2021 Georgia Fishing Report and Update
Well we’re halfway through 2021 and it’s been a beyond crazy year so far. We are many months behind on getting our new boats, prices have skyrocketed on everything marine related, and mother nature has lost her way! I have dubbed 2021 the year of the excuses. Now if only we could get past it maybe life would get back to normal whatever that is.
So let’s talk fishing. Spring has came and gone and we actually had what seemed to be a spring for the first time in years. Cool nights and daytime highs in the 70s and 80s was quite enjoyable and a late season cold front pushing temperatures down close to freezing in April threw a curveball at us and the fish. Triple tail were around but not in huge numbers this year and most of the fish I saw caught were smaller with some fish and the 6 to 10 pound range. I did have a client catch a 29.5 inch 20 pounder while we were trout fishing in some deep water around structure and that was a huge surprise for everyone onboard.
Most of spring was spent looking for fish and unfortunately not catching as many as we would’ve liked. Don’t get me wrong we caught our fair share of trout and had some great days but over all it was much slower and the redfish have been non existent. The trout seem to be spread out more and living in deeper water than normal and the normal push of glass minnows in the Saint Simons sound an adjacent sounds in spring seem to be nonexistent. We are still plagued by the over turned car ship Golden Ray in Saint Simons sound that has now been there almost 2 years and continues to pollute our sound with oil and other hazardous chemicals. It caught fire back in mid May and we had some pretty extensive discharges of oil in late May and early June.
I know they are doing their best and now this past week I was told that they are going to have to use some type of explosives to sever the pieces apart as the cutting has stopped and they claim cannot be done. The whole thing seems like a complete shit show and the head of DNR’s CRD continues to be in denial that it’s affecting our fishery and eco system in St. Simons Sound as so many outdoorsmen complain of poor fishing and water quality. Our solution has been to fish north and south of St. Simons sound in the Cumberland or Altamaha areas to get away from the overturned ship.
Moving on to Summer
Summer started out pretty awesome with some great Nearshore wreck and reef fishing. The bite consisted of King Fish, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Seabass, and Summer Trout (Weakfish) and was for the most part our goto as action was continues and exciting. In late May and early June the sharks moved in and it got very difficult to even get a fish to the boat without it being eaten by one of a dozen 3 to 400 pound bull sharks that would hover around the boat while we trolled or bottom fished. The bonus was we were able to get out a good bit of days in May and early June around easterly winds that made the ocean too uncomfortable for most clients which brings me to the comment I made early on about mother nature has lost her way.
There has been a high-pressure sitting way offshore that has been bombarding us with east/northeast winds since mid June. We just experienced our first tropical storm on the East Coast which hit around the Hilton Head area and formed right off the coast of Georgia. Luckily it didn’t have time to strengthen and wasn’t much of anything. Lets hope the same now for Elsa which is steam rolling towards the east coast as I type. We were hoping that as it past we would see more of our summer pattern of light southwest winds in the morning and a southeast sea breeze late in the afternoons. However mother nature had a different plan and we continue to get pounded by east/northeast winds which make the ocean almost un-fishable. Throw that on top of the full moon spring tides and it’s been a struggle the last couple weeks. But it’s not been all doom and gloom and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Glory Week
In the middle of June we got a break! It only lasted five days but the ocean laid down, the water cleared up, and the fish were as abundant as I’ve seen them in a long time. You may be thinking what fish I’m referring to? That fish would be the ones we love to fish for, The Silver King aka Tarpon.
Captain Robert and I headed out to take some clients fly fishing for Jack’s, Spanish, Cobia, and Kingfish one morning. While bending rods and listening to screaming drags I got a phone call from Captain Rob telling me he found what we refer to as “the meat”. The meat is a large group of migrating fish that generally are ready to eat about anything you throw at them as they push north on their seasonal migration. They are the front runners of what it ends up being a 3 1/2-4 month season here in Coastal Georgia and after a crazy spring a welcome sight for sure.
That day I was able to put two of my three clients on their first Tarpon with a fly rod and the 3 angler caught his first tarpon on a light St. Croix spinning rod using a DOA Bait Buster lure which you can buy HERE. It was a pretty incredible day and one I will remember forever.
The following 5 days we landed 24 tarpon and jumped off another 38 most on fly. It was off to a great start when Mother Nature lost he damn mind! Since then we have only been able to land 1 fish and jump 2 others off. It’s been difficult and we are always honest with clients so I have canceled several days to avoid just a boat ride and taking peoples money which we can’t do. I’m praying for the wind to stop any day now and for the heavens to open the ocean back up so we can get after it. God knows I’m ready and eager to go.
(2021 Georgia Fishing Report and Update)
Some Professional shot by Charles Warren
Kids and Family Trips
This year we brought on a couple new guides one of which has been doing our family and kids trips. They’ve been a huge success and Capt. Jeremy has wedged his way into the memories of many families and kids on spring break and summer vacation. The sharks, whiting, rays ,and other critters that are abundant in the sound have been eager to bend rods and pull drags for the excited children on the other end of the line. We’ve seen a big number of black tips, scalloped hammerheads, and bonnet head sharks this year with plenty of waiting in the mix. If you are looking to get your kids outside or to get the whole family outside and on the water these are great trips and start at just two hours. They are also a great way to get youngsters into fishing and learn about the ecosystem an estuary in Coastal Georgia. Call ahead as they book up fast in spring and summer 912-270-7300 or HERE for more info on 2021 Georgia Fishing Report and Update and family/kids trips.
Do your homework!!
There are a number of “charters” out there and booking websites ready to take your money and make a quick buck. Fishing is a business and one I personally have been in for over 25 years. We get asked for referrals all the time when we are completely booked and it’s hard to just pass out phone number of people I would not personally pay to fish with. If you are looking to book a trip be VERY careful who you book with and threw. Stay far far far away from “booking” sites like fishing booker and fish anywhere. These companies are from over seas and these sites are just middle men taking a piece of the pie from mostly new charter boats. There are scammer on there and we have people standing on the dock waiting for charter boats to pick them up that don’t even exist. Just last week someone had booked a trip threw one of these sites and was left standing on the dock waiting on a fake captain and out 650.00. When you book a trip talk to your captain. I didn’t know a single guide who doesn’t talk to their clients at least the night before the trip. Ask questions like, are you a full time guide?, how long have you been in the business?, what type of boat do you run?, are you going to be our captain?, what should we bring?, and so on. We have been hearing some new charter captains have been throwing our names out like they work with or for us and I can tell you if they are not on this site under “our guides” or on our sister site The Georgia Fishing Company they are not affiliated nor do they work with us. Just do a little homework or you may be that family standing on the dock out 650.00 bucks and no one needs that.
The Tragic Loss of a true friend Capt. Travis Holeman
We lost a brother, friend, peer, and mentor last month to Covid. It hit hard as we were all just sipping beer and telling stories here in my hometown in Georgia. Just over a month ago Travis stopped in and stayed the night with Captain Robert while driving back home to the Florida Keys after a long trip out west hunting since fall. It was so great to see him, hear his stories of hunting and catch up. We cooked steaks and told stories where smiles and laughter filled the house. I was honored that Travis was able to meet my other half Dawn while in town. She like everyone felt like Travis was family from the start and his big heart took her in as he did most people. I miss my friend and will always be grateful for the things he shared and taught me over the years. His house always had an open door policy and he was always there to talk to about life and when he needed an ear I was always there to listen. he helped me threw some pretty tough times over the years as did his brother Bear and they always treated me like family. I spent several years with them on Christmas and Thanksgiving after my divorce and always felt at home there. I hurt for his family but most of all for Bannan his nephew and Brother. Travis was a wealth of knowledge and even though like me he talked a lot, probably too much… If you listened you would learn something almost all the time. Bannan had a great uncle to learn from, hunting, fishing, boats, hell T knew more shit about shit that no one should ever know about everything and anything if that even makes since. To put it in simple words he was a wealth of knowledge and a mans man. Luckily Bannan has an incredible dad and mom and a family of friends and keys brothers to learn and grow from. I miss my friend… I got a new skiff the other day and was trying to figure out what direction to go for props as I picked up the phone to call Trav. It hit me like a brick. He and I were just texting the other day it feels like about boats. I sent him pictures of the new Dorado and he replied Sick can’t wait to see it. He was in the ER and not in good shape but he was here and I thought he would be out and back doing what he loved doing soon enough. Fishing, Hunting, telling stories, and being a great friend, brother, uncle, son, and mentor to so many. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten.
I loved him like a brother and will help preserve his legacy and memories forever. Y’all go watch Travis in he home waters around the Florida Keys! maybe just maybe he will share a little something that help you catch more fish!