March 6, 2013 North Myrtle Beach/Little River, SC - February ended and gave us much nasty weather with a lot of rain, wind and really cold temperatures. As I write this in the first week of March, it looks pretty much the same except there is less rain. I’m not sure if this weather qualifies as “March comes in as a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” I certainly hope it does! So many of us are ready to go fishing.
Going offshore has not paid off as most of the premium species have been cut off by the feds until late April and the rough seas have made it a hazard to go for some of the other species like Wahoo.
Some of the guys are picking the nicer sunny days and trying pier fishing tho that is very slow for now as well.
We will have to wait to get further into Spring and waiting for the water temps to rise a bit. Red Drum seems to be the only real game in town for now according to my reports. One charter Captain told me this week he loaded up on Reds on one of the nicer days to go.
Leadheads on plastic lures work well and also use live bait. The Reds like live minnows or small mullet. Also fresh shrimp will increase your chances. Try the Sunset Beach area to Tubbs Inlet and the crossroads of Little River, ICW and Calabash River all which have been producing nice healthy Reds.
The new Sunset Beach Pier at the site of the former pontoon bridge has been producing some slot Red Drum as well as a few Spotted Trout. Watch the water temperature as the Reds will be in the warmer areas only during the winter. As in all the inshore fishing this time of year, you have to really slow down your presentation.
Black Drum are probably in most of the creeks and waterways, tho I have not heard of one caught recently. Frozen clams seem to work well when you can’t get fresh bait. Use a light braid line, lightest sinker possible will do it most times.
Saltwater Catfish (Blue Catfish) has really picked up all along the ICW. They are in the area of the Main Street Bridge and south. I heard of several caught at Barefoot Landing and have seen several caught at the Causey boat ramp under the Hwy17 bridge. Most anglers are using any kind of cut bait and having success. Keep your line tight and on the bottom.
Here again as last month, I’m told there are plenty of Striped Bass in the fresh water area of the ICW, Barefoot Landing and beyond but I have not personally seen them. The Stripers usually hit “Electric Chicken” grubs on ¼oz. leadheads. Cast into pilings and docks on a fast moving tide and you will get your share if they are there. If you do get one, stay there for awhile as the Striper’s school-up this time of year and you should land more. Just look for structure.
Remember if you fish south of the LR Swing Bridge, you will need a fresh water SC fishing license.
As always, the Jim Caudle Reef, close to the Little River Jetties, is a good bet for having fun on a nice day. Reports say they are hooking Black Seabass , Flounder, Grunts, Whiting, Weakfish, Sheepshead, Croaker, as well as many other species of reef fish. There is sooo much structure there and if you have the waypoints on your GPS, you will catch fish. However, Spiny Dogfish Sharks are on the reef. Kids love to catch them tho. Don’t even try to eat them... they are terrible no matter how you prepare them compared to the other sharks we get in the summer.
Sheepshead are reported to be tackled out at the close reefs (Caudle Reef) and the piers. You will catch them using shrimp, crabs, clams or barnacles. Live Fiddlers crabs are by far the best bait for you to be successful. Hook them through the sides and have the hook come up through the shell. Rig should be a 1oz. slide sinker, then a 80 lb. swivel on your reel line, and attach a #3/0 hook on a 12-inch 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader. On the spool you should have 30 lb. braid. In lieu of a slide sinker and hook, use a leadhead hook half the size. Drop the line as close to the structure as possible as that is where the Sheepshead are. They frequently nibble baits but fight with brutish strength. Sheepshead are great bait stealers so stay alert and keep your line tight!.
There have been a few Spotted Seatrout caught in the creeks and the ICW. The usual spots are the Sunset Beach Bridge, and Tubbs Inlet, Little River swing bridge and the Little River waterfront. Look for moving water for the best fishing. For the time being, they will be hiding deep in the holes of the creeks waiting for the bait to come by. Working Gulp lures on a leadhead off the bottom very slow has been productive.
March 2, 2013 North Myrtle Beach – Just a few days before Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports and Recreation is to host the Carolina Conference Wheelchair Basketball tournament, Brian Farrell, Activities Director, announced they have received a $7,874 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
The award was one of 76 grants totaling almost $427,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers. Created by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded 2,131 grants totaling over $16 million since 1999.
Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sport and Recreation will use the grant for sport and recreation programs that empower and increase the wellbeing of veterans and individuals living with paralysis and their families.
Farrell said, “We are honored to have received this prestigious gift from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. These funds will greatly help our organization serve individuals living with paralysis, and will certainly provide tangible benefits to the communities of North and South Carolina.”
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program was conceived by the late Dana Reeve to address the myriad needs of children and adults with paralysis and other mobility impairments and their families. Grants support critical life-enhancing and life-changing initiatives that improve physical and emotional health and increase independence.
Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sport and Recreation’s mission is to improve the quality of life by providing sport and recreational programs for persons with physical disabilities and their families. For more information on programs or services offered please visit our website at www.coastalcarolinaadaptivesports.org
February 27, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC - According to Gasbuddy.com, at $3.48 per gallon, the lowest gas price in North Myrtle Beach is at the BP at 511 Hwy 17 and 6th Avenue while the BP just seven blocks north at 1350 Hwy 17 S and 13th Ave is selling the same gas for fourteen cents a gallon more. Go figure!
These prices seem high until compared to the national average of $3.738. But there is good news, at least as seen by Patrick DeHaan of Gasguddy.com. On Monday, he said , “The streak is over, folks. At least for now. GasBuddy data showed the national average rising for 32 consecutive days- starting January 20 at $3.265/gal, and ending February 21 at $3.733/gal. The tide has now turned and the national average has dropped two days straight. This is certainly excellent news for all of you disillusioned motorists- but I would caution you not to get overly thrilled as prices may linger near these levels for some time.”
Just be thankful that Los Angles prices have not reached here. The average price was $4.62 today.
For information about Gasbuddy.com read "Tips on planning your trip to North Myrtle Beach."
February 25, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC – There is always plenty to do in the spring in North Myrtle Beach. From March through May, parades, festivals and other activities are scheduled. But they don’t happen by themselves. More than city staff is required to put on these events. The North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department need volunteers (up to 200 in one case) and are asking for help with the following:
25th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival Location: Main Street in North Myrtle Beach Day/Time volunteers are needed: Saturday, March 16; 5:30 am - 5:30 pm* Event Description: This annual street festival has grown to 20,000+ attendees and is organized by the City of North Myrtle Beach. Come be a part of this “sea of green” tradition. Volunteers Needed: 50+, Ambassadors, Leaders, Marshalls, Setup, Cleanup Contact: Callie Jean Wise, email@example.com, (843) 280-5605
31st Annual Easter Egg Hunt Location: McLean Park, 93 Oak Dr., North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 Day/Time volunteers are needed: Saturday, March 30; 8:00 am – 1:00 pm Event Description: An Easter tradition for most, the Easter Egg Hunt brings over 4,000 in search for eggs and a chance to see the Easter Bunny. Volunteers Needed: 25+, Leaders, Setup, Cleanup Contact: Gregg Barnhill, firstname.lastname@example.org, (843) 280-5673
Diva Half Marathon & 5k Race Location: J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Rd., North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 Day/Time volunteers are needed: Friday, April 26; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Expo) Saturday, April 27; 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (Expo) Sunday, April 28; 5:30 am – 1:00 pm (Race) Event Description: Over 4,500 runners descend upon NMB for a social event/race. This national event is held in San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Honolulu, Long Island, and now North Myrtle Beach! Volunteers Needed: 200+, Ambassadors, Leaders, Setup, Cleanup, Intersection Control, Water Stations Contact: Gregg Barnhill, email@example.com, (843) 280-5673 8th Annual Mayfest on Main Location: 248 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach Day/Time volunteers are needed: Saturday, May 11; 6:00 am – 6:00 pm Event Description: A street festival and national musicians draw crowds from all over. Volunteers Needed: 30+, Ambassadors, Leaders, Setup, Cleanup Contact: Gregg Barnhill, firstname.lastname@example.org, (843) 280-5673
General Volunteer Descriptions 1. Ambassador – must have knowledge of NMB area, able to answer questions in a professional and courteous manner
2. Leader – assist event organizer where needed; information booth, program stations, manage stage schedule, and count participants. Run program stations within event (treasure hunt, leprechaun contest, etc…), set-up, interact with participants, cleanup program station.
3. Check-In/Set-up – assist festival vendors/parade entries in checking in for event, finding their space, keeping event set-up area clear, answer questions, and move tables, chairs, tents, signage, and decorate event area
4. Clean up – assist in all aspects of event take down; undecorate, move tables, chairs, tents, signage, clean-up, trash removal
5. Intersection Control – keep runners safe from vehicular traffic at road intersections, encourage and motivate runners
6. Marshall – placed along the parade route for spectator safety, help keep pace of parade steady, answer spectator questions
7. – assist with setup, water distribution and cleanup
February 24, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Competition for the SC Short Yard Course (SYC) Championship was held this past week at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatics and Fitness Center. The local team, the Grand Strand Masters Swim Team, led all seventeen entrants in the number of awarded points. In fact, Grand Strand scored almost as many points as the next two teams combined.
The meet attracted 136 swimmers competing in 893 individual event splashes and 67 relay event splashes. The teams came from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Indiana.
