Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report March 2012

GON Staff | February 29, 2012

Saltwater: Inshore: Good, according to Capt. Greg Hildreth. The inshore fishing for redfish and trout has been very good this winter with the mild weather. The trout have moved into the creeks and have found the deeper holes. The fish are biting live shrimp under slip-sinker rigs as well as lead-head jigs threaded with soft-plastic tails. The favorite colors have been new penny and electric chicken. I have been fishing the jigs with a slow retrieve and keeping them close to the bottom. The redfish have been on the shallow flats at low tide and have been very active taking shrimp flies and topwater plugs like the Bomber Badonk-A-Donk in the 2 1/2-inch size. ”

Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Offshore fishermen can look to catch some really nice sheepshead and black drum during March. Best offshore areas to fish are artificial reefs located in less than 50 feet of water such as the KC, SAV, DUA and KTK. To get information on Georgia’s offshore artificial reefs, go to <>. The best bait for sheepshead and black drum is purple-back fiddlers, raw oyster, clam strips and green mussels. However, since the 2012 black sea bass season will not open until June 1, fishermen are going to have to fight off this fish’s bite, and it is a serious one. Unfortunately, the black sea bass likes the same bait, too. The best method for getting a better sheepshead than black sea bass bite is to adjust bait depth and pull out the stop-and-wait method. The best way to adjust the depth is to drop bait to bottom, reel up a few turns, wait, reel up a few more turns, and wait for a sheepshead bite. The old saying that it takes 10 fiddlers to catch one sheepshead now has changed to it takes 30 fiddlers to catch 10 black sea bass and one sheepshead! Please remember when targeting fish listed in the snapper grouper species due to federal regulations you must use circle hooks only. Best offshore circle hooks for sheepshead are Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp L-197 G series, and the best proven sizes are No. 1, No. 2 and 2/0. The good news for those offshore fishermen that want to play the catch-and-release game is there are so many black sea bass as well as trophy redfish swimming about the artificial reefs located in less than 50 feet of water that most any type of bait will work. I have been using 1- to 3-oz. jigs rigged with Project X 5-inch super-scented saucer baits in copper penny. All you have to do is drop your hook, and the fish will do the rest!”

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