Summer 2022 fishing report
Summertime is our favorite time! We could deal without big storm systems, saharan dust and random summertime northeasters but when the summer pattern is in full swing its hard to beat. Summer 2022 fishing was no exception!
By far our most popular trip in the summer months, our beach trips did not disappoint. Unfortunately the big schools of giant jacks that we normally encounter were few and far between, but we had some good days and were thankful as well as annoyed at times when the singles or small groups snatched a lure or fly intended for a tarpon. When the bait pods were active, it deemed like there was a small group of giant jack crevalle in each one. These aggressive fish strike with conviction and pound for pound fight as hard as any fish in the Atlantic. Their eagerness to blast a topwater plug or fly make them one of the most exciting targets on the Georgia coast.
Tarpon are our primary summertime target, and 2022 was a solid season. We had some epic days with tailing and strings of fish in the pretty green water. We flew more than our share in the rivers and hidden creeks. This season was about dealing with what mother nature provided. We had quite a few windows in which the ocean was closed and we had to resort to backup plans. Fortunately, there were good concentrations of fish even early season inland and a little patience went a long way. Sometimes you just have to let the tide and/or fish get right!
In addition, unfortunately we also had to deal with the less than courteous boaters who managed to spoil a ton of opportunities. That’s just how it is these days with etiquette no longer in existence on the water. Even with the added challenge, Lures and Flies brought a couple hundred silver kings to leader for our guides in a very solid season. We even caught them on bait on a handful of occasions.
Sharks are abundant!!!! More so every year it seems. What size and kind would you like to target? They have been everywhere.
The Summer 2022 fishing inshore bite was pretty solid even through the “dog days” so to speak. Early mornings produced solid shallow water fishing for trout and reds with some exceptional top water action at early light. As the sun rose and the heat turned on, dredging a bit deeper was the key. Soft plastics or bait tipped jigs bounced along drop offs or structure got the job done. Some quality flounder as well as black drum were caught using similar techniques. We have been seeing more “rat redfish” (also known as keepers in this state for some reason), than in years past.
Hopefully some of these juveniles can make it to the flats and beyond to add to our brood stock. Those breeders have enough pressure out there between angling and the insane increase in the shark population. Whiting fishing was phenomenal from April-September, with plenty of smaller sharks and other species eager to play.
Fishing for the “tailing redfish” on the flood tides was productive all summer. The first few days of the daylight floods were significantly more productive than the back end regardless of what areas you were fishing. A well placed cast will rarely be refused by a happy tailing fish.
Summer 2022 fishing on the nearshore structure out to about 25 miles has been quite impressive this season. It was especially good in early summer before the mass of bull and tiger sharks arrived.
Cobia (my favorite) was very strong fishing from mid May into the fall months. We had a substantial number of fish around with a lot of them just below that 36 inch minimum FORK length, but plenty of larger fish as well. Live baits and jigs accounted for the majority of our bites. Unfortunately we had to leave fish on several occasions as the sharks were relentless at times. There’s no point in feeding the sharks cobia snacks.
King Mackerel fishing was solid as usual all summer, however I feel the better bite was a bit later in the season this year. Traditional slow trolling or drifting live baits accounted for plenty of action. When you find a good concentration of fish, it is really fun to chum them up and catch them on artificial baits. There is no need for light drags in this situation, and you really get to feel the speed of the fish.
Summer 2022 bottom fishing on the nearshore structures also provided ample action. Red snapper were as thick as ever in all sizes, along with sea bass, summer trout, mangrove snapper, and a host of other species. You just never know what will swim by so I like to be prepared for anything and everything.
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