St Simons Island Fishing Report 3/7/15

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bite still strong, fishing report SE Georgia Dec 9-Dec 17, 2010

Mid-December brought us back to back cold fronts in the form of two clippers that saw temps drop to the low 20s.  For those who braved the wind and bone-chilling cold, the rewards were worth it.  We ran the entire gamut of inshore fishing during this period.  Limits of bigger than average Trout and slot sized Redfish were common.  Fortunately, we had favorable moon phases and clear water.  One of the better patterns was shallow diving and suspending lip divers.    One of the keys to enticing the Trout to bite on the twitch baits was to pause the bait sometimes as long as 5-10 seconds.  This naturally was preceded by two sharp twitches that are the custom way of working these baits.  As the Trout got repeated looks at the twitch baits and quit biting, we switched to slow sinking Mirrolure 52MR plugs. 
One of the best coastal Georgia Redfish opportunities is now upon us.  Midday low tides (10am -2pm) are the best windows for this type of fishing.  Typically, during the winter months, the Redfish will “sunbathe” on shallow dark-bottomed flats within the estuaries of the marsh.  Although as the tide recedes they may not be as eager to eat, and more inclined to warm themselves.  As the tide turns in, they will feast.  I like to nose my boat into these areas at the last of falling, or dead low, and locate the fish.  Once located, I will hunker down and wait for the incoming tide to get moving.  Many types of bait will work in this scenario, but as a rule try to keep your presentations fairly light.  A jig head and shrimp or small profile plastic will usually do the trick. 
A very well kept secret over the last few years is the amazing Flounder, Sheepshead and Black Sea Bass bite that occurs in 40-60 feet of water off the Georgia coast.  There are literally hundreds of nearshore structures that harbor these great eating fish.  The technique is very simple, and often over-thought.  My favorite way to fish these structures is to have the boat positioned directly over your target, and present your bait vertically—with as light a weight as possible, just enough so that the current does not move your line.  One of my favorite rigs for this type of fishing is the knocker rig.  This rig consists of a bead and an egg sinker placed directly on top of the hook.  Drop the rig to the bottom, lift up about a half turn, and hold on.  Many anglers often employ a dropper loop system with two or three hooks as well.  I like 40 lb braid on a conventional reel with a 7ft medium heavy blank.
Tip of the week:  When fishing the nearshore wrecks, upsize your synthetic bait (Gulp/Fish Bites) to a larger profile (5”-6”).  This will often entice the largest Sea Bass, Flounder or Sheepshead to fight through the pack.
You won’t know if you don’t go…

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wintertime tactics-the art of the jig....

The jig may possibly be one of the oldest and simplest fishing tools ever created.  The jig was so reliable that many armed forces survival kits included a buck-tail jig with some line.  The reason was simple, they work.  Whether tipped with hair or nylon like the original buck-tails, or one of today's many different colored and shaped soft plastics, the jig's versatility is virtually unmatched.  The jig (or jig head) can cover essentially every depth of water you will encounter.  Jigs are weighted from as small as 1/32 oz on up to 1/2 lb of lead poured over a hook.  For our purposes, we'll discuss options that are suitable for fishing inshore saltwater. 

Wintertime fishing for reds and trout here in coastal Georgia can be challenging.  When the water temperatures drop below 52 degrees, I turn almost exclusively to the jig.  I typically use 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, or 3/8 oz weights, using as light as I can get away with and still feel the bite and what the lure is doing.  The speckled trout and red bass typically school very tight during the coldest periods of the year.  Fortunately, the marshes along the Georgia coast offer many great places for these game fish to hide.  The trick is to present a bait to these often lethargic fish so as they will eat it.    As a rule, most of our inshore species hug the bottom part of the water column.  This is especially true in the winter, as they seek a warmer environment.  Hence, the jig.  The jig is the perfect weapon to get into their feeding zone. 

The techniques used for jigs are as varied as the weights and color combinations that you can use.  For now, we'll discuss wintertime presentations, which as a rule are generally slower.  My typical presentation is to bump the bottom in very small 1" hops, often stopping to pause before continuing on.   It is critical that you feel your jig making contact with the bottom.  Another variation of this retrieve is to slowly lift the rod tip and drag the jig, much as you would a plastic worm when bass fishing.  Sometimes I will hop the jig 6" to 12" and let it fall with the pause. This often will trigger a strike as it imitates a dying bait.  Additionally it may make your bait be more visible and readily seen, especially in deeper water as the small hops may not get you out of the silt or soft bottom.  These presentations work equally as well for both redfish and sea trout.  The re-occuring theme here is to slow down your presentation.

I would like to add - in the perfect world - I'm fishing the lower stages of the tide.  I will target the trout in deeper holes and redfish on the shallower mudflats.  A trick that works well for me on lethargic redfish is to dead stick, or just shake one of the new scented baits (Gulp or FishBites). This, as the description sounds, requires leaving the jig in one place.  Trust me, if you know the redfish are there-this will often trigger a strike.  This leads us to the strike.  The strike is usually not a strike at all, but a small tick, tap or pressure on your jig.  The real key here is to watch your line, as often the bite will be so subtle that you may only see your line move or jump a little.  On any of these occurrences, set the hook sharply, firmly and immediately.

Locating fish is an entire discussion of its own, and will be the subject of a later blog.  I would suggest that when winter fishing, you do not stay in any one spot more than 10 minutes if you are not catching fish.  My personal preference is to stay on the trolling motor and cover a lot of water.  If you do not have a trolling motor, you may have to re-anchor several times during the day to locate fish.

I personally think that it is critical to use a quality jig that has a premium paint and a black nickel hook.  I use a jig made by Slayer Inc.  The Slayer Inc jig head comes in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes that  will match any soft plastic you choose.  I usually experiment with different shapes and colors of plastics to see what the fish like.  Among the choices are minnow imitating paddletails, fluke style straight-bodies, and the old reliable, curly tail.  Typically I match the color of the head to the color of the body, but have also used contrasting colors as well.  That being said, I personally think many of the lure colors are made for fishermen and not for the fish.  I tend to stick to the more natural hues, including tans, browns, dark greens, greys and occaisonally something in a gold.  Slayer Inc's wide color selection helps me in making proven, successful color combinations.  I'd like to add that the double barb also holds your plastic from slipping down after repeated casts and hook ups.

When jig fishing, the rod and reel are very important.  I prefer a 7' - 7.5' high quality graphite rod.  I like a medium to medium heavy rod blank with a fast tip.  I like a reel that can handle small diameter braided line (10-20 lb test).  I use a flourocarbon leader (also 10-20 lb test) between 18" and 30" and always use a loop knot on my jigs.  This set up will provide you the sensitivity you need when jig fishing.   

Tip of the day:  I know I've mentioned this before, but try to bring your jig with the current and try to eliminate any bow in your line by casting directly into the wind, or having the wind directly at your back.  You can also lower your rod tip if the wind is not cooperating to eliminate the wind drag on your line. The idea is that you maintain constant contact with your lure, because the bite this time of year is usually very light. 

Get yourself a pair of Under Armor Base Layer, because you won't know if you don't go....

Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Friday, December 10, 2010

Still got shrimp in the freezer from this year's catch? Try Shrimp & Grits!

The original recipe is from Bill Smith, executive chef at Crook's Corner, the landmark Southern restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
2  bacon slices
1  pound  unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  pepper
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
1  cup  sliced fresh mushrooms
2  teaspoons  canola oil
1/2  cup  chopped green onions
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  cup  low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  hot sauce
1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
2. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.
3. Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings with oil in skillet 5 minutes or until tender. Add green onions, and sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly browned. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Spoon shrimp mixture over hot Cheese Grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2008

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Improving your winter catch...

