Weekly Fishing Report, Feb. 23 – Feb. Mar. 1

Fishing is one of the most popular things to do in Myrtle Beach, SC and the Grand Strand, with many outdoor enthusiasts taking advantage of the Grand Strand’s many bodies of water to seek out their next big catch.

Each week, our Myrtle Beach fishing expert and The Sun News outdoors columnist Gregg Holshouser provides those who visit Myrtle Beach with a report full of inside info on where to fish, what to look for and the conditions you can expect whether you’re fishing inshore, offshore or in one of the area’s many estuaries and freshwater bodies.

Here’s a look at the Myrtle Beach SC area fishing report for the week of Feb. 23 – Feb. Mar. 1.

What to expect:

Activity of red drum has picked up in local estuaries with a quick increase in water temperature, thanks to a prolonged stretch of spring-like weather. Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions fished Monday through Wednesday in Murrells Inlet and found good action with red drum.

“They’re not easy to find but once you find them and the water’s moving pretty good, they’re hungry,” said Connolly, who cast-netted mullet and used them for cut bait, which pleased the reds. A few reds were caught on mud minnows. Connolly also caught a few black drum and noted a water temperature of 62 degrees on a falling tide. Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service in Georgetown had a solid day on Sunday, catching nine reds, including three over the 15 to 23 inch slot, all on plastic grubs in the Winyah Bay vicinity. McDonald also went on a scouting trip Thursday afternoon and observed a 68-degree water temperature in the back of a creek and a 63-degree reading at South Island Ferry in the Intracoastal Waterway.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is asking anglers to practice catch and release of all spotted seatrout through the end of September. In North Carolina waters, spotted seatrout are closed to harvest for all fishermen, recreational and commercial, until June 15.

What to look for:

  • Tautog
  • Red drum
  • Spotted seatrout
  • Black drum
  • Sheepshead
  • Flounder
  • Bluefish

What to expect:

The calendar says February, but the activity along the beach has been more typical of early spring. “Things are starting to pick up,” said Steve Gann of the Cherry Grove Pier on Thursday.

“The last few days we’ve had a good number of whiting landed and some blues. They caught a bunch of whiting out there today. Everybody out there today has been happy.” At 4 p.m. Thursday, Gann observed water temperature readings of 59 degrees on the surface and 58 on the bottom. “It’s been active for February,” said Gann. “We shouldn’t see this until mid-March. That’s not to say it’s not going to cool back down.”

Sheepshead continue to provide the most action on near-shore artificial reefs. Anglers are reminded there is a daily bag limit of 10 sheepshead per person, a boat limit of 30 per day and a minimum size limit of 14 inches (total length).

What to look for:

  • Croaker
  • Whiting
  • Black drum
  • Sheepshead
  • Black sea bass
  • Weakfish
  • Bluefish
  • Flounder

fish-BlackSeaBass

What to expect:

Jeff Martini and crew aboard Dirty Martini out of Little River had a solid day deep-dropping for snowy grouper on Tuesday. On the way out, Martini noted a water temperature of 68 degrees at the Winyah Scarp.

Trolling boats are targeting wahoo and blackfin tuna with success on favorable weather days. Bottom fishing is productive for black sea bass, grey triggerfish, vermilion snapper, red porgy and white grunts, among other species.

The annual Shallow-Water Grouper Spawning Season Closure is in effect through April 30, the Greater amberjack fishery is closed to harvest for recreational anglers until March, and red snapper are closed indefinitely in the South Atlantic region and must be released.

What to look for:

  • blackfin tuna
  • wahoo
  • black sea bass
  • vermilion snapper
  • grunts
  • triggerfish
  • amberjack
  • Porgy

What to expect:

There’s a rise in the rivers, but spring is in the air, and fish are biting. Ronald “Catfish” Stalvey of Stalvey’s Bait and Tackle in Conway even reports that, with a quickly rising water temperature, bream are beginning to hit crickets along with the winter-time staple of worms.

Stalvey reports crappie action continues to be good with fish hitting minnows and beetle spins around structure on points and in coves. The shad run is on, and so is the catfish bite, which means cut shad is a prime bait. Stalvey noted the Ricefields area is currently a top spot for bass, hitting Texas-rigged worms, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

The Waccamaw River at Conway was at 8.36 feet at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, while the Little Pee Dee at Galivants Ferry was at 7.3 feet at 5 p.m.

What to look for:

  • Bream
  • Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Bass

Gregg Holshouser is an avid fisherman and outdoors writer with more than 15 years experience writing for the Northwest Florida Daily News and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Contact Gregg with any fishing-related questions by clicking here

Comments

Comments

Thanks for checking out our new site! We’ve changed a ton of stuff, and we’d love to know what you think.
Email feedback