St Simons Island Fishing Report 3/7/15

Monday, December 23, 2013

St Simons Island Fishing Report June 2013

June brought us the first named storm of 2013 and with it a good shot of rain as well. Nevertheless, the warming waters brought redfish, trout, flounder, tripletails, jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, sheepshead, black drum, King Mackerel, black sea bass, cobia, tarpon and of course...SHARKS! St Simons Island is well known as one of the largest breeding zones for sharks on the planet and makes for some great light tackle shark fishing. Don't be fooled though, often you will need to bring out the big guns as the islands waters are full of bigger sharks in the 100-200 lb. range! The summer months in the Golden Isles may offer some of the best fishing for shear variety on the Atlantic Seaboard. See you on the water!

 By Captain Tim Cutting

Monday, November 18, 2013

What a Great Week! St Simons Island Fishing Report

Despite getting a few trips blown off the water, we got to get out there with family, friends and charters and take advantage of the great fall bite that has been going on. We had a pretty dynamic representation from the states of California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama and New York. For many, it was their first time in our great marshes, as well as first catches of redfish, trout and flounder. Apparently there truly is a fishing gene, as Michelle's sister Kristen hooked up on her first cast and for a while, we didn't know if she was going to let anybody else catch fish. But the redfish were plentiful that cool morning and everybody got in on the action! While we kept a few fish for the dinner table,
we had an amazing number of redfish releases. We ended the week with Charlie and I pitching docks in the rain. Charlie caught fire with a jig and New Penny Gulp! combo and ended up with one of the nicest slams I've seen this year. Here's where it gets a little weird. Moments before Charlie's biggest flattie of the day, I got bit HARD! I came back with no jig, no nothing. Charlie laughed and tried to suggest cut off from structure. When I cleaned the flounder their was a seven inch mullet in his belly!...AND my jig and plastic.

By Tim Cutting

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Very Special Day

This was a special day for Andrew who was celebrating his 10th birthday with his dad James and little sister Alex. James, who works a really heavy work schedule, was looking forward to a great birthday for Andrew and some quality time with both children. Andrew
is an avid fisherman who had yet to catch a red. The day started very slow when finally a nice red bit…his little sister’s line. After working several oyster beds we only had some croakers, yt’s, and stinkrays…and a red his sister caught. With the tide still low we checked some more spots until we finally got a another red…on his dad’s line. Now the water was creeping in and we were struggling. We spotted some nervous water in between two gnarly oysters and decided to make a few casts. On Andrew’s third cast he connected with a good slot red. And then the god’s of birthday fish sent us reds for the next 90 minutes. It was kinda crazy with the kids netting each other’s fish and going under and over each other fighting reds. Don’t worry; Dad was yanking on his share too! It couldn’t have turned out better, and we even got to catch a few trout as well. To top it off, Andrew picked up a nice flattie
to complete his birthday slam. I have to apologize for the lack of photos, but the camera went dead, and I struggled with my old flip phone. All in all it was an awesome experience to see Pops and his two wonderful kids laughing and sharing high fives. It’s days like those that you (I) will remember forever! Thanks crew, you guys made it happen!

By Tim Cutting

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fish Magnets!

I had another great day earlier this week with “fish magnets” Roy and Amanda. It was a nice fall morning with temps down to about 47 and a pretty good breeze outta the ESE at 10-15 knots. The water was crystal clear, so conditions set up pretty good. On our first stop Amanda boats 4 NICE trout in about 4 casts. We figured it was on! And then things went kinda sideways with a severe case of lockjaw developing. From there it was trolling motor, anchor, plastics, live shrimp and we even considered dynamite. With a trout there, and a red here, we started adding a few up. We weeded thru quite a few dinks as well. Heading back to the ramp we were wondering if we’d have enough fish to stink the grease. It was reminding me of a Kenny Rogers song where “you never count your money (fish) when you’re sitting at the table (boat)”. Sure enough, after the land of a thousand casts, Roy and Amanda (fish magnets) had grinded out a nice mess…again! Thanks guys, it’s always a blast to fish with you!!


By Tim Cutting

Friday, November 1, 2013

(Fantastic) Fishing Report & Forecast

Most of you folks that have been on the water the past 10 days know the fishing has been very good. The bull redfish run has been one of the best that I’ve seen in nearly thirty years. Amazingly enough, the 1-2 year old reds are incredibly thick as well. These fish in the 14-18” range are everywhere! Trout have been thick one day and scattered the next. It may take several stops to locate them but they are here! The trout fishing has also been populated by a large number of yearling specks in the 9-11” range. There obviously has been an amazingly
successful spawn during the last year and a half. Today Charlie and I snuck out during the low and made a few stops only to find very small trout. With the wind honking out of the south-southwest we made a beeline for some calmer water hoping to find some flounder. With the water temps remaining around 70 we were pretty hopeful. We ended up with just over a dozen, including 6 pretty good ones we threw in the box. The amount of smaller flounder also speaks well of things to come with the flatties!

