Coming off Spring tides fishing is improving! Big tides in the evenings slowed fishing due to strong currents, muddy water and strong wind. Strong wind exacerbated high evening high tides. Fishermen could catch fish in lee shores and in areas with slower currents. In these areas the bite was mostly small redfish, seatrout as some well flounder. Action was fair. The shark/tarpon bite slowed as well. Sharks generally are believed to have fair to poor eye sight. Muddy water can make finding a bait nearly impossible for most any fish. Typically ladyfish rise to the challenge of strong currents and muddy water. Ladyfish have large eyes with likely excellent sight. A drop that might typically produce seatrout in clean water is producing ladyfish in dirty water. Ladyfish can be hoot to catch! Handling this fish is another story. Put a wet towel over the fish. Ladyfish are extremely slimy. A ladyfish if it does not throw the hook your hook can fight itself to its death. Reel fast just keep up with a lady! Use a rubber mesh landing net in lieu of nylon net. This will help keep the slime coat on the fish. After netting when you grab the fish (with the wet towel) turn it up side down. The fish should momentarily stop its crazy antics. Quickly remove the hook and chunk it back to fight another day.
It looks like a great year for redfish! Salutations to the Georgia DNR and to the CCA of Georgia (if need more information on either check my website for a link or goggle). In short we are seeing lots of small first year redfish in the creeks and rivers. A lot of these fish are likely a result of a program conducted by DNR and the CCA to study the efficacy of stocking redfish in Warsaw sound. In short this is something every coastal fisherman needs to get behind! A tangible way is to communicate to both organizations that we are seeing benefits and that the program is of great value to our fishery. The Redfish Rally is a tournament which is designed like all tournaments to have fun but more specifically it generates needed funds for this program. My encouragement is for all interested in redfish on our coast participate in the tournament or at least sign for the tournament or even better make a contribution greater than the entry fee or consider turning your prize back in to be used again for this program and last but not least ask the DNR about participating in the fin clipping program or carcass recovery program. A healthy redfish population is vital to our fishery. Do all you can to get behind the Peach State Redfish Initiative!
The bite this summer has been good! During a recent CCA tarpon tournament several boats landed and released several tarpon. We are having a good tarpon season! Several boats have landed four or five in an outing. This is great fishing! Landing one tarpon takes some doing. Landing several means you’re around fish and you’re doing a lot things right! This year we’ve had a lot big ocean pogies come into the sounds. As a result the tarpon bite has been better than the last several years. The bite can still be mercurial. Meaning fish are here one day and gone the next. When the bait is in (the sounds), the fish (tarpon) will close by. When tarpon have vanished there are likely some around you. Look for tarpon on rips, passes and cuts around the sand bars, bait (large ocean menhaden) and big birds (pelicans) crashing the bait. When schools of menhaden are being crashed from above it’s likely there is an intense food chain below with tarpon, sharks and jacks present. Sharks can thick and bites instantaneous and intense! Anticipate the shark/tarpon action to be strong throughout August!
Tides for the second week in August looks good! If weather permits there should plenty of opportunity to fish during the week. Bite should be good for small redfishs, seatrout, flounder, shark/tarpon and jacks. Larger redfish can be caught but as the flats heat up look for larger reds in deeper water. Lots of trash fish around so have plenty on hand. On the other there is lots of shrimp in the rivers and creeks. Small trash fish that you would normally discard could be a great bait for shark/tarpon. Keeping some trash fish can mean the difference in landing a big fish. Recently we kept some bait stealers and later converted those small ones for some large ones. So you never know. You can spend a lot of time and gas searching for bait with a cast net or just a few minuets fun fishing. By the way those who have been concerned about the croakers can sleep easy. Eight and nine inch croakers are seemingly ever where. In short the cycle for croakers is definitely up! This is a good thing!
Hope this report is of help and of interest! Remember to practice catch and release!
Good fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan