Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report November 2015
Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “When the month of November rolls around, the inshore bite certainly does pick up. It is much easier to score a Savannah Slam, which is redfish, spotted seatrout and flounder. The secret to catching more inshore fish during this time is to use live shrimp as bait. Fish the live shrimp on 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. Traditional adjustable floats come in all sizes and work great when trying to find the bite at different depths. When anchoring is the plan, I suggest using the larger versions of the traditional adjustable corks, because it enables you to make longer drifts. For those fishermen who want to use artificial only, this is the month for you. The secret is to use lighter tackle for that better feel. I like using 8-lb. test monofilament line while tying artificial baits directly to the main line, meaning no leader needed. Try DOA’s rigged or not, Berkeley scented Gulps, Strike King soft baits, flukes, paddle tails, etc. My favorite cold-water colors are electric chicken, baby bass and root beer.” For an article on seatrout fishing with shrimp and artificials, turn to page 78.
Offshore: Capt. Judy reports, “The bottom fishing at the artificial reefs located in 50 to 70 feet of water normally hold good numbers of black sea bass. However, sometimes you have to look before you find the bulk of the bottom fish. Please go to http://coastalgadnr.org/OffshoreArtificialReef for all coordinates. The best bait is going to be squid and cut fish. Artificial reefs such L, CCA and J buoy normally are holding the attentions of Spanish and king mackerel. For the first two weeks of this month, the chances are strong for a solid hook-up. We normally pull 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Drone spoons for the kings and small to medium Clark spoons for the Spanish. Best trolling speed is 5 to 7 knots. For those fishermen who want to drift these areas with light tackle and live baits, this is a good time to go this route. Trophy redfish could also be caught while trolling, bottom fishing or live lining these areas/ These fish must be released. Bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks for grouper is still open. Fish with small vermilion, pinfish, sand perch, bluefish and rock bass. You will also catch cubera snapper, white grunt, flounder, amberjack, almaco jack, banded rudder fish, porgy, trigger fish and black sea bass. For those who like the standard old bottom fishing with live bait such as cigar minnows, Spanish sardines or cut squid, now is the time. Best rigs to use to catch these live baits are going to be Sabiki gold hook rigs. Live baits are not as plentiful as they have been in past years. I strongly suggest picking up a box of frozen cigar minnows or Spanish sardines at your local bait shop. If you can’t find any frozen baits, I suggest putting the old castnet in the boat. The ocean menhaden has been strong this year, and this is also bait that will work live and cut up.”
Gulf Stream: Capt. Judy reports, “For those fishermen who don’t mind a longer ocean ride, the blue waters of the Gulf are great in November. I suggest dragging ballyhoo from small dinks to large horse size dressed in different color 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 plain cedar plugs that have been soaked in menhaden oil. Dolphin Delight made by No Alibi is a plastic squid lure made with feathers, and it works great when pulled about 4 feet behind a bird. Best lures to pull are old school black/silver and blue/silvers Halcos and black with orange bottom Terminators. 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. I suggest jigging with a medium drag, and you had better keep a strong grip on that rod!”
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