Spring 2022 fishing report for Coastal Georgia
We just rolled into March and have been enjoying spring-like weather, loads of pollen, a healthy gnat bite, and rising water temperatures. As I’m typing this report, it has been in the 80’s all week, and we are expecting subfreezing weather this weekend. Hopefully this will be our last cold blast of the year and we can start to enjoy the variety that spring fishing has to offer. The inshore fishing will be picking up over the next couple of months, and the seasonal and migratory species will steadily be showing up. Whiting have shown up really well over the past week, so go ahead and line up your kids trips as soon as possible.
As the water temperatures slowly rise our inshore fishing will steadily improve. To me the low 70’s are what i want to see. Once the water temps reach that thresh hold, the baitfish are generally plentiful and the fish tend to feed much more aggressively. That means it is time for early morning topwater action.
When conditions are right, topwater plug fishing is my favorite technique. We have already had some solid days in our Spring 2022 fishing. Not only are the strikes explosive, but the quality of fish can’t be beat. Experiment with different “walk the dog” plugs like the Mirrolure she dog, Rapala skitterwalk’s, or a classic Zara Spook just to name a few. Pay attention to the pitch of the rattle as some times a higher pitch may produce more strikes than a lower pitch. (vice/versa). It may take a bit of time for a beginner, but learning to “walk the dog” properly is crucial to your success. If you are struggling with the technique, a simple Chug bug, prop bait or similar lure is a great alternative. I generally prefer a slower rhythmic retrieve for any lure, but always experiment with your cadence.
Lures and bait
In all other situations you will have to experiment to see what lures and or bait will work the best. Spring fishing is always tricky as patterns and concentrations of fish tend to move and change almost daily. DOA shrimp, soft plastic swim baits, jerkbaits, and live shrimp or mud minnows pinned to a jig, or floated under an adjustable cork are the staples for success. Don’t be afraid to move around or try the same spots on different tide cycles as things can change daily. In addition, just because they were there yesterday does not always mean they bill be there today particularly in the early spring.
Trout are the primary target for us this time year in our inshore waters. Flounder, drum, sheepshead, and redfish will also be available over the next few months. In addition, we will begin to see some other migratory species showing up. These include, but are not limited to, jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, and even spanish mackerel.
Without a doubt, nearshore trips are my favorite type of trip in the spring months these days. We consider nearshore to be from approximately 1-12 or so miles offshore. Spring 2022 fishing in our nearshore waters has been excellent thus far. Mother nature must cooperate of course, but the action can be intense. On the nearshore structure right now, we are catching black sea bass in all sizes, bull redfish, black drum, sheepshead, porgies, some red snapper, along with a few others. As the season progresses, more weakfish, bluefish, red and mangrove snapper are just a few additional species caught while jigging and bait fishing nearshore structure. The big sand tiger sharks usually show up in these areas in late march and will test your strength as well as your tackle.
As we progress into April and May, we typically see more spanish mackerel, and even some kingfish beginning to arrive. Scattered plus sized jack crevalle, and large schools of fun size jacks pop up in May if you keep your eyes open. These fish are loads of fun to cast flies, small lures or plugs at, and often we run across false albacore and spanish schools as well.
My favorite nearshore spring time target has to be the cobia. Late April and May are the best time to target these fish on nearshore structure, bouys, and current rips. They will be available well into summer on the structure, however the spring migration brings solid numbers and minimal sharks to interfere with your fishing. Live baits throughout the water column, live chum, bucktails, swimbaits, and even flys are all effective in targeting cobia nearshore in the Golden Isles.
Spadefish are strange creatures that like to hang out around nearshore wrecks and feast on jellyfish. They are a unique species to target and usually swim high in the water column making them an excellent visual target. They are not the best of table fair but man do they pull on light tackle!
Possibly the most sought after fish in our nearshore waters, the tripletail is a delicious, hard fighting fish that like to congregate just off our beaches beginning in April. Spring 2022 fishing brought us some of these fish in mid March already. Conditions need to be good as we exclusively sight cast to these fish in the spring months, and it can be a ton of fun. We typically see mostly large (up to 20+#) fish early in the season, and as spring progresses a mixed bag of fish and more numbers arrive. Live shrimp and well presented flies are the most effective way to target these fish, although they will eat artificial lures as well.
Family and children’s trips
Our Spring 2022 fishing on our family trips has begun with a bang! Large whiting have been biting consistently on our beaches and in the sounds. Bonnethead, blacktip, sharpnose, and sandbar sharks are already joining the party as well as several various ray species. The shark bite will only get better throughout the season and the whiting should stay plentiful. These trips are quick and generally action packed to keep the kids busy and entertained. Days are filling up quickly so click HERE to book now!