Spanish mackerel are still running just beyond the surf in the Murrells Inlet area, and Capt. Ned Campbell of Murrells Inlet Outpost said Clarkspoons fished with planer boards are all you need for a day of trolling to catch plenty of them.
“You don’t have to go far at all for Spanish right now. You’ll catch plenty of them between the jetties and the three-mile reef,” said Campbell. “Anglers are catching them on multiple spoon rigs on planer boards, and finding the fish is as easy as watching the birds,” he said.
Campbell said the 00, 0, and size 1 Clarkspoons are good choices, and said once anglers find the fish, it’s tough to put out more than two rods at a time because the action will get so fast. “Once you see those birds diving, you won’t have any trouble catching Spanish. Each day is a little different as far as how deep the fish are, but you just need to experiment with trolling at different depths, but you will usually find them biting near the surface. The boat speed, amount of line you have out, the planer boards, and how much weight you have tied on all determine the depth you’re trolling,” said Campbell (843-651-6602).
You’ll know when you’re pulling the spoons too close to the bottom because you’ll catch more black sea bass than Spanish.
Campbell said one thing anglers should do is check the monofilament on their rigs often. “The Spanish will tear up the rigs with their teeth, and all it takes is them biting though in one spot, and besides losing your next fish, you can lose multiple spoons on that one rig,” he said.
Anglers like Norm Heidman of Pawleys Island has been having his share of luck trolling Clarkspoons in the manner Campbell suggests. “I go straight to where the birds are diving. You can’t miss the schools that way. I put four rods at to begin with. I troll through anywhere from 1.2 to 1.8 miles-per-hour, Two of my rods have planer boards with an ounce of weight and a leader about 20-inches long. I put those rods in rod-holders mounted on the transom. I let out a lot of line on these and they troll deep. The other two rods, I mount on each side of the boat, and use the bird-style planers. These have the size 00 Clarkspoons on them and they are trolling close to the surface,” said Heidman.
Heidman sticks with gold and silver spoons, and starts the day off with a mixture of both. “The rod on the left side of the boat, and the deeper rod on the right side of the transom will have gold spoons. The other two have silver spoons. Usually one color gets more action and I’ll switch them all to that one color. If I stop getting bites, I’ll go to the other color,” he said.
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