North Myrtle Beach – March 23, 2017
Mark, of Shallow Minded Guide Fishing, reports that the speckled trout bite is still active in the area, with 5 lb. fish being common. Some gator trout around the 7-9 lb. range have been pulled from the jetties, too. The fish are still around, but the bite does fluctuate with the weather. Vudu shrimp are the ticket to connecting with the fish, and the chartreuse color with a red tail is the most favored.
Before the cold snap, anglers were beginning to see keeper flounder, and with the warmer weather moving in the next few weeks, it should set the area up for a good spring season.
Anglers should be on the lookout for the soft shell crab season approaching. The reds in the area won’t eat much else when the time comes, and anglers prepared with crabs for bait will find success with reds (from 25-30”) up on the grass flats during big tides.
A run of spanish should happen before too long, with the little bonitos showing up first in about 30’ of water.
Patrick, of Captain Smiley Fishing Charters, reports that the fishing has been good the past couple of weeks. Speckled trout have been hitting Vudu shrimp and live mud minnows, with many keeper-sized fish being landed.
Red drum have been in the area, in the 15-23” range, and they will take fresh shrimp, mud minnows, and Gulp shrimp. Black drum are taking shrimp, too, and anglers will most likely connect with fish in the 17-18” range. Water temperatures are already in the mid-60’s, setting up for a good spring bite.
David, of Low Country Fishing Charters, reports that nearshore anglers are connecting with black sea bass, vermillion snapper, porgies, and grunts. Those looking to connect with fish on the bottom should look for keeper-sized fish in the 18-30 mile range.
The wahoo bite is good when you can get to the Stream. The big winter wahoo will fall for trolled skirted ballyhoo, or high speed trolling will work on the fish, too. Black/red and purple/black should be your go-to winter colors, with Ilanders working better than Sea Witches on the fish.
Anglers are finding there are scattered blackfin mixed in, so adding a cedar plug in the far back of your spread can connect you to a stray fish. Those hoping for tuna should start seeing more of them as the break gets a bit more defined and the water starts warming. Once the tuna show up in consistent numbers, expect the mahi bite to begin.
Larry, of Voyager Fishing Charters, reports that anglers on the half-day charter boats are connecting with sea bass, a few porgies, and small dogfish. Anglers should look for these species 8-10 miles out of the inlet.
Gulf Stream fishing will start by the end of March for the 2017 season.
Michael, of Cherry Grove Pier, reports that the bite has been slow, but anglers are connecting with whiting and croaker, having success with bottom rigs and cut shrimp.