How Hurricane Irma’s effects are slowing fishing action locally – Myrtle Beach Sun News
When a major hurricane blows through, it takes a good while for ocean conditions to return to normal, even if the center of the storm passes hundreds of miles to the west, like Hurricane Irma did on Monday.
Irma made its mark in the history books for devastating the Florida Keys and causing significant damage on a northward trek through the entire length of the Florida peninsula.
Locally, the wind field and bands from the massive storm created gusts to over 50 mph, with the persistent east-northeast wind churning up massive waves that obliterated beach re-nourishment projects on the south end of the Grand Strand and caused some coastal flooding at high tide on Monday.
Conditions quickly settled starting on Tuesday after the storm wound down, but anglers have found out fishing is far from normal.
Capt. Jeff Maples of Reel Salty Charters in Murrells Inlet specializes in near-shore fishing in the Atlantic, and had his first charter post-Irma on Friday.
Maples headed to Paradise Reef, located 3 miles east of the inlet. The reef had been producing large Spanish mackerel along with flounder and weakfish for Maples prior to the storm’s passage.
“The water is kind of greenish, but not clear,” said Maples. “You can tell it’s still kind of churned up. The water is green, just not it’s normal color of green.”
Bait is plentiful, however, Maples said.
“There’s plenty of mullet in the creeks (in the inlet) and mullet and pogys (menhaden) along the beach,” said Maples.
Maples loaded up his live well with numerous finger mullet and headed to Paradise Reef Friday morning. He went through the same routine he did prior to the storm of live-chumming finger mullet to get the Spanish active and to the