Fishing this fall has been good! Lots of redfish! Fishermen have been catching lots of large redfish close to the beachfronts on finger mullet and small pogies (menhaden). The favorite rig is just a simple fish finder bottom rig (slip sinker bottom rig). Redfish in the surf is not a given. On some days the catch can be large or other days the catch scant. In general lots slot sized redfish (14 to 23 inch) in the creeks and rivers. Some fishermen have asked the question, is the best year ever for reds on our coast? I’m not sure. I do know this is a great year for reds! Definitely having limits and more folks either catch and releasing or folks just keeping a few for supper is having a positive impact. This isn’t to say a fisherman who keeps an occasional limit he should feel guilty. On the contrary, enjoy the resource. Whenever you can go light on the resource. Seatrout are showing in interesting numbers with some large 18 inch type seatrout being caught in the sounds. Black drum and sheepshead can be found in slacker currents and close to structure.
Tides are subsiding from a full moon on Saturday (Oct. 23rd). Likely the bite will improve during the week. Despite the full moon the last Saturday fishing was good! We caught nice redfish and some seatrout.
Seatrout action last week was been good. In some places a bite on every cast but for that to happen a lot things have to working just right.
Redfish and seatrout are still keying on shrimp on the tidal flats. It’s unusual to see shrimp popping out of the water! This means there probably a nice red or seatrout pushing the shrimp up! When currents are soft and slow the best action appears to be in the creeks. When the currents are running faster the better bite is likely on the outside river edges just before or after the creek mouth. Live lining a shrimp under a float is hard to beat for plenty of redfish and seatrout action! Shrimp have pushed well inland. As a result schools of redfish and seatrout can pop up all most anywhere this time of year. On a recent trip a father and his sons were catching nice reds just a few hundred yards from the marina. They followed the redfish with a constant bite of 11 and 12 inch whiting! The lowly whiting is a fish that something doesn’t rank much respect from some sport fishermen. On the other hand some of the best local fishermen have said the whiting is their favorite fish to eat. This is high praise! Also while you are whiting fishing you can use a whiting to catch a monster redfish or perhaps a late season shark. Understandably there are bonnet head sharks in the local water but with temperature as mild as they have been most assuredly there sharks as well. During the last set of spring tides (large tides caused by a full moon) I was hearing about lots of 3 foot black tips off of the north end of Tybee.
Just a few words on flounders. Usually we think of inshore flounder during the summer months. On a recent trip the guys were asking if they could catch a flounder. I said maybe one but it a little late for this fish. Sure enough they had a nice redfish and seatrout bite and top it off with six flounders! The largest weighed in a little over five pounds! That said usually flounders are a summer time but you never know.
There have some small stripers upriver. Better striper action should be happening in the coming days and weeks.
Tides this week look pretty good! When targeting seatrout look for current, for redfish structure. Fishing should be good! Redfish can be found schooling or in singles. If you’re not catching fish just keep looking. Good indicators of likely good fishing are birds, clean water, some current and structure. Keep what you want to eat and release the rest!
Hope this of help and enjoyment!
Capt. Jack McGowan