GRAND STRAND FISHING REPORT | NOV – DEC 2010

May 24th, 2011

by Capt. Paul Rose, carolinebonefishing.com

Summer came on quickly with high temperatures and humidity arriving earlier and seemingly lasting longer. Fishing was good on most accounts particularly early and late. But now the transition from the dog days of summer to early fall is upon us, creating exciting and pleasant times to be out on the water.

Predator fish become very active and aggressive all day long, chasing fall bait runs to prepare for the approaching winter. Opportunities for any number of popular species exists right now so burn those last few vacation days and enjoy some great fishing. There is plenty of water at the coast plus wind, tide and ever-changing conditions. Hiring a guide is best in the salt the first time out. Here is what the experts have to say.


Little River/Myrtle Beach

Capt. Patrick Kelly (843-361-7445) has this time of year pegged as one of his favorite times to fish. Many anglers are tuned in to hunting, leaving water unpressured and fish eager to bite.

Anglers will find reds on the move in shallow water and beginning to transition into winter patterns. As water cools, reds have begun schooling in shallow water. As a bonus to chillier temperatures algae blooms have decreased improving visibility, which makes sight-fishing possible.

If approached with stealth, Reds are readily taking flies and soft plastics. November and December are especially great months for fly-fishing as winds can be very calm between fronts.

Live bait will work if you can get it but Capt. Kelly does not find it necessary this time of year. Use smaller ¼-ounce jig heads with Gulp type baits. Sea trout are also plentiful with 4-to-5-pound fish not uncommon. Try simple popping corks cast along drop-offs in the ICW or grass lines. Again, artificials will trump the need for live bait. The trick is to pop the cork hard enough to attract attention then pausing the retrieve waiting on strikes. Repeat the pop and stop retrieve varying speed and pause until you figure out the bite.

Pier Fishing


Apache Pier

Apache Pier (843-497-6486) and Springmaid Pier (866-764-8501) have reported excellent catches. Eric Perry of Perry’s Bait Shop (843-651-2895) has been rigging pier anglers, from the salty veteran to the newbie, for years.

For the speck bite “float Gulp’s under corks on live shrimp, if available, right from the pier for good catches of speckled trout.

DOA bait under corks will work as well for the beginner as they come pre-rigged on a jig head. It is as simple as cast and retrieve a method that works very well with this set-up.

Focus around the pier structure itself. Spots up to one pound and bull whiting up to 2-pounds are also available from both piers. These two popular fish will taper off as cold weather sets in.

Use 2 rig bottom rigs with small J-hooks tipped with bloodworms or cut shrimp. If you’re after a bull red they will stick around well into December. It has not been a numbers game on the piers, but catches are pretty consistent.

If you’re in the surf around the pier use Carolina rigs with 3-ounce weights and big pieces of cut mullet. From the pier itself you can drop down to 2-ounce weights. One big crab cut into four pieces is also excellent bait this time of year for bull reds.

Sharks have moved out, which makes night fishing for whiting, spots, reds, and trout more productive. Both piers have lights and full amentities available. When pier fishing, remember to check the tides and make your fishing plan around the moving water.


SpringMaid Pier

Apache Pier (843-497-6486) and Springmaid Pier (866-764-8501) have reported excellent catches. Eric Perry of Perry’s Bait Shop (843-651-2895) has been rigging pier anglers, from the salty veteran to the newbie, for years.

For the speck bite “float Gulp’s under corks on live shrimp, if available, right from the pier for good catches of speckled trout.

DOA bait under corks will work as well for the beginner as they come pre-rigged on a jig head. It is as simple as cast and retrieve a method that works very well with this set-up.

Focus around the pier structure itself. Spots up to one pound and bull whiting up to 2-pounds are also available from both piers. These two popular fish will taper off as cold weather sets in.

Use 2 rig bottom rigs with small J-hooks tipped with bloodworms or cut shrimp. If you’re after a bull red they will stick around well into December. It has not been a numbers game on the piers, but catches are pretty consistent.

If you’re in the surf around the pier use Carolina rigs with 3-ounce weights and big pieces of cut mullet. From the pier itself you can drop down to 2-ounce weights. One big crab cut into four pieces is also excellent bait this time of year for bull reds.

Sharks have moved out, which makes night fishing for whiting, spots, reds, and trout more productive. Both piers have lights and full amentities available. When pier fishing, remember to check the tides and make your fishing plan around the moving water.


Murrell’s Inlet

With the ability to take anglers offshore, near-shore, and in-shore, Capt. Jay Biesch has November and December filled with options.

Trolling dead Cigar minnows over live bottoms are still catching kings. This bite should last until Thanksgiving. Near-shore anglers are taking flounder in the 5-to-10-pound range on live mullet using bottom rigs around deeper structure.

Inshore is offering some of the year’s best red drum and sea trout fishing. One reason for the consistent bite is the area receives little influx of freshwater, keeping sanity levels stable. Both species are being caught under floats rigged with Gulp soft plastics.

