Influx of baitfish in bluewater off Grand Strand has kick-started great fishing
Spring weather and calmer seas have opened the gates for offshore boats out Murrells Inlet marinas – right in time for the kind of sizzling wahoo bite springtime is known for!
Capt. Ned Campbell of R&R Charters out of Crazy Sister Marina said his catches of gone through the roof the past two weeks.
“This time of year is when the wahoo bite usually picks up a little, but right now our experience is more about catching than fishing,” said Campbell. “The fishing is real steady and about as good as it gets.”
With water temperatures rising and more batifish showing up, many of the top-tier predators are feeding, with wahoo at the top of the list.
Campbell (843-460-0186) said the majority of the wahoo will be in water between 70 and 74 degrees, but his recent bumper catches have come from a wide range of temperatures, with some very atypical of the wahoo’s comfort range.
“Just last weekend, we slammed a boat full of huge fish between 30 and 75 pounds, all found in 65-degree water,” Campbell said. “Then, a few days later at the Winyah Scarp, 76 degrees was the magic number.”
Wahoo are mysterious creatures, known to be here one day and gone the next, but few fishermen will argue that these top-level predators prefer to be close to their dinner table. Wahoo are eating machines; if it takes a deviation from their normal comfort zone to feast in the candy store, wahoo quickly make compromises to fill their stomachs, following schools of baitfish just about everywhere they go.
Over the years, Campbell has learned to start shallow, in slightly cooler water, and then work his way down the ledges into deepe, warmer water until the reels play that glorious tune.
“I don’t stay in one place or one temperature too long,” he said. “If the fish are going to bite, it will not take long to find out.”
Campbell trolls skirted ballyhoo at a variety of depths, using flat lines on the surface to heavy trolling weights or planers for deeper presentations. Dark-colored skirts in red/black, purple/black and even blue/white are his preferred color combinations for wahoo.