• Savannah Georgia - Fishing Report

    Miss Judy Charters
  • Miss Judy Charters provides Inshore fishing, Offshore fishing, and Gulf Stream fishing charters. Whether it's sport fishing for the serious angler or a leisurely day for the family, we have the trip for you. We have been fishing in Savannah, Tybee and adjacent waters for over 50 years. We have the knowledge for your inshore and offshore fishing adventure.

  • Savannah Georgia - Fishing Report

    While inshore fishing with Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charters Luke Serotsky (age 13) Homewood, AL age 13 caught this beautiful trophy red fish! Now this picture is saying one thing for sure and what’s that? Catching big fish is fun!

    You can take Captain Garrett Ross of Miss Judy Charters out of his boat, but it will not stop him from fishing and catching! Nice red fish on the fly!

    The temperatures are still hot, but there is a shuttle change that takes place in the month of September. All fish are basically put on notice that fall patterns are pending. Just the fact that daylight is a couple of minutes shorter everyday makes all the difference to those down under. This is not the month for migrations it’s the month for feeding on everything that is available. Spotted sea trout, red fish, sheepshead, black drum, and flounder might feed at different times of the tides. However, here’s what they have in common all of them like live shrimp. The bottom line is you can serve it up anyway you like from naked with or without any sort of leader or weight, or under popping or adjustable floats. Here is the secret to the fish’s bite in September once you get the bite a-going it’s easy to change your bait. For instance: If you start using live shrimp and they all happen to die or you run out your best bet then is to change over to any leftover parts from previous hits and/or start using DOA shrimp patterns. It is old school, but does work! The DOA shrimp patterns work like a charm. Here’s tip: When using pre-rigged DOAs meaning when they are purchased with hook and balance weight. I suggest removing weight and hook. Then I suggest taking a 2/0 to 3/0 Kahle hook and hooking the shrimp up like you do the real deal. Since you want the DOA to look as natural as possible you would need to place the hook in the mid ship of the shrimp. Once it’s balanced on the hook’s bend it become the prefect waving bait in the current under a popping cork or an adjustable float. The best early fall colors are Root Beer, clear gold glitter, clear chartreuse tail, and golden cherry red. I suggest using ¼ ounce jig heads for DOA shrimp patterns. Another secret is to drop a few DOA’s into the live well. I call this “adding juice appeal!”

    In the river and in the sound!
    While inshore fishing with Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charters Steve Cook (Beard)
    Savannah GA caught this beautiful trophy red fish! What’s left to say now? The fall bite is in the air!

    Now there are other artificial baits to be considered and have been proven by the fish as well as the fishermen. There is Berkley Gulp Alive! This is where the term “secrets in the sauce” really came from. I like the 3” Shrimp Assortment recharging baits, which have new penny/natural, shrimp/pearl, and white/molting shrimp patterns all packed together. Heck, the best news is one pattern doesn’t work remove off hook, drop back in sauce, and grab another, it’s that simple. As far as best way to present this bait, since it looks alive is to rig it that way. (Popping corks, traditional adjustable floats, and threaded onto a jig head tied directly to your fluorocarbon leader) And there are many more shrimp patterns out there on the tackle shelves. The secret is to use the lure that you have with the most confidence, because it seems if you don’t, well bites just won’t happen. My father always said, “There should be no negativity when fishing!” It seems, as like last year most tackle companies, due to Covid related disruptions, are taking longer to fill our orders and sometimes can’t deliver. My new ordering practices have changed I suggest ordering three of the items with hopes of getting one! One thing Covid has forced me to do is to give other lures/baits a try. Heck, they have just been gathering dust on the tackle selves and it my tackle box. The best news is if you are in the right location, the lures I never used before are working!

    For those fishermen that don’t care to use artificial baits of any kind, well you also have options. As you know live shrimp is the most preferred bait that there is and bottom line is that all fish like it. Since all fish eat it meaning all sizes from petite to large; a fisherman’s chance of catching a keeper as well as losing your live shrimp part by part is possible. There are quite a few alterative live baits that you can catch for yourself. And here’s where knowing how to throw a cast net is a big plus. During this time the creeks and back of creeks are full of schooling finger mullet. They do come in all sizes from petite to larger finger mullet. I suggest keeping all sizes, because when using live bait you want to match the hatch. When using larger live finger mullet as bait, your chances of getting a big bite is going to be less. However, when you do get a hit the fish are going to be larger, because the smaller fish as well as the fetish fish will be scared off. What is a fetish fish? It is a small fish that dismantles and eats your shrimp one part at a time. The other live baits, which you could catch while casting for shrimp or finger mullet, are mud minnows, peanut menhaden, croaker, yellow tail, pin fish, and basically any other small live hardy fish.

