Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report – November 2022

GON Staff | October 27, 2022

Inshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “October has been the best month of catching redfish that I have seen in 50 years. I have averaged around 50 a trip. We have a huge crop of redfish. I have caught them in water from 1 to 30 feet deep from the brackish water up the Ogeechee to the ocean. November should be another great month of redfish catching. The trout bite usually gets really good in November. They should be moving up in the creeks and up the rivers. As the water cools, trout should start biting on all kinds of artificial baits. A green DOA paddle tail on a red jig always works good for me. A sinking MirrOlure in red and white is usually a good one.  As always, a live shrimp almost always works. We have been catching a good number of black drum. Drop a big, dead shrimp to the bottom. Drum should be around all November. The DNR has stopped the nonsense about the redfish limits for now. We haven’t had a redfish shortage, and currently we have more than I have ever seen. We still have a small group making a lot of noise claiming the redfish are at the edge of extinction. Hopefully the DNR will follow science and leave the limits alone. We have wasted a lot of tax money and hundreds of man hours with this witch hunt. November should be a good fish catching month.”

Capt. Judy Helmey, of Miss Judy Charters, 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. All fish like shrimp, because it’s easy to kill, easy to eat, and it’s more plentiful. Once you get the bite going, it’s simple enough to change straight to any sort of artificial shrimp pattern. As far as how to present your live shrimp, there are several ways. Try a shrimp under a popping cork with a 3- to 4-foot leader. 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. They sound just like a shrimp flapping its tail up against its body. This is a spotted seatrout, 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. 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 sounds seem to travel farther. It seems the more you move, the longer you have to wait to see if there really is any sort of bite in the area. For those fishermen who want to use artificial only, this is the month for you. The secret when going this route 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 flukes, paddles and curly tails. etc. My favorite cold-water colors are electric chicken, baby bass and root beer. Last but not least is to just fish naked, which means all you need is  hook, leader and bait.”

Georgia Saltwater Fishing Page: Archived Articles, News and Fishing Reports

Artificial Reefs: 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 seabass. 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. I am always suggesting to keep on board a paper copy of the artificial coordinates that you frequent. Yes, having them in your phone is a great idea, but what if your battery goes dead? It could ruin your entire fish day. Most new units supposedly have all of the spots loaded into the GPS. However, I have found that the paper copies have a lot more up-to-date information. You could consider it being a secret fishing spot, especially since it is not loaded in the old GPS. Please keep in mind when trying to locate any spots on an artificial reef that there are places/coordinates that are not listed. So it is possible to find some artificial bottom that is not published. In other words, keep your eye on your fish finder. Finding a piece of non-published bottom coordinates could change your course of catching options for the fish day. 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 the winter end run of the Spanish/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 mackerel. The 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. Please remember these fish are on the federally protected program list. 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, as well as quite a few others. 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 old 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. Whatever you do, always carry extra bait rigs, because they work great and get a lot of abuse. Unfortunately, I am still reporting that live baits are not as plentiful as they have been in past years. 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. However, this has not been the case for the past couple of fishing years. Pick 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.  I suggest purchasing the Spanish sardines and keeping them frozen as long as you can. These partially frozen baits, whole or cut in half, will stay on the hook better. If you can’t find any frozen baits, I suggest putting the old cast net in the boat. The ocean menhaden has been strong this year, and this is also bait that will work live and used when cut up. When traveling to the sound and you happen to see schools of peanut or larger-size menhaden flipping, I suggest giving them a catching try. Sometimes all it takes is one cast to fill your livewell.  The small menhaden, whether they are dead or alive, work great and you don’t have to cut them up. If you do catch a lot of them, I suggest not over filling your livewell. When there are leftovers, I suggest putting them in a bucket and covering them with saltwater.  This type of soaking will keep their shine alive. Cut up expired shiny menhaden work great as bottom bait.”  

Blue Water: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “For those fishermen who don’t mind a longer ocean ride, the blue waters of the Gulf Stream can certainly hold the interest of big-game fish, especially during the month of November. 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 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 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. 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. This wood can really soak up the oil and when trolled it leaves a nice oily trail. 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. The No Alibi is not an expensive lure. However, don’t let the cost fool you. Just because it is cheaper than most lures doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. In this case it means it is old school and younger bluewater fishermen have never used or seen this lure before. Believe me if it didn’t work, the tackle dealers would not keep the No Alibi in the tackle catalogs or on the tackle shelves. The best lures to pull are old-school black/silver and blue/silvers Halcos rattlers and black with orange bottom Terminators (YO-ZOURI bonitos lures). And if the trolling doesn’t work, there is always deep-water jigging for big gags and scamp grouper.  As far as 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 big boys Williamson or Shimano 7 to 10.5 ounces. The best old-school no frills jigs are the Bridgeport diamond jig, which comes in 1- to 16-oz. weights.  All jigs normally have an option for attaching the main line to the top or bottom. 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.  And it is a known fact that a larger fish especially on a triggered bite, normally strikes the head first. All you have to do is to drop these jigs to the bottom, reel up a few feet and vertically work your lure in this area. Work it as close to the bottom as possible. I suggest jigging with a medium drag and you had better keep a strong grip on that rod, because big bites can quickly happen. Please always check for current federal ( and for state for fish keeping regulations pick up a 2022 Georgia Sport Fishing regulations booklet. Most marinas, tackle shops and bait shops have them. This website and booklet will certainly keep you up to speed for the rest of the 2022 fishing season. It has always made for an interesting read. Please know that some of the best inshore fishing for redfish, spotted seatrout and flounder for the Georgia coast happens during the months of November and December. Our inshore captains make it their business to know these fish’s moving and feeding patterns. When it comes to offshore fishing, it is very good. Fishermen catch a lot of serious size and amounts of bottom fish, such as grouper, white grunt, trigger fish, vermilion snapper also known as b-liners, black seabass, summer trout, trophy redfish and many others.”

2023 Captain Judy’s Inshore/Offshore Fishing Clinics: Feb. 24-26, 2023. Inshore/offshore boats in the water. $195 per person for inshore; $195 per person for offshore. Trips 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. Miss Judy Charters dock, 202 Wilmington Island Road, Savannah, Ga. 31410. Call 912.897.4921 for more details. We will be offering classes on the water in the boats. Proven inshore light-tackle techniques revealed for getting your best chance at catching redfish, spotted seatrout and flounder. You also get a signed copy of Captain Judy’s Inshore Fishing Techniques Presenting Old School Tools! All you will need to bring is food and drink!”

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.