It looks like the tides will swell up a little these next 6 or 7 days and make fishing a little tricky, but starting about the 9th of November and until the end of the month (maybe 3 iffy days the 16th, 17th, and 18th around the full) the fishing should continue to be outstanding! For those chasing the bulls, the tides shouldn’t affect that bite. They’ll leave when they are good and ready. FYI, those wanting to take a dip on our beautiful beaches need to beware the jolt of the jelly!

By Tim Cutting

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lotso’ Fish this past week!

For a lot of folks, October is filled with the dilemma “woods or water?”.  Let me assure you that the marsh has been fishing reel good! I had a large time with new and old friends ranging from 8 to 80! There will be some fish fry’s on the schedule for a bunch of folks this weekend! Right now, there is quite an abundance of lower slot reds and trout in the 13 – 17” range, and enough whiting, black drum and flounder to keep things interesting (and plenty of yellowtails to fight thru as well!).  We have some big tides now thru Oct. 22nd that will make fishing challenging but Oct. 23rd thru Nov. 2nd should be outstanding! Here are a few pics for you with a little festival tune as Michelle and I head to the woods for the weekend to see Willie Nelson and a slew of others at the Magnolia Fest down on the Suwannee River in Live Oak, Fl.

by Tim Cutting

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big Winds, Big Bites! St Simons Island 9/26 & 9/27

Despite the wind, I had the privilege to fish with some really great people who fish with me often. And of course after consulting the tide charts, moon, stars, almanacs and a series of
soothsayers, mystics, gypsies and fortune tellers we decided that Sept 26th and 27th were gonna be magical. I guess we should have consulted Mother Nature, as she decided wind was the word of the day(s). That was OK though, because not even Mother Nature could stop Chris or Pete on Thursday, or Roy and Amanda on Friday (I actually tried to talk Roy into another day!).

On Thursday, Chris had a slam in mind. After previous trips with nice reds, trout and flounder, we had yet to catch all three on the same day to rack up the elusive slam. Chris and Pete not only got the slam they got 6 of them and change! We started the morning with live shrimp for the reds, Gulp! for the flounder, and D.O.A shrimp for the specks. These guys did an amazing job of hitting the spots as it seemed that at each spot the fish were holding in an area as small as a garbage can lid.

Friday I was on the verge of postponing with winds forecast at 20-25 but Roy and Amanda were ready to go no matter what the conditions. Roy and Amanda, like many anglers we all know, can catch fish in a mud puddle…and today was no different. Again, the fish were in small pockets and Roy and Amanda bore down despite the blow. The ticket today was popping corks, slip floats, and jig heads fished with both live shrimp and D.O.A. ¼ oz. shrimp.

The water the past few days was amazingly clear (finally) despite the winds…I guess it’s true…you won’t know unless you go!

by Tim Cutting


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Genuine Doormat

I had a large time in the marsh today with two really accomplished anglers, newlyweds Kristen and Brent. Brent and Kristen are regulars on the rocky Flint River and have yanked quite a few nice “shoalies”   (shoal bass). They were more than ready for our run and gun slam quest. Our mission was to do a real marsh sampler of redfish, trout, flounder and grab a big shark behind the shrimp boats. Live shrimp are not so lively right now due to the fresh hot water that’s been running thru the estuary, but make fine offerings for the multitude of lady fish, croakers, spots, whiting, grunts, pinfish and snappers that are thriving in the river right now. Our first stop was full of small fish but Kristen did manage a nice trout out of the mix. We made a run to skinny water and Brent’s first cast yielded a nice lower slot red and his second cast a nice black drum. We weeded thru some more small fish before heading out to the beach. After a few drifts we had one good shark come off before Kristen fought a pretty a pretty good one to the boat. With 3 of 4 outta the way we had just enough time to hit the sacred flounder lair. The flounder bite was a little tough but we ended up with 5 pretty good ones including a genuine doormat!  Good job guys grinding it out today, I had a blast!

by Tim Cutting

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Art of Artificials Part II: You Big Dummy

Dummy lures. That’s the word my old bass fishing partners use to use when describing a certain class of lures. These lures simply needed to be reeled in steady to be effective. While there are many lures that fit the bill, I’ll give you four that get eaten pretty good in the marsh. 

