Since the last cold front the bite has slowed dramatically. Some quality redfish and seatrout can be found on the flats. The preferred bait this time is mud minnows. Shrimp are available at Larry’s Bait &Tackle in Port Wenworth. Shrimp are difficult to keep alive in cold water. Nonetheless shrimp are always a preferred bait. A dead can be bugged out (pulling the head and tail off). This is very effective for black drum, sheepshead, redfish and seatrout. Those fishermen opting to fish the near shore wrecks and reefs will find plenty of action with sea bass and sheepshead. The prevailing thought is the further out (to sea) the larger the fish. Action can be hot so take plenty of bait! Offshore the preferred bait for sheepshead is the purple back fiddler crab. Ray and Amy of Tybee Island Bait and Tackle (912.786.7472) are stocking both mud minnows and fiddler crabs. Larry’s Bait & Tackle (912.272.7339) has a variety of baits including finger mullet. Whichever bait shop you have in mind the best bet is call to ahead to make sure bait is available.
Those catching seatrout and redfish are not posting big numbers of fish but they are catching quality fish. The seatrout are large. Their stomach appear to be empty and it looks like some are starting to show initial signs of roe. Most of the reds and seatrout are being caught on plastics but a live or dead bait would work well! Coming off spring tides water in the Savannah River system has been extremely muddy. Clean water can be found in the intra coastal water way as well around sandy bottom areas. A typical winter pattern is for bait and fish to head up river. This year thus far has been the exception. The inshore bite has been primarily around the barrier islands. Anticipate more of the same until conditions start to warm. Those wanting plenty of action need to head offshore. Those who enjoy the quietness of a mud flat can find some quality fish in the shallows. Best tide for fishing the flats is usually low incoming or the last of the outgoing. When fishing the flats always be aware of where you in relation to the tide. Getting stuck on flat or sandbar can mean a long cold afternoon. When your boat stick immediately try to get your boat moving. Once a hull locks onto a flat you’re stuck. In some situations even a towing company will have to wait for the tide to float your boat off. So be cautious!
Tides for the coming week are soft meaning not large tides. Currents will be gentle. Fishermen will have lots of time on the flats due to small tides. Sheepshead fishermen will have extended opportunities as well. Not much being reported on stripers. Nonetheless small tides would allow for favorable conditions for stripers if they show up in local waters. At present striper action has been scant.
Hope this is of help! Make sure to catch Miss Judy’s second and final Inshore Clinic Feb. 21st. at Tubby’s in Thunderbolt! For more information go to www.missjudycharters.com or call Miss Judy at 912.897.4921.
Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan