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
St. Simons Island Fishing Forecast:
Warmer = Better