The Bill Lewis Rattletrap has been around for a long time and is usually classified as a vibrating crank bait. This lure was designed to be fished at varying depths. Its slow sink rate allows you to “countdown” to the depth you desire. With a sink rate of about one foot per second, the angler simply needs to count about one second for every foot until the desired depth is met. One of my favorite ways to fish the “trap” is on deeper grass flats of about 6 feet in depth. I will count the lure down about 4 seconds to obtain a running depth of about 4 feet, which will run this bait right above the grass. The strikes on this bait are usually pretty aggressive and the motion of the lure combined with the speed of the fish usually allows one if not both of the treble hooks to stick the fish pretty good. Bill Lewis also makes a floating rattletrap that allows the angler to work shallow flats. This lure, while called a floater, actually runs about a foot or so below the surface. This is a great tool for covering water as both the floating and sinking models cast a mile. Combine the casting ability of this plug and a steady retrieve this lure can cover a lot of ground fast. As with any lure, once fish are found, you may be able to stake out and work on what may be more than one fish.

The gold spoon may be one of the most well-known but lesser used baits on the market. This is a lure that is manufactured widely in size, shape and color. I pretty much have gone solely to the Captain Mike Hakala Aqua Dream spoon but still keep a few Johnson Silver Minnows on standby (called silver minnow, but I use the gold one). The Aqua Dream spoon comes in some really amazing color patterns to match most forage and water conditions. Both these spoons are weedless and will also cast a mile. Weedless spoons will work at any depth in any condition, but they really are an awesome tool in grass, timber, and weeds. The “hit” or “take” can be fairly obvious, but often it is just a tick or a tap. In any case, set the hook immediately and sharply. One of the nice things about a spoon is that when it does snag, often a quick snap will free the lure, and the retrieve can be continued. Be ready after that “snap”-- sometimes that will trigger a bite.

Another lure that works quite well is the paddle tail soft plastic. This bait is made by hundreds of manufacturers in a wide variety of colors. This particular bait can be rigged in
a variety of ways, both weedless and hooked exposed. Two of the more common presentations are on a jig head or a weighted Extra Wide Gap worm hook. Recently a lot of these plastics are being sold and classified as “swim baits”. While different lengths, thickness, and even jointed features have been added, the paddle tailed feature remains on all of the baits which gives it the “swimming” action due the vibration of the tail. One of the newer designs that many anglers are swearing by features a hollow body and are usually rigged on a weighted worm hook as well. The Yum Money Minnow in the 3 ½” size is one of the hollow bodied soft plastic paddle tails that comes to mind and has been a good bait for me in flooded grass.

Another bait that needs to be mentioned is the spinner bait. This bait works exceptionally well in the marsh. While speckled trout, snook, redfish and many other species will all attack these baits, the spinner bait has been particularly effective targeting flounder. This is another lure that is available by hundreds of manufacturers and every one of them will work.  Over the years, it seems that many inshore anglers have gone to the single Colorado blade with a soft plastic paddle tail as the trailer. One of the more popular examples of this style spinner bait is the Redfish Magic made by Strike King.

While “dummy bait” is pretty harsh language for these baits, it’s fairly true. Simply throw these baits, and begin a steady retrieve. That being said, there are tweaks and techniques that can often trigger more bites. These baits can be “burned”, which is simply speeding up the retrieve. Or, just “slow rolled” by slowing down the retrieve. Another technique is to “kill” the bait, which is just to stop retrieving and let the bait fall, and repeat. As a rule, try to remember exactly how you were working the bait when you got bit. Often, the fish will tell you what they like.

It is always nice to pull up to the honey hole and find it loaded, but this is not always the case (or someone else is sitting there). This is where the “art” in artificial comes in to play. By covering water, and varying lures or retrieves, you will find new “honey holes”. At the very least you will pick off quality fish here and there and develop a pattern. Worst case scenario, you will eliminate some water. In any case, you won’t know unless you go!

by Tim Cutting

The Art of Artificials Part I: A Simple Start

If you ask ten fishermen what their favorite artificial bait is, like many folks say, you’ll get ten different answers. The real question should be: If you could only use one lure, which one would it be? And again, you may get ten different answers. 
In the long run, confidence is going to play a huge role in catching fish. If you don’t have faith in the bait you are throwing, you’re probably not going to have a lot of success. And of course, as anglers catch fish on new lures, they develop a new favorite lure that they become confident with. I guess the fact of the matter is, all lures will catch fish.

 So what is the “art” of artificial fishing? Without sounding redundant, you can’t fish where they ain’t. So how do you find out where they are? This is the beauty and the art of artificials. Artificial baits find the fish. You have to be willing to enter the land of a thousand casts at a thousand targets at a thousand depths. You need to take your hardware and cover a lot of water. At this point, naturally, the where and what questions are popping up. Hopefully I can shine a little light. It would be nearly impossible to touch and everything, but a here’s a few basic approaches that work for us.

