Friday, February 20, 2015
As a guide, tournament fisherman, and tackle junky in general, I have been given (blessed with) many products to "test drive" or field test. Most true outdoor folks know the importance of polarized, quality eyewear for not only safety, but vision. Sight fisherman are particularly picky about what they are peeking through. For those "sight fishing" their quarry, there is nothing more important than quality lenses for spotting different shades of fish, in an array of water and light conditions. Recently while fishing the clear but slightly tannic tributaries surrounding St Simons Island, I donned a pair of shades (copper/green glass) from Salt Life Optics. (http://www.saltlife.com/optics.html?saltlife_color=301) I was instantly impressed by the elimination of glare on this blue bird day. More importantly, the ability to see below the slightly stained watery surface was amazing. With absolutely no distortion, small crabs and minnows "popped" in to view immediately, almost 3 feet beneath the boat! After pushing my way a little further in to the narrow creek, I spotted what I was looking for. Three nice redfish were silhouetted, although nearly camouflaged at the base of a fallen tree about a foot and a half below the surface. After a little research I found that the Zeiss glass used by Salt Life Optics was rated among the highest available. Salt Life Optics offers a wide variety of great looking frames and lenses for both men and women. Finding lenses of this quality, at a more than competitive price point, backed by an outstanding warranty, has truly "shown me the light". With triple tail and cobia season right around the corner, I am looking forward to having these great lenses wrapped around my face!
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The fishing was pretty darn good considering the low water and air temps, combined with a pretty steady blow these past few weeks. We are still working a fairly consistent winter pattern, which revolves around mid-day low tide phases. Fishing deep and slow for trout, and fairly shallow for redfish has been the key. While live bait has been working, scented plastics have done most of the damage. Throwing artificial baits this time of a year allows the angler to cover more water at different depths with different retrieves in order to entice what can be a lethargic bite during the winter. In 3 days of fishing we had excellent catches of redfish and trout. Until the weather and water temps rise, I still suggest fishing around low tide concentrating on structure such as shell, docks, and submerged timber.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
When negotiating shells, structure and grass, this simple, snag free shrimp works wonders. This particular custom crustacean is created by pairing the popular 3” D.O.A. ¼ oz. shrimp with either a 2/0 or 3/0 red or black Extra Wide Gap worm hook. While it can be rigged traditionally thru the head or front of the bait, I like to rig it thru the tail for a couple of reasons. First, it will look like a fleeing shrimp when twitched, and secondly, this positions the bait weight forward for added casting distance. In addition, depending on conditions and depth, I will insert a nail weight or small screw into the nose of the shrimp for added weight. The weight and size of the insert can be altered to suit your needs and many tackle manufacturers offer tungsten nail inserts as well. If you are a lure junky like myself, you may want to further customize this bait by trying some of the following options. This bait comes with a small belly weight that can be substituted with a small chamber rattle in either glass or plastic. To give your bait a little added attraction of scent, coat your nail, screw, rattle or belly weight with your favorite bottle of scent, like the popular Pro-Cure. Pro-Cure is a gel and has very good lasting and holding capabilities. Pro-Cure also comes in red, which makes a nice touch on the tip of the shrimp’s legs. There are a variety of weed-less plastics I enjoy throwing, but this subtle slowly worked D.O.A. shrimp offers a little different look, comes in a variety of colors and will entice even the wariest red fish or trout from the “snaggiest” areas!
Thursday, February 5, 2015
This past week presented us with midday low tides which usually is very productive during the winter months for both trout and red fish. Generally redfish will become active as the sun heats up the smaller tidal tributaries in very shallow pockets. Trout on the other hand, will also seek warmer areas, but often in depths in around 8-14 feet. In both cases last week’s tides were very moderate, which generated extremely clear water conditions. Often, in the winter, slower presentations are needed to entice a strike as the fish’s metabolic rates have slowed down, with cooler water temperatures. Last week, and one day in particular we had to actually speed up the retrieve to get bit!
The key to last week’s trout bite was to actually snap the baits along with very short pauses. I usually advise small hops and crawls, along the bottom with a 3” D.O.A. ¼ ounce shrimp or a C.A.L. curl tail. The fish had moved slightly shallower and my guess is that picking up the pace did not allow the fish to get a good look at the imitation shrimp. The watermelon/halo was the go to color, and again, the sharp twitches were the trick.
The redfish did not seem to care what the offering was and bit aggressively for most of the week…when we could find them. A little exploring definitely paid off as once we located fish there were many and they were very cooperative. While most of the fish have been in the 15-25” class we did manage to find some singles and doubles in the 6-10 lb. range. We are still relying heavily on the C.A.L. jerk baits with weighted worm hooks. A long cast and soft entry keeps the schools from scattering. At times when reeling in a fish, another one or two would stay with the hooked fish right up to the boat.
We’ll shut her down for a little preventive maintenance on the boat this week during the full moon but should be good to go for the weekend!
Captain Tim Cutting fishthegeorgiacoast.com