Water temperatures are slowly on the rise with daily temperatures in or around 50 degrees. This is cold for coastal Georgia. On the other hand the days are getting longer and temperatures are on the rise. Bait shops have struggled finding bait. Normally mud minnows are given but as winter has set in this durable little creature is borrowing into the mud. Fiddler crabs are likewise several feet below the surface borrowing into warmer recesses. Water clarity is amazing! Its possible to see down four or more in tidal water. The down side to extremely clear water is fish can see everything as well.
Fishermen generally complain if there is light chop. On the other hand, a light chop can mask your presents making it harder for the fish to see you. There a reds on the flats! The best chance of success has been fishing the bottom of the tide. This time of the year its very easy to spook these fish. Long casts and small soft plastics can produce fish. Winter time is a tricky time to fish. On the other hand its possible to catch some quality fish. Most of reds have lots of sea lice and small worms on them (indication of fish moving in from deeper water). These worms just started showing up. The worms like the sea lice are outside of the reds. The worms are likely an indication of a change in season. In the coming days and weeks we’ll see life coming back to coast. As for now we see are beginning to see gradual signs of Spring, longer days and rising temperatures.
Some striper and redfish action in the Savannah River. Over the weekend a large striper was landed at the Flood Gates. One fisherman caught dozen of finger mullet in the Wilmington River last week. The key when you are fishing is to observe what’s going on. If there are lots of birds on the edge of flat all in line, they likely waiting on something. Something like this could be a give away and warrants investigation. Most of reds on the flats are oversized. Still lots of fun and good problem to have! You can catch smaller reds near the flats but you will have to find oyster encrusted bottoms. These areas are difficult to fish over but can hold smaller reds. There small reds on the jetties but these seem to be skinnier likely due a less consistent food supply. Lastly you can find reds in the heads of creeks but it will take a good bit of hunting to find which bend they like. An old fishing saying is fish have tails and can move. This is true. Just because you locate one day doesn’t mean they will be there the next. It all about the food.
The bite for inshore sheepshead looks tough because of super clear water. Try lighting up your tackle in clear water. The redfish bite could be good. The best tide appear to fishing through low water. Normally we want to moving water. This time of the year the lower the tide the better. Once the water hits the grass the bites over.
Tides are building this week to 8.2 feet as we head into the weekend. Not the best for fishing but a great time to take in a seminar! Miss Judy Inshore Class will be this Saturday February 19th. For information or to sign up call Judy at 912.897.2478. I will be one of the presenters at the seminar. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan