Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report November 2013

GON Staff | October 30, 2013

Saltwater: Inshore: Guide 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 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, Strike King soft baits like flukes, etc. All will work because once a feeding frenzy starts, I think they might eat your shoe if you cut it up to the right size. As far as how to present your live shrimp, you can fish popping corks with 3- to 4-foot leaders. It’s best to put a 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 to just fish naked. All you need is hook, leader and bait. Shrimp swims where it thinks it’s safe, and that’s just about where the fish are in waiting.” Capt. David Newlin reports, “Trout and redfish bites are hot. Fall fishing has been real good like it should be. Trout are hitting everything, and the artificial-lure bite has turned on. Try a 3- or 4-inch curly tail jig in bright colors with a lot of glitter in it. Chartreuse, pink and a combination of colors will work. The old reliable live shrimp under a float will almost always work. The trout will start moving in the deeper holes toward the end of November. As the water gets colder, fish slower and in deeper water. The redfish have been everywhere. We are having the best redfish bite we have had in years. Most of my fish have been around oyster beds from 1 to 8 feet deep. A lot of fish are way up in some small creeks. This bite should continue into December. Live shrimp will almost always catch redfish. In November, they will readily hit plugs and spinnerbaits, Long A Bombers, Rat-L-Traps and fire-tiger colored spinnerbaits. A Power Bait shrimp rigged on a weedless hook has worked real well. As the water cools, the redfish will get easily spooked. Use a stealthy approach, and you will catch more fish. A lot of fish are being caught around dock lights. If you have access to a dock, give it a try. Throw a chrome-colored Rat-L-Trap around the lights. This is a great time to get out of the woods for a day and go fishing.”

Judy 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, black sea bass and other large-mouth 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 baits is going to be sabiki gold-hook rigs. Whatever you do, always carry extra rigs because they work great and get a lot of abuse.”

Gulf Stream: Judy reports, “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. 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. Or do a little sanding on the painted ones so as to expose the wood. The wood the cedar plugs are made from really soak up the oil and where trolled leave a nice oily trail. I always like pulling small birds with artificial squid with feathers in tow, which really does bring on a strong mahi mahi bite. Best lures to pull are black/silver and blue/silvers Halcos and black with orange bottom Terminators (Yo-Zoui Bonita 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 ounces. All you have to do is drop these jigs on the ledge, keep them close to the bottom and work them. Big bites will happen, and you had better keep a strong grip on that rod.”

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