 A very basic, but very effective lure is the jig. This can be as simple as a bucktail jig, or jig head with a plastic. Although many retrieves will work, a simple small hop, pick up the slack, and repeat is a good way to start. This lure works best, where the bottom is fairly clean. With time and practice, this lure can be worked over shell and grass, by arying weight and technique, which we will discuss later. As a rule if you think you are going to slow, go slower. The bite of a big trout, snook, flounder or red is often just a tap or tick, so set the hook sharply and immediately.

 Probably one of the deadliest rigs in the marsh is the popping cork. It’s been around for quite some time, and you will find almost every tackle outlet has them. There is a reason: they work, and are very user friendly. The basic set up is a rattling cork with about 28” of leader and an artificial , usually plastic, attached to the hook or jig head. I personally have not found a better plastic to hang under the cork than a ¼ ounce D.O.A. shrimp. (This article is not about brands, but that bait is too deadly not to mention). This outfit simply needs to be cast out, popped and paused for about 3-5 seconds and repeat. If the water is choppy, murky, or the fish are just finicky, 2-3 pops may be made. Try to keep the cork popping in one place if possible, as opposed to letting it pop across the surface. As with any presentation, try to stay as far away from your targeted area as possible, while still being able to reach the desired spot. Depending on wind and current, slack in the line can be created with this rig, so be ready to reel and sweep the rod quickly. Rods with a slightly slower tip in the 7, 7 ½, and even 8 ft length can help, and add distance to your cast.

 If the tides and moon line up, I’ll try to add a few more chapters every week. Until then, you won’t know if you don’t go.
By Tim Cutting

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

St Simons Island Fishing Report June 2013

June brought us the first named storm of 2013 and with it a good shot of rain as well. Nevertheless, the warming waters brought redfish, trout, flounder, tripletails, jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, sheepshead, black drum, King Mackerel, black sea bass, cobia, tarpon and of course...SHARKS! St Simons Island is well known as one of the largest breeding zones for sharks on the planet and makes for some great light tackle shark fishing. Don't be fooled though, often you will need to bring out the big guns as the islands waters are full of bigger sharks in the 100-200 lb. range! The summer months in the Golden Isles may offer some of the best fishing for shear variety on the Atlantic Seaboard. See you on the water!


 By Captain Tim Cutting


Sunday, June 2, 2013

May Report/June Forecast 2013…Good Fishing!

Memorial Day week brought us a good shot of wind and high tides but a lot of nice reports came in over the holiday week as well as most of May. May started off a little slow, but as the water warmed the usual suspects started showing, including big sharks and cobia. The flounder bite has been a little behind, but big numbers of large trout and an abundance of triple tails filled in nicely. Surprisingly enough, very large bull whiting and bull redfish have been hanging around as well.
Turning the corner into June, we have some great water temps and clean water the next three weeks. Sea bass season opens Saturday June 1st, but it looks like Mother Nature is going to close the ocean this weekend. Along with the opening of sea bass, the nearshore and offshore structures will be holding triggers, bull reds, cobia, amberjacks, Spanish mackerel, spadefish, barracuda, sharks, bonito and beeliners . The kings should start migrating this way any day as the beaches off north Florida have been giving up a few nice ones already. There should be a couple of good weeks left for trout on some of our beaches this month. On the inshore scene trout will be readily available but don’t look for them to be stacked up like the beach bite. Move around often if you are not getting bit. The better trout bite will be on the higher end of the tide in the morning and evening. There will be some nice ones caught in deeper holes with float rigs at low tide as well. June mornings just before day light and evenings just before dark are prime for topwater plugs as well. For those who don’t mind fishing after dark, lighted docks will begin to hold a lot of trout. Our excellent flounder fishery is a little behind but should fire up pretty good this month. Now that the kids are out of school, plenty of sharks in all sizes will be available and easy to catch. This is a great way to get youngsters hooked on fishing! The triple tail fishing should remain strong this month too. Look for redfish in the usual haunts, but like the

trout, they won’t be schooled up nearly as tight as they are in the cooler months.
Here’s a few pics from some awesome anglers who toughed out some challenging conditions during Memorial week. We had an added bonus as the sight fishing conditions got really nice for Michelle on her day off earlier this week..(Usually it blows about 30 for Michelle) Michelle didn’t waste the opportunity as she hooked the first 7 fish we saw. We ended up releasing 9 triple tails and kept 2 for dinner. See you on the water!
By Tim Cutting