How’s the fishing? Pretty good despite strong winds and a lack of rain. Strong winds couple with large tides pushed water much higher than predicted. When fishermen are on the move it likely means they are struggling. Despite challenging conditions some fishermen were able to produce good catches of seatrout and whiting. When when wind and tides abated fishing picked up. Slow moving water due to small tides following the large tides can be challenging. Best action for seatrout is usually when fishermen find clean water and a good drift. This week we’ve caught seatrout on plastics as well as shrimp. Sharks are being to show up. Bonnet head sharks can be found close to their primary food source, blue crabs. When fishermen decide to keep a small shark make sure it’s legal ( 30″ TL). Try to avoid taking large bonnet heads. These are pregnant females. The presence of large bonnet heads is a sign of a healthy environment. Some states are experiencing a decrease in the size of this shark. There are small sharp nose sharks on the sand bars. So far the size remains of the sharp nose are less than two feet. Hopefully as the Spring progresses wel’l see larger sharp noses.
There are reports of glass coming into the sounds just sounds just south of Savannah. Glass minnows are indicator of good fishing. When this bait fish pushes in seatrout, redfish and lady fish will be close behind. This is the time when you can spot terns and ergets working glass minnows and find seatrout and redfish under them.
The whiting bite has been pretty good, not awesome but pretty good. Most of these fish are small 9 ½ or 10 inches with some bigger ones mixed in. One fishermen says he only keeps fish 11 or 12 or bigger. This is a pretty good rule of thumb. Small whiting can be fatally damage when unhooking so use care.
Seatrout are starting to roe up. As seatrout become laden with roe anticipate the bite to shift to the sounds.
The last couple of years seems to have been fair to below average years for cobia. So far there are reports of some nice being caught in the Broad River even in windy conditions. Live eels appear to be the bait of choice.
Bait shrimp is still available in the Savannah area. Usually there are a few weeks during the Spring when shrimp become scare in local bait shops. Maybe this year will be the exception but don’t count on it. Capt. Wild Bill Jarrell says Rayburn of Yellow Bluff development was having difficulty in finding shrimp. Shrimp season for the large boats opened last week. Local boats are still at dock. When fishermen see shrimp boats in the sounds the bait in! Capt. Wendell Harper says, do you fish shrimp boats? Fishing close to shrimp boats can produce a variety of fish. When setting an anchor fish close but definitely not obstructing the shrimper’s course.
Hope this of help! Keep a few seatrout, whiting or flounders when desiring some fish to eat. Always go light on take of reds or preferably release reds for another day.
Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan