Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break Redfishing

Despite the fact that Winter just doesn't seem to want to let go, the fishing has been excellent in the creeks and inlets south of Myrtle Beach. We've been spending a lot of time redfishing in Winyah Bay and Cape Romain the last few weeks, catching good numbers of redfish and a few trout as well. Although flounder haven't started showing up in in big numbers yet, I expect them to start biting again any day now. Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island are excellent choices for early season flounder.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cold Weather, Hot Redfish bite!

Fishing Report Myrtle Beach SC - Jan 2014

Despite the frigid temperatures we experienced the first week in January, the redfish bite has been phenomenal. Two days after only reaching a high of 38, temps soared into the 70's and the redfish  have responded very well. The water clarity is exceptional and we are sight casting to many of these redfish which can be found in large schools in shallow water. We are targeting these schools of fish on the lower mid-day tides with various artificial baits, including Vudu Shrimp, DOAs,  and mud-minnows on a 1/4oz jig head.

Here are some photos from a recent fishing trip just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach with Ross Carr and Jim Anderson from Florence SC.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 Fishing Review - Myrtle Beach SC

2013 Fishing Review and Photos

Overall 2013 was a great year for inshore fishing along the Grand Strand and I would personally like to thank everyone who had a part in making this past year so enjoyable. I met a lot of wonderful people over the last year and being able to share special moments on the boat are memories that I hope will last them a lifetime.

Lots of memorable trips in the books from this past year; a 75 year old gentleman who had never been on a boat before and caught his first redfish; my new friend Bill Arnold from Arkansas who caught his first tailing redfish, and immediately preceded to ask his future father in law for his daughters hand in marriage; Jason McKinney, Barry Bynum, Byrce Pate, Derrick Close, Blair Googer, Ross Carr, Casey Maier, all caught their first South Carolina Tarpon; Richard Sherman from Chicago spent two straight days chasing tarpon and witnessed some of the most action packed tarpon feeding I've seen in years, but left heartbroken when a potential state recorded tarpon(150lbs+) parted with the line(2014 is your year Richard!); watching my hero and father, Tommy Pate stick a 15lb redfish with the flyrod in only 6 inches of water(thanks for the lesson dad!). The list goes on but perhaps the most memorable trips were with my 3 year old son, Rostan who is now at the age where he can handle the long hours on the boat with his old man, just as long as I have a livewell full of swimming critters to occupy him. 

Late winter early spring, we had an excellent crop of flounder and an abundance of large trout as well. Late spring thru mid summer, above average rainfall really made fishing a challenge as the rivers swelled and often freshwater pushed 10 miles offshore of Winyah Bay. I spent the majority of time chasing redfish, trout, and flounder in the shallow creeks and bays south of Myrtle Beach away from the primary river systems with great success. With the exception of a few action packed tailing tides, I was somewhat let down by the tailing tides this year as the conditions never seemed to cooperate during the ideal tides. By late June, the tarpon migration was in full swing and like many fellow tarpon junkies, thats where most of my attention shifted until the mullet migration ended in mid October. The fall fishing was fantastic as it always is... bulls reds at the jetties and in the surf, big flounder in the creeks, redfish frenzies in shallow water, and numerous trout could be found just about everywhere. I hope that 2014 picks up where we left off!

Here are a few photos from the year past... I hope you decide to join me on a fishing adventure if you are visiting the Myrtle Beach area in 2014.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tarpon Fishing Report - Aug 2013

Tarpon fishing continues to be productive around the inlets and jetties south of Myrtle Beach, particularly in the Winyah Bay area. Despite the steady action, I don't think we're seeing the numbers of tarpon that we normally have this time of year. Frequent rains in June and July gave us our highest amount of rainfall that we've seen all year, as a result much of the baitfish have been flushed from the brackish tributaries that are normally full of mullet and feeding tarpon. Areas that normally hold good numbers of tarpon, only seem to have a few stragglers. The good news is that the "stragglers" are absolute pigs, and fish in the 140lb-150lb class are being caught. The rivers are also finally beginning to return to normal levels and bait fish are beginning to fill up in the brackish estuaries. I'm expecting the next 8 weeks of tarpon fishing to be the best we've seen all year. In fact, Capt. Steve of Barrier Island Guide Service reported catching 4 out of 5 tarpon hooked one day last week in Georgetown.

Here are a few pictures of a 140lb+ tarpon my good friend Blair Googer caught while drifting a live mullet along off beach near Pawleys Island.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Inshore Fishing Report - July 2013

Inshore fishing has been excellent this month, especially for redfish and flounder. The redfish bite has been exceptional early in the am on the lower tides, and sighfishing for tailing redfish on the grass flats has been very productive in the evenings. Some really nice flounder are also being caught at the nearshore reefs and the jetties, including this 7lb doormat.

For the best results when fishing in July, anglers targeting redfish should be on the water at daylight when the prime feeding occurs.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tarpon have arrived in South Carolina - June 2013

Tarpon have finally begun to show up along the beaches and estuaries in South Carolina, and more and more reports of tarpon sightings are circulating daily as we near the end of June. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of perfect tides and weather this past weekend to run the beaches south of Myrtle Beach in search of our old friends. Locating large masses of bait is the key to finding tarpon early in the season and once we did, my crew was rewarded with not one, but two tarpon that we successfully released. Both tarpon were in the 80 lb class, and after a series of incredible jumps and brief 15 min fight, we were able to bring each tarpon boatside for a couple of pictures and quickly released. We experienced one more tarpon bite not long after releasing the 2nd fish, however the 100lb + tarpon threw the hook(and our last bait) on the first jump.  With satisfied egos and a successful first trip of the season under our belts, we headed back to the hill just in time for lunch.

Congrats to Barry Bynum of Myrtle Beach SC, who caught his first South Carolina tarpon this past weekend:

Tarpon typically begin to arrive in South Carolina in June as they migrate up the Eastern Seaboard to feed on the mass amounts of bait fish including mullet and menhaden. Many of the migrating tarpon will continue up the coast to North Carolina and Virgina, but many will take up temporary residence in South Carolina until mullet begin migrating back south to warmer waters in early October. So far, it's been a great start to tarpon season here in South Carolina and I am anticipating the next few months to be one of the best we've had in years. 

Anglers should take notice of a new law that recently went in place which prohibits the possession on tarpon less than 77in. The new law is intended to prevent the unnecessary killing of tarpon in South Carolina, unless the fish is a potential state record which currently 156lbs. This is a huge victory for tarpon conservation, not only in the state of South Carolina but will also begin to put pressure on other states to reevaluate their laws concerning tarpon.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about tarpon fishing in the Myrtle Beach area.

Capt. Jordan Pate

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fishing Report for Myrtle Beach SC - May 2013

We've been blessed with exceptional weather conditions here on the Grand Strand the last few weeks of May and as a result, the fishing has been red hot. Inshore, the trout bite has been the best we've seen in a few years.  Throwing topwater plugs at daylight have been producing big trout in the 3-4lb range. As the sun rises and the topwater bite tapers off, try suspending baits, grubs, and DOA shrimp to stay on the bite.
Flounder are stacked up in the creeks of Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, and the Winyah Bay Jetties. Trolling or drifting larger mud minnows and finger mullet on the bottom, or blind casting grubs and flukes at the mouth of small feeder creeks will give you the best shot at catching flounder this time of year.
Redfish are still plentiful in the Winyah Bay area, as well as surf fishing on the mid rishing tide. When fishing from the beach, look for deep sloughs between sandbars and areas where baitfish are concentrated. Mullet can be easily caught with a cast net in the surf which is always your bait of choice. Be mindful of the South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Regulations on Red Drum and always try to use the appropriate tackle that will ensure a healthy release of oversized redfish. Consider using a fishfider rig with a 3oz sinker, 4/0 circle hook, and no more than 2ft of 40lb leader when targeting redfish in the surf.

Offshore, the local fleet has been blistering the blackfin tuna, mahi, wahoo, and other bottom dwelling species like grouper and snapper. Just last weekend, the 46th annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament was held out of the Georgetown Landing Marina and a good number of Blue Marlin were tagged and released in the three days of fishing, including two fish that were brought to the scales on friday.

For information related to offshore fishing charters, check with these local marinas:
Capt. Dicks - Murrells Inlet
Marlin Quay - Murrells Inlet
Georgetown Landing Marina - Georgetown SC

If you have an interest in visiting the Myrtle Beach area, check out MyrtleBeach.com for a complete list of hotels and accommodations.

Feel free to contact me or visit our website for additional information on inshore fishing charters in Myrtle Beach.

Capt. Jordan Pate