Inshore and Offshore Fishing Report for St. Simons Island
February can be a tough month to predict ahead of time, especially on the inshore side of the house. Each year seems to be different and can range from absolutely outstanding to down right brutal. This year seems to be somewhere in the middle but definitely above average.
In January the inshore fishing was just tough. We were able to find fish but the weather put a damper on everything with high winds and rain. Couple that with some big tides and you have a mess on your hands. While we’ve still had our fair share of windy and rainy days so far in February, when the skies have opened up we’ve had some awesome fishing.
On the nearshore reefs we are finding a lot of Sea Bass but they are mostly small. We’re seeing some keepers but they are big keepers. Most of them are going to be just over the 13 inch minimum size limit. Normally we would also be getting started on some Sheepshead fishing but so far we’ve struggled with that. We know that they are out there after dropping an underwater camera and seeing about a dozen in one spot, but there are so many Sea Bass that it is difficult to get past them.
I’ve even been fishing some obscure and out of the way numbers that typically don’t have large numbers of Sea Bass, but they have infested those areas as well.
The solution has been to just play the hand that we are dealt and fish for Sea Bass. Once you go beyond 60 feet and into the 70 and 80 foot range, the quality of the Sea Bass increases considerably. Our average Sea Bass has bee around 15 inches with some as large as 20 inches.
It wouldn’t be all that exciting if we were only catching Sea Bass, but we’ve also had a lot of cooperation from the Redfish. This past Saturday we had all the Sea Bass we could handle so we started dropping big soft plastic Hogy Eels down and were rewarded with over 60 Redfish in the 30+ inch range. That makes for some fun, rod bending action!
Here is a video showing the different ways that I prefer to rig Hogy soft plastics;
Capt. Tim fished inshore on Sunday on what was probably one of the most beautiful weather days that we’ve had in a long time. In just a half day of fishing his clients were able to boat around 30 Trout, 6 Redfish, a hand full of Sheepshead, and a Flounder. Not bad for half a day of fishing!
The ticket is just finding the cleaner, saltier water. Creeks near the inlets with shells and deeper pockets are going to hold the fish this time of year. Sometimes it is almost better to be in a jon boat so you can really get deep in the creeks. Once you find the fish you will probably have hit the mother load as they are usually stacked up in big schools unlike the warmer months where it isn’t uncommon to find one here, three there, and so on.
I think the rest of February is going to provide some great opportunities for inshore and offshore anglers. If you are planning a trip for Spring Break next month and want to take your kids fishing, we should be able to catch plenty of Whiting and possibly even some trophy size Bull Redfish near the inlets.
I think the tough part of the year might just be behind us and hopefully the weather starts to work in our favor.
This report is sponsored by Mossy Oak Coastal Land and Real Estate. Feel free to check out the featured property below.
Capt. TJ Cheek