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 Mar 12, 2009; 10:37PM - Georgia Spring Fishing
 Category:  Georgia
 Author Name:  Capt. Richie Lott
 Author E-mail:  richielott@bellsouth.net
Click here to enlarge Report Description: Georgia Coast Reef Fishing - Best Bet for Spring
Capt. Richie Lott
March 12, 2009
St. Simons Island - Saltwater Fishing Report

Spring Reef Fishing is here….

Finally, we have rounded the corner and spring is not only on the horizon, we can smell it. Captains all over the south await this transition of season from dull gloomy days into warmer fish catching temperatures and weather patterns as well as the time change.

With all that on a Captains plate, all of us have rigged and prepared tackle all winter long for the spring fishery right here on the Georgia coast. We have geared up for everything but jaws and we have bought enough tackle through the winter to keep Bass Pro Shops open another season.

Spring fishing on the Georgia Coast offers some fishing for all ages and skill levels.

Off the beaches right now, small coastal sharks are beginning to show up along with large numbers of whiting. Although whiting are not the premier gamefish in the Atlantic, they might just be the best eating! Prepare to load your coolers if you fish for whiting in the sandbar sloughs and troughs about a mile offshore of the beaches in coastal Georgia.

On the nearshore reefs (8-12 miles offshore) the Sheepshead are biting and the big fish are on the structure in good numbers. These fish earn their stripes honest. They are thieves… I have heard more new cuss words on Sheepshead trips than any bar or club I have ever been to. After you miss the first ten, it'll really hurt your feelings and let me be clear on this…. it will make a preacher cuss.

However, once the technique is honed, it's game on. The fish fight like gorillas and make great table fare as well. Nothing like fighting a 8-9 pound sheepie on 15 pound spinning gear with braided line. HANG ON!

We target these toothy critters with small fiddler crabs which are hand caught and fished live. The crab is hooked with a 4X strong short shank live bait hook, about a number 2 works nice. Light leader in the 20 pound test range makes for an interesting ride from the rocks and structure on the bottom up to the boat…. You may get him, you may not. But, that's sheepshead fishing.

If I had my choice, I would do this every day of the spring season. It's as much fun as Snapper fishing without the long ride in rough seas and the use of heavy, bulky tackle. The light tackle is the key too making these fish give you all they got.

Don't ever let anyone tell you Sheepshead fishing isn't fun….. Actually, it doesn't get a whole lot better for the fight, table quality and numbers of large fish that are caught on a trip to the ref areas where the fish are holding.

Welcome Spring, Damn the cold and wind…. I wish all my readers the best of luck fishing in 2009!

Capt. Richie Lott
www.charterfish.com

St. Simons Island Fishing Forecast:

Warmer = Better

Target Species:

Sheepshead
 Feb 24, 2009; 08:33AM - Spring in Sight - Coastal Georgia Saltwater
 Category:  Georgia
 Author Name:  Capt. Richie Lott
 Author E-mail:  richielott@bellsouth.net
Click here to enlarge Report Description: Turning to Spring in Coastal Georgia


Well, it looks as if the turn of the season is finally in sight. This winter was a REAL winter to the fishermen here on the Georgia Coast and to the lay person alike.. When it’s cold, Its cold no matter who you are.

We have had frequent night time temperatures in the 30’s and many below freezing over the past 3 months. I can’t actually remember a season this cold since I was a child.

The Impact on the fishing has been dog-gone tough on the inshore fish. The Trout and Redfish in the rivers and backwater areas have nearly come to a halt on their feed aside of the Reds which roam the mud flats on sunny days.
Few anglers can get the Reds on the flats to bite, but there are a few successful anglers that have done really well, but you must know where the fish are. Without local knowledge, finding these flats fish is near impossible.

A few trout are being pulled boatside now and then, but it’s just not super productive due to the water temperature in the high 40’s. I wouldn’t want to eat either!

There are some whiting finally being caught off the beachside troughs and sloughs along the Georgia Coast. Whiting aren’t the most exciting fish to catch, but they make a good meal, but best of all it beats sitting at the house all weekend or at the office all day…. Of course, no offense to those who can’t get out of the office!

So, the prescription to fix this is simply warm weather…… It’s literally right around the corner for all of us here in the southern states. With the turn of that warmer weather will come a variety of game fish very near our beaches. Triple Tail, Blue Fish, Sharks, Jacks, Spanish Mackerel and a few others will soon be moving in for the spring season and which ever day that might be, will not be a day too soon. We’re ready and waiting.

The cold has not affected the offshore bottom fishing like it has the inshore fishing. Our Red Snapper bite continues like it has been for nearly 5 months. It’s one to be proud of and we most certainly are… The comeback has been one like most of us have never witnessed and we only hope it will continue.

As cold as it is, I am going fishing. Two days in the house and I can’t take it… Good Fishing to all of you!

Capt. Richie Lott
www.charterfish.com
 Dec 7, 2008; 04:18PM - Georgia Offshore Fishing - Inshore Trout/Offshore Snapper
 Category:  Georgia
 Author Name:  Capt. Richie Lott
 Author E-mail:  richielott@bellsouth.net
Report Description: December offshore Fishing 2008 – Coastal Georgia Saltwater


INSHORE GEORGIA

There are some years that are just premier, and this winter season has been one of those that will never be forgotten here on the Georgia Coast, inshore and offshore.

This weekend yielded results like no other year we can remember. Inshore, Trout fisherman caught hundreds of trout. I mean hundreds. There were 11 boats fishing on Friday that I know about personally. Between these 11 boats, there were over 450 trout caught from ten inches right on up to 3-4 pounds.

The trout are being taken on artificial, popping floats, slip floats and free lined shrimp. The offerings did not seem to be key. This year, the fish are HERE!

