Spring Fishing 2024 recap Offshore/Nearshore Edition

AuthorFishing Reports, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Spring Fishing 2024 recap Offshore/Nearshore Edition

Spring fishing 2024 nearshore kicked off with a bang.  We had decent stretches of weather in March and April and were able to capitalize on those opportunities.  As in typical spring fashion, as the water heats up more species of fish show up to target.

Sheepshead

Sheepshead fishing on the nearshore structure from 3-10 miles offshore was excellent into early May.  January – April is the prime time to target these fish in numbers as well as the larger specimens.  Rigging is simple with essentially a modified carolina rig, a 1/0 gamagatsu circle hook and a fiddler crab or a shrimp for bait.  Dropping vertical on structure and using the precision of the new powerpole move trolling motor enables us to pick apart the area and find the sweet spot for the best bite.  Fish in the 2-8 pound range were common along with some double digit customers as well.

Black drum

Generally a bycatch when we are sheepshead fishing, black drum in the 3-10 pound range are regular catches on the nearshore trips in the first half of spring.  Don’t be surprised to encounter some giants in the latter half of April into the first of May.  We sure found the giants schooled up for a couple of weeks on shallow structure in 15-20 feet of water this season.

Black Sea Bass

These guys are everywhere all year and the small ones can surely be a nuisance.  However some days we will encounter nice ones while targeting sheepshead and definitely Target the larger specimens a bit further offshore as we roll into May and beyond.  Sea bass make excellent table fare having the whitest meat in the sea.

Weakfish, etc.

The Weakfish aka summer trout out pulls the speckled trout by a long shot.  They are a super fun fish to target when they are schooled up, they regularly attack jigs on light tackle and are often in the 19-25 inch range.  As the water warms up bluefish and spanish mackerel join in on the jig assault keeping rods bent indefinitely.  We also seem to be catching more and more Mangrove snapper in the spring months in our nearshore waters.  Plenty of small ones but quite a few in the tasty 14-16 inch range are making it to the deck.

Red Snapper

In 2024, we have a one day season to harvest red snapper!  They say the season is shortened because we are accidentally catching too many while targeting other species.  I would definitely agree with that.  We catch them every time we go anywhere outside of 8 miles in all shapes and sizes.  Don’t be surprised to catch 10 plus pound red snapper while sheepshead fishing in March.  They are a nuisance all over when bottom fishing for other species.  That being said, catching nice red snappers in shallow water on light tackle is super fun, but this federal regulation needs a lot of work.

Cobia

Spring fishing 2024 had our cobia rolling in around mid may.  Between weather windows we were very successful in targeting these fish.  I saw plenty of fish in the 30 pound class and had the most success in the 12-20 mile range.  We caught and released lots of smaller ones in closer as well.  Live pogies and bucktail jigs handled most of the heavy lifting for these awesome fish.  Remember a legal cobia must be 36″to the fork of the tail which is a pretty good size fish.  I see alot of shorts on the dock and in photos.  NOAA boats patrol offshore regularly so be sure you are abiding by the laws.

Kingfish

Kingfish action picked up on the nearshore structures in late may and remains hot through the summer.  We’ve seen plenty of fish in the 10-20 pound class on the structures, with the big females around the beaches, tidelines, and inlets.  The latter may be a better option for a while as the sharks are starting to pile in on the wrecks.  It’s hard to get a fish past a giant pack of 500# bull sharks!

Close in Sharks

Shrimp boat shark fishing for big blacktips has been wide open since May.  If you are looking to pull on multiple big strong animals on a short trip well there you go.  Smaller various species of sharks are abundant in the sounds, channels, and around the sandbars as well.

Tripletail

Tripletail showed up just off the beaches of Coastal Georgia in late March.  They were on and off throughout April before finally getting consistent mid may.  Most of our tripletail fishing has been targeting the “floaters”. off the beach by sight casting them with fly or spinning tackle.  There have been plenty of small and medium sized fish around, but with a little patience and some luck, you can find an XL version.

Booking

We still have availability for some summer days as well as plenty of options for the fall months.  Click HERE to reserve your St. Simons Island fishing charter or your Jekyll Island fishing charter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *