Fishing last week was pretty good! Lots of almost legal seatrout and redfish in sounds. It possible to catch some nice fish as well as get lots of bites! There are lots trash fish around so make sure you have plenty of bait. Despite tides on the charts not over 8 feet, the reality was there were tides that were much bigger. This meant water in some rivers was muddy. Despite big tides and muddy conditions the bite was still surprisingly good! Don Adams as well Joey’s bait shop are having little trouble finding shrimp. CT, Tybee Island Bait and Tackle has an excellent supply of fat and healthy mud minnows! There has been some tarpon action along the outer sand bars. Fishermen are finding large ocean menhaden around the sea buoy. For big fish, the larger baits the best!
Ty from Bass Pro in Savannah says fishing is pretty good. Similarly Ty reports lots of small fish. In about a month most of the undersized fish will be legal size. Sounds extremely early but last week we caught stripers in the Savannah River. This isn’t as unusual as it sounds. Some stripers will reside in our local waters year round. Nonetheless, the best bite striper bite is associated with the cold weather months.
There are lots of top end black tips (70 to 100 pound) in the sounds! Although this is a fish you could keep its always good idea to go light on the resource. Keep only what you’ll eat. Soaking a big fish in butter milk is helpful in drawing out the gamey taste. Fishermen, this week, will note lots of small jelly balls (average diameter two or three inches) in the water. If you wondering why you aren’t seeing many shrimp boats moving its because of the jelly balls. Jelly balls aren’t “hot” (meaning they don’t sting) but they are a nuisance in fouling the shrimpers’ nets. If want you could scoop up a bucket full of jelly balls and fish for spade fish when sea allows. With increasing seas from hurricane Irene there wont be opportunity to target spade fish till seas lay. In short, for spades try fishing near shore wrecks with small hooks and small bits of jelly balls.
Last week boaters and fishermen might seen manatees passing through our waters. When boating motoring around these docile creatures slow down and give them a wide berth. Those throwing a cast net are finding little trouble in netting shrimp. However, lots of the shrimp in the creeks and rivers are on the small size. If you want to catch a quality fish, fish a quality bait. There is nothing wrong with a small shrimp but a larger shrimp at times will catch a quality fish that other wise might not bite. In short its all about energy. You want to present a bait that is interesting enough for a quality fish to want to expend its energy to go after it. Adams Bait House has some good bait sized shrimp on hand
Fishing will be problematic latter in the week. Tides are building to 8.3 feet on Saturday August 27th and impact of Irene on the coastland is yet to be known. At a minimum strong rip currents and higher than normal tides will be associate with the storm. Like any low pressure system could be good fishing just before the storm. If fishing, fish protected waters.
Capt. Jack McGowan
Hope this of interest and help! Keep what you want to eat and release the rest! Support your local CCA chapter!