October Fishing Report

Posted By Captain Judy Helmey / October 5, 2015 / , , , , , , / 0 Comments

October Fishing Report

October Fishing reportby Captain Judy Helmey Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956!

  • Saltwater Inshore, Offshore, Blue Water fishing reports, Freshies Suggestions, and “Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not story! Thanks for Reading!

 To try to insure that fishing stays in the hearts of those that love it and to help the ones that are going too!

Flotsam, jetsam, floats in, and floats out!

october fishing reportThe month of 2015 September has been to say the least a very challenging time for inshore and offshore fishermen. All fishermen whether they are commercial, charter, or recreational have been dealing with all kinds of weather conditions. It has been raining a lot and the winds have been blowing so hard that catching in some case has been compromised! With the highest of high tide arriving in September creeks, rivers, sounds, and ocean have been inundated with everything that the marshes has to offer from flotsam to jetsam! The bad news anything that floats up into the marsh with enough flooding will float out. With all this movement of water and debris fishing can be a little challenging! However, if you hang on to the theories that a fish has got to eat sometimes then you are that much closer to catching one!

The month of October is one of my most favorite fishing months. The reason being is that all fish whether they are predominantly inshore or offshore have got to make a move, because their conditions as well as surroundings are just about to change. I call this month the migrating month, because it means that all fish have to move. This boils down to one thing they are going to have to put on the old feed bag on!

So what catching opportunities are in store for the inshore fishermen?

october fishing report
The spotted sea trout bite will get to be more predictable meaning where they were last year they most likely will stage there once again. The most favorite bait to use by the fish as well as the fisherman is going to be live shrimp. This is also a great time to go artificial baits only! When I fish for spotted sea trout I know for a fact that I will personally hook up more fish if I use an artificial shrimp pattern instead of the real deal. The reason being is I get a better chance at a hook up especially after the first hit miss pass, because I do most likely still have bait. It is a known fact that a trout is a sight feeder and it’s natural for it to make an initial turn back if warranted. However, if its kill even looks a little strange the fish’s interest will change and it will move on to its next prey. When using artificial lures it offers you the fisherman a second chance and also gives the trout a more serious reason to make that quick turn back. In other words on the first hit if the fish doesn’t kill for itself or get hooked up by you it is carelessly going to come back for more. And that is all I have to say about that!!

All sizes of redfish know that their regular feeding habits are going to soon change. This means that their regular feeding options are going to dwindle down every day. Most bait fish will make a move leaving only those that are wrapped in a shell on the red fish’s list of feeding options. The old time rule of thumb when this happens is that a red fish will feed on shellfish as long as it can. But here’s the thing…while a red fish has its tail up and its head down it basically inhales everything it can. It’s their crushers, which are located in the back of their throat that goes into overtime crushing mode. In some cases those parts that were supposed to get crushed don’t. So therefore the red fish’s stomach gets so full of shells that it basically overflows. Although the redfish is still hungry for a real meal, it can’t pack anymore in until its stomach acids do their job. During this time in some cases it can take up to three days before a red fish’s stomach make room for more. According to my father, when you fish a lot you get in step with a school’s feeding pattern. I used to think when he would say this to me that he was full of it, but as it turned out it was the old red fish after all! And also as the water temps cool the red fish knows that they themselves will be put on the dolphins (porpoises, mammals) main full time dinner menu.

The fish that no one seems to want to talk about much or target is the so forgotten Sheepshead. However to this day I can’t figure out why! The Sheepshead stays inshore year around, but during the winter months some fish head offshore. Females along with some following males make way offshore during the colder months for a spawning event. Nearshore artificial reefs hold the interests of many Sheepshead and large ones too! However, Sheepshead can still be caught inshore during cold times while fishing around any sort of structure supporting marine growth.

What has the offshore fisherman have to look forward too?

october fishing reportI can answer this question with one sentence and that would be: “Lots of serious catching opportunities especially if you know where to look!” I love the cooler months, because during this time some fishermen know before the fish do about their best laid plans!”

