Spring 2022 Saltwater Fishing Report for Coastal Georgia’s St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, and Cumberland Island
It’s late February and if you are like us, you are ready for winter to be over. Spring is just a fun time of year. The top water bite fires up and the fish come out of their winter homes to feed on glass minnows, shrimp, and mullet. Trout and Redfish are the main targets but jacks and ladyfish also join there action. It’s all about water temperature and the magic number is 72 degrees. With that Temperature the Triple Tail start to show up from their winter home is central Florida migrating up the coast following the food and warmer water temps.
The nearshore bite is great this time of year as well. Warmer water temperatures bring the pelagic adding several species to the already long list of fish we catch on our coastal nearshore wrecks and artificial reefs. Sheepshead, Snapper, Sea Bass, Cobia, Large Red Drum, Spanish Mackerel, trigger fish and more are caught on a mix of live and dead bait as well as artificial lures like diamond jigs and buck tails.
Top Water Bite
Early mornings is where it’s at. Calm conditions around high tide make for the perfect setup. My go to plugs are either a Mirrolure Top Dog jr. or She Dog. Fish the grass edge and open pockets and don’t work the plug to fast. More of a one, two, one, two, walk the dog action. If you are new to plug fishing poppers or chuggers can be just as effective and don’t take a lot of skill to work. “Walking the dog” with a plug can be tricky for beginners but stick with it because it can be deadly when mastered.
once the sun is up and the topwater bite slows down switch over to either a DOA paddle tail or Live Shrimp under a popping cork. These are your best bets however if you prefer to throw lures or hard baits as I call them a Mirrolure mirrodine mini is a great start as seen below in the center picture of the redfish.
Clean water is a huge bonus and a must if you can find it..
Near shore artificial reefs and wrecks.
Whether you are fishing concrete rubble, sunken barges, tug boats, tanks, or shrimp boats fiddler crabs will catch just about anything on these man made structures. Sure each different type of structure hold one type of fish better than another but you will catch almost all the names species on most at some point in the tide.
How to rig
When fishing fiddlers we like to use the lightest weight possible to get to the bottom with little scope. Knocker rigs are my go to while other guides and fishermen choose to use a short 4-8 inch leader between the weight and hook. Knocker rigs are probably the simplest rig to make. Just take a piece of 20-30lb fluorocarbon and splice it into your main line. add your weight and tie on hook.. Your weight will sit on your hook eye where the knock is.
Other baits we use would include squid, cut mullet, and other cut bait. We also use diamond jigs (3 or 4oz) and buck tails in the 4-6oz range. For more hoot and reports check back soon.
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