Now is the time of year when cold front after cold front will come bearing down on us.  Naturally, the nicer days between these fronts can often yield spectacular catches. The only problem, of course, is that these perfect conditions present themselves less and less as we head into January, February and March.  Understanding the patterns of trout and redfish during the colder months is not that difficult.  Both of these fish will eagerly eat during the coldest of periods. 

Speckled trout seek many different habitats during the winter.  Two common factors however, is that they tend to school up very tight this time of year, and seek deeper water.  On of my favorite methods of catching winter trout is to seek out smaller tributaries at low tide.  When I'm in these systems, I will constantly check my depth finder looking for the deepest holes.  Often these holes are on the outside bends of these smaller creeks.  Work these spots thoroughly and slowly.  This is the time of year when I really enjoy throwing soft plastics.  The size of the trout are generally lower slot fish, but easy limits can be had once you find them.  Generally, groups of trout may migrate considerably further inland during these months.  I tend to use the same methods with low tide and deep water being the common factor further up the rivers as well.  Further inland also offers many lay downs, docks, bridges and other features that can add to trout habitat.  Once you find a winter trout, fish the area thoroughly as there are certain to be more nearby.  Naturally, your shrimp presentation needs to be deeper, and the traditional float rig may be more desirable than the popping cork.  Adjust your cork so that you are within 12" of the bottom.  I have found in the past, the larger trout seem to be furthest from the inlet this time of year.  Don't be afraid to switch to large, diving, suspending or slow-sinking artificials and you will often be rewarded with a true gator this time of year. 

Redfishing this time of year is one of my favorite things to do.  Upper slot and over slot reds will school up in large numbers.  My favorite scenarios are days with mid-day or afternoon low tides.  The tried and true method is fairly simple.  Enter a creek system very quietly with your electric motor or push pole.  You will be looking for larger mud flats with 2' or less water on them.  The darker the bottom, the better.  The redfish will seek these warm water refuges.  The problem is that they are very spooky--and you may not see them until they spook.  This is okay.  You have now found a spot that will more than likely hold these fish the entire winter, under the same conditions.  I can guarantee, there are quite a few of these spots near the areas you are now fishing.  Put away the corks and heavy sinkers and make as light a presentation as you can.  These fish will eagerly eat a plastic as well as a live shrimp, mud minnow or finger mullet if you can find one this time of year.  Move your bait very slowly and methodically.  I prefer 10 lb. braid with a 18-30" flourocarbon leader tied with a double uni or a surgeon's knot.  Soft plastic jerk baits (e.g. ZOOM Superflukes) rigged on a weighted worm hook will cast a mile and make very little disturbance when hitting the water.  If I'm using a live shrimp, I prefer to break off the tail and run a jig head through the back end of the shrimp.  This will accomplish two things: it will disburse more scent; and give you more casting distance with the head being forward.  This combination is usually deadly in this situation.  The same presentation works excellent with a 3" Gulp Shrimp. 

The areas around Cumberland, Jekyll and St Simons Island all offer outstanding winter fishing opportunities. 

Tip of the week:  If you're not already using flourocarbon leader underneath your floats or tied directly to the main line, now is the time to start.  The water during the winter becomes extremely clear, and the low visibility factor of flourocarbon will definitely make a difference. 

Don't let the cold weather stop you-you won't know if you don't go...

Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fishing report, Brunswick, GA, Nov 27 & 29, 2010

The fishing for trout has still been outstanding.  We had two trips over the Thanksgiving weekend that provided good action on sea trout both days.  Flounder, redfish, bluefish and the dreaded lizard fish also crashed the party.  Both days were dedicated to floating and suspending lip divers.  We've continued on this pattern because it works.  It has enabled us to cover a lot of ground, as we have not found any great concentrations of fish at one spot.  We comb the areas thoroughly, and go back over the spots where we pick off fish.  As a rule, when we trout fish, we do use artificials.  For the live baiters, this works as well, as you can find them with the artys and then anchor on them with bait-and up your catch.  This year in general, the trout have been on the smaller side, but using these larger profile baits has put our keeper ratio well above 90%.  We had one short fish in two days of fishing, with over 30 good trout landed. 

