By Chris Carbone, Seacoast Anglers Association
July 3, 2012 Little River, SC - Summer is here and along with the sizzling weather is some good fishing. But... it depends on who I talk to. Some spend the day and get nothing and some spend the day and fill the cooler! Not sure why that is as many of these anglers fish in the same area.
Whiting and Croakers are here and there along the bottom on light tackle. Some of the surf fishing guys tell me they are catching them along with a few nice Bluefish. Drifting in a boat off the beach will get you the same results.
Along with the above, surf fishermen are catching Red Drum, Pompano, some Spanish Mackerel as well as some nice sized Sharks.
This area seems to have a big population of Black Tip Sharks this year. Sharks are around the piers, reefs and in the surf close to the beach. They are a feisty fighter and are great table fare as well.
To have a good day on the water fishing, get out to the Caudle Reef. The Jim Caudle Reef out of Little River Inlet has consistently produced an active day of fishing. This reef provides a perfect place to take the kids because they will catch something. Close to shore (3-miles), it is a safe place to go to for most any kind of boat large or small. Anglers have been catching everything from Flounder to small King Mackerel. Seabass, Sheepshead, Croaker are there in large numbers along with Spanish Mackerel and Atlantic Bonito.
Spanish Mackerel are here in force along the beach. They are usually there in the early morning and the late evening on changing tides. A good place to start is the Little River Inlet c-buoy about a half mile out. If you see bait in the area, try for the Spanish that are chasing them! Clark Spoons, and Gottcha! plugs are the lures of choice. Some anglers are using planers to get their lines down and/or skipping birds to attract the fish. For both Bonito and Spanish Mackerel, slow troll two or three lines out at 4-6 m.p.h. over structure, or where ever bait is showing, or birds are actively feeding.
Red Drum and Spotted Seatrout are in the back waters and the ICW. The further north you go the bigger they are. Leadheads on plastic lures work well and also use live bait. Live shrimp works best and fast water increases your chances. Many anglers are using circle hooks for Reds though not necessary... your choice. Also try Sunset Beach area to Tubbs Inlet and the crossroads of Little River, ICW and Calabash River.
Sheepshead are tackled in big numbers out at the close reefs (Caudle Reef) and the piers. You will catch them using shrimp, crabs, clams or barnacles. Sheepshead are great bait stealers so stay alert and keep your line tight! Braid line seems to work best here. If you go outside the jetties to the wrecks and reefs, you may see what you think could be Sharks circling your boat but they could very well be Cobia instead. They have been abundant this year and many anglers have reported hookups.
You should always have a pole rigged for Cobia on the boat for the occasion. Toss a line to them with live bait or dead bait and give it a try. Looks like a great year for Cobia out there!
Black Drum have been landed in most of the creeks and waterways. They like the muddy bottom but will move along the oyster beds as well. If you anchor in Bonapartes Creek, you will be pretty certain to catch Black Drum. Most anglers are using cut mullet, cut bluefish or squid for bait.
Light line, lightest sinker possible will do it most times. Some nice sized Flounder have been caught all along the ICW from Little River to Tubbs Inlet. The tackle used lately seems to be 15-20 lb. braid with a 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader attached to a ¾ .oz jig head. Use a ¾ .oz slide sinker above the leader, Carolina Rig style. Add a Berkeley Gulp! bait or similair lure to get them excited.
King Mackerel are offshore in 60 to 90 ft. of water but some are here near the beaches and over the local reefs as well. There are a number of King Mackerel rigs available and most are for dead bait like cigar minnows or ballyhoo which is what most anglers use. The King can be found most of the summer at the 390/390, 410/510, Christina Ledge, the Jungle, Myrtle Beach Rock, the Sherman, and Little River Offshore Reef in South Carolina and at the reefs & rocks in
North Carolina. Call around to find where they are hitting when you want to go. You don’t want to waste gas looking for them!
Bottom fishing offshore for Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners) Seabass and Grouper has been super! Along with them you can catch Triggerfish, White Grunt, Porgy (of various species), and Amberjack among others. Most guys have been filling the cooler.
Stop Wishin’... Go Fishin.’
If you have info on the local fishing,, email THE ANCHOR at SeacoastAnglers@aol.com and let us know.