During this time of the year we catch quite a few summer trout also known as weak fish while plain old bottom fishing at the artificial reefs. The bag limit is one trout per fishermen and the size limit is 13 inches tail length. In the creeks, rivers, and sounds this fish loves to eat live or dead shrimp. However, in the ocean they will eat squid or cut fish.
october fishing report
The nearshore artificial reefs located in less than 50 feet of water are basically short boat rides to the fish. While bottom fishing you could find yourself catching black sea bass, trigger fish, scup, perch, as well as other bottom biters. Back in the good old day’s fishermen would trailer their boats to the coast from great distances to get the chance to fish the nearshore artificial reefs, located in Georgia and South Carolina. October was the best month to target the ever popular and almost guaranteed summer trout bite. Over the years, before size and bag limits were put into place thousands of summer trout also known as weak fish were caught during this time frame. I equate this to the same time frame that fishermen used to travel to Savannah Beach to fish in the Back River for red fish. This was time way before size and bag limits were put into place. If I had a dollar for every time a fishermen said that he had caught hundreds of redfish while fishing the Back River of Tybee I think I would be a millionaire. The best news is due to positive regulations we now have a healthy stock of both summer trout and redfish!

october fishing reportAnother fish that shows up during this month are the trophy red fish, which way back when was as legal as can be to catch as well as keep. Now as you most likely already know all red fish (no matter the size) are federally protected and fall under catch and release only program. Beach fronts, all artificial reefs, Savannah Snapper banks, as well as the blue waters of the Gulf Stream have held the attentions of these winter time migrating red fish. It seems the further you see them offshore the more golden in color that they become. And whatever you do don’t forget about the offshore flounder it is their time too!

october fishing report

What is Captain Steve Triple Trouble Howell doing? Well, he is giving his just caught winter time near shore gag grouper a quick smooch! And I think this fish likes it!

The next set of artificial reefs found in 50 to 70 feet of water can be an unbelievable fish catching/seeing paradise. For the top water species you find yourself catching king and Spanish mackerel, little tunny, cobia, and barracuda. When dropping to the bottom the catch could be endless with you limiting out quickly on black sea bass. Please remember black sea bass have to be 13 inches tail length to keep and have a bag limit of 5 per person. Mixed in with the never seem to be filled up black sea bass are trigger fish, scup, white bone porgy, blue fish, and other biters. I do believe if the black sea bass would give them a chance you could find yourself snagging a gag! The gag is a grouper that had to be 24 inches tail length to keep having a bag limit of only one person. No matter what, a boat trip to one of these artificial reefs can be to say the least “So catching interesting!”
october fishing reportThe Savannah Snapper banks have everything to offer and to find what might be biting in this area I suggest going to http://safmc.net/fish-id-and-regs/regulations-species. Then making a copy of what you can keep or not. The reason being is that all that this area has to offer can normally be caught during this time of the year while fishing this area! And it doesn’t get any better than this!

The Gulf Stream is also a great place of interest for the blue water fish gang! We all know that the April through June with May being the best month are prime times to fish this area. However, during October and when the waters to the west become cooler than the stream the fall/winter edge is formed. The reason being is when the cooler waters currents to the west bump into the warmer waters of the stream a fishing wall is formed. The boils down to the fact that both you and the fish know where to meet to get the best chance at a feeding hook up!

So if I haven’t bored you to death with all of the cooler water fish catching opportunities I guess you already know that I am going to suggest that it is definitely time to go fishing!

Where did the tough Pelican Cases get their name? I think I know part of the reason!

october fishing reportYou might have already seen this picture. I am sure it might have been passed around. However, I could not resist. Captain Kevin Rose shared this picture with me and also the story that went with it. According to Captain Kevin as a customer was fighting a just caught shark when this pelican attacked. Now when I say, “Attacked” I meant just that.   I asked Captain Kevin, who won? And he replied “The pelican!” It was at this time that I figured out just exactly why Pelican Cases might have chosen this name!

