Cool weather hasn’t slowed the SC saltwater fishing
The weather took a turn on South Carolina anglers this week, but it hasn’t slowed the fishing down at all. If anything, it seems to have given fish a renewed sense of energy and triggered an even stronger bite than most anglers expected.
Butch Foster of Pawleys Island said the weather was perfect for this time of year.
“During the first month or so of hot weather every year, the bite is on fire. That slows quickly though, unless we get a lot of rain or unseasonably cool weather like we’ve just had. That cool down in temperatures tricks fish into thinking it’s another seasonal change, and that always triggers a hot feeding pattern. Then once it warms back up, it does the same thing again,” he said.
Foster said this will prolong what has been one of the hottest saltwater bites he can remember in his four decades of fishing South Carolina’s coast.
Capt. Patrick Kelly of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters in Myrtle Beach said much the same. His charter clients have gotten soaked with rain and been much cooler than they expected on his most recent trips. But they’ve caught plenty of fish.
The inshore slam species — redfish, speckled trout, and flounder — have all been biting strong. Redfish have made up the bulk of the bite on most days, but on some days, flounder and specks steal the show. Kelly’s anglers have also caught numerous black drum.
Big cobia, flounder recently caught by MIFC anglers
In Murrells Inlet, it’s been a smorgasbord for anglers. The Murrells Inlet Fishing Charters fleet is keeping their clients on everything from flounder in the creeks to big cobia. Capt. Quentin Faulkner with MIFC put one of his lady anglers on a 7.24-pound flounder on June 10. He also boated a 40-pound cobia on June 12.
Another big fish for MIFC in the past week was caught by Capt. Chris Regan’s client. Miss Taylor reeled in a 36.42-pound king mackerel. Offshore anglers aren’t missing out either. Another MIFC captain put his clients on tons of snapper, triggerfish, and a few grouper while fishing offshore out of the inlet.
Anglers in the Georgetown area can take their pick in the creeks and inlets off of Winyah Bay. Capt. Spencer Lynch of Southern Inshore Charters said sheepshead, speckled trout, and redfish are biting good in the creeks.
But the real show, Lynch said, is at the jetties where the bull redfish are biting like mad. Anglers routinely catch the biggest fish of their lives on these trips. And on some days, their next fish will be even bigger.
In Charleston, Capt. Chuck Griffin with Aqua Adventures is catching mixed bags on every outing. Redfish from slot-sized to way-over-the-slot are biting for his clients at the jetties, along with some sharks and an occasional flounder and black sea bass.
Mixed bag offshore, speckled trout save the day in Beaufort
In the creeks, Griffin’s anglers are catching plenty of slot redfish, along with some speckled trout. Offshore, gag and scamp groupers, mutton snapper, some catch-and-release red snapper, and amberjacks are biting bottom rigs. Griffin said cobia are thick and easy to spot on some days. And on those days, his clients have boated multiple keeper-sized cobia.
In the Beaufort area, Capt. Rick Percy of Reel Chance Charters said speckled trout have been the main catch, with redfish taking a rare backseat for the past few days. But the specks have stepped it up in big fashion, accounting for dozens of fish each trip.
Percy said the ladyfish are also active, and some good-sized bonnethead sharks are keeping things interesting. His anglers have been hooking the trout using mostly live shrimp and mud minnows under popping corks in about three feet of water. The incoming tide has been the best on most days.
The weather is expected to warm up in the next few days, but still remain unseasonably cool. Some rain is also in the forecast. Expect the hot bite to continue, but don’t forget to bring a sweatshirt and rain jacket along.
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