    This is big barracuda that could not resist rigged shinny ballyhoo on a light tackle king mackerel rig. As you can see the small stinger terrible treble hook did a grand job of hooking up this big fish. What does all this boil down too? You don’t have to use a large hook to get your best chance at catching a big fish. It is always about the drag set on the reel you are using to bring them in!

    In the river and in the sound!

    While inshore fishing with Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charters Tom Arbeiter Cumming GA caught fought and landed this soon to be released trophy red fish! Fall fishing and catching is in the air!

    Artificial Reefs
    The artificial reefs during September can be at times seemly completely baron. What does this mean, no fish bites to be had. It can be frustrating for sure, because you are marking lots of fish on your finder. And then as if someone turns on a switch the bite starts. So therefore when you arrive at selected artificial reef I suggest staying and waiting it out, because bites will happen at least eventually. When the bite turns on you could find yourself catching Spanish or king mackerel and barracuda. Trolling Clark and Drone spoons will get a top water bite a going. For those fishermen that prefer trolling some real bait I suggest using medium size ballyhoo rigged on an old school Sea Witch type lure. The best colors have been red/black, blue/white, and chartreuse. As far as head style I prefer the round lead heads. However, there are all sorts of different shapes (split, cone, bullet, etc) that pull through the water differently. You have to be the judge on whether or not you want your bait to push or be pulled through the water. It does seem that all of these heads do work. I rig the sea witch type lures with my 3 hooks in a row method while using 80 to 100 pound test single strand wire as my leader. It is old school but it works. I take three 7/0 Mustad trailer hooks (J hook style that come packaged with open eyes) and rig them in line. (Now, you can open eyes on regular 7/0 J hooks and use them. They will work just as good. Just make sure you close the eye completely.) When a fish hits this rig, the hook configuration makes it almost impossible for them to avoid getting hooked up, but they still somehow do sometimes! I suggest pulling this bait about 50 to 75 feet behind your boat. It is going to be best if you adjust your reel so that it has a medium drag. This helps in the hooking the fish up department! Now if you are using this bait with a reel loaded with 20 pound test I suggest back up a bit on the drag. I am pulling stand up rods (30/60 pound test) with reels loaded with 60 pound test monofilament line. A medium drag is essential in getting this rig to work at its best.

    What do we have here? Well, it is a bucket full of fish with heads down and tails up! There are Spanish/ king mackerel tails and then there is this one tail in the back that is a black sea bass tail! We did not bottom fish on this particular fish day. Yep, I remember this legal black sea bass (over 13 inches long) hit a 31/2 inch sliver Drone spoon that was being pulled 30 feet behind a #3 Davis Planer. All the kings in this bucket found that rig interesting too! Why? That’s exactly what we caught the king mackerel on. As far as the few Spanish in the bucket, well, they hit Clark spoons being pulled 20 feet behind #1 and #2 planers. It was a planer pulling catching fish kind of a day!

    Shark Tooth Hunting and Sports Crabbing!
    I was having a conversation with Captain Frank Cullum of Miss Judy Charters and he expressed his desire to offer to our customer’s shark tooth hunting and sport crabbing! For more details and pricing, please give us a call 912 897 2478

    As far as the bottom bite, I suggest doing a little drifting keeping your baits at mid to lower water column depth. The best bait is going to be exactly what you catch with your gold hook sabiki rig. And of course always take along a little squid. This bait works offshore as well as shrimp does for inshore fish. My favorite sabiki rig is a Tsunami Sabiki TSB-068GL-8/10 style iridescent Hage-aurora green GL head. It also has some fish skin on each gold hook, which adds yet another reason why it attracts fish. Please be responsible when discarding your bait rigs. I always dispose of mine by putting them in an empty water bottle and securing the top tight.

