Last week there were several reports of large seatrout. The biggest fish were found around beach front; although large fish were caught in rivers near the sounds as well! Ample amount of rain meant most of the large were in deeper water (8 to 12 feet). An adjustable float rig with live shrimp or finger mullet was the prescribed method. Fish are deep during periods of heavy rain. Shrimp in a bait bucket hanging off a dock will often die if there is a lot rain in a short period of time. Freshwater is literally floating on the saltwater. The most favorable place for a large seatrout after a period of heavy rain is deep. Smaller male seatrout can be found be the shallows. Fishing deep is trickier. A rip or current line might be visible but it is just as likely there wont be any visible indications. Fishing deep you’re still looking for structure. The structure could be submerged trees, a man made object, a ledge, or a hole to name a few. A favorite tide is low incoming. Although you’ll find various drops work at various tides. Large seatrout are an exciting fish. Exciting to catch, fun to look at and good eat! With that said my strong encouragement is for most large seatrout to be released. These large fish are holding next year’s crop. Wendell Harper reputed as likely the best seatrout fisherman on the Georgia coast has said that these large fish should be released. This is from a man who makes a good portion of his living catching seatrout. If Wendell believes releasing large seatrout can have a positive impact on the resource then it is likely so. A statement from fishing guides is that whatever the limit is then as long they are within the limit everything is fine. A few years the Georgia DNR had a program that would meant a slot limit in other words releasing large fish (over 20 inches). The program never materialized due to a lack of funding. Staying with in the limits is like meeting the minimum requirement. What do you do when large seatrout are biting and your folks want to keep everyone. You try to encourage going light on the resource. When possible whether a recreational fisherman or charter fish for a variety of fish. Say you keep a couple of large seatrout, a redfish, some whiting, a couple of sharks and you have a mess of fish. Maybe in few years my outlook will be different but as of now it looks like we have plenty of sharks perhaps even too many. Keeping a shark one or two means you be saving a bunch of seatrout. from either being caught by you or chopped by a shark.
Speaking of sharks. Sharks can be found along the sandbars off Warsaw. Fresh water has a tendency to drive fish out and deep. When the water in the sound is salty that usually when the shark is on. Big bait, large menhaden are in some weeks and out on others. Reports of large bait has been consistent off the sandbars off the north jetty. Bait will mean tarpon, kingfish, jack and large sharks. When bait is not present it’s possible to catch predator fish just not as likely as when large schools of bait are present. August is usually the peak month for tarpon! If storms do not kick up the tarpon bite should be good! If you’re struggling finding menhaden try catching some bait fish like pinfish with rod and reel. It’s pretty fun and should be easy to do. Just down size your hook to number 6 or so and fish dead bait on the bottom near a dock or grass line. You might first try chumming them up with some little bits of shrimps.
Tides for this week are definitely on the increase although the highest is only 7.8 feet on Sunday. Tides should be good for seatrout! Here is a report on the BurnsideBopper that was a long time in coming. The float is an excellent float! Made well with several qualities that competitors do not have. It is locally made and definitely a superior product. I have no hesitation in recommending these two floats. The larger is made for conventional (8 to 9foot) casting tackle. This is tackle that now days I don’t fish much. This probably the reason for the delay in writing about this float. I was used the larger float on a heavier 7 foot spinning tackle for large sharks, tarpon and jacks. The float did ok. When I fished the float as it was intented it did a fine job! The idea is a popping float for a casting rod that could you fish along the beach front for seatrout. This float does the job. Strengths of both the smaller and larger version: a unique design apt for casting, good sound, no additional weight needed and a more substantial main wire that is most resistant of any float on the market to bending. Sandfly Tackle Shop is a supplier or you can find the float on line at www.burnsidebopper.com. Good float! If you fish casting rods youll ‘want this float. The smaller is a winner as well. The larger one is a must!
Hope this report is of interest and help. Remember to practice catch and release when possible!
Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan