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