Election day, what a day for a fishing report! Most fishermen are saying the same refrain, that this likely one of best year for sea trout in the last ten or fifteen years. That said there will be times when wind and tides combine to make fishing difficult. As one Georgia DNR(Department of Natural Resources) official is paraphrased as saying there are times on the coast when it’s not that the fish aren’t there, it’s that conditions are such that fishing is just difficult. Recent spring tides and north, northeast combined to make fishing difficult. The previous spring tides limits of sea trout were being brought to the dock. Strong winds over several days combined with high tides to muddy waters. Fishermen fishing the top and bottom of tide will faired than those fishing when the tide was rolling. Boat traffic on the ICW (intracoastal waterway) has increased to point where big boats are literally churning the water. Definitely not plus in the favorable fishing conditions column. In windy conditions lee shores (protected shore lines out of wind) can provide pleasant fishing when windward side are too to rough to fish. Even when fishermen found spots of clean water and good drifts the bite was fair to poor. Poor water conditions usually means small fish. Small fish are more like home bodies unable to move when water quality deteriorates. Where do larger fish go? One veteran fisherman says, out to sea. Quality fish will seek favorable conditions. When tides abate and water quality improves fish will reappear. Local bait shops are saying shrimp are becoming harder to find. Large tides will literally pull shrimp into the sounds. Plummeting water temperatures will also send shrimp deep. As water temperature drops fish activity slows. Although fishing last few days has been slow don’t despair.
There still plenty of good fall fishing ahead! Warming days, clean water and good drift will likely mean fishing! Fishing following spring tides likely be good. Fish will be hungry and on the move as they search for easy meals in local waters. Tides will fall into the 7 foot range (good tide for fishing) starting Friday November 10th and will remain in the 7 foot range for the rest of the month. Water temperature is in the low 60’s some trash fish still present but becoming more scarce. As water temperature drops anticipate shrimp supplies at bait shops to begin to be inconsistent. At present shrimpers are still finding shrimp but demand will likely outstrip supply in the coming days. In the Savannah area bait shrimpers usually keep their doors open until the end of December. Last year Bo at Bandy’s was open most of winter. Should be good fishing ahead!
Just a side note, two fishermen last week said they caught a snook! This is something that is pretty unusual in local tidal waters. One those fishermen thinks this is a sign of warming conditions. Not sure. What I am sure is that catching a snook in local waters doesn’t happen very often, about as often as it snows. Just seems like kind of neat!
Hope this of interest and help! Keep what you plan to eat and release the rest!
Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan