St Simons Island Fishing Report 3/7/15

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red Hot Hampton River Bite 5-29-11

Michelle and I finally got a day on the water together by ourselves to do some chunkin' and winding.  We had to run and gun a good bit, but ended up with a great day when it was all said and done.  Michelle's second cast of the day was a nice slot Red, and she pretty much put on a clinic the rest of the day.  I would personally like to thank her for letting me catch a few between netting her fish and throwin them in the box for an upcoming fish fry.  We fished the outgoing for Reds and the incoming for Flounder.  All the Reds came on jigs sweetened with live shrimp.  The Flounder pretty much bit through the whole incoming tide, and of course we were chunkin the Gulp! swimming mullet.  All I can think is that Michelle's chartreuse jig head was more appealing than my camo jig head, as she pretty much outfished me two to one on the flatties.  Had a funky little Sea Robin and a 3 1/2 foot Bonnet Head crash the party as well.  Ended up with 16 Flounder, a few short Trout and 8 good Reds, and of course a tad of toothy by-catch. It was nice to see Capt. Dave up our way, getting on a good trout bite.  All in all, this will be a Memorial Day to remember, as I got to spend time with my baby on the water...even though she kicked my tail.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

St Simons Island Fishing Report 5-28-11

Had Eddie, Toni, Mitch & Cole on the boat today, and the plan was to try to get a little taste of everything-Trout, Reds and Flounder, using both artificial and live bait.  Started off running and gunning for Trout on the higher water, managed 6 with only 1 keeper.  All caught on DOA shrimp.  Broke the corks and jigs out for the reds, but it took live shrimp on both rigs to get them to eat.  Ended up with 5 nice upper slots.  Broke out the deadly Gulp! swimming mullets and caught 7 flounder and had 4 or 5 come unbuttoned-including a doormat that got off Mitch's jig.  Sorry for the lack of pics, camera phone only spit out a couple.  Will try to add more later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

St Simons Island Fishing Report 5/20, 5/22/11

We ran a couple trips this weekend for some folks who wanted to throw all artificial lures.  Friday's trip with Garrett and his father Glenn was a pretty decent bite of keeper trout.  For some reason, we had 7 or 8 fish come unbuttoned, including a large trout that I simply missed with the net.  We had a nice flounder inhale a DOA shrimp that day as well.  Glenn & Garrett did an awesome job working plastics, and headed back to Atlanta with half a dozen nice trout and a big fat flattie.

Sunday's charter with William, his son Cole and David was another artificial mission.  Our plan was to get on the hot flounder bite with jigs, and everything pretty much fell into place.  As the tide got right, these guys went to work pulling up flounder after flounder.  Weeded through some smaller ones and break-offs, and ended up taking 10 good ones back to the dock, including two right at 20".  We managed a few shots at some spooky reds that weren't interested and picked off 5 small trout on soft plastics as well.  Sorry for the shortage of pics, as I only had my cellphone camera.  Our Cannon went into the drink on a previous trip, and we have a new waterproof version on the way!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Outstanding Fishing Report St Simons Island 5/13, 5/14, 5/15

Started the weekend off Friday morning scouting for Saturday and Sunday charters.  Checked about 6 trout spots, and they were all holding fish.  Went out to check a few flounder holes, and they showed up pretty good too (see Friday's post/blog on Flounder fishing).  Four hours, dozen trout--including a nice 22 incher, and half a dozen flounder.

Figured all was right with the world.  Saturday morning conditions were right, but the front seemed to shut me down.  Although my guests from Atlanta-Tim, Christine, and Kayleigh-did dig out a few nice trout running between lightning, wind and torrential down pours, these folks were absolute troopers in some rough conditions and will be rewarded a half day trip at their convenience.

