Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report February 2012

GON Staff | February 1, 2012

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “The water temp is averaging around 53 degrees in most places. The trout bite is still on. Some trout are being caught in the deeper holes. Fish a small jig or a live shrimp very slowly and close to the bottom. The redfish bite never really slowed down this winter. On the bright sunny days, look on the mud flats in shallow water on the first half of the incoming tide. The redfish are really spooky in the winter, so being really quiet and making accurate casts are really important. The sheepshead bite is not really hot, but some are being caught, inshore and offshore. On the Ogeechee River the striper bite is pretty good. Throwing big Rapalas on the first of the outgoing tide has been working for me. The striper bite will continue even if the water gets colder. The biggest fish of the year are usually caught in February and March.”

Excellent for trophy redfish. Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Although February is considered our coldest month, there is still plenty of big-time offshore trophy red fish action to be had. The secret is to know the deal, which I am going to share with you right now! For those fishermen who want to give open-water trophy red fishing a try, February is definitely the month. Most of these trophy redfish that have migrated offshore during this time are in the 36- to 45-inch and bigger range. The best places to start looking are these nearshore artificial reefs — artificial reef SAV deck barge with work boat 3154.299/8047.229, artificial reef KTK M-60 battle tanks 3130.831/8059.64 and artificial reef DUA 40-foot deck barge 3147.393/8052.496. Please note: Before heading offshore, always make sure that you have the correct coordinates. For up-to-date information on Georgia artificial reefs, go to <>. Another suggestion is while heading to your destination point keep an eye out for any formed rips that are holding any interest from your eyes in the sky — the birds. I have caught many trophy redfish while working rips that the seabirds are also interested in. Look on your fishfinder for any large solid marks. These large marks should be the fish you are looking for. Quite often a school of large redfish will find plenty to feed on in a formed rip. A rip is two different currents being pushed together making what I call ‘a wall!’ Small baits and other creatures get held up here or migrate to areas such as this. They think they are in a safe zone, but really they are feeding zones for bigger fish. As far as bait, here’s the already proven tackle that you need to have onboard. I suggest purchasing some Diamond jigs. The diamond jigs I like using are 1-oz. Causeway jig 007 red tube, 2-oz. Causeway jig A17 red tube and 3-oz. Causeway jig A 27 red tube. I like the jigs that are sporting a red or green miniature tube lure. These are old-school jigs and have worked as long as I can remember. And that’s for a long time! I like using Diamond jigs with or without trailing miniature tubes. This style jig is one of my favorites, because it’s so simple and it works. Once hooked up, there is a strange thing that can happen. Your hooked-up redfish will most likely be followed by the entire school of fish. You need to be prepared in case this happens. I suggest cutting or chunking up any old mullet or menhaden that you might have. You should have this ready to throw right into the school of redfish. This food will keep them near the surface for an extra second, but as soon as the chunks start to sink, the fish will disappear with them. While all this is going on, I suggest dropping over another Diamond jig and letting it fall directly to the bottom. If you are lucky enough to penetrate the feeding school, believe me the jig will not make it to the bottom! Please remember all redfish caught in federal waters are protected and have to be released as soon as possible!”

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