The pattern for last couple of weeks has been when fishermen have found clean water there has been good fishing! Seatrout are large and females are full of roe! One fisherman reports redfish on inside, outside and up the creeks! The redfish bite while not ballistic has been good. Reds have caught on plastics, live and dead bait. Plenty of peanut sized menhaden in the rivers. One fishermen reported catching some quality redfish on small menhaden. Lots of bonnet head sharks rolling into local waters. Typically bonnet heads are feeding on shrimp and crab. At present it would hard to avoid a few bonnet heads. On the other hand at the conclusion of one recent trip we were looking for a max end bonnet head (to catch and release) and came across large seatrout. As water continue to warm seatrout will get pushed out by bonnet heads. In the mean time, large seatrout are on the prowl! Conservation is key. One youth angler during the week to his credit was insistent on releasing all the fish. This young angler was skilled and knowledgeable over his years. At the dock one person viewing our saying goodbyes said, Jack that must be what all the hard work while. Absolutely, yes! Lots of whiting in local waters. More and more flounders are showing up. Last week we caught our first male atlantic sharp nose (shark) a sign summer is right around the corner. Small schools of glass minnows can be seen swimming while at anchor. Lots of wind in recent days probably accounting for lots of muddy water. Again clean water has been the key. On one school of reds in shallow the water (last week)did not hold because the water was so clear. That’s pretty much the exception. A chop can make seeing fish difficult. On a choppy day you could be blowing out nice redfish right by the boat. Good seatrout action in the sounds but nice fish caught on the inside as well. Redfish while not in large schools can be found in small pods of 8 or 10 fish and there some large ones!
Conservation is the key! Most fishermen enjoy taking some fish and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as the fish are eaten. In the current issue of the CCA Tide magazine, May/June 2009 in an article relating to flounders there was a statement you can have a banner year or two and the fishery can still be in serious decline. This is something hard for most of us wrap our heads around. Science is the key. A couple of banner years while awesome only reveals part of the picture. This is why (on our coast) the CCA Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are vital players on helping to preserve a healthy fishery. One component fishermen can participate is the Carcass Recovery Program by placing their spent fish carcasses after cleaning into a designated freezer (which are at most marinas). The age of fish is determined by counting the rings on the ear the bone much like a tree as well as how the fish are doing. This is relatively small innocuous step that can help those doing the research get a fair and balance picture. Please participate! Good science, good regulations equals a healthy fishery.
Fishing should continue to heat up as we head toward the Memorial Day Weekend! Memorial day for many marks the beginning of the flounder bite! Bait is pouring into the sounds. Be careful when on the water during a holiday period lots of boats. No wake zones are enforced particularly during holiday periods so boat responsibly!
Hope this of help! Good Fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan