Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report May 2013

GON Staff | May 1, 2013

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Although the spotted seatrout bite been a little unpredictable during the months of March and April, May is the month that changes everything. By the time May rolls around, the spotted seatrout bite is joined up with the flounder bite, meaning two types of fish for one type of bait. As always, live shrimp under an adjustable float or popping cork works like a charm. However, if you want to get your bait closer to the bottom, but not right on it, an adjustable cork will do just that. The reason being is that you can adjust the depth fished (close to the bottom), so as to keep your cork floating properly up right. The bottom line when presenting bait this way is spotted sea trout will find your bait and the flounder can see it. If it’s artificial lures that you are looking to work, I suggest purchasing yourself a Straight Jacket Jr., made by Boone Lures. The best-working colors have been chartreuse, pearl and root beer.”

Capt. Newlin reports, “The water temp was right at 70 degrees in St. Catherines sound on April 24. The fish are biting. The trout are biting when you can find clear water. The big northeast winds have temporarily muddied up everything, after the big tides over the next few days the water should clear up and the spring trout bite should be on. A live shrimp is the bait to catch trout. They will hit a variety of artificials. A pretty live shrimp is the best bait. Some redfish are being caught. Most of the redfish I have been catching are big fish 30 inches and up. Shallow oyster-shell flats have been working for me on the outgoing tide. Whiting have been real good around St. Catherines sound; fishing 10 to 15 feet of water with a piece of dead shrimp on the bottom has been working. A lot of sharks of all sizes have started showing up and should get thicker as the water warms up. May is usually good fishing, and this one looks like it will be.”

Capt. Judy reports, “When the month of May rolls around, offshore fishermen get excited. The reason being is grouper season is in the wide-open mode. The season for our area is May 1 until Dec. 31. For more up-to-date fishery regulations, please go to Always check for current regulations, because you would be surprised how much they change. This is the month where gags and scamps exercise their right to make a move to feed. As far as what’s best to use for bait, I suggest the nervous bait such as live cigar minnows or Spanish sardines, which are easily caught on just about any type of gold-hook sabiki rigs. The secret is to use sabiki bait rigs made with No. 6 to No. 8 size hooks laced with fish skin. Once these styles hooks are dipped into the water, baits can resist the gold flash or the secret smell delivered. Another method for getting a solid grouper bite is by jigging, which has been working quite well for me. As far as best colors, cigar minnows or Spanish sardines look a likes has been the catching deal. The secret to jigging when it comes to catching big grouper is to drop to the depth where the fish are holding, and then work your jig by raising and dropping your rod. This basically works your jig about 4 to 5 feet up and down at the same depth. As far as topwater fishing at the banks, anything goes from king mackerel to dolphin. The means your really never know what might bite your hook. When moving from spot to spot, I try to always put some sort of a swimming lure. Or put a ballyhoo rigged on three 5/0 J hooks in a row. I suggest pulling this bait naked, meaning no skirt needed.”

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