Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report October 2015

GON Staff | September 30, 2015

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “There is no other way to describe the fishing than red hot. Today (Sept. 25) we had 30 good trout and six redfish at noon. Every day lately it has been catching and not just fishing. Water temperature was 76 degrees. The usual method of fishing a live shrimp under a float has been working great. The trout should turn onto artificials good over the next few weeks. Usually when the water gets into the low 70s, they start hitting jigs real good. Try a Gulp Swimming Mullet on a 1/8-oz. head. The slot-limit redfish seem to be everywhere. On low water, they have been easy to find. This morning they were all over several mud flats chasing shrimp and mullet. Where there is one, there are usually several dozen. The big bull redfish are all over the beaches and should be in the rivers very shortly. Fish a chunk of fresh fish on the bottom. It’s easy fishing. Anchor the boat, throw out some lines, sit back and wait. Get on the end of one of the islands, and just inside of the ocean in 10 to 20 feet of water on the incoming tide, sit and wait. All the redfish longer than 23 inches must be released. We have also been catching a lot of 12- to 15-inch blues all over Ossabaw Sound on shrimp while trout fishing. We caught some today on a fly rod, which was a lot of fun. October fishing should be real good. A lot of fish should be way up the rivers in a few weeks. Get out of the woods for a day, and go fishing.” Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “Inshore fishermen get to experience the big bull redfish migration, which starts taking place this month. These monsters start their migration pattern from where they have been holding in the creeks, rivers and upper sound areas. Once making their way to the sounds (closer to the ocean), these big reds bulk up before making their way to the beachfronts and then to the ocean. Schooling baits such as mullet and menhaden provide much feeding opportunity for these fish. Where you see any surface action, look for turbulence from underwater feeding or seabirds in a heavy feeding or holding pattern. Another place to look and fish are areas where currents come together forming some sort of a rip. Not all rips will hold the interest of fish, but I can guarantee you once you figure out what to look for, instant hook-ups can happen. Here are a few suggestions:  Always looks for any surface oils, sometimes referred to as cat paws. If there is any bird feeding action, always check out the size and type of the seabirds. If it’s pelicans only, what you most likely have down under is schools of menhaden. However, if you have pelicans as well as other small sea birds, then you have a possible big feeding frenzy going on down under. This would be your sign to fish there. When anchored in areas around live oyster beds, I suggest using small adjustable floats with about 12 inches of 30- to 40-lb. test fluorocarbon leader with either semi circle or a standard 2/0 to 3/0 kahle style hook. Best baits for this rig are going to be lip-hooked live mullet or peanut menhaden or live shrimp hooked under the horn. If live bait isn’t an option, there are plenty of other baits that will work, such as old or fresh smelly mullet cut in steaks like a loaf of bread or air-dried shrimp with heads on or off threaded onto the hook. When working rips or actual feeding schools of redfish, I suggest using diamond shape jigs (1 to 3 ounces) with or without red or green or yellow miniature tube lures. Jigs such as the 1- to 3-oz. Shimano Butterfly with double hooks located at the head of the lure are good to go. Another way to get the best chance at a hook-up when fishing a rip or surface schooling baits is to take a popping cork or traditional float rig rigged with some sort of bait. The meaning of bait when it comes to this situation is anything that you happen to have that is live or a chunk or steak of something fishy. Large sharks of all types, rays and also any left behind tarpon would most likely find these baits alluring. Suspending your bait under a float whether it is alive or dead gives fish a 360-degree opportunity for attack prompting more serious hits.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy reports, “When it comes to offshore fishing during October, lots of different bites can happen in the most unusual places. The reason being is that this is the month where fish start their fall migration patterns. With moving on their minds, all fish have to bulk up as fast as they can, which boils down to major feeding times all of the time. Nearshore artificial reefs and natural live bottom areas will start holding the attention of lots of different sized bottom and topwater fish. For those fishermen who want to get some big bottom fish action, I suggest filling the livewell before reaching the fishing grounds. The best place to stop to load up on bait is wrecks located at the artificial reefs in 55 feet plus of water. However, our bait populations in this area have not been too good so far this year. I still suggest stopping and giving it a try, because it is on your way. Spanish sardines and cigar minnows usually school up over any sort of high relief structure. Please know that most of the yellow buoys marking the offshore artificial reefs are gone. These buoys held the interest of all types and sizes of baitfish. So now you need to make sure that you have GPS coordinates for all structures on the artificial reefs that you are going to fish. Go to to get information about Georgia’s artificial reefs. I have fishermen ask me all of the time what are the best charts to purchase for this area. Well, here’s my standard answer:  inshore charts are available through Another set of charts that are a fisherman must is Top Spot charts, which are available at most tackle stores. The best for inshore fishing in Georgia is Brunswick area to Savannah Inshore. Top Spots also offer a Georgia offshore chart, which covers Brunswick to Savannah. Gold hook sabiki bait rigs normally have six to eight small hooks laced with fish skin. You can catch a lots of bait each time you drop. Always make sure to have at least a dozen bait rigs in the old tackle box, because once hooked up, large fish can attack. When this starts happening, I suggest moving to another spot until the big fish feeding frenzy stops. These rigs are made for small baits not larger fish. Best live baits are cigar minnows, Spanish mackerel, Boston mackerel and any others that are hanging with the school. However, we have been catching lots of horny bellies (which isn’t the best of live baits to use). However, we have noticed since the lack of availability of the different live baits, the old horny belly has worked a time or two. The bait catching year has not been the best for sure, so have some frozen baits on board. Bait shops normally stock both frozen cigar minnows and Spanish sardines, which both will work just fine. My suggestion is when possible to purchase frozen Spanish sardines over cigar minnows. The reason being the sardines are cheaper and will bring on the absolute same bite. Keep frozen bait frozen as long as you can, only taking a few out of your cooler at a time. They will stay on your hook much better on the drop to the bottom. When bottom fishing, I suggest fishing in 100 (Savannah Snapper Banks) to 200 feet (edge of Gulf Stream) of water over any broken live bottom with ledges. Drop your lipped or dorsal hooked bait to the bottom, and hang on for a grouper biting affair. You could also catch cubera snapper, amberjack, vermilion snapper, amberjack, white grunts, porgy and etc. Check current regulations and closures before heading out at”

Gulf Stream: Capt Judy reports, “During the spring when the waters to the west are much cooler than the Stream, a great edge is formed. This edge is where larger fish feed on the smaller fish. This happens again in the late fall. Now is the time to keep an eye on the surface temperatures, and when the cooling event starts, it will be time to do some serious blue water fishing. Please remember you can get free temperature readings from They also offer for sale a fine set of blue water charts.”

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

New monthly payment option available!