Late Summer/Early Fall Inshore Fishing Report 2016-Savannah, Tybee Island Ga. & Hilton Head Island S.C.

By | September 13, 2016

The seasons are definitely changing. The days are getting shorter. Shrimp are massing in tidal creeks. Although the days can still be hot some evenings there is a slight chill in the air. During the summer fish often are scattered with lots of small fish in the mix. During late summer/early fall fishermen might a find a mix with schooling fish as well as scattered fish.

Flounders are showing up in good numbers! Fishing baits on or close to bottom can be effective. When current are slow try pitching a soft plastic bait or lure and retrieving slowly. Tides in the seven foot range are often ideal for fishing with good water clarity and medium currents that can extend your fishing period. As the season change bait and fish will be on the move in search of bait to forage on. Even when conditions are ideal and the bite is not happening. Often a bite can be found. Each day is a little different. A key to successful is fishing the conditions and enjoying the day. I always like it when the bite happens quickly but its fishing. Ideal conditions don’t automatically means a hot bite but it could.

Redfish numbers are looking good! Many of this year’s crop of fish are already between 13 and 15 inches. When releasing a redfish look for holes in its jaw it give you sense of how much pressure that school is under. Catching fish that have never seen a hook is always good. Black drum and redfish are home buddies. Meaning they close to the same area where caught. Its not uncommon to release a fish and catch a short time later. Catch and release works. If a hook or jig is deep in the fish’s gullet snip as close to the hook. Often those fish will pass and hook or jig. Ripping your hook out will almost 100% of the time kill that fish. My suggestion is faster hook sets with the idea of not allowing as many fish to swallow a hook.

Sea trout have been thick at times but for most part still scattered. There’s lots of small fish in the water ways which can be nuisance when fishing for sea trout. Small fish can indicate a food chain but when fishing shrimp sometimes the small fish can overwhelm a drop. If that happens it could be best to try another drop. Fishing plastics lures could be an option. As summer is whining down large ladyfish are showing up. These are crazy fighting fish that can put on a show and can dominate the drop.

Lastly, on black drum it looks more are showing in the 3 to 4 pound range. It could be increasing the size limit from 10 inches to 14 inches is a good thing. Black drum are a good fighting sometimes a light biting fish. Good to see more larger fish!

I hope this report is of interest and help! Keep what you want to eat and release the rest.

Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan, Coastal River Charters