Hot weather puts a damper on good fishing

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Despite hot days and windy conditions, anglers are still finding fish in our inshore waters. Flounder and redfish have given local fishermen some good action lately. The best thing about summer fishing is although the fish aren’t as numerous they tend to be larger.

Capt. Mark Dickson of Shallow Minded Charters has had some successful trips lately, fishing both inshore and out at the jetties. I spoke to him Monday and he told me about fishing at the jetties earlier that day.

“We caught 10 different species out there this morning,” Dickson said, “including redfish, speckled trout, summer and southern flounder, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bonnethead sharks and black drum. We also caught a 5-pound pompano.”

Dickson said despite the weather, he and his fellow guides are still catching fish.

“Even though the temperature is hot, there is still some great fishing,” he said.

Dickson has been doing some flounder fishing around one of my favorite spots, the Sunset Beach Bridge. He said the action tends to come and go right now, but the size of the fish is excellent and they are bunched up when he finds them.

“I know the flounder move around,” he said, “but they don’t move far. You can really catch them when you get on them. Sometimes you have to look a little to find them. Sometimes they are in the usual spots.”

Dickson told me the caught seven keeper flounder one day fishing in one spot near the bridge, none small than 18 inches. But the next day he was unable to catch anything at the same place.

“We went back and they weren’t there,” he said.

Dickson likes to use pogies as bait when after the flounder. Now the water is full of finger mullet and small pogies, which are actually little menhaden. Both are commonly used by anglers who gather them with cast nets for flounder fishing.

“I like the pogies.” he said. “To me they’re a little better bait. They have a good size, a little more flash in the water, they’re more oily. They don’t last as long as finger mullet on the hook, but they’re a good bait. This time of the year most of the finger mullet are just a little bit too small.”

In addition to the inshore flounder, there has been action on red drum.

“We have seen an incredible backwater redfish bite come and go and now it seems to be back again,” Dickson said. “Nice fish from 6 to 14 pounds. The falling tide has been the deal.”

Reports from the pier and surf anglers also indicate that fishing is hit and miss, but there have been some nice flounder, pompano and Spanish mackerel decked. Anglers are wisely avoiding the hottest part of the day, and most the action is in the morning or in the hours around sunset.

There are still some black drum being caught around inshore structure, but it seems as if those fish are always there. Pompano are eating sand fleas in the surf, but surf fishing will not really heat up until the heat subsides and fall gets here.

With the fish being scattered right now, it doesn’t pay to stay in the same place for too long if you aren’t getting any bites. It’s better to search a little bit to find out where the action is taking place. Even shore and surf anglers should scout around before settling on one spot, and be ready to move if the fish aren’t there.

Captain Mark Dickson and Shallow Minded Charters can be found at http://www.fishmyrtlebeach.com or by calling (843) 458-3055.

JEFFREY WEEKS is a fishing columnist for the Beacon. You may reach him at saltyweeks@gmail.com or follow updated fishing reports on his blog at http://saltyweeks.blogspot.com.