Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report – July 2010

GON Staff | June 30, 2010

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports that the trout are finally biting. “For months I have been reporting about the almost non-existent trout bite. However, this all just might be history. Capt. Matt Williams caught 20 nice trout in one day this past week while fishing his regular inshore spots. He caught them all on live shrimp under small, adjustable float rigs. As the bite took place, he tried other baits, which did not work. However, as soon as he switched back to live shrimp, the bite was back on.” Capt. David Newlin reports, “Good numbers of redfish are still being caught in the sounds and on up in the rivers. The usual live shrimp and lures are working. The big news is that trout have been showing up the last few days. A lot of small trout and some really pretty ones have been caught. Some really good trout have been caught on the beaches. St. Catherine’s sound should be good on the next run of good tides. Finding clear water has been a major factor in catching trout.”

Nearshore: “The big tarpon are here,” reports Capt. Newlin. “Saturday afternoon (June 21) I found a school of probably 100 big fish, and we caught one estimated around 180 pounds. Around the big schools of pogies is where the tarpon have been. Find a school off the beach, and fish all around it with a live pogy. Tarpon should continue showing up in larger numbers in July. Shark fishing has been as good as it gets. Lots of 3- to 4-foot sharks are in the sounds, with the big ones staying on the ocean side. We have had really good luck on the 100-lb. and up blacktips around the shrimp boats. Any fresh fish will work on the blacktips, and try fishing it with the loudest popping cork you can find.”

“The offshore scene is right where it should be in late June,” said Capt. Newlin. “The artificial reefs are covered up with barracuda, spadefish, Spanish mackerel and a fair number of kings. July should be the same. I caught a lot of big sea bass, triggerfish and a few grouper on the bottom last week. Get away from the crowds, and there are plenty of bottom fish.” Capt. Judy gives a report on the bite at the offshore artificial reefs: “I have been a little disappointed in regards to the Spanish mackerel bite. Normally by this time we are catching quite a few of these fish. As of now we are not. However, every day as I am heading offshore or coming back home I see more and more surface action. Some of the Spanish that were caught this week were at least 7 pounds each. Now I am not saying we caught a lot, because we didn’t. However, the potential for catching them is here, and I believe a stronger bite is just around the corner. We have been catching them trolling deep with No. 1, 2 and 3 planers with a Clark spoon about 15 feet in tow. As far as leader size, I suggest using 20- to 30-lb. test monofilament line. There are king mackerel being caught from the beachfronts to the Gulf Stream. As our temperatures heat up, larger king mackerel will advance to the beachfronts. This means nearshore, but offshore. The Savannah River shipping channel is probably one of the most popular places to go fish for smoker kings. Bait options include large ocean menhaden, peanut menhaden hooked up live in a row, mullet and blue runners. However, menhaden has been the best bait for years. You can either slow troll, or anchor, chum and wait.”

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