Well after the windiest and rainiest March/April I can remember the winds and rain have slowed. The Satilla and Altamaha rivers both flooded well into the surrounding low lands, into homes and across roads for several weeks. The Satilla flooded to an all time high in Waycross and was just shy of the record at Atkinson reaching about 25 feet at the top of the flood. See BTC online video for footage of the Satilla near it’s peak flood. Now 3 weeks later and the waters in the Golden Isles are truly gold.
I spoke to the DNR’s Assistant Director for Marine Fisheries Spud Woodward today about several new and positive things that are going on here in Georgia. One was the studying of the Triple Tail which he said was going great. We spoke about what all this fresh water is doing to help our ecosystem. Though the conversation was short I saw a positive expression on Spuds face about several issues from the Triple Tail to Red Snapper. He touched on the issue of the fresh water saying it was a big help to our shrimp and crab populations and that to me translates into a healthier fishery. I told him about a recent day I had with clients on the water where we had caught 5 trout over 4 pounds and he told me of another huge fish caught in the same location we caught our big fish that weighted 8.5 pound!! I have seen more big trout and big redfish inshore in the last few years than ever before. Spud explained more people are practicing catch and release and that we are seeing more health stocks of big trout and I agree. From my point the trout fishing has been great in the last 8 months however it slowed way down when waters dipped into the low 50 a few months back. He also said that there are bigger snapper being caught do to less fish. I look at that as I do a bass lake not that the two remotely resemble each other. In fresh water lakes I have been told if bass over populate the lake there will be less big fish do to too much competition and not enough food and it makes since. I sometimes don’t agree with everything we do or don’t do to protect out fishery but Spud seemed to have a different tone in his voice when I spoke to him and that tone was positive.
This is exciting to me! I think Georgia offers some of the best angling opportunities to it’s local and visiting anglers and I would like to know that it will be there for years to come for future generations to enjoy.
Back to the fishing. The last week has brought some unexpected conditions and catches catches starting with the triple tail. They are everywhere. We saw over 30 fish in just a few hours on Monday and caught 6. Most were in the 7 to 12 pound range and not really eager to eat but, with a little patience reward was at the end. That same day we caught 18 big redfish on the meat. Several fish were over 10 pounds and 1 went close to 17. We didn’t have a fish less than 6 pounds that day! the next day I had a morning trip that turned into a slow start. We had redfish with there backs out of the water tailing away in the grass but not willing to eat the plastics we through at them. We moved to the beach to find a few triple tail and decided to move back inshore to look for some trout which turned into another story. I’ll just say we has 3 redfish in 4 hours. Not that the fish were not there they just were not eating.
At that point I was not looking forward to my afternoon trip. I met David and his 2 boys at 12:30 and we headed south. With the water the color of a glass of Louisiana sweat tea I crossed my fingers the fish would turn on and by 2:15 I was wishing they would turn off. 5 corks lost and a box of hooks later we had caught trout, black drum, redfish, blue fish, a flounder, and so many small sharks that I couldn’t wait until 4:30! I only with that the fish would have put a show on for us that morning. When the fish don’t cooperate it make you really appreciate when they do. I just wish we would have caught half the fish that morning that we caught that afternoon! Bait is everywhere and things are starting to heat up. Summers just around the corner.