St Simons Island Fishing Report 3/7/15

Monday, January 21, 2013

The “No Banana’s on the Boat Myth”…The Truth Revealed

Ever since I was a little kid salty old Captains have vehemently expressed their position that no bananas cross the gunnels of their rig. I have fished with many fellas that will not have banana bread, banana chips, banana granola or even Banana Boat sunscreen on board. I personally know a guide in North Florida who will immediately pitch anything banana related overboard the minute such item is found.

Where did the myth come from? There seems to be a general agreement that banana cargo often carried spiders and other creatures that bit crew members, causing severe pain and even death. So, to get assigned to a boat whether loading, unloading, or carrying the golden yellow fruit, was considered bad luck. There are a few other stories floating around as well. It is even thought that banana flavor is offensive to fish. This has been proven untrue.

As for me, I always kid around about no bananas on the boat, but it is in my head. I’ve had clients pull out that forbidden fruit after we have whacked the fish and show me how silly and superstitious I am (I do, to this day, make sure there is at least one can of sardines and hot vienna sausages in my bag). Honestly the banana thing never affected me much…until now.

While we ran a few trips this week, and the bite has really been pretty good. But one trip took a little curve--a banana curve. Bring on angler “J” (The names have been changed to protect banana boy). The day was windy and cold, but I liked the tides and color of the water. Not to mention we have been on some pretty good reds and a pile of good eating schoolie trout. Well, we pull up to our first stop and bang! A good red slams “J’s” lure and we bring him to the boat for a quick pic. J fires his lure and I turn to grab a drink of hot coffee, when I hear a splash that puts out the sound of human falling into water. As a rule, I always kid folks that if they fall in, be sure to stand up. Well, sure enough man overboard and flailing the water before the imaginary alligators and real red fish can devour his flesh (Where’s the camera now, right?).

Fortunately my better half is home, and only a short distance from a landing and brings us a change of clothes as J now is close to not so imaginary hypothermia. Back to fishing. We whack a few more reds and run back to the trees for some combat trout and red fishing. J fires a nearly perfect cast into some big rotten trees. Nearly perfect. The line loops a high hanging branch. We pull and snatch but nothing. I finally ease up and pull the line, and the whole darn tree falls into the boat. No harm, no foul, except for the huge banana spider that lands on my arm and nearly sends me into the drink. All good. The trout shut down, so off to the next spot. As we idle out of the creek, I open the lunch bag and there they are. Not one, but two bananas. I give him the story and we have a little forced laughter. Silly superstition.

As we put her on plane in a pretty stiff wind, the seat cushion that has been loosened by the falling timber and J’s jacket become airborne. Well, we circle back to find the cushion floating, but the jacket (already wet from the early morning swim) dies a watery death and sinks to the bottom of the river. J comments that it was a cheap jacket anyway. We pull to a nice flooded shell bank and the bite is on! After many trout slimed high fives J reaches into his pocket to check the time as it’s been a great day and he needs to meet his sweetie back at the dock. But no watch. It was in his jacket pocket, which is at rest in the bottom of the Hampton River. At this point J takes the remaining banana and fires a perfect spiral towards the marsh…the banana hits a rare and protected wood stork right in the head and the beautiful bird falls face first into the marsh! (Not really but that was the mental image that ran thru my now baffled brain)

I guess all’s good that ends good. J had a great day and brought home a genuine mess of reds and trout, and we had a big time like we always do. Thanks Jim (oops), it really was a lot of laughs…but I may rethink that whole banana thing…


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Great Day on the Marsh!

We’ve had several requests to try different manufacturer’s baits and decided today was the day. (Of course we brought some old faves as well) The morning started off dead slick…almost too slick. We thought we’d beat the skinny stuff up for reds first. With conditions like that it was easy to see the fish. LOTS of fish. We were surrounded by fish…non-eating, spooky fish. We repositioned the boat and Michelle started us off with a couple of mid slots on a bait by Stinky Fingers Twitchin Shad. I lose one. We eased up the flat around some nasty shell mounds to see if we could find the bigger wakes. Making longer cast and looking for the reaction bite by swimming the SlayerInc Sinister Swim Tails. The reds didn’t disappoint as Michelle ended up sticking a good one, which exploded on the bait and pretty much sent the rest flying.

Trying to get back by lunch we switched over to trout and began getting bit pretty good on the plastics. Both the SayerInc and Stinky Fingers worked equally well (couldn’t resist dragging a measles DOA around as well).  We couldn’t leave without chunking some hard baits. I went with a fairly new lure from Mirrolure called a “heavy dine” and Michelle broke out the miracle bait… Bomber Long A. With a slight chop on the crystal clear water these baits got bit pretty hard. I think the Heavy Dine from Mirrolure is going to be a good big trout lure for deeper presentations. All trout were in the 12-16 inch range and of course Michelle manages the chunkier fish on the jerk bait…of course.