James Pittman from Buccaneer Bait & Tackle in St Mary's and Mike Wooten from St Simons Bait & Tackle on St Simons have confirmed the outstanding trout catches as well.  The trout bite has been strong from the Hampton River south to the Florida/Georgia line.  Most catches have been made with live shrimp under popping corks and traditional float rigs.  These are deadly weapons in the marsh, and by no means one dimensional.  Capt. Tim and TJ Cheeks, out of Hickory Bluff Marina, also had tremendous catches of trout varying their depths and retrieve styles on these floating destroyers. 

Tip of the week:  Add a fish imitating plastic under your popping cork as the weather gets cooler.  This will present as a stressed or dying bait fish which is what the game fish are keying on as the temperatures drop. 

The wind is your friend....

What?! Fishing in the wind, really?  For the many of those who've been on the boat with me, you've probably heard me mutter "the wind is not your friend". But let's face it-if you plan your trip around the elements, you'll end up doing a lot of wishin instead of fishin.  Here's a couple thoughts I have when the flags are flyin stiff. 
One of the first things I do the night before is to get a chart or print an area off the internet that I'm going to fish.  Positioning the map with "North" to the top, I then draw lines indicating wind direction-five or six lines usually does the trick.  I then find shorelines that are facing directly into the wind.  Usually, here on the Georgia coast-with its many islands, creek bends and shorelines that run through the marsh, I will end up bisecting 10 or 12 different spots.  I then look for those intersections that have trees, bluffs, docks, warehouses, or any other obstructions to block the wind.  At this point I'll make a float plan, and hopefully I've included some spots I'm vaguely familiar with.  If not, at least I can eliminate some water or find some new spots. 

Fishing the lee areas sometimes contradicts many thoughts about wind pushing bait onshore, but in the tidal areas, I think water clarity takes precedence and have often found the fish don't feed as well in turbulent waters.  Another factor to consider is tide stage.  Many times the smaller creeks at low tide will put you below the wind line and make open areas more comfortable.  The opposite is true as well, as the rising tide will put you above the cover and increase your exposure.  In the cooler months this lee can improve your confidence, as well as make your crew  more comfortable--so you may want to cater your run to these spots in the lee as much as possible.  This may mean trying a new ramp or new area-but I think in the long run this will make your day on the water much more enjoyable and increase your chances of catching fish. 

As far as the nuts and bolts of actual fishing...slow down.  Make your presentations, as a rule, deeper and slower.  Cover entire areas that you are fishing, as the fish will often school fairly tight this time of year.  This may mean slowing your jig down to a crawl, floating your shrimp slower with heavier weight, or even peppering every inch of a given area if you are power fishing. 

I may be a little hardcore in that I will fish in most any condition--but more often than not, if I can find a comfortable area--I will turn it into a productive day.

As usual, you won't know if you don't go...even if it's gonna blow

Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Forget the turkey, why not Flounder for Thanksgiving?

Broiled Flounder

4 (3 oz.) flounder fillets
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped green onion tops
Dash of hot sauce
Garnishes: green onion strips, lemon wedges

Place fillets on a lightly greased 15 x 10 x 2 inch baking pan. Brush with lemon juice.
Combine Parmesan cheese and next 5 ingredients, mixing well. Set aside. Place fillets on lightly greased rack of a broiler pan; broil 4 inches from heat 6 to 8 minutes. Spread cheese mixture evenly over fish; broil 2 to 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish, if desired.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fishing report St Simons Island/Brunswick November 19 & 20, 2010

We had two trips this week, and the fishing remained fairly strong on both days.  Water temps are hovering around 62 degrees, with the water clarity dirty to excellent, depending on where you look.  Here on the Georgia coast the full moon (and new moon) tides can get over 8',  bringing out a lot of silt and dirtying the water.  Day 1 this was a factor, but we eventually found some good fish-including some over slot reds in the 30" range.  Although the wind blew fairly strong, all the usual haunts held lower slot reds and trout.  We mixed it up using soft plastics, 3" gulp shrimp and cut bait.  The key to our moderate success that day was to stay on the run.  This is a good policy to live by, as opposed to waitin out your honey hole, in my opinion. 

Day 2 was a completely different scenario-as there was no wind, a nice cloud cover, and areas of water with visibility up to 6'.  The major difference on Saturday was our method and our target.  All Bomber Long A, all the time...the target being big ole two tooth, alias Speckled Sea Trout.  We really only had two good bites all day.  The first bite was at first light on the first cast, and twelve solid fish later the bite turned off.  This often is the case in any fishing, so don't leave fish to find fish.  Make sure you work the area thoroughly if you catch a fish.  Six hours later, as the tide turned back in, we had four more bites that were all solid fish between 2-4 lbs.  Now is a very good time of the year to experiment with artificials if you've ever wanted to give them a try.  A trolling motor is a huge advantage, but the lack of one will by no means eliminate your chance of catching fish on artificials.   I think the key on both days was to move around and locate fish as they are very hungry right now knowing the winter is coming and the abundant food supply will soon diminish.  

Tip of day:  Now is a good time to use cut bait for large reds, as they are less territorial and in a somewhat transitional stage.  They will cruise broader areas looking (sniffing/smelling) for a meal.  Don't be surprised, however, if a big flounder or trout finds your cut bait as well.

Until next time, you won't know if you don't go....

Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Targeting and catching large Speckled Trout

Large Speckled Trout or "gator trout" are a very different animal than their schoolie sized sibs.  As a rule, trout under 20" tend to school fairly tight, whereas on the other hand, larger trout are generally loners.  When targeting large trout, you have to be single minded and willing to settle for quality instead of quantity.  While you are looking for 4 or 5 quality bites, sometimes you may have to settle for only one or two...or none. 

One of the important things to remember is that large trout eat large baits.  Of course they will still eat a shrimp, but they prefer a large bait fish-such as mullet, ladyfish, pinfish, croaker etc.  It is not uncommon for a large trout to consume a fish up to 10" long.  Whether you are using live bait or artificials, this is worth remembering.  As mentioned a thousand times- big bait, big fish.  I think most of us know how to use a popping cork or traditional float rig.  To increase your chances on a gator, rig these with bait fish as opposed to shrimp.

My personal preference for hunting big trout consists of using large artificial baits.  I like various lip divers, top water plugs, slow sinking plugs and assorted soft plastics.  I like to work the lip diver (and any bait) with the current.  One of my most favorite ways to target big trout is to work the diver sharply off riprap or docks or both.  Tide is not a major factor as long as the water is moving and clear.  I present my diver with a series of jerks, twitches and most importantly...the pause.  9 out of 10 strikes will come on this pause, as the lure either sinks, suspends or floats upward.  Bring your presentation with the current, whenever possible.

With a top water bait, the presentation is a little different. My perfect set up is positioning the boat in deep water, in current, and throwing into a cove or shoreline with broken grass or small islands that break up the current. I like to throw the bait into eddied or still water pockets at the top of the tides in low light conditions.  Current will alter your presentation on a top water lure.  Often you can maneuver your boat close to shore and make long casts paralleling the shore.  Long casts and stealth are paramount in targeting big trout, with the exception of deep jigging (with we'll discuss in a later blog).   Presentation with the current is very important to me if you hadn't figured that out yet.   

Slow sinking plugs (like MirrOlure 52m)  are a little tougher to work, but are unique in that they can fish many depths.  The basic concept is to count your lure down one second per foot.  If you see a gnarly looking dock that you think ought to hold a big fish, and it is sitting in 11' of water, you would basically count 10 seconds and then begin to work your plug at a 10' depth.  Different from the lip divers (that are worked with a series of sharp twitches and cranks), the slow sinkers seem to work better with small intermittent twitches and slow pulls.  The beauty of this lure is that you can cover all depths just like you can with a jig, but you are now using a larger profile lure to pick off a bigger fish. 

