Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report – November 2019

GON Staff | October 26, 2019

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “On the morning of Oct. 26, the water temperatures varied from 72 to 75 degrees. Around 70 degrees a lot of trout and redfish usually move up the rivers all the way up to the freshwater areas. The Ogeechee and Savannah rivers will both have fish moving up as far as Highway 17 or farther if the water levels stay low. I enjoy fishing the black water in the Ogeechee. You can sometimes catch stripers, trout, redfish and largemouth in the same place on live shrimp. The mouths of small creeks is a good place to start up the Ogeechee. Keep hunting until you find fish. The redfish bite has been hot and should stay hot right on through November. They will stay shallow all day until the water gets into the 50s, and all the usual shrimp rigs will catch them. A lot of redfish have already moved well up the rivers. Next month you can catch redfish from the ocean to 20 miles up some rivers. If you want to try something different, fish a Gulp Shrimp with a 1/4-oz. jig head real slow along the bottom. Some days that will catch a lot of redfish. A lot of the trout will move into deeper water very shortly. I will usually fish a 3/4-oz. sinker under my slip-cork rigs in November. A lot of places I will fish a cork rig 8 to 12 feet deep or deeper. A light bottom rig with a 1/4-oz. sinker and a 2-foot leader and a live shrimp is sometimes real deadly. November is probably the best month of the year to catch trout on lures. Fishing for trout on lures is the only time I switch from braided line to monofilament. I like to fish with 10-lb. Vanish fluorocarbon. My go-to trout lure is a green Gulp Swimming Mullet on a red, 1/8-oz. jig. Fish your jigs real slow just off the bottom with a slight jerking motion, and you can catch trout. Up the creeks and rivers try fishing around dock pilings, treetops or any other structure you can find. When you catch one trout, fish the area hard, and there should be some more fish there. The black drum should be up the rivers in the same places. Fish a shrimp on the bottom for the drum. November is always a good month to fish around dock lights. Try fishing around the lights on the last of the high tide and the first of the outgoing tide. Throw your favorite jigs around the lights.” Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “The secret to catching more inshore fish during this time is to use live shrimp as bait. Try 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 that they make when they are popped. This is a spotted sea trout, flounder and redfish head turner. When anchoring is the plan, I suggest using the larger versions of the traditional adjustable corks because it enables you to make longer drifts. The larger corks can be seen for farther distances, allowing you to be able to cover a lot more area without changing locations. This is a very good tip, especially when fishing in a cooler water situation because ‘fish beware’ sounds seem to travel farther. For artificials, the secret is to use lighter tackle for that better feel. I like using 8-lb. test monofilament line while tying artificial bait directly, meaning no leader needed. Try DOAs rigged or not, Berkeley scented Gulps, Strike King soft baits, flukes, paddle and curly tails. My favorite cold-water colors are electric chicken, baby bass and root beer. You can also fish naked.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “The bottom fishing at the artificial reefs located in 50 to 70 feet of water normally are holding a nice build-up of black sea bass. Just about all structures on the reefs will hold fish. However, sometimes you have to look before you find the bulk of the bottom fish.  Please go to 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-inch Drone Spoons for the kings and small to medium Clark spoons for the Spanish mackerel. 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 livelining these areas. You can catch them, but you can’t keep them.”

Savannah Snapper Banks: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks for grouper is still open. Best live baits when targeting grouper 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 sabiki rig a try. 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 use to catch these live baits are going to be sabiki gold-hook rigs. Normally a fisherman could stop by any of the artificial reefs, drop a sabiki bait rig down, and catch a livewell full of choice bait. Since this has not been the case lately, pick up a box of frozen cigar minnows or Spanish sardines at your local bait shop. Take your cast net with you. The ocean menhaden has been strong this year and work live and when cut up.”

Blue Water: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “I suggest dragging ballyhoo from small dinks to large horse 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. 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. There is always deep-water jigging for big gags and scamp grouper. As far as the main line used, I like using 80-lb. braid because it cuts through the water with less friction delivered. Best jigs for deep water are the Williamson or Shimano 7 to 10.5 ounces. The best old-school jigs are the Bridgeport diamond jig, which comes in 1- to 16-oz. weights. In the case of the Bridgeport, it suggests rigging up leaving the hook at the bottom. However, I suggest attaching main line to the same end as the hook. This makes for less hook-ups on the bottom. All you have to do is to drop these jigs on the bottom, reel up a few feet and vertically work your lure in this area. Work it as close to the bottom as possible. Jig with a medium drag, and you had better keep a strong grip on that rod.”

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