2016 Inshore Fishing Clinics

  • February 20, 2016 Saturday in classroom
    $90.00 per person
    Continental breakfast and lunch included
    Place: Tubby’s Tank House 2909 River Drive, Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404
    Time: 8:00 AM till 2:00 PM
  • February 21, 2016 Sunday on inshore boats in the water
    $125.00 per person
    Time: 8:00AM till12:00 NOON
    Snacks and drinks provided by Captain Judy
    Place: Miss Judy Charters dock
    202 Wilmington Island Road
    Savannah, Georgia 31410

Inshore Fishing Report

october fishing report

Brian Holt, Captain Tommy Williams, and Georgene Holt

While fishing with Captain Tommy Williams of Miss Judy Charters Brian Holt along with his wife Georgene had quite an interesting catching day. They kept a few red fish, spotted sea trout, and a Sheepshead. They released numerous red fish and quite a few trout. All and all it was a great catching day. And the scenery wasn’t bad either. They were visited by an alligator, which cruised right by their boat, all kinds of seabirds, porpoises, and one lonely manatee. According to the Holts it was boat riding, fishing, catching, and seeing kind of affair.

Whiting are very picky eaters!

whitingWhat do a whiting and fisherman have in common? They both like to peel their shrimp before they eat it! Here’s a picture of a piece of cut shrimp minus the meat. As you see the only thing left is the shell!

Plain Old Sound fishing!
Once again if you want to catch a fish and it doesn’t matter what it is I suggest doing some plain old sound fishing. We have been doing it a lot from our larger boats, because in most cases it has been too rough to go offshore. When fishing in the sound I suggest taking dead wild caught shrimp as bait. The farm raised ones don’t work too well! We caught whiting, summer trout, blue fish, blow fish, spots, croakers, stingrays, and sharks all of assorted sizes. The secret to unlocking this bite is to fish two hours before till 2 hours after the tide change. The reason being less current means more bites! For the best in tide information get yourself a http://www.tidelog.com/

A fish feeding frenzy in the Wilmington River and Wassaw sound!

october fishing reportIn July, August, and September while bottom fishing in the sound, I reported seeing several schools of assorted sizes of Jack Crevalle. Well, while fishing the past week in the sound I saw, once again, quite a few schools of Jacks. In some cases they were cruising like the ones in the picture shown above. When the Jacks were feeding oils from the fresh fish kills floated to the surface marking their spot. We watched as several large Jacks worked together corralling up a small school of fish. All and all it was pretty interesting stuff, but you had to know what to look for!

“Sound catching opportunities!”

We have also been seeing Spanish mackerel in rips, around bait pods, or at the edge of the sand bars in Wassaw Sound. I have seen enough jumping to know that it is time to give this kind of fishing a try. Back in the old days trolling the sounds at Hilton Head Island, Tybee Island, and Wassaw Sound areas always produced quite a bit of light tackle action. All we did was to look for the feeding birds to find the fish. We also knew that finding a solidly form ripped could offer a steady fish bite. Even trolling or pitching to a color change could offer quite a bit of top water action. Heck, when we could cast close to the bar while sailing our lures into about 2 to 3 feet of water catches happened. I think you get the point and the fish should get your hook!

Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not! 20 Minute Rule!

october fishing reportI know this looks like just a picture that I have taken of the water and it is. However, please notice that calming spot there about in the middle of the picture. Normally I would explain to you that most likely a larger fish has killed a smaller fish, their oils have floated to the surface, and this sheen is marking that spot. Well, this is definitely not the case in regards to the reason that I took this picture. The sheen on the water was caused from a customer, which was experiencing some serious seasickness.

20 Minute Rule

Over the years I have seen many fishermen that have been over whelmed by the motion of the ocean. And I would like to add that not all seasickness effects are alike and some are simply generic. The term simply generic when it comes to seasickness goes like this: About one hour into the ocean the customer starts feeling clammy, gets over heated, becomes a little fidgety, and starts staring into the oblivion. The next thing that happens is that they turn a pale shade of green, which normally means that the acid build up in their stomach has reached its maximum churning stage. At this time the best thing for them to do is to relieve the pressure. And most likely you will understand better when I say throw it all up. When this happens the fisherman will be completely better, which means feeling like zero has happened. Then there are those that feel good for about 5 minutes. At 8 to 10 minutes the stomach churning starts all over again circling right back to where it all started in the first place. This cycle happens just about every 20 minutes! And I have set my clock to this many a time!

Thanks for reading! Captain Judy
Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956!
124 Palmetto Drive
Savannah, Georgia 31410
912 897 4921 or 912 897 2478
912 897 3460 fax
[email protected]


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