Finally, jigs.  Probably more fish have been caught off a jig and plastic or jig and hair than any other lure.  The reason is because they work.  Although there are many theories on how to work a jig I work mine slow...and then slower...and even slower again.  I know this sounds redundant, but I've found that I get more bites with small one inch hops and pauses and slow lifts and drops than any other presentation.  I think the important factor with a jig is to maintain contact with your lure.  You have to know what your lure is doing at all times.  I think one of the most crucial factors in working a jig (along with bringing it with the current) is to eliminate any bow in your line.  This can be achieved by having no wind (which is extremely rare) or more practically, positioning your cast so that you are throwing directly into the wind or with the wind directly behind you.  This can be tricky, as not all shorelines, structure, targets and wind patterns will align.  One thing you can do is to hold your rod tip extremely low to eliminate the bow in the line.  I prefer to jig with the rod in the ten o'clock position and bring it up to the eleven o'clock position.  In order to increase my hook ups, I will often sacrifice fishy looking places in favor of other spots that allow me to maintain direct contact with my lure.  While a jig, and its small profile, often catch smaller trout, make no mistake-thrown in the right place, a big trout will hammer it.  Finally, the most important thing to remember in jig fishing is often the bite is a small tick or tap or slight pressure.  The next thing you won't feel is the fish spitting your jig on any tick, tap or pressure-set the hook immediately and sharpley!

Hope this helps.  Until the next time, you won't know if you don't go!

Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cajun Blackened Redfish Recipe

This is REAL good, so make sure to hook some reds this weekend!

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian salad dressing
  • 4 (4 oz) fillets red drum

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on low heat; cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cayenne pepper, black pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Dip the filets into the melted butter, then coat with the seasoning mixture.
  4. In a large skillet over high heat, sear fish on each side for 2 minutes or until slightly charred.
  5. Place in a 11x7 inch baking dish and pour the Italian dressing onto each filet.  Cover baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until flaky and tender.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fishing report 11/12, 13 & 14- Inshore bite on fire!

The skiff worked overtime these last three days, so we'll do a combined report.  This time of year, during warming trends (especially following cold fronts) the fish school up fairly tight and are very user friendly.  We like to switch over to artificial when the fish are this eager.  The artificials allow us a better survival rate, as less fish get gut hooked, not to mention it is just plain fun to trick them. 

 Each day produced many keeper trout and redfish.  We also had some larger blues crash the party along with some fine eating flounder.  The bite was better on the lower tides, although we continued to find fish on the higher ends as well.  The lures of choice this week were lip divers worked fast and furious and soft plastics hopped and crawled along the bottom.  Two of the flatties we caught this week actually bit the lip diver. 

Tip of the week:  Go buy a Bomber Long A

Until next won't know if you don't go!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Targeting larger, wary trout

In this article, I'll give my thoughts on targeting the larger or "gator" trout on the Georgia coast.  We will focus on habitat, and in the next blog we will go into further detail on presentations.  Big trout are generally loners.  The places they hide may surprise you.  Big trout get big for a reason, they are smart, wary, and seclusive.  One of the common factors I've found in big trout haunts is big, deep water.  And I mean deep-not 10' deep, but 30-50' deep.  I look for structure in one foot to twenty foot of water near the 30-50' depths I mentioned.  These haunts include jettys, rock piles, flooded grass, points, docks and pilings.  These areas can exist in pristine areas in the marsh as well as the nastiest urban setting you can imagine.  If this sounds like a broad range of places to seek a truly monster trout, you're right.  You'll have to probe many of these places to be rewarded.  Along the way, you will get rewarded with smaller trout as well as many of the other prized inshore species. 

Many times a run and gun approach will be your best bet, whether that means putting the trolling motor down and covering a long stretch of area or dropping anchor and fishing for no more than 5-10 minutes a stop.  I don't think tide is the major factor in targeting big trout (with the exception of flooded grass), but more importantly that you have moving, clean water. 

