Upstream from Georgetown, S.C., the Waccamaw River is home to territory that resembles a largemouth bass hot spot more than a redfish hangout. And that’s fine with guide Rob Beglin of Pawley’s Island, because pulls a page from the Cajun playbook and fish for reds the way freshwater anglers target largemouths.
For Beglin, who has also spent time in Louisiana fishing multiple tournament circuits, it’s old hat. He’s been plundering the Lowcountry since 1990 and using those tournament tricks since 2004.
“We catch bass right next to redfish in the Waccamaw,” said Beglin (843-458-1920), who runs Inshore Xtreme Fishing Charters. “In 3 to 4 feet of water, I’m looking for grass lines, stumps and any cover near the shoreline. The farthest I’ll go up the river is about a mile — you don’t have to go far to find those circumstances. The water we’re fishing in is dark, but I don’t necessarily need to see the fish to catch them.”
River fishing for Beglin is all about spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. He makes his own spinnerbaits — citing the merciless stumps as his primary reason for a cheaper alternative to store-bought brands. He chooses blade size by the time of year and bait size, starting with a No. 3 Colorado blade in the spring, working up to a No. 5 by summer. Dark- colored Saltwater Assassin paddle tail grubs are threaded on the hook.
A Rat-L-Trap is his chosen lipless bait. He swaps out the factory hooks for red, No. 5 Eagle Claw trebles. He’s experimented with every lure color available and said all are second to the bait’s vibration.
An ideal ramp for reaching the Waccamaw is at the mouth of the Sampit River in Georgetown’s East Bay Park, less than a mile south of US 17.