CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY
"KICKING FISH TAIL SINCE 1956"
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410
912 897 4921
912 897 3460 FAX
November 9, 2001
I have heard this remark from all of my inshore fishing sources. It's live bait kind of a year. Live shrimp has controlled the trout and Spottail bass bite for most of this fall season. For those of you who have caught yours on artificial consider yourself "GOOD" not lucky! So for those of you who just want to catch a fish get out those traditional float rigs out and let them take your live shrimp for a glide. You gotta love the sinking of that cork!
For those of you who are interested in the sheepshead bite your time has arrived and it's only going to get better. All you need to get their attention is to bring along the hard to get fiddler crab as bait. There are a few other baits that will work. Try barnacles, oysters, small shrimp, or crickets a try. If you plan on using crickets don't worry you don't have to tell anyone! Keep it to yourself!
Our artificial reefs are holding their usual bottom-fishing array for this time of the year. The bite has been good and steady even though the weather fronts haven't stopped coming. I have been using squid and cut fish for bait and the Black Sea bass are not turning me down. We are also catching a few triggerfish, pig fish, blue fish, flounder, and grouper. You must remember to always be prepared for that big bottom bite to take place in these areas at this time of the year. The large fish such as the grouper and flounder are migrating to unknown destinations at this time. Their migration pattern seems to take them from one reef to another as they make their way. One day at the L-Buoy we couldn't catch anything but gag grouper. They ranged from 12 to 32 inches. The next time I visited this area they had moved on, but as we all fishermen know a few will and have stayed behind. These fish will become this year's resident fish.
Here's my rule of thumb when trying to decide if you have caught resident of non-resident fish. It's very simple. A non-resident fish will be lighter in color while a resident fish will be darker. A newly resident fish will be a little darker. These are hard to tell unless you catch more than one. I always like to examine my fish closely so that I can ascertain which lodging stage that I caught them in.
The winter run of the southern king mackerel may or may not have taken place in our area. From all of the information that I have gathered talking to fishermen north, here, to south of us I have pretty much come to a few conclusions. As I have been reporting the kings have arrived in our area at the Savannah Snapper Banks. They are holding in around 100 feet of water. The best way to catch them is to put your bait down deep. Now with all the information that I have received from north of us the kings were late in their arrival. This would only make me believe that the kings would be arriving a little later to our area. However, our time is running out and the water temperature is dropping. So therefore the kings that are holding in 100feet of water might be all that we get. However, once again, we still have time for the kings to move in to the shallower water before they leave our area completely. All signs that would make me think that the kings are still coming to the shallow water areas are still showing up. For instance the large school of cow nose rays have started passing though. They are making their track to the south. This always happens right before the arrival of the king mackerel. The gannet have arrived in full force. These are large seabirds that make this area a temporary home during our cooler months, because of the enormous bait migration that we have at this time of the year. The migration of the yellow butterflies has taken place and now has mostly moved on. All things are normal except for the fact that the kings haven't arrived in the shallow reef areas to take advantage of the large bait build up. Everything is in place, but the kings don't seem to care where their dinner is served.
I heard this on the radio, while I was fishing the Savannah Snapper banks. It was a conversation that two fishermen had about their day at the blue water. It's not good! There were plenty of perfect temperature changes and weed lines. However, the bite wasn't that good due to the fact there wasn't any fish in the breaks or the rips. They caught a few dolphin fish, but I didn't get the size of the fish or the depth that they were caught in. I would still go if I got the chance. That's why they call it "FISHING!"
CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Freshwater drum, also known a sheepshead is said to have mystical powers. This fish has a large pearl like bone, which bears an "L" groove. This bone has commonly been called the "Lucky Bone" and have a long history of superstitious folklore connected with them. According to a native that I took fishing that explained to me what the bones were actually used for. The markings actually sent a message. The outcome of the message depends on the reader or what I call the bone holder, which can be interpreted in different ways. The Indians used the bones as wampum, for ceremonial purposes, and as neck charms to prevent various sicknesses.
Once again, please don't try to remove the mystical ear bones from your pet gold fish, there aren't any.
Sea You Later,
Captain Judy Helmey