CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY
"Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956"
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410
912 897 4921
912 897 3460 FAX
September 17, 2001
Now that the Spottail bass have grown to the legal length, which is 14 inches to keep, it's time to relax a little. A lot of fishermen have been practicing their catch and release methods and as usual for this time of year, it was getting to the best of us. It's time to add catching to the fishing mix. The flounder season is now in full swing. These fish are great rod benders and can get quite large for this time of the year. However, it's hard to target a fish that buries it head into the sand, at least until it's gets hungry. Live shrimp are known to bring them out of their dormant stage, but a live pollywog will make them leap causing an underwater sandstorm.
Our sea trout season is in its first stages with fine catches being reported. However, there isn't a rule of thumb yet for catching these fish. You best bet for success is to start out trolling your favorite lures for this time of the year. This will enable you to cover a lot of area, which means you are bound to find that school that you are looking for. Once locating the "HONEY HOLE" you can switch up and use your traditional float rig with live shrimp. This rig change is especially for those of you who just have to see the "SINKING OF THE CORK!"
Now here's a fishing tale for you. The fisherman that I got this report from asked not to be identified. I will name him Mike. Mike told me that he and his buddy wanted to do a little inshore fishing. So they decided to stop by the local tackle store and purchase some bait. Upon opening the bait they found lots of small local juvenile squid and a few lone shrimp. You know the old saying, "It is what it is." Well, that also goes for bait, especially after you have already left the dock on your fishing expedition. Upon reaching their fish spot, which was around the "Salt Pond Area" they decided to do some bottom fishing for whiting. As you and I know small pieces of shrimp is without a doubt the best bait for whiting. However, you know the saying, "it is what it is." They took their purchased bait and used it whole. To their surprise it worked like a charm on the larger whiting. They caught over 25 king whiting.
Now I had to ask why they didn't want their names mentioned. After all they weren't convicted felons. Their 12-foot boat and the holes that were in it embarrassed them. Heck, it sounded to me like they did fine in their small leaky boat. They both agreed, but according to them the boat had four holes in the bottom and a unique hand pumping system. One would fish while the other would pump. You know the old saying, "it is what it is."
This past week has been a little on the bad weather side, but we still have managed to catch enough at least to make the customers happy. It has been a mixed bag fishing affair with this being what I call a "gray area time of the year." Don't panic, this always happens when the water temperature starts dropping, which puts the bait fish once again on the move. If you will recall, this also happens to us in the early spring. This situation puts top water fish spread out to areas that they aren't usually found. The artificial reefs that are located in 40 feet of water are still holding Spanish mackerel, few king mackerel and some real picky eating barracuda. These fish will bite for while and then just stop as if someone flipped an off switch. At least when this happens, due to the fact that the water temperature has dropped, there are a few bottom fish to catch. Unfortunately none of these fish will hold any feeding interest for any length of time. So this should be your new plan for the early fall fishing. Make sure to take both your top water and bottom fishing tackle along, because you are going to be changing those rigs like crazy. Good Luck.
I am expecting the fall arrival of the king mackerel at any time. The yellow butterflies started passing through our area over two weeks ago. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, let me explain. The winter run of the king mackerel and the yellow butterflies just happen to migrate close to the same time of the year. The good news is that the migration of butterflies usually arrives here first, which gives us a heads up for the soon arrival of the king mackerel. That time has come and I am looking. As soon as I know, you will be the first to find out.
The Savannah Snapper Banks has been a great place to visit for most of the fishing year. There seems to be always some sort of bite action going on in 100 feet of water. Now that the water temperature has dropped the bottom action will just be at a higher level. The new fast bite pattern is due to the fact that the tons of bait that have been hanging around the ledges will be thinned out. This is good for you and me, because this means that their picky eating behavior that they have had during the hot months is just about over. Your standard cut squid, frozen cigar minnows, and cut fish will work once again. However, if you can get live bait by all means use it! It will be your ticket to a sure fast "HOOKUP!"
The blue water fall season is getting ready to heat up. All we need is for the wind to calm down so that he seas will be less. I can't wait to take my bait for a drag!
CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Have you seen the movie St Elmo's Fire? Well, not only have I seen the movie I have lived the fire. Many years ago I had St Elmo's fire take over my boat. It's a scientific situation that happens when the atmospheric pressure and other pressures become the same. It's a bunch of scientific stuff that I really don't understand, but I do understand the concept of having it.
It happened on a day when there wasn't any sunshine making it very cloudy conditions. The winds were at 0 miles per hour, which made the ocean extremely clam. It was beautiful. Actually what I have described is a day that a lot of us fishermen love to have once in a while. However this particular day turned into a nightmare that just happened during the day.
At this time of my fishing career it was normal for us to throw a buoy when we found a lot of fish. This was long before Loran C and GPS. This marker consisted of a 5-gallon bucket with a watertight lid, 150 feet of line, and a window slash weight. Here's how it worked. I would throw my marker out and fish by it all day. I would situate my boat down current of the marker and just drift until the bite stopped. Then I would pull back to the marker using my original compass heading. It was a simple as that. This particular day hadn't been any different. I found the fish, threw the marker, made a real long drift, and finally the bite stopped.
However, I found returning to the marker wasn't possible. I noticed quickly that I wasn't even heading in the right direction. This was even though I was running my exact compass heading. However, as I turned the compass turned until it made me make an entire 360 degrees over and over. As clam as it was it was easy to find my boat trail, which was not in a straight line, but in a figure eight. I stopped the boat and the compass never stopped to slowly turn changing my so-called heading continuously. I told the customers, without looking at them to drop theirs lines. I was puzzled and confused. I kept hearing this popping sound. I turned around and what I saw then was unbelievable. All of the fishermen's hair was standing straight up in the air, every time they raised their rods to set the hook, there would be a popping noise. As I was looking at them, they were looking at me. I am sure my hair was also standing on its ends. Then I noticed all of the metal on the boat had turned smoke blue and it seemed as though it had steam rising from it. This is when I truly realized that I had shown up in the twilight zone.
I had read about this phenomenon, but never expected to experience it, but here I found myself right in the middle of it. I only assumed that the best thing to do was to stop doing anything. Hopefully the force field that had us would soon dissipate. As it did, the metal color changed back to a normal, the popping noise stopped, the compass stopped spinning, and our hair finally fell back to it's normal position.
It was a heck of a fishing day at Miss Judy Charters!
Sea You Soon,
Captain Judy Helmey