pate said, “but live bait is hard to beat for these tarpon right now. I will rarely go without a well full of swimmers.”