Headed out this morning with a pretty stiff southwest wind and figured we'd get back to where I left off Friday catching trout.  Several stops-one trout.  I was getting nervous and figured the moons, the wind the rain were conspiring against me, but then it the water receded from the marsh the Redfish went ballistic.  For the next 2 hours it was single, double and triple hook-ups.  Brad, Ricky and Sam got their limit of Reds and ended up throwing back another 15.  Decided I'd run over to the baby bull Red hole, and sure enough they stuck two oversized Reds there along with 4 nice Black Drum and a handful of Whiting and Croakers.  With the tide just turning in, I really wanted to target Flounder and they were more than agreeable.  After fishing shrimp most of the morning, we pinned the Gulp! swimming mullets on jig heads and proceeded to go to work.  Ended up with 11 nice Flounder, and kept the 7 biggest for the grease.  Had an awesome time with some some awesome guys and gals this weekend, and I think the fishing should stay strong and just get stronger.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Targeting Flounder on the Georgia Coast

Flounder is usually not the first species that comes to mind when you are specifically targeting one type of fish.  But make no mistake, it can be done and on many days with huge success.  I am sure almost every one of us has been inshore fishing for “whatever bites” or even targeting Reds or Trout and come up with a nice Flounder. This happens quite frequently, as Flounder hold in many different places.   When targeting Flounder around St Simons Island, we look for areas that will hold more than just one or two.  As with all species, if you catch a Flounder throw back in and work the area thoroughly, because you may have just found a gathering spot-they will congregate in pretty big numbers--just like Reds and Trout.  
You must be prepared to lose some jig heads if you are going to become a Flounder pounder.  Our favorite areas usually have one thing in common: structure.   This structure is usually pretty gnarly and manmade.  One of the most commonly shared tips on Flounder fishing is to drag a mud minnow in the mouth of a small creek or run out--and this does work.  BUT, for numbers and size, fishing the nasty stuff will pay big dividends.  Flounder like docks, rocks, jetties, rip rap, pilings, bridge rubble, bulkheads, wrecks or any obstruction a Flounder can lie next to and ambush bait.  Finding this kind of structure is no problem on inshore waters of the Golden Isles.
Clean water also helps when Flounder fishing.  Although Flounder have a very pronounced lateral line that picks up movement and vibration, they rely on sight very heavily-- and their sight range is less than that of other fish due to their eye placement.
The technique is very simple.  I personally like to use artificial bait when targeting Flounder.  My favorite is a Gulp! 4” swimming mullet, although I recently fished a tournament where a 16 pounder was caught on the Gulp! 5” jerk shad.  I pin the swimming mullet on a jig head and slowly hop or drag it across the bottom.  Naturally I try to get as close to the structure without hanging up, but sometimes this is unavoidable.  I just re-tie.  Most of my bites come within 10 ft or less from the boat.  I purposely fish very close to or on top of the spots.  The Flounder don’t mind, and it seems the vertical presentation actually gets more bites and definitely less snags.  This technique will work in water from 1 foot on up to twenty.  
These same techniques apply to live bait as well-the only difference in being when to set the hook. When I am fishing a jig and plastic I set the hook immediately.  However, when fishing with mullet or mud minnows we wait at least five seconds before setting the hook.  We have a theory that because of the Flounder’s thin throat, he likes to turn his bait head first—making it easier to swallow.  Baitfish can be pinned on a jig head or fished with the traditional fish finder rig.  In all cases go as light as possible, but still allowing you to keep in contact with your bait.  Furthermore, in both cases set the hook hard!  Flounder have a bony mouth—plenty of Flounder are lost right at the boat because the hook never went through the fish’s face.    When netting a Flounder, try to keep his head just under the water as he will go ballistic when his eyes break the water and often dislodge even a pretty good hook set. 

I started writing this blog yesterday, and decided to try a little Flounder fishing today, in order to practice what I preach.  I caught 6 flatties in a little over an hour, but only had the cell phone for pictures!   These flatties from today were all caught on Gulp! 4” Swimming Mullet pinned to a ¼ oz chartreuse jig head. 

Today’s tip of the blog pertains to a popping cork.  When fishing shallow, a cork will allow you to cast to a good potential Flounder lair, and drag your presentation slowly back to the boat. This rig keeps the vertical presentation and cuts down on snags. Both the Gulp! and live bait work well.  As always, hope this helps and you won’t know unless you go.
Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters