Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report November 2014

GON Staff | October 29, 2014

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “The trout and redfish have been biting. As usual, the October fishing has been hot. I have caught the limit of redfish every trip in October. Last Thursday, Oct. 23, we caught the limit and released around 50 more. The redfish have been hitting almost anything that you throw at them. As always, a live shrimp is the best bait almost always. I have caught a lot on different Gulp baits. A white swimming mullet Gulp under a cork has worked great when the bait thieves were taking shrimp really bad. Some days it has been impossible to keep a shrimp on a hook for the yellow tails and pinfish bites. When this happens, use a Gulp or DOA shrimp, and you can usually get through the bait thieves and find good fish. The trout bite has been real good. A lot of keeping-size fish mixed in with a whole lot of small fish. A lot of days we have caught 100 trout to catch a limit of legal fish. The trout are all over the sounds and up the rivers. As the water temp gets colder, the trout will move up the rivers. Water temps are in the high 60s now and should continue falling. We have a few days of 9-foot tides in November. The rest of the month looks like good fishing. Find clear water, and you should catch plenty of fish in November. Get out of the woods for a day, and go fishing. A lot of big redfish are in the surf off the beaches. A piece of fresh mullet on the bottom will catch them almost every time.” 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, which is 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, flukes and etc. 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, there are several ways: 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. 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 fishing naked. All you need is hook, leader and bait. Shrimp swims where it thinks it is safe, and that’s just about where the fish are in waiting.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy reports, “It’s time to go for the bigger fish that really tip those scales. 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. If you can’t catch these baits while plain old bottom fishing with squid, give the old sabiki rig a try. 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. Always carry extra rigs, because they work great and get a lot of abuse. Unfortunately, I need to report live baits are not as plentiful as they have been in past years. Normally a fisherman could drop by any of the artificial reefs, drop a sabiki bait rig down and catch a livewell full of choice bait. However, this has not been the case with the 2014 fishing year. So I strongly suggest picking up a box of frozen cigar minnows or Spanish sardines at your local bait shop. You will notice that the cigar minnows will be more expensive than the Spanish sardines. Save yourself some money, and purchase the Spanish sardines, because when it comes to frozen baits, they work the same. Here’s a suggestion: Don’t let the box of baits thaw out, only take out a few sardines at time. They will stay on the hook better when they are still partially frozen. And we have also found that minnows cut in half will also work. I believe it has a lot to do with the smell that this type of bait deliverers. If you can’t find any frozen baits and still don’t want to take the chance of not finding any, I suggest putting the old cast net in the boat. The ocean menhaden has been strong this year, and this is also a bait that will work live and used when cut up.”

Blue Water: “The blue waters of the Gulf can certainly hold the interest of big-game fish in November,” said Capt. Judy. “During this time, the edge between the cooler western waters and the continuously north pushed warmer waters of the Stream is formed. This is where smaller fish feel safe and where larger 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 dinks to large size 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/scraping on the painted ones so as to expose the wood. The wood the cedar plugs are made from really soak up the oil and when trolled leave a nice oily trail. I have found the best old-school artificial squid bait is called Dolphin Delight made by No Alibi. 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 ounces. 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 keep a strong grip on that rod.”

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