The Grand Strand Masters Swim Team is part of South Carolina Masters Swimming League and is couched by Diane Bartlett at the Center. She is the Assistant Aquatics and Fitness Center director and was awarded the U.S. Masters Swimming Organization’s Kerry O’Brien coaching award in 2011.
This is the third year, the Championship has been held at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatics and Fitness Center. Designed for competition as well as recreational swiming, the center is an indoor facility with an eight-lane 25-yard competition pool, a separate 4 lane warm down pool and fully automatic Colorado timing system and display.
Individual first place rankings in their age group was awarded to Grand Strand Masters Swim team members Jessie Preslar, Robert Sutton, Melanie Green, John Gambrel, James Broughal, Marial Elias-Williams, Jeff O’Neil, Steve Dalpiaz, Julie Warner, Janet Thiel, Patti Hilton, Jay Preslar, Robert List and Mike Casper.
Masters swimming is an organized program of swimming for adults. Members participate in a variety of ways, ranging from lap swimming to competition. Anyone 18 or over can join Masters swimming. U. S. Masters Swimming has over 50,000 members, a few of whom are in their 90's and 100's.
February 23, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC - The North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department warns the public to be aware of a new telephone scam occurring in the North Myrtle Beach area.
The scammer may call your phone number and ask for you by name. The scammer then states that they are with “Crime Investigations” or some other law enforcement agency or division, and that they have a “legal affidavit” or “legal case file” against you, with legal charges in force. They will say that Police are on their way to your location to arrest you. The scammer will tell you that time is very short, the matter is very sensitive, and then they will then ask you to clear the matter by calling the direct number 980-263-2142. The scammer will tell you that, if you do not call the number, they will start procedures against you. If you call the phone number, you may be told to forward money in order to rectify the “case” they have against you.
North Myrtle Beach Public Safety advises the public to avoid calling the number call or sending money. Ignore threats of arrest or information that police are on their way to take you to jail. Law Enforcement does not conduct business in this fashion.
North Myrtle Beach residents or visitors who receive such a call are advised to hang up and contact the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department at 280-5511.
February 21, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC - Followers of Chanticleers Basketball are counting the days when the Big South Championships will be held March 5 through 10 at the HTC Center in Conway, but that is not the only basketball that will be held locally. The Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports and Recreation will be hosting the Carolina Conference Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness Center March 8-10, 2013.
While the Big South Championship will be covered on ESPN2, you can only see the Wheelchair Basketball tournament at the Aquatic Center but the good news is the public is invited and admission is free. The Tournament will kick off on Friday night 3/8/2013 at 7 pm with an all star game and free throw and 3 point shooting contests. Teams will compete on Saturday starting at 9 am and the championship game will be played on Sunday at 9 am.
The competing teams are coming from the Carolinas Wheelchair Basketball Conference. The Conference is comprised of ten teams from Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.
Michael WarnerBrian Farrell is the Adaptive Sports team activities director. Farrell is a graduate of CU in recreation sports management and volunteered for a while with Adaptive Sports. They eventually hired him.
One of the people on the Adaptive Sports Team Farrell admires is Michael Warner. Warner was in a car accident and became 92% paralyzed. Through hard work and determination, he is now able to walk. Warner is a motivational speaker and spreads inspiration about how sports can change ones view of life.
Attend the tournament and see other inspirational adults and military veterans with physical disabilities and visual impairments competing at the Paralympic level.
February 20, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Following the Great White Sharks, Mary Lee and Genie, is fascinating news for residents of and visitors to North Myrtle Beach, especially since Mary Lee spent several days close to shore here last fall.
Mary Lee, the great white shark named by scientist Chris Fischer of Ocearch http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com/ is requiring scientists to rethink some of their assumptions about the specie’s behavior. Scientists know where this particular Great White Shark is located because they tagged her with a satellite tracking device in Cape Cod in September of this year. Mary Lee is a mature female white shark, 16 feet long and weighing 3,456 pounds.
Before tracking Mary Lee great whites were believed to spend most of their time in waters ranging in temperature from 59 to 67 degrees F, yet Mary Lee has spent some time this winter in the New York/New England area in waters as cool as 37-38 degrees F. So far she appears to be avoiding waters warmer than 70 degrees F.
Are scientists surprised at the new information about temperature tolerance, and the large distance Mary Lee travels at one time. For example, she went from St. Augustine, FL on January 9th to Long Island by January 30th? Her range seems to be enormous. Was there not a prior belief that great whites were somewhat territorial?
Dr. Gregory Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, and author. As the principal investigator of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, he has been studying and diving with sharks for almost 30 years. He has written numerous scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel (where he is known as the shark guy), and PBS. His most recent book, The Shark Handbook, explores the world of sharks. His home and laboratory are on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.
Courtesy of Boston UnivDr. Skomal responded, “Mary Lee is indeed forcing me to re-examine what we thought about white shark movements, temperature preferences, and thermal physiology. I am surprised by the breadth of her movements, speed of travel, and temperature tolerance.”
