As the water temperature reaches into the low 60’s, prepare to fish for Trout in deep holes on the bottom. A shrimp tipped jig, live finger mullet or shrimp will work miracles to fill the cooler with decent size Trout. I have taken notes on this method of fishing for over seven years, and I will share some bits and pieces with you in this article.
Fishing The Moon
The success I have had catching Trout using this method has always been dependent on the Moon phase and current Weather conditions. The moon plays a major role in all types of fishing, as we all know. But, this has to be exact to catch numbers of fish.
The Moon phase is prime about a week before the Full. The tides have just started to move enough to get the fish feeding and sweep bait down into deep holes. At the same time, the tides are not affected enough to dirty up the water too much, either. It’s a happy medium that is very hard to capture. You have to have a good bit of free time on your hands or be able to break away at a moment notice to catch the Moon just right as I have described it above. The best advise I can give you is stay away from the Full and New moon. Period.
Tide Stages and Height & Water Depth
As I review my notes and think back over the years, the tide height and stage played the most important role of all. The prime height is between 6.6 and 7.3 ft. Incoming tide seems to be the best for all the deep water holes that I fish outside the Intracoastal Waterway in just about every feeder creek from Jekyll to Sapelo. I have (along with many others) caught nice fish on the bottom during the ebb of the tide as well. The bigger numbers seem to be produced on Incoming water.
The water depth can vary tremendously. When I say “deep water”, I mean that the water needs to be deeper than all the “flat” bottom around it by at least 6 feet or more.
What To Look For
This is the easy part. As you run through your favorite creek, have your depth finder on while you run. You’ll notice that most drop offs will be in long, winding creeks, and they will usually be in a bend or sharp corner where the current has “cut the bottom out”.
I like to see a drop from about 8 ft., and then sharply into 14 to 16 ft. of water. If you have found a prime “hole”, bait will mark up on your depth finder on the down slope of the drop off. When you mark bait on the drop, position your boat accordingly and get ready to fish.
Another tip on finding deep holes is reading the banks. When you are running to your favorite spot or just scouting for new territory, look for sharp, steep banks when the tide is out. More than likely, there is a sharp drop near those “cut banks” as I call them.
Anyone who reads my articles will already know this rig by heart, but we’ll cover it again. It’s as simple as they come. Slide on a 3/8 oz. Lead. Then, slip on a small bead and tie on the smallest swivel you can find. Below your swivel, tie a 3 ft. length of Fluoro Carbon monofilament as your leader. A #2 Kahle hook will work fine for your bait holder and hook setter.
When you finally are rigged and ready to fish, cast a rig out and let it hit the bottom. When it does hit bottom, let out another few feet of line so the shrimp can swim out from the weight and do his job. Slack in your line will not matter. This is the KEY to this type of fishing. Don’t reel your line tight. The whole idea is to let the shrimp swim free of the weight and into the current naturally. Once again, this is KEY.
You will know when the fish bites. They normally start out with just a few small pecks at your bait and then eventually swim off with it and your rod will bend over slow and steady, and that’s when you set the hook.
I suggest an Ugly Stik Inshore rod with a very light tip so you won’t pull the hook out of old “softies” mouth when you lay into him. If you need some rod and reel suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
I hope this will be valuable for all Inshore anglers. I welcome your feedback, and please let me know how this works for you. Email me with any questions. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tight Lines, and take a kid fishing!