CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY
"Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956"
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410
912 897 4921
912 897 3460 FAX
July 30, 2001
The fishing has been a little strange this past week. We have had lots of rain, extremely high tides, lots of marsh grass everywhere, water is muddy, high winds, which has caused the fish bite inshore and offshore to be a little off. However, with all this behind us our summer fishing routine should continue without anymore delays!
The fish bite should continue to be long and hard, especially when it comes to the trout and bass species. There have been record amounts of these fish being caught in the creeks, rivers, and sounds in our area. Live shrimp seems to be the bait to get them started and finishing up is easy with grubs, screw tail, or assassins. The float rig called Cajun Popper is making the noise that is prompting fish to take the bait, regardless of whether they are hungry or not. I have been using chartreuse colored ones for a number of surface feeding fish. Just attached the popper to your snap swivel and put your favorite artificial lure in tow. Keep the float moving, popping, and the fish will charge the float. Hopefully, they will get the hook, not your float.
The tarpon fishing season is at its peek. I am basically what you would call a "Tarpon Watcher." At least that is what I do best in my 31-foot boat. I am still seeing large schools of these fish feeding from Cabbage Island, along red marker 16 in Warsaw Sound, and all the way out to the Warsaw Sea buoy. To the south of our area, large schools of these fish have been spotted feeding near the sounds and inlets. You best bait to use in live menhaden, mullet, or mackerel. These fish are big, with most being over 100 pounds. Beef up your tackle and get ready for the pull of a lifetime. Please carefully release all of these fish!!
I have been writing a lot about Spanish mackerel, because it's the best time to target these fish, which are so fun to catch. They have been following their usual daily feeding routine for this time of the year. When the tide is slack, the schools push the bait pods to the surface. This is you best catching situation. The rule of thumb with mackerel is that if you can see them you can catch them. However, when they are holding deep, you have to fish deep to get them. With the tide being so strong this past week, the mackerel have been holding close to the bottom. I have been using a #3 planer with a medium clark spoon 15 feet in tow. It's not as much fun as light tackle fishing, but a fish is a fish and you will catch one using this method.
King mackerel can be found from 30 to 150 feet of water. Since this covers a large area let me give you some hints. Tybee Roads and the rip that hangs one mile off of the Warsaw Sea Buoy is holding large king mackerel, better known as smokers. Use menhaden or mullet for bait. Slow troll is your best bet. The artificial reefs, L Buoy, J Buoy, CCA, and L Buoy are holding lots of surface bait, which in turn brings in the mackerel. However, barracuda have been thrown into the mix. Stay away from the wrecks and concentrate on the outer areas. King mackerel will feed on the bait that is hanging around the edges of the Wrecks. Barracuda feed and lay near the surface just down current from the wrecks. I have been pulling #3 planers with drone spoons on a 30 feet leader. Your trolling speed should be about 6 knots. Pull ridged ballyhoo in your outriggers, but don't troll them to far back. This fish want action. I have been pulling aliens ridged with ballyhoo and this bait has proven itself more than once. The king mackerel that are located at these areas run from 7 to 40 pounds. Trolling with planers and ridged ballyhoo usually attracts the smaller kings with an occasional smoker hookup. You can expect to catch large kings when use live bait, either by drifting or slow troll.
The bottom has been a little mixed up this past week. With the strong currents that we have been experiencing, I have been fishing completely by the tide method. Fish one hour before to one hour after the tide change. This is the time when the current is at its least. This is the best tide to use live bait for red snapper and grouper. The other bottom fish will also take advantage of the slack tide. Give squid and cut fish a try.
I know I have told you that the light switch has turned off in the blue water, at least as far as top water fishing goes. However, from the reports I have been getting and from my fishing experiences, please do go and give it a try!! It's not spring fishing, but wahoo, school dolphin, yellow fin tuna, marlin, and sailfish can be caught at this time of the year. It's not a consistence bite, but it's possible. Here's a great tip; you are going to have to add stringers to your rigs. The fish aren't taking the bait in their normal mode and feeding it back doesn't seem to help. You have to have a rig that counts on that first initial hit.
LITTLE CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Fishing for tripletail in the sixties was always a unique experience. Especially when Daddy was in charge. Not only was the fishing exciting, but also the stories that came along with the fishing day. These fish that daddy caught were so big that they wouldn't fit into out dip net. So daddy had to gaff them with his homemade wooden handle gaff. The three tail sections on these tripletails were as big as a regular size paper plate. He used a simple beefed up traditional float rig to catch them. For bait he used live prawn shrimp, which we would catch our selves. We made a short stop at one of Daddy's favorite shrimp holes and catch all we needed with only a few casts of the net. It was a simple thing in the good old days to catch bait in a short period of time. My father's secret triple tail hole was a little inshore of Bloody Point. There was a broken off range marker that he used as a reference. We also fished around the piling for the triple tail. They were either sunning by the pilings or in the deep hole. My father knew for sure when and why the fish were there. I just knew it was fun to watch and listen to the stories that he would tell. "Bloody Point" is beach located on Daufuskie Island. The island at this time wasn't developed. Daddy told me the most interesting story about how "Bloody Point" got its name. According to Daddy's folklore during the settlement of Savannah ships made their way up the Savannah River. Upon reaching the mouth of the Big Savannah River any undesirable occupants were tossed overboard. The types of people throw out were the sick, weak, or maimed. I might add they weren't murdered, there were just tossed overboard to fin for themselves. As Daddy's legend has it those that were strong enough to stay a float with the current usually landed on the beach. However, there were those that were attacked by large sharks on there drift to the beach. Those that were attacked usually did float to the beach either partially or the parts causing the point to be covered in blood. Now you know the rest of the story. No I didn't have nightmares as a small child.
Sea You Later,