Inshore: The fishing has been excellent for big, 2- to 3-lb. trout. Capt. Greg Hildreth says to concentrate on areas closer to the ocean as many of the bigger trout move to the beaches. The bite on the beaches is very good, particularly on the Cumberland Island beach (see article on page 60). The redfish bite inshore continues to be very good, according to Capt. Greg. “I’ve been using a shallow-water poling skiff, and we’re catching reds on artificials and flies. I had six on topwater the other morning. Most of these are too big too keep, 26- to 30-inch fish.” Up the coast in the Savannah area, Capt. David Newlin said the rage this year is a lure called a DOA Shrimp that is fished under a Cajun Thunder cork. “There are plenty of shrimp showing up in the creeks,” Capt. David said.
Nearshore: Tarpon time off the Georgia coast has begun. On the south coast, Capt. Greg said the bite is on, and it’s going to get even better. Last week he had 11 tarpon jumps (hook-ups), and they got three to the boat before releasing the tarpon. “We were two for six on bait, and one for five on artificials. Not bad for June in Georgia,” Capt. Greg said. Use live poagies on the sandbars and shoals with a mix of baits on the bottom and also on flatlines, he said. “We also found huge pods of tarpon schooled up offshore. You have to have flat-water conditions to sight-fish like to find them, but we probably saw 500 to 700 fish, and that’s being very conservative,” Capt. Greg said. The tarpon they caught hit a four-inch Spike-It Shad. Up the coast a bit, Capt. David Newlin caught his third tarpon of the season on June 22, and he said it should be full-on by July 4. “The big sharks are excessively thick, a lot of big tiger sharks,” Capt. David said. “We’ve caught several over 400 pounds in the past couple of weeks. There are as many in the 300 range as I’ve ever seen.”
Offshore: Capt. David said it’s been on fire for big snapper, but not so good on big grouper yet. “We’re seeing quite a few snapper in the high 20s (pounds) and low 30s,” he said. The trolling bite has been good as well, with a lot of kings, barracuda, amberjack, and fair amount of dolphin. “The fishing for everything is about where it’s supposed to be, except the bottom fishing. The bottom fishing is better than it’s supposed to be for this time of year,” Capt. David said.