Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report May 2011

GON Staff | April 27, 2011

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Bob Barnette reports, “We are looking forward to May and the rest of the summer. Trout fishing has been at an all time low, but if you wish to try your hand, use the normal method — mouths of creeks and large shell mounds. I like the float rig or plastic bait on a lead-head jig. The bait supply has improved, and the brown shrimp should show up any day. Kilkenny Marina has live shrimp for those who need them. Redfish are still taking baits, and the southern kingfish (whiting) are really thick. You should try the edges of the sound inlets along the 10- to 15-foot range. Use dead shrimp on the bottom on a slip-sinker rig. For those who want to fight the beast, the sharks have arrived. Use cut bait on the bottom with a steel leader and strong rod and reel. Use the same method as the southern kingfish. The sting rays have arrived, and the cobia will be here any day. Try live pogies, or if you can find them, extra-large shrimp on a float rig. Look around floating channel markers.”

Nearshore: Capt. Judy Helmey said the whiting are biting. “Whiting fishing doesn’t seem too technical, at least to most fishermen. However, all fishermen need to know, not all frozen dead bait is the same. There is the shrimp that you purchase at the grocery store in the seafood section. It seems to be OK, but since these shrimp are headless, that’s one more smell that goes out the window. These shrimp work, but it’s best to take them off the ice and let the sun dry them, which increases the smelly shrimp juices. Sheepsheads are still the deal, and as far as bait the fiddler crab is the one to use. The secret is to work the vertical structure and keep it a moving event. When the water is clear, fish deeper and closer to the structure. Sheepshead can see better than you think they can. A few sea bass are showing up in the reefs in less than 50 feet of water and are mixed in size. Reefs in 50-plus feet of water are holding some really nice sea bass. Please remember the season is not open for keeping these fish. The black sea bass season doesn’t open ’til June 1. Please release these fish as soon as possible.

Offshore: “The blue-water season is now in full swing!” said Capt. Judy Helmey. “If you get a good weather day, I suggest making this run, because it can definitely be worth it. Blue-water fishermen are still catching black fin tuna, wahoo, dolphin and an occasional billfish. I call this time of the year ‘The Big Transition.’ The reason being is the bait is moving, the fish are moving, and while all this is going on everything that swims is hungry. This time offers more serious direct hits and better hook-ups.”

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