Focus efforts in the ICW channel edges and creeks mouths. The bite is taking place in water depths of 5-to-7-feet. Try to keep baits in this sweet spot. Trout are typically not alone so if you catch one more should follow.

Georgetown Area

Captain Mike McDonald at (843-546-3543) reports fantastic fishing for trout and reds, two commonly sought after gamefish. With cooler water temperatures, Trout are being found at 7-to-11-feet of water. Look for any depth contour changes and fish the drop-off or the edges.

Reds prefer water in depths of 18 inches or less. Like us, dolphins enjoy a good meal of redfish but they can’t get the reds in shallow water – and the reds have learned this lesson. The dolphins’ loss is your gain! At low tide redfish can be seen waking or cruising along oyster bars and grass lines. Anglers should place accurate cast out in front of these fish for exciting takes.

Live bait is becoming less and less available so artificials are working very well. Plus, for catch and release, artificials allow for easy and safer unhooking of undersized fish. Live bait-caught fish tend to be hooked much deeper.

The Hammerheads Return! 2011 Season Begins In April

May 9th, 2011

Professional soccer returns to the Cape Fear region with the resurgence of the Wilmington Hammerheads. A full season begins in April 2011. The Hammerheads will be facing 16 teams from various parts of the country as well as Puerto Rico and Antigua. The US teams in their conference include Rochester, New York football club, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Richmond, Charlotte, Charleston, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and Los Angeles.

Bill Rudisil, a previous owner, is the new president and majority owner of the new Hammerheads. Other partners involved include Dr. Clyde Harris, Cindy Harris, Dr. Mario Basegoda, and Dr. Sara Bocherding. “On behalf of the new ownership group, I am very excited to be a part of bringing the Hammerheads back.  It is our hope the community will support us as in years past,” said Rudisil in a statement.

Coach David Irving, who is returning as head coach for the team said, “We are actively recruiting for our first game. That gives us about 4 months to put a team on the field that Wilmington will be proud of!” Coach Irving is actively recruiting and will be hosting player tryouts at a date to be announced. Applications for 2011 tryouts are still being accepted and the coach and management anticipate new player announcements soon.

Season tickets are now available along with merchandise from previous years, including jersey replicas in limited numbers and various sizes.

For tickets and merchandise, please contact the Hammerhead office at 420 Raleigh Street, Suite E, Wilmington, NC 28412 or phone 910-777-2111, or visit the Hammerhead website: www.WilmingtonHammerheads.com.

Off Season Training

May 9th, 2011

by Chris Eller

At the end of the ski season we are all our strongest and are usually skiing or riding the best we have ridden the entire summer. So as the seasons change and the water starts to get cold we’re already thinking, “Man I wish I could keep skiing all winter so I won’t lose all the new techniques that I learned this summer.”

One thing we have to remember is that wake boarding and skiing are both highly intense workouts that take quite a toll on our bodies. It takes weeks to get into skiing shape. Knowing this makes the first part of winter a good time to transition into other activities to keep us strong and ready for next year while also giving our “skiing muscles” a little R&R.

One thing is for certain … no matter how hard you train or workout in the winter the first time you ski or ride next year you WILL have sore muscles. There are a few things you can do to reduce the soreness and allow for a quicker recovery.

If possible, ski when it is nice throughout the winter. If you are as addicted to skiing and riding as we are, an investment in a good dry suit and taking advantage of any warm winter days we get can pay huge dividends for next summer. It is amazing how a few days a month can affect how quickly someone can get back in to skiing shape once warm weather arrives.

Next, avoid putting on those extra winter pounds. Carrying extra weight and trying to get back into ski shape is a double whammy. It lowers your strength-to-weight ratio making it harder on your body again. Your equipment does not work the same if you are heavier.

Finally, if you cannot get on the water (or in between those times) do exercises that work your hands, back, and core muscles. The stronger these are going into early season, the more quickly you’ll get back into shape. This all can be done outside a gym too!

A great exercise that can accomplish all three is simply pretend skiing, or riding, with a handle attached to a pole. Visualization is huge in sports and can help you improve tremendously. Doing this while leaning against the handle will put a strain on your body similar to what you feel behind the boat. Make sure while you do this, you think about engaging your abdominal muscles during your ski pass or wakeboard run.  Engaging your core muscles during winter exercises will make it happen naturally in the summer when you begin skiing and riding again.

Although winter can be a bummer with regard to actual water time, it can be the best time of the year to make a stronger body and mind for the upcoming ski season. The goal is to get back where we were the previous year in the shortest amount of time possible. This will allow for more improvement in our skiing and riding throughout the summer.

Christopher and April Coble Eller own and operate Coble Water Ski and Wakeboard Camp in Lillington, NC. They are sponsored by MasterCraft Boat Company and HO skis. April is a former US Masters Champion and current Malibu Open slalom champion. Christopher is a MasterCraft Pro Tour driver and US National Medalist. You can learn more about their school at www.cobleskischool.com.