I gotta say the highlight of the day was Michelle sticking with the finicky reds and horsing a fatty around the shells. Kinda reminds me of when I use to catch a few back in the day…

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SSI Redfish Recon

Immediately after winning our contest, Steve (Pic217), jumped on the first available date and we made plans to fish. And like almost every trip this week, conversations were held concerning weather, and Steve’s was no different with 20 knot wind predicted from the northeast. Steve and his fishing partner Tony are no strangers to the marsh and have already had some amazing trips fishing for triple tail and trout around Jekyll and Cumberland on their own. Steve is also an excellent speckled perch angler, and fishes the crappie tourney trail on several premier lakes in the south. Steve had mentioned that he and Tony really hadn’t targeted reds and wanted to know if that was a possibility. Turns out that the previous day’s charter ( had the same idea…and we found a couple nice schools. So back to the weather. We discussed the trip. And I felt good that even with the wind (and cold!) we’d be hidden underneath it at low tide trapped with red fish! Well, as forecast, it blew pretty good and even roughed up the water back in the skinny stuff. I don’t think we could have seen a submarine waking or pushing, let alone a red. But we pitched every pot hole, hump, oyster and point in the system without a sniff. At this point, I mentioned those dreaded words…”shoulda been here yesterday”..heck, I even busted the camera out to show the proof. I was dumbfounded…where did those fish go. With time getting short, wind blowing hard, and water rising, we made a short run to more skinny stuff. This spot is full of shells and I’ve broke off nearly as many as I’ve caught here. And I hadn’t been there in months. We made a few cast and Steve is hooked up with a good one. Steve literally jerked the fish out of the shells and we netted him. A few casts later Tony’s got a another pig and he drags him outta there like it’s nothing. At one point another red explodes on a bait off to the other side and Steve makes a few fan cast and gets him to eat. They slammed these reds so hard that it actually knocked the spot off one of them! (That’s my story as to why it was missing) It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t a hundred fish day, but I had one my best trips ever..reminded me of tourney fishing for “just 5 bites”. I have always said, when I get to that fishing hole in heaven, I don’t want a fish on every cast, I like trying to figure out that puzzle. This was one of those days, with not only two great anglers, but two great guys! Thanks guys, I had an awesome time.

Reds, Rain, Roy, and Amanda

Roy, Amanda and I had been planning another trip in the marsh for a couple of weeks now and of course Sunday pretty much had a very wet forecast. We talked about another day but Roy said, “We’re coming, we don’t care” (A man after my own heart). Let’s do this! I figured as good as the trout bite is, we’ll dust off a few no matter. Roy has other prey in mind. Redfish. Hmmm. Being that I hadn’t really scouted low tide redfish country in a while I was a little apprehensive. So we jam ourselves into one of the many small oyster strewn creeks in the area and Amanda pops one on the very first cast. Although a little rain was falling, along with the temps, the wind hadn’t kicked in yet so we got to cruise around sight fishing a pretty good school of reds. There were lower slots, upper slots and overs in the mix and Roy and Amanda went to work. We pulled the hooks on a couple of good ones and got our clocks cleaned on a few more bruisers before we could get a good angle and bring a few boat-side. With the tide rising, wind blowing, and now raining pretty hard we put trout on the plan. A few cast and three trout to the boat. At this point I think we are all seeing who is the toughest and can stand the pain the longest. (Glad it’s raining hard now so they can’t see my tears or hear my teeth chattering) Finally, all in agreement we motor back thru the pain of a million rain needles of death. Seriously, sometimes before venturing out in less than desirable conditions you should ask yourself “is it really worth it?”… ABSOLUTELY! Thanks Roy and Amanda, I had another great time and look forward to doing it again soon! P.S. You guys are tough as nails!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Forecast: Cold, Windy, and Trouty!

We had Garrett (aka the “walking weather system”) down from Milton, Ga yesterday for another trip to the marsh. Garrett and I have fished in pouring rain, 100 degree heat, 30 mph nor’easters, and somehow the end result has been “get the net”. So bring on some 15-20 N winds, overcast, and cold. While the trout bite has been pretty reliable this fall/winter, I wasn’t sure how this little weather system Garrett brought with him would work out. We hammered docks and deepwater early on the low water with no bites…not one. We pulled some baits over one last rock pile in deeper water, and picked off 5 good ones. The bite quit as soon as it started and we ran to a shallow mud flat that had been holding bait and trout for the last month. Missed a few here, a few came unbuttoned, and we landed two. Time to run to flooding grass and shell, hoping the old trolling motor would stay strong in wind and current. We worked the bank pretty hard with nothing to show. As we eased up to some more grass and shell we noticed a nice reverse flow and hit pay dirt…sort of. Garrett picked off 4 in 4 casts, and then we had to work it hard for about another 6 bites. Back on the trolling motor and we knock off another 4. The bite is pretty tough and the fish are tight to shallow structure and the wind picks up. Garrett’s last trip in the wind ended up with us lucking into a big school of reds, and Garrett was keen on finding a few. We had our doubts with the conditions, but made a short run to some nasty flooded oysters, and sure enough Garrett lands one. With time running out, we blast back to the now flooded mudflat and work it hard for more pulled hooks, misses, and 2 more good ones. All in all, another great day, and I gotta tell you Garrett pretty much whooped me today. DOA shrimp in watermelon/halo (my new fave) and clear w/red flake (aka measles) took most of the fish, and live shrimp tight to the grass where it was rough and windy was the pattern today. Oddly enough, no short fish, and quite a few thick healthy ones. The water was extremely clean and we fished the entire incoming tide. Thanks Garrett, looking forward to being your “net boy” again soon!