    Our king mackerel bite at the artificial reefs as well as the live bottom areas at the Savannah Snapper banks has been very successful. I like pulling my sea witches also known as Judy Jigs on the surface that I have rigged with medium ballyhoo. One of my most favorite lures to pull behind a #3 planer is a 3 1/2 inch drone spoon. For leader I am using 30 feet of 80 to 100 lb test monofilament line. There is a couple of secrets to keep in mind when setting this trolling rig up. The first is the Drone spoon used normally when purchased does have two welded rings. But sometimes they do not. However, if they don’t have two rings the spoon with not work properly when pulled behind the planer. I am always suggesting have an assorted sizes of split rings available and you can add your own. Believe when I say, “An added split ring to any lure makes a big difference in the movement delivered when retrieved or trolled!” It adds just enough natural wobble, which is seriously known for triggering a hit from a fish that wasn’t even on the hunt!

    The second suggestion is to tie a 100 lb barrel swivel into your leader. I suggest cutting the 30 foot leader in half and attach the swivel, which will give you 15 feet on each side of your swivel. This addition adds a little more movement to the Drone spoon.

    Now for those fishermen that prefer live lining only for kings, well, this is the time for this kind of fishing. I suggest catching some live bait, rigging up with some duster king rigs, and give this a try. Go to this website http://kingmactak.com/custom-live-bait-rig/ It is very informative and not only that they work too! I am having a hard time finding old time duster style king skirts, which I like using when I make my live bait king rigs. If you happen to find some, I suggest buying extra!

    While inshore fishing with Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charters Ryan Doyle
    Winder GA caught fought and released this trophy red fish. It certainly doesn’t feel like fall, but the big bite is already start!

    There is another type of rig that I use to target a large king mackerel bite. I take this live bait rig pre-made or homemade by me, place the first live bait hook under the chin of a shinny ballyhoo. Then I put the stringer hook (small treble hook) in the ballyhoo’s side. Since I do a lot of drifting when bottom fishing this is what I call my flat line. The best recipe for this rig is to cast out and let it fall down into the water column just until you can barely see the shine from the ballyhoo. Then put in rod holder, select a light drag, and put clicker on. The rest is pretty darn generic! King mackerel comes by, can’t resist the shine, hits it, eat it, and then screams off with your bait with hooks embedded. As with any larger fish, they might hit the bait first, and then come back. Your choice at this time is to wait or pick up rod, drop back the bait (controlled free spool) making it look as though it is falling in the water column, and the fish should turn to pick up the so called spoils! Last, but not least is screaming “Fish On!”
    Please know when picking out your ballyhoo for above style fishing techniques I suggest when purchasing the shiniest ones in the cooler. Yes, it does make a difference! And once they are have thawed I suggest cutting the ballyhoo up for bottom bait. Refreezing this bait does not work! Why? The shine gets gone!
    September for us offshore fishermen is “Snag a gag month!” This just means the grouper bite is better, because things are cooling down causing more movement. During this month all grouper such as Gags, Scamps, and Red grouper are more likely to be up and about. Best places to look for one of these fish are the live bottom ledges at the Savannah Snapper Banks. I like to call the fishing cities, which are small areas that hold all types of fish from small to large at all depths. These are basically ledges that are surrounded with sand. Best baits are going to be live cigar minnows, Spanish sardines, which can be caught with Sabiki gold hook rigs. This bait is known for schooling over the structure at the artificial reefs. Baits such as these are known for triggering a serious grouper bite. However, a bigger fish sometimes wants bigger bait. Baits caught at the banks are normally those fish that have air bladders such as sand perch, rock bass, vermilion snapper, pin fish, and ruby red lips also known as tomtates. Before putting in live well I suggest deflating the air bladder with sharp pointed knife. These baits will bring on big time grouper bite. For those that prefer jigging for their gags, well this would be a great time to give this type of fishing a try. I suggest using any sort of butter fly or those less expensive jigs that “looks, acts, and works” like the same darn thing. When vertical jigging I suggest using 80 pound braided main line, 4 to 15 feet of fluorocarbon leader, and a jig (4 to 8 ounces) that has one or two hooks located at top of the lure. You want your main line attached and your hooks at the same end of the jig. Jigging during this month is great because the large bottom fish start to move a little further from the protection of the ledge. The secret to perfecting this style of fishing is to keep the jig moving erratically. This style of jigging does a great job of imitating a bait fish that’s trying to make a solid getaway move. Once you located the depth of the fish, drop your lure to this depth, and just jig. Do not reel and jig. You want your lure to stay in the strike zone. I love this type of fishing, because when you get a hit you are with the fish from the start to the finish!

