Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report November 2012

GON Staff | October 31, 2012

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “When the month of November rolls around, the inshore bite certainly does pick up for what is called the Savannah Slam: redfish, spotted sea trout and flounder. The secret to catching more inshore fish during this time is to use live shrimp as bait. All fish like shrimp, because it’s easy to eat, easy to kill, and it’s more plentiful. And it seems that once you get the bite ‘a going,’ it’s simple enough to change straight to any sort of artificial shrimp pattern. Just to name a few: DOA’s rigged or not, Berkeley scented gulps and Strike King soft bait flukes. All will work, because once a feeding frenzy starts, I think they might eat your shoe if you cut it up. As far as how to present your live shrimp, there are several ways. One, popping corks with 3- to 4-foot leaders. It’s best to put a shot weight about 1 foot above the hook, because this helps keep the bait deep under the cork. Another thing good about popping corks is the sound they make when they are popped. They sound just like a shrimp flapping its tail up against its body. This is a spotted sea trout, flounder and redfish ‘head turner’ for sure. Traditional adjustable floats come in all sizes and work great when trying to find the bite at different depths. Last but not least is just ‘fish naked.’ All you need is hook, leader and bait. Shrimp swims where it thinks it safe, and that’s where the fish are waiting.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Bottom fishing for grouper is still open as well as quite a few others. Best live baits are small vermilion, pinfish, sand perch, bluefish and rock bass. Here’s a list of catchers and keepers: cubera snapper, white grunt, hogfish, flounder, amberjack, almaco jack, banded rudder fish, porgy, trigger fish and other large-mouthed hungry biters. For those who like the standard old bottom fishing with live bait, such as cigar minnows or Spanish sardines or cut squid, now is the time. Best rigs to catch the live bait is going to be sabiki gold-hook rigs. Whatever you do. always carry extra rigs. They work great but get a lot of abuse. For those fishermen who don’t mind a longer ocean ride, the blue waters of the Gulf can certainly hold the interest of big game fish. During this time, the edge between the cooler western waters and the continuously northern pushed warmer waters of the stream is formed. This is where smaller fish feel safe and where large fish feed. As far as best baits to drag, you certainly do have lots of options. For those fishermen who want to do a little rigging, I suggest dragging ballyhoo from small to large dressed in different-colored skirts or rigged just plain naked with or without chin weights. For those fishermen who just want to drag the artificial stuff, believe me it does work. I like pulling cedar plugs that have been soaked in menhaden oil. This is where you forget the painted cedar plugs and just go plain cedar. They really soak up the oil and where trolled leave a nice oil trail. I always like pulling artificial squid with feather behind birds, which really brings on a strong mahi mahi bite. Best lures to pull are black/silver and blue/silvers Halcos and black with orange bottom Terminators (Yo-Zouri bonitas lures). And if the trolling doesn’t work, there is always deep-water jigging for big gags and scamp grouper. Best jigs for deep water are the big boys Williamson or Shimano 7 to 10.5 ozs. All you have to do is to drop these jigs on the ledge, keep them close to the bottom and work them. Big bites will happen, and you had better hold on to that rod.”

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