Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report – December 2006

GON Staff | November 22, 2006

Inshore: The inshore fishing is on fire right now both on the southern Georgia coast and up in the Savannah area. “It has been one of the best fall bites we have had in a while,” said Capt. Greg Hildreth, who fishes out of Golden Isles Marina on St. Simons. “The Low Country Lighting Corks with live shrimp have been working great, as well as DOA shrimp under the corks for the trout. The best colors have been the glow color and the clear with red flake. The sight fishing for the tailing reds inshore has been very good. I had a client yesterday from Virginia who took five fish on the fly rod with a chartreuse Clouser minnow. The tailing reds will only get better as the winter comes on.” Capt. Judy Helmey in Savannah said, “This is likely one of best years for sea trout in the last 10 or 15 years. This time of year she said to look for favorable tides and warm weather. “Quality fish will seek favorable conditions. When tides abate and water quality improves, fish will reappear. Local bait shops are saying shrimp are becoming harder to find. In the Savannah area, bait shrimpers usually keep their doors open until the end of December. Last year Bo at Bandy’s was open most of winter. Should be good fishing ahead!”

The bull reds have moved to the nearshore reefs and can be caught with cut bait and soft-plastic jigs like the Spike It six-inch shad baits, according to Capt. Greg Hildreth. The nearshore reefs are also holding lots of black sea bass, Capt. Judy Helmey said. “During this time, black sea bass might only be found holding in isolated areas around the artificial reef. It might take you a while to find them because there are normally a lot of places to look in these areas. Best baits can vary due to the ever-changing taste of these bottom-hugging fish. Always be prepared to change up baits especially if the bite slacks,” she said.

Offshore: Bottom fishing is good this time of year as fish are on the move and feeding. It’s a little better on the Snapper Banks than the nearer artificial reefs. “Your best bait choices could be anything from live to fresh dead bait. Small fish such as cigar minnows and Spanish sardines are still pretty easy to catch while using the gold hook sabiki bait rig. Another good old-stand-by bait is going to be cut squid or fish. Larger types of baitfish such as ruby red lips, sand perch, rock bass, scup, pinfish, and small vermilion snapper also make great big bottom-fish baits. Over the years it has come to my attention that big bottom fish are picky eaters,” Capt. Judy said.

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