It’s inshore fishing prime time!
This is the time of year when the fishing heats up, yet for some reason, business slows down. If you want to catch Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, and Sheepshead this is the time to do it. We’ve been hammering the Trout and slot Redfish as well as the Bull Reds.
Over the next couple of weeks the water temperature will continue to cool and the Trout fishing will continue to get better. The Bull Reds will move out once the water temps dip down around 60 but we can hardly complain since we’ve been catching them consistently since July.
In the last few days we have had several Bull Redfish trips and catching 20 or more is just the norm. I expect that to continue for at least a couple more weeks.
For several trips we opted to go for the inshore Trout and Redfish instead of the Bull Redfish and we were greeted with an outstanding bite. It still takes a little bit of moving around and spot hopping to find the right bite, but when you find it, you can make short work of the Trout. Redfish seem to be mixed in just about everywhere. After a couple of years of less than average Redfish, it’s nice to see that they are bouncing back.
We’ve been catching the Trout mostly on live Shrimp but once they are located we’ve been switching up to DOA shrimp in clear with red flake. Rather than rigging them with the DOA hooks and weights, I’ve just been buying the un-rigged bodies and tail hooking them. If you look at a DOA shrimps tail you will notice a thicker plastic “ridge” running down the center of it. This makes a good sturdy spot to hook the bait.
The reason behind hooking them this way simply boils down to speed. Rather than cutting off the Kahle hook and tying on a pre-rigged DOA, I can just grab a DOA instead of a live shrimp and get right back to work. If you have ever been on a hot Trout bite you already know that sometimes it lasts for just a few minutes before it’s all over with. You certainly don’t want to waste any of those minutes changing your rig or constantly making trips back to the livewell.
If you keep a separate popping cork rigged up with a DOA at all times, that is even better. In that case just use the pre-rigged shrimp. For me, I have to be versatile as I’m usually carrying tackle for 3 or 4 anglers and having a dedicated rod for every style of fishing just doesn’t work.
Another thing that you will likely run into right now is trash fish. Yellowtails and pinfish seem to infest every spot know to man right now. If you are losing 10 baits to trash fish for every Trout you catch, consider either switching to plastics, or catching some finger mullet. The finger mullet do a much better job of surviving the trash fish attack and you can pretty much count on seeing a decent fish on the other end when the cork gets dunked.
Next week Capt. Tim and I will be taking some time off for my sister’s wedding, but after that it will be prime time to book an inshore charter. The best inshore fishing of the year is just getting started!
We’ll also be down to one boat until the first of the year. We traded our 25 foot C Hawk and ordered a brand new 24 Pathfinder with a half tower and second helm station. We expect to have it delivered around the first of January. This is going to be one awesome fishing machine especially when it comes to sight fishing for Tripletail, Cobia, Tarpon, and Sharks.
It will be rigged with a 112 pound thrust Minn Kota I Pilot, 8 foot Power Pole, Garmin GPS with side scan and CHIRP sonar, and a 300 HP Yamaha. I can’t wait to see what it can do and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Capt. TJ Cheek
St. Simons Island Fishing Guide
Coastal Georgia Charter Fishing