Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report August 2012

GON Staff | August 2, 2012

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “August is the month that separates fishermen from those who only claim to be. You really have to gut it out to fish during this month. The old saying ‘the early bird gets the worm’ really comes into play. It’s best to fish early, because when the sun gets straight up, the fisherman frying process begins. Redfish, spotted sea trout, flounder, whiting and sharks can be caught just about anywhere while fishing the sounds and beach fronts. The best baits are going to be the lively ones such as shrimp, mud minnows, finger mullet and small yellow tail. Live baits do all the work for you. The best news about these baits is most of them can be caught by you. It’s a good time to catch your own bait, and you might just have enough left over for supper. The secret to catching shrimp is simple. I suggest working the grass line as the shrimp first come out on the falling tide and when they start heading back to the safety of the marsh on the rising tide. For those who prefer, artificial-only bites can happen. I always like using DOA shrimp patterns during this time. You can use them as rigged straight out of the package. Best method here is to tie a 3- to 4-foot leader of 12- to 20-lb. test to a popping cork. Let the tide take the float, and come up with your own popping-the-float sequence. It’s best to fish this rig in 5 to 6 feet of water. Here’s another tip when fishing more than 6 feet of water—I suggest using a small adjustable float rig with a 2/0 Kahle hook. Remove the DOA weight and hook from the artificial shrimp pattern and balance them on your hook just like a shrimp. I am certainly not trying to talk you out of inshore fishing in August, I just offering up the best scenario for catching fish.”

Nearshore: Capt. Judy said it’s a great time to catch good bait to use trolling for mackerel. “Ocean menhaden have arrived and can be caught while casting your net around beach fronts and as far out as 3 miles into the ocean. The secret to finding porgies, also known as menhaden, is to keep an eye to the sky for diving pelicans. This is the one bait that works when used live or dead. It also works when used as chum meaning cut up or smashed up. When using live menhaden, I suggest light tackle rigs made with stinger hooks fished around the beach fronts and shipping channels. Big kings are known for migrating into these areas during August. Steep drops such as those located in the Savannah River channel hold lots of bait. King and Spanish mackerel know how this feeding drill works. Slow trolling in these areas usually yields big king mackerel bites. If you see Spanish mackerel on the surface, it’s very likely that large kings are holding in the outskirts. Another good baiting option is to catch Spanish mackerel, rig it up quick, and let it swim.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy reports, “The bottom bite at the Savannah Snapper Banks is good. However, to catch big fish you have to use the right big bait. Larger fish such as grouper, red snapper, cubera snapper, amberjack and cobia want live bait. A fisherman needs to use live baits such as menhaden, sand perch, rock bass, scup, pin fish and ruby red lips. Make sure that your livewell circulation pump is working properly and that the filter is clean. You want your bait lively and not shocked—not stressed with a white, milky appearance. I suggest lip hooking any of these baits with a 13/0 circle hook rigged up on a Carolina rig. As far as weight, I always use an 8-oz. egg weight and an 8- to 10-foot, 100-lb. test monofilament leader. Send it to the bottom, and just let it sit.”

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