Monday, April 25, 2016
Just off the coast of Murrell’s Inlet, SC the blues and Spanish Mackerel have started to blitz over the last week. On Monday, Jill and I had the pleasure of going fishing with Stephen Christopher, CEO and Owner of Carolina Hook and Line, proud Why Knot Fishing South Carolina Team Captain and his two friends Robert Sowers and Caleb Capps. Our trip started at Marlin Quay Marina, Garden City, SC. For more information on the Marina and charters they offer please visit: http://www.marlinquaymarina.com/.
Stephen provided the gear and setups for a very successful trip. His gear selection for these fish are St. Croix Tidemaster heavy action rods fitted with Abu Garcia 6500 ambassador reels, 40lbs test using planers and straw rigs.
Joining us on another boat was our other Captain buddy, Caleb Hartley and they were using similar rigs. Caleb and Stephen have had several successful trips earlier in the week to the spot they were taking us to today. The pictures they showed me of their previous catch were amazing and I could not wait for the action.
And wait we did not, as soon as we got about three miles off shore Stephen took a 90 degree turn due south while Caleb positioned the other boat to do a large circle around us. I thought this was an interesting way to cover a fishing ground quickly to determine if the fish where sitting over a structure or around.
Almost immediately after we made the turn, we got our first hit on the port side of the boat. We were only running two lines down. Trolling at about 4 knots and setting the planers about 15 feet down. Jill as typical pulled in the first Spanish and then my line was harvesting the next catch. For the next two hours as fast as we could get the lines back in the water we were pulling them in sometimes three at a time on the rigs. Stephen was surprised to find some of the bigger fish hitting the closer straws rather than the Clark spoon attached to the end of the rigging. Even the fish we were catching today were a little larger than the ones they hooked up the days before.
Once Spanish start blitzing they can easily be spotted by concentrating your view on the surface of the water. They will smash into bait fish and clear the water by a good foot or two. Most of the fish we were hooking average 1.5 pounds to 2.5 pounds with average length of at least 24 inches. Current SC limits are 15 per person and must be 12 inches or longer.
Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) are bluish-green on back, sides silver with numerous yellow to bronze spots and no lines or streaks, anterior portion of first dorsal fin is black, lateral line gradually curves down toward caudal fin, dorsal fins scarcely separated, first dorsal fin has 17 – 19 spines. Nice looking fish and very tasty.
Within two hours we had hit our limits between both boats catching a total of over a 100 fish. Even with all the fishing action the day was culminated by one of the most beautiful sunsets any of us has experienced while living in South Carolina. The light cloud cover provided the fire red reflection of the setting sun mixed with the fading blue was simply spectacular. Now that’s living right.
Jill and I would like to express our sincere thanks to Rob and Capps for graciously letting us do most of the fishing while they untangled our knots, landed a few multiple catches by hand as the reel I was using about went swimming, twice. Doing all this while making sure every fish made it into the boat. Thanks guys. Notice that I did not mention anything about the blue biting Capp’s finger, well I guess I just did.
For additional information on Carolina Hook and Line please visit their website at http://www.carolinahookandline.com/. If you happen to be in the Myrtle Beach or surrounding area please reach out to me Jay@whyknotfishing.com or Stephen and will be glad to hook you up with some great fishing.
Jay Campbell is the Chief Business Officer and Partner of Why Knot Fishing and resides a good part of his time at their home in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina.