Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report January 2011

GON Staff | January 3, 2011

Saltwater: Inshore: Good, but slow down your presentations. “Everything is in wintertime mode,” said Capt. David Newlin. “The big redfish are in good numbers on the shallow flats on low tide. Throw shrimp or artificial Gulp! and power baits to them. The redfish are very spooky this time of year, so use lighter terminal tackle and light fluorocarbon leaders to get more strikes.” Capt. Judy Helmey reports, that while using live shrimp and fishing the edge of the grass line, some fishermen caught limits of mixed-sized seatrout. “According to the report, when the tide changed around 9:30 a.m. to the incoming, the trout bite exploded,” Capt. Judy said. “We had two days of extremely cold weather and then a warming trend, and the bite went from light to just right.” Capt. Judy said to try a DOA artificial shrimp lure, but she’s come up with a special way to rig it that’s been working. “I remove the weight and hook and use a 2/0 to 3/0 Khale hook,” she said. She rigs the bait “wacky” style, pulling the hook through the middle of the shrimp’s back. “When hooking up the shrimp this way, I try to balance it on the bend of the hook so it rocks back and forth in the current. You can use it under popping corks or traditional adjustable corks.” She said the redfish bite has been good. “The cold pushes the redfish to the flats. Most of the redfish in the creeks, rivers and sounds stay on the mud flats, and as soon as the tide gets to the grass they push forward up into the marsh as far as they can. It’s that time of year where the redfish is preyed upon by dolphin. Especially at the low tide, when you have dolphin holding out in the deeper water in front of the flats you most likely have redfish holding in the shallows.” Capt. T.J. Cheek reports, “The trout and reds are in tight schools. The trick right now is to cover water. Get on the trolling motor, tie on a jig or crankbait, and go up and down the bank. My go-to baits for trout this time of year are a brown jig head with a grey/silver colored paddle tail grub, or a MirrOlure 52M in an 18 or 21 color pattern. Fish the jig by casting against the current and making slow, 1-inch hops along the bottom. Set the hook any time you feel the slightest tap. These cold, lethargic fish might not pound the bait and run off with it. The 52M is a sinking countdown bait that sinks at a rate of 1 foot per second. Count down to within 3 feet of the bottom, then make one twitch and pause for at least three seconds and repeat. Fish deeper structure and creek bends for trout. Look for structure that is exposed to the sun at low tide and is covered at high tide. Baitfish will hold near the structure to keep warm and so will the trout. Dark rocks and shell beds are perfect structure, as they hold more heat. My favorite redfish baits are 3-inch Gulp! Shrimp in new penny or natural colors on a light jig head, and a Gulp! jerk shad in the same colors fished weightless on a wide-gap worm hook. For the redfish, fish the shallow mudflats on a low rising tide. As the water covers the warm mud, the reds will work their way up.”

Nearshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “The sheepshead bite is turning on and should get better on into February. A lot of big black sea bass are on the artificial reefs. The close-in reefs Dua, Cat, Bl and Ktk should all hold plenty of sea bass and sheepshead.”

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