One of the best things about the job that we get to do is knowing that no two days will be the same. At the same time, that is the one thing that can make this job tough! The bite changes, the clients change, and the weather changes. We have to constantly remain fluid and be willing to adapt to all of these changes.
I recently had a customer that really put my ability to adapt to the test. We had an inshore trip scheduled to fish for Trout, Redfish, etc. and I had an arsenal of light tackle in the boat waiting for him to arrive. I look up as the group makes their way down the dock towards my boat and see my client carrying a rod and reel that looked like it was straight out of Marlin Magazine!
He walks up and says, “I hope we can find something to test this thing out today!”. Rut Roh. We beat around in the river for a while and didn’t have a ton of action so we headed out front and threw the net on some pogies, re-rigged the elephant rod, and got behind some shrimp boats. What ended up happening was that we not only tested the rod and reel, but the anglers got tested and got to see one of the most spectacular aerial shark displays I’ve ever witnessed. We brought several sharks boatside with the biggest being a Spinner Shark around 7 feet long. It was too big for me to even lift for a picture! All while fishing with only one rod while 10 Trout rods stay idle in the rod holders and $60 worth of live shrimp swam in the livewell un-bothered.
I tell you this story to get to a bigger point, and that is that you will have your best days of fishing here in south Georgia when you are willing to adapt. I say it all the time. Play the hand that the ocean gives you and maximize the experience of the day.
Any time now we’ll start fishing for Trout on Cumberland beach. The sharks are here in full force. The Tripletail have been very cooperative, and the Tarpon will be here before you know it. Spanish Mackerel are targets of opportunity, Spadefish are bunching up on the wrecks, and there will soon be barracuda and King Mackerel to broaden our options even more.
We want to take you out on the water and deliver the best possible experience that we can. It can be any one of the options above or a combination of several. We just have to evaluate our options, read the weather and conditions, and stay fluid.
For those of you that are looking for a report, here you go:
Inshore Fishing: Good! When the moon and tides have been in our favor we’ve been able to find some healthy Trout in the rivers and sounds. Redfish, Sheepshead, Black Drum, and Flounder will all make occasional appearances as well. Right now we’re finding fish around docks and heavy structure as well as areas where you have clean water, current, and good oyster bars. River pogies are abundant and seem to be in the same areas that we are finding the largest Trout.
Tripletail Fishing: Really good! Clean skies + calm seas + light wind = all you can handle. The catch is that you will see a lot of little guys while you’re waiting to get a couple of shots at a keeper or two. Just hang in there and be ready when you get your shot.
Shark Fishing: Excellent! The sharks have been big, plentiful, and putting on a show. There’s nothing else you could ask for in terms of shark fishing. Its the tops.
Tarpon: Not yet, but soon. Look for reliable Tarpon fishing to start in June around the Golden Isles.
Jacks: Not yet, but soon. Now that there is plenty of bait on the beach and the temps are rising, we can be on the lookout of schools of Jack Crevalle around St. Simons Sound and St. Andrews Sound. We usually find them most reliable starting in July, but be prepared to encounter them at any time.
Reefs: Cobia are unfortunately closed for this year and likely will be next year as well. However, if you head out to the reefs you are likely to find Spadefish, Barracuda, and Spanish Mackerel. Of course Sea Bass will be covering the bottom as well as Red Snapper depending on where you go.
I hope to see you out there.
Capt. TJ Cheek