Georgia Saltwater Fishing Report September 2014

GON Staff | August 27, 2014

Saltwater: Inshore: Capt. Judy Helmey reports, “This is not the month for migrations, it’s the month for feeding on everything that is available. Spotted seatrout, redfish and flounder might feed at different times of the tides. However, all of them like live shrimp. You can serve shrimp up anyway you like, from naked with or without any sort of leader or weight or under popping or adjustable floats. If you start using live shrimp, and they all happen to die or you run out, change over to any leftover parts from previous hits or start using DOA shrimp patterns. When using pre-rigged DOAs, I suggest removing the weight and hook. Then I suggest taking a 2/0 to 3/0 kahle hook and hooking the shrimp up like you do the real deal. Since you want the DOA to look as natural as possible, you would need to place the hook in the mid ship of the shrimp. Once it’s balanced on the hook’s bend, it becomes the perfect waving bait in the current under a popping cork or an adjustable float. The best colors are root beer, clear gold glitter, clear chartreuse tail, white and golden cherry red. I suggest using 3-inch DOA shrimp patterns.”

Nearshore: Capt. David Newlin reports, “This has been the best tarpon month I have had in years. I released my 33rd tarpon of the month today (Aug. 23). Ossabaw and St. Catherines areas have had a lot of tarpon. Almost all of the good tide rips have been holding tarpon and a lot of sharks. The channels 2 to 3 miles offshore have had a lot of tarpon and big blacktip sharks, especially during the last of the incoming tide. As always, live and dead pogies have been the best bait. Look for big schools of pogies with tarpon and sharks actively feeding on them. If you don’t see any tarpon, you are in the wrong place. Keep moving until you see fish. Tarpon and shark fishing should be good through September. All over Ossabaw and St. Catherines sounds the redfish seem to be almost everywhere. Last Thursday, we caught around 80 redfish in a couple of hours. All the usual drops with a lot of oyster shells have been holding a lot of fish. Around low tide the redfish have been real thick in some of the smaller creeks. The big redfish are already showing up on the beaches. We caught six Saturday afternoon between 30 and 40 inches. Fish a chunk of fresh mullet in the edge of the breakers on a 8/0 circle with a 1-oz. slip-sinker rig. When the water is clear, you can see the big schools of redfish on the beaches. The trout bite should get real good on into September when the water cools off a few degrees. The tripletail action has been steady around the markers and tide lines.”

Offshore: Capt. Judy reports, “The grouper bite will be better as things cool down. All grouper such as gags, scamps and red grouper are more likely to be up and about. The best places to look for these fish are the live bottom ledges at the Savannah Snapper Banks. Best nervous baits are going to be live cigar minnows and Spanish sardines, which can be caught with sabiki gold hook rigs. These baits can be found surface schooling over the structure at the artificial reefs. However, a bigger fish sometimes wants bigger bait. Baits caught at the banks are normally those fish that have air bladders such as sand perch, rock bass, vermilion snapper, pin fish and ruby red lips. Before putting in livewell, deflate the air bladder with sharp pointed knife. As far as the topwater bite for Spanish and king mackerel, I suggest giving Savannah River Channel (also known as Tybee Roads), the artificial reefs and the Savannah Snapper banks a try. Best baits when targeting the king mackerel is the liveliest possible. Those baits that fall into this category are blue runners, Spanish sardines, pinfish, Spanish mackerel and pin fish. The Spanish mackerel should have arrived in full force and can be caught trolling 0 to 00 Clark spoons in the sounds, off the beachfronts and around the nearshore artificial reefs located less than 60 feet of water. Look to sky for any diving seabirds.”

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