August 03, 2022
As Outdoorsmen who live in South Georgia, we often struggle to find ways to stay active in the outdoors during these hot summer months.
Deer season is out, as well as turkey, duck, and small game. Success with fishing in freshwater rivers predominately relies on the amount of rain we have received… which, let’s be honest, summertime around here usually involves a lot of rain. If the rivers have gotten too much rain and the water flooded into the trees, it can be very difficult to locate fish and have a successful day on the water.
Offshore fishing can be good year-round off our coast but fewer and fewer have a boat they trust taking offshore. When it comes to inshore fishing, most of us are aware that it can be easier to locate those desired species during the colder months, especially trout and sheepshead.
However, you can still have a lot of success on your days off fishing out South Georgia inter-coastal waters if you know what you’re doing and where to look. Here are a few tips that can help you bring more fish home during these hot months inshore!
First, you are going to want to move to deeper water or fish early morning/late afternoon (when it has cooled off more). If it is hot outside,then those shallow water flats that fish like to feed on are also going to be hot and the fish will not want to be on them as much. Good news is they are likely still in the area, look for drop offs around the edge of the flats, preferably with structure such as grass, oysters, or even docks. Those bigger fish you’re after will be waiting just off the edge of those flats for bait fish to swim by… which brings us to our next tip!
Learn what the fish are eating during that time. They will most likely be eating whatever there is the most of in the creeks and river at that time, rather that is small mullet, mud minnows, or shrimp. A good way to figure this out is to see what your local bait stores have more of in stock, if they are not bringing in many shrimp then there likely are not very many shrimp in the area.
And, when in doubt, it is never a bad idea to use your cast net to try and catch your own bait in the areas you fish. You can find plenty of artificials that work very well at most bait and tackle shops. We even have a good selection here at Bowtreader when it comes to inshore artificials!
My next tip is to not be afraid to try new spots. Just because you maxed out in your “lucky” spot two weeks ago does not mean there will still be fish there next time. I have had many trips where I took a group and we limited out on reds within an hour or two, only to return to that same spot weeks later and only catch two under slot reds.
Also don’t be afraid to take a small boat inshore. You see guys in kayaks out there all the time so I promise you your river boat will be just fine. If you don’t have a big boat that can get you out to open water that is fine, just find a ramp that has some small creeks nearby that those guys in the bigger boats cannot get to and you will be amazed at how many fish some of those small creeks can hold. I have personally had great success sheepshead fishing from small river boats, because you are able to get under large docks that sheepshead like to hang out around and get closer to the center of that structure where nobody else messes with them.
Another great way to increase your chances of having a good day on the water is to check the tide charts beforehand and learn what the differences in tides mean. The larger the tide change is the faster the current will be and the water will also likely be muddy. I typically try to look for tide swings to be less than 7 feet. This means the difference between the water height at high tide and the water height at low tide will be less than 7 feet. These conditions usually lead to clearer and slower moving water, which makes the fishing conditions a lot better.
You can find these tide charts online by going to google and searching the area you will be fishing followed by “tide chart” for example you could search “Richmond Hill GA. tide charts” if you were going to be fishing out of the Richmond Hill area.
My last tip to help your summer inshore fishing days be more successful is to get some crab traps. In Georgia you can have two crab traps with your normal fishing license, they must be marked by a green buoy with your name and phone number written on them.
When you set out to go fishing in the morning, take a few traps with you and on your way out bait them with raw chicken or fish and set them in small runoff creeks. Just be sure those creeks have enough water that at low tide your traps will still be under water. Then on your way back in from fishing pull your traps back in so that if nothing else you will hopefully have some fresh crabs to take home and eat. We did this before our 3D event in Savannah, Georgia and harvested 77 blue crabs!
Those are the tips that have worked best for us in our experience! Take a few and watch your success improve… then let us know! We love getting pictures from our customers/readers when they have success outside.
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