Tim's tip of the blog-Of the many structures that I have fished, I have found that rock and concrete are some of my favorites.  Look for our next blog to key in on just how and what to present to your next "gator".  Hope  this helps, there's many ways to skin a cat (or a speck), but these are a few things that work for me. 

Until then, you won't know if you don't go....

Capt. Tim
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sizzling Flounder recipe-just in time for this weekend's catch!

This recipe is outstanding, so get on out there and catch some flatties!  This recipe is also awesome with any of your favorite fish.

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
4 (6 oz) flounder fillets
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1. Place 1 oven rack 5 inches from heat; place a second rack in middle of oven. Combine Parmesan cheese and paprika. Season fish with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter in a broiler-safe 13 x 9 inch baking dish in oven 8 minutes or until butter is melted and beginning to brown. Place fish in hot butter.

3. Bake at 450 on middle oven rack 10 minutes. Carefully flip fish, and baste with pan juices. Sprinkle with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake 5 more minutes or just until fish flakes with a fork. Remove from oven; increase oven temperature to broil.

4. Broil fish on oven rack 5 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cool weather Trout tactics

My favorite season of the year is here!  This is the time of year when the Reds and Trout school up pretty thick on the Georgia coast and are much more user friendly.  Here's a few tips that work for me when targeting trout.  For those of you who like to fish with live shrimp, easy limits can be had by targeting the right depths.  As you would think, the trout usually seek deeper water this time of year.  The trick here is to switch from popping corks to traditional slip/float rigs.  These rigs let you adjust your float to any depth.  Do not be afraid to fish in water 6-20 feet deep.  The key is to find these deeper isolated spots in creek bends, oxbows, cuts and any other structure or transition areas you may find.  One of my favorite adjustments is to use a slightly heavier weight underneath the cork to slow the drift down.  It is important to notice the angle of the cork as it floats away from you.  The ideal angle is with the cork tilted slightly away from you as it floats-thus indicating you are close to the bottom or even bumping it, while maintaining the constant drift of the cork.  The key here is the slower, deeper presentation.  Remember, if you are not getting bit in the first 10 or 15 minutes-move on, even if its your favorite honey hole-you can come back later. 

My personal way to target trout is with artificial lures.  One of the deadliest ways to catch trout during the cooler season is with a jig head in the 1/16th to 3/8th range.  I personally go as light as possible, but you may want to experiment until you feel confident that you are feeling the bottom and are in contact with your bait.  Any number of plastics will work, including paddletails, curlytails or even straight fluke type plastics.  I generally use natural hues, but again you may want to experiment or use what you have confidence in.  I prefer to work my lure with the current, as opposed to against it.  The most important factor is speed.  GO SLOW!  If you think you are going too slow, go slower.  Generally, a small 1" hop followed by a pause is the ticket.  You may even want to go with just a lift and drop, remembering to pause.  The take, or bite, is often a small tick or tap.  It may even be just slight pressure on your jig.  Whenever you feel anything different, set the hook sharply and immediately. 

I hope these thoughts on trout fishing help, they work for me.  Look forward to our next blog that will key on targeting more wary larger trout.  Until then, you won't know if you don't go...

Capt. Tim
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Welcome to Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters

Our mission is to provide an action-packed, fun filled day on the water that you’ll never forget. Capt. Tim specializes in providing any angler, of any skill level, a memorable adventure in the pristine marshes surrounding the Golden Isles.

The Coastal marshes of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island and Brunswick offer world class inshore fishing year round. Coastal Georgia’s Inshore Marshes are home to Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Tarpon, Triple Tail, Sharks and Sheepshead as well as several other species. Capt. Tim’s vast knowledge and experience will provide you the opportunity to make your day on the water a rewarding one.

Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters can tailor your experience to fit your needs, whether it is targeting specific species (seasonally), artificial lure fishing, live bait fishing or fly fishing. We can cater your trip.