Georgia Specks

Hey Dan, First of all, I think this is a great website and what you are doing for the fishing community is a really good thing. The more people learn about fishing, the more likely they are to support the conservation of this great pastime/lifestyle. I am from southern Georgia and have fished the waters between Savannah and St. Simons Island for my entire life. I usually have no difficulty catching good numbers of speckled trout, but I have yet to learn how to really “zone in” on the larger ones (20″ ). I was hoping you could give me some advice to put me on the big fish (particularly during september. Im sure you are familiar with the salt marsh environment native to Georgia. Our trout are usually on the beach front and in the mouths of the sounds during summer, but fishing in september really gets tricky since it is a transition period for the fish in Georgia. My father-in-law is making a trip down this way soon, and I would really like to put him on some nice fish. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

The best place I’ve ever found to catch a lot of bigger Specks in the fall is around oyster beds, preferably with the current coming into them. The trout will generally be holding in the eddy pockets on the backside of the beds. They usually be schooled up on the down current side. You may have to check out several oyster beds to find the schools, but they’re there. Once I have located a school, I like to use a jig called a Boot-Tail minnow rigged on a red, chartruese, or white 1/4 oz. jig head. I cast up current, and reel towards the fish with a steady retreive, keeping the jig just above the bottom. I sometimes vary the retrieve with a little ‘jerk’ every so often. I usually get my limit this way, with most fish in the 2-4 pound catagory. Another tactic that works for me is to find a sandy or rocky bottom in 20 feet of water. I rig a live shrimp or pogie on a # 5 or #6 Kale hook, on a 1/4 oz. Carolina rig. This usually works best in inlet bays. I surf fish for specks a lot, too. If you are going to wade, BE CAREFUL. Watch the water closely for undertows, holes, drop-offs, and large predators. There are lots of fish that may not kill you, buit they will give you a nasty bite or sting. Bluefish are especially hazardous. I’ve been bitten many times by them, a few times even requiring stitches. And Barracuda can show up anytime. They all want to steal your fish, and don’t care if they nick you in the process. Slide your feet along the bottom (wearing very heavy wading boots) to warn stingrays and stonefish of your presence, and give them a chance to skeedaddle. And especially, watch for Portuguese Men-Of-War. They look like a jellyfish, but don’t be fooled. These guys can light your fire quickly, and even cause paralysis. Anytime something doesn’t look, or ‘feel’ right, leave the water immedeatly. The surf is a little bit tougher, especially in the fall. You have to learn to ‘read’ the water, much like in fly fishing. What I look for is a steep drop outside the surf line, or between two sandbars, or on the sea-side of a sandbar. You can tell by the difference in the color of the water, and how the waves act. Then, I look for flocks of seagulls, or a lot of jumping baitfish. This means either specks, stripers, or bluefish are ripping into minnows underneath. Another tell-tale is a ‘slick’ on the surface, often accompanied by a sweetish, fishy smell. This is from the fish oil and entrails of chomped baitfish. I like to cast a jig, Mirro-Lure, or spoon right into the thick of it. Happy fishing.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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