Guy Harvey Magazine

SPR 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 28 of 83 | 29 There are numerous small inlets passing through the barrier islands that have formed along much of the South Carolina coast, and September through November, these often hold schools of XL redfish. They're too big to keep—most are well over 30 in., and some over 30 lbs.—but they're the right size to make for fast, fun fishing. Chunks of cut mullet or blue crab are usually the ticket in these often murky waters, and you'll need a big surf rod to get your bait well out in the flow from the beaches. All the usual nearshore species are found here seasonally, as well—Spanish, bluefish, bonito and more—a kayak launched off the beach can get you to this action when the surf permits, or you can take a center console out of many of the inlets in calm weather. The Charleston Bump is not, as you might think, a hip dance, but a rise in the sea floor more or less east of Charleston about 50 to 55 miles, which actually diverts the Gulf Stream to the east from its northward course. North of the bump, the current swings back inshore, creating a huge eddy, according to Richard Legeckis of NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. Not surprisingly, the area is often gamefish junction. By the time the stream goes past Morehead City, it's about 35 miles out, just an hour's run for a fast boat on a calm day. Sailfish are a favorite July-August target here, with good numbers showing up in 120 to 300 ft. Head on out to the stream and troll high-speed heads with patience and you may hook up with a blue marlin during the same period. They're not giants, averaging about 200 lbs., but any billfish of that size is well worth the wait. Dolphin and wahoo are also common here at depths of 180 to 600 ft., according to SCDNR, with most caught along color breaks and weedlines on trolling plain or skirted ballyhoo. King mackerel live closer to shore, with the largest females, 30 lbs. and up, usually hanging around the larger inlets where a slow-trolled live mullet or pinfish will do the job. The entire pelagic fishery is seasonal, getting into gear in April, ending in October most years as the fish head for Florida waters. South Carolina also has a well-developed artificial reef program, with literally dozens of the reefs sitting at depths from 30 to more than 120 ft. on the continental shelf. These areas all provide good fishing for grouper, snapper and other reef fish, and are also prime trolling areas for locating kings, Spanish and other species. See a list of the reef locations and depths here: Just one of many passes along the South Carolina coast, Drayton Inlet not only provides easy access from the inside waters to the beach, but is also a fish highway for reds, flounder, trout and more. Photo: Capt. Jordan Pate, On the Beaches Offshore

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