Although she is currently in Bermuda, the water temperature is only in the mid sixties. So far she appears to be avoiding waters warmer than 70 degrees F. If that preference holds that would provide some reassurance for our tourists that visit Myrtle Beach in the summer when the water temperature ranges from 70 to 80+ degrees F.
“We knew that white sharks overwintered off SC, GA, and FL, but did not know that they moved so broadly and dynamically over this area, as evidenced by Mary Lee,” said Dr. Skomal.
Dr. Skomal added, “In total, we've tagged 34 white sharks, but only 2 with the real time technology. We have plans to tag more as early as next week off FL and this summer off Cape Cod. Tagging is expensive and we seek funding from numerous sources, including grants, private donations, and foundations. The Ocearch provides the platform for some of our work, but we also use other methods.”
February 19, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Last night around 100 people gathered to honor former Senator Dick Elliott for his long public service to the North Strand. Senator Elliott has served Horry, Dillon, Marion and Marlboro Counties (District 28) since 1992. He was previously a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1982 through 1992, Vice Chair, Horry County Council, 1976-1980 and before that was a North Myrtle Beach Councilman from 1962 to 1966.
In her remarks, North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley commented upon his working to get SC 9 widened as one of his greatest achievement. Hatley pointed out that a four lane SC 9 was important to bringing tourism into the North Strand as well as economically vitalizing the adjacent rural areas.
In addition to widening SC 9, Elliot was influential in obtaining the funding for the Robert Edge Parkway (the connector from North Myrtle Beach’s main street to Highway 31), the paving of Watertower Road (which became a critical second exit from Barefoot after the 2009 wildfire) and the widening of Hwy 17 to four lanes at Cherry Grove. In addition, he left his mark on legislation creating the Seacoast Hospital and legislation allowing the merger of the Loris Seacoast Healthcare System with McLeod Regional Healthcare.
In June, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley awarded South Carolina's highest civilian honor to retiring state Sen. Dick Elliott of North Myrtle Beach. Haley thanked Elliott for making a positive difference on those around him. She said the award is for a lifetime of exceptionally dedicated service to the state. Elliott spoke of his having served 30 years in the SC Assembly without missing a single session. He commented that he “deserved to retire.”
Dick and his wife, Anne, have resided in North Myrtle Beach more than 60 years and they have three children and three grandchildren.
Elliott is one of the longest serving Senators in South Carolina's history and has deep roots in the North Myrtle Beach community. He owns and operates Eagle Nest Golf Course, Elliott Realty, Beachwood Golf Course and Elliott Coastal Living Better Homes & Gardens.
February 18, 2013 North Myrtle Beach, SC - According to AAA, today's national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is 3.59. Locally, Gasbuddy.com reports that prices in North Myrtle Beach fall right in line with the national price with ranges from a low of $3.47 at the Circle K at 1701 US-17 and 17th Ave South to a high of $3.59 at the Shell station located at 318 Sea Mountain Highway and Duffy Street.
Nationally, the $3.59 per gallon price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, 28 cents more than one month ago and eight cents more than the average price one year ago. Today’s price is the highest on record for this calendar day. The national average has increased for 25 consecutive days, which is the longest streak since February and March 2012.
Since mid-January the national price at the pump has been propelled higher by somewhat more expensive crude oil, but more notably by regional refinery issues and the approaching switchover to summer-blend gasoline. Unlike recent years (Libya in 2011 and Iran in 2012), escalating geopolitical tensions overseas have not been a major contributing factor to the early-year price increase. Without a similar "risk premium" built into futures prices or new market-moving news, AAA expects that the increases to the national average will slow as temporary production concerns are addressed. Based on this expectation, the national average is likely to peak this spring at a lower price than in 2011 ($3.98 on May 5) and 2012 ($3.94 on April 5 and 6).
Prices in every state have increased over the last week, led by jumps in California and the Mountain States: Nevada (18 cents), Colorado (15 cents), California (14 cents), Arizona (14 cents) and Utah (12 cents). The price of gasoline in California rose above $4.00 per gallon on Friday, marking the first time since November 3, when California was last above this level, that a state average in the continental U.S. has exceeded this threshold. Motorists in Hawaii still pay the highest price at the pump at $4.24 per gallon.
There were some reports of long lines at the pump as drivers filled up their cars in advance of winter storm "Nemo," which blanketed much of the Northeast with snow over the weekend; however the ultimate short-term impact on regional retail prices was minimal as expected. The ultimate impact of the storm is likely to be one of demand destruction, as the snow continues to keep drivers off of the road in the densely populated Northeast. Traders are likely to keep a close eye on demand numbers when they are reported in the coming weeks.