Novice and first year trout anglers have enjoyed numbers of trout like they have yet to witness in their short inshore fishing time on the water. This will be the year that will keep anglers coming back over and over, and also offers up the chance for them to hone their techniques when the bite is slow.

Not only has this been great for the fisherman, the economy’s trickle effect is in full force. The excellent fishing both inshore and offshore have boosted local Marina bait and fuel sales through the past month almost double from the months preceding this incredible fishing. If you haven’t been fishing in Georgia, now is the time…..

OFFSHORE GEORGIA

I hate to be repetitive, but I must. The Red Snapper are biting better and better. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any better, the fish gods shined on us all weekend in the cobalt blue ocean at the 115 ft. mark... AKA: Georgia’s 40 Mile Bottom.

This stretch of live bottom is very well known from Florida up to South Carolina by offshore fisherman. The weather keeps the area out of reach for smaller boats less than 25 ft. with the exception of only a few flat calm days.

The 40 mile bottom stretches from Savannah Georgia to Fernandina Beach Florida and lies 45-50 miles from shore. The area is laden with coral, rock piles and ledges up to 15 ft. offering relief for baitfish and many types of ocean growing organisms. Red Snapper teem on the ledges and live bottom are where bait is holding and this year, they’re big.

“Mule Snapper” as we call them, are plentiful this year with only a few fish shy of the 20 inch size limit. A 20 inch Snapper is a fairly good size fish compared to those on Florida’s west coast which allows a smaller size limit for anglers, although there are some large Snapper caught there as well.

On our most recent trips, we managed a few Red Snapper over 20 pounds and many others in the 10-15 pound range. Cut Bonito seems to be the best choice for bait per usual. Although squid will suffice, there is nothing quite like a chunk of bloody bonito dropped on a live bottom ledge. Snapper can’t stay away from it… We did not fish live bait all 3 days we fished this past week. No need.

A drone spoon or jig is used to catch the bonito (Little Tunny) around structure where bait fish are prominent. They’re an easy catch and again, the best bait available for Snapper of all species. The bonito are then bled and cut into 2 inch chunks using the skin of the fish to embed the hook. The fish can’t snatch off a bonito chunk very easily.

HOW WE RIG FOR SNAPPER – SWEET AND SIMPLE

Our rig consists of a Shakespeare Arsenal Reel with 60 pound Penn Yellow Mono line and several of my reels are loaded with 80 pound Ugly Braid for excellent feel when the fish are finicky. A 3-way swivel is attached to the main line. Attached to that, a 6 ft. cut of Penn 100 leader and the third side of the swivel gets a 12 ounce weight attached. When conditions allow, we fish lighter weights on a fish-finder rig with the same length of leader.

These rigs are very simple and mostly trouble free from tangles. They have been proven time and time again by fisherman all over the world.

Good Luck and I hope your fishing trips have been excellent and Happy Holidays to all!

Capt. Richie Lott
http://www.richielottoutdoors.com
 Apr 15, 2008; 10:48PM - OFFSHORE BITE IS ON!!!!!!
 Category:  Georgia
 Author Name:  Captain Butch Foster
 Author E-mail:  captainbutchf@earthlink.net
Click here to enlarge Report Description:
4-14-08
Let's try this again!!! I typed it in once today and just as I went to publish it to the website the internet lost connection and I lost it all, so here we go again!!!

Yes, believe it or not the winds did let up enough to get offshore today although I was a bit paranoid to the point where we cancelled first thing but an hour later the seas were getting better so we gave it a shot.

As the day progressed we were rewarded with a beautiful day offshore with hungry fish and great fellowship from Jeff Russell, Tom Gardner,Charles Matthews, Melvin Wilcox, Mark Bishop, and Kris Churchill from Oxford,NC.

Once we made it to our first stop we got the 'Yeah Right' in position on the structure and the 'games began'.

The bottom bite was hot with Black bass, Grey Snapper, Silver Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Triggerfish, and sharks.

There were some big fish hooked up today, the first big shark was hooked up by Mark Bishop and for a while there we all thought that the shark was going to win this fight, but Mark finally landed the knock out punch and was rewarded with a nice Black Tip for a photo shoot!!

Everyone got their limit of one Atlantic Sharpnose Shark for the grill and all the rest (that we got in the boat) were photographed and then released alive to fight again another day!!!

Tom Gardner had something happen to him twice today that hardly ever happens, especially twice in the same day.

He hooked up on two big fish and both times the hook broke. Usually it's the line that breaks or the fish justs gets off, not the hook breaks!!

The king mackeral bite that had been happening in the Tower area must have slacked off. We never trolled for any Kings but the lite line never produced a king all day.

But what it did produce was sharks!!! I don't ever recall seeing as many atlantic sharpnose sharks, Blacktips, and Bull sharks as we had around the boat all day. It reminded me of the way the Spiney dogfish sharks are in the early spring.

I mean it was nothing to have a whole heard circling the boat, 50, 60, possibly 100+ sharks in a school, it was awesome.

Had a big schol of AJ's to come under the boat as well, but none were interested in eating our baits, and that's sorta unusual, but that's fishing!!

But nothing seemed to bother the bottom fish though!! I bet I know a few guys that hit the 'Ben Gay' hard last night!!!

It was great to fish with these guys, and it was great to finally get some calmer winds so we could go fishing!!

Sometimes I ask myself why I do what I do, and today I was reminded why I do it. As I have said before, Fisherpeople are the greatest people in the world, and spending a day fishing with people like these guys is surely my 'Heaven on earth'!!! Till next time, FISH ON and GOD BLESS!!!! Capt Butch.
www.yeahrightcharters.com
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