    Shark Bites!
    If you really want a big big pull I suggest giving shark fishing a try in this area. While bottom fishing the Savannah Snapper Banks we have been hooking up a lot of big bulls, tigers, nurse sharks and sand bar sharks. If you are going to kill one of these large sharks, please check regulations before heading out. Believe me the rules can be a little confusing! As far as getting hooked up, well that’s easy, any fish that you have just caught pan size or larger bleeding (cut tail off live fish) and set out on a beefed up rig. Most of our sharks are caught on a Carolina style rig meaning 8 ounce sinker on main line then tie on a 100 pound swivel, and then tie on leader. As far as leader I do not used any sort of wire leader instead I use 10 to 20 feet of 80/100 pound test monofilament line. To this set up I tie on either a 10/0, 12/0 or 14/0 circle hook directly on to my leader. This style hook pretty insures a behind the jaws in line hook up, which means the shark normally cannot use its teeth to cut the line. Once hooked up it is suggested to keep the line tight and not in-line with the shark. The roughness of the shark’s skin will fray your leader. Always situate boat so that main line is pulling straight off shark’s head. A large shark can be dangerous due to the fact it is so strong. Handle with care and always make sure that the shark that you are going to keep will fit in your cooler.

    This is not a great picture, but this is a school of Mahi Mahi aka fish dolphin that have their feeding lights on! Why? This school of Mahi Mahi has found something to eat, but before they do, each one’s personal lights are naturally illuminated!

    Mahi Mahi! A very colorful fish more ways than one!

    During this time it’s not unusual to catch Mahi Mahi while bottom fishing at the banks. They are curious fish and swim right to the boat. Just remove your weight off bottom rig, loosen your drag, and float your bait (squid of cut fish) right to the circling Mahi Mahi. While doing this throw freely over the side a few pieces of bait …if they are hungry this will really get them going! Once this fish turn on their feeding lights on they will **** this bait in just like most of us do when chocolate involved! (I love all kinds of chocolate!) If there is more than on one Mahi Mahi leave the last fish caught in the water until the next fish is hooked up!

    Captain Garrett Ross of Miss Judy Charters loves to take customer fishing and when he not he still goes fishing! This is a beautiful picture!

    Captain Cuz Mickey, “Miss Judy Charters Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Dream Team!”
    Freshies Report!
    Meet my Cuz Captain Mickey! Give him a call, but only if you want to do some freshwater fish catching on Lake Lanier! Just do it!
    (Captain Mickey 470 262 6035)
    Freshies Report by Captain Mickey Holbrook Miss Judy Charters’s freshwater connection!
    My Cuz Captain Mickey Holbrook owner and operator of MAD GILLZ Fishing Guide Service! Captain Cuz is a member in very good standing with the gangster side of our family! And that is all I am going to say about that! And the best news is none of us have done any sort of prison time! Captain Mickey is also old time fishing friends with Captain Garrett Ross of Miss Judy Charters
    So therefore any of you want to do a little fresh water fishing I highly suggest giving Captain Mickey Holbrook owner operator of MAD GILLZ Fishing Guide Service a call. (470 262 6035) There are two things that we know for a fact ...and what is that? Our Lake Lanier fresh water connection is Cuz Captain Mickey Holbrook! And I approved this message times two!
    “Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not!”
    Gangster Character

    This was what I used to put in daddy’s pants leg to keep the wrinkles from forming as they dried outside on the clothes line. Yep, they are adjustable both for length and width. As I remember, some 60 years ago, they were aggravating to use for sure. As a small child, age 8 plus, I did throw a few temper tantrums. However, I wasn’t allowed have these spells in front of anyone including my father. So therefore, when I thought about throwing a serious temper tantrum I most always came to the conclusion that it was too much trouble to have one just for myself. So I skipped!

    During all of my writings I don’t think I ever told you how my father dressed in his early years. The real, real early years, that’s before “little Miss Captain Judy arrived.” So therefore I have had rely on pictures and descriptions of what others have conveyed to me. This is what I was told and what I remember during that time. When he was working on the boat he always wore a white t-shirt and a pair of light gray “Dickie” pants. Back in the old day, during my time, pants weren’t what we now consider as perma press. So therefore when I washed them unless I hung them out properly they would dry badly wrinkled. Daddy had these wires that came in rectangular shaped forms that you were suppose to slip into each pants leg when they were wet. This strange looking wire structure supposedly after drying would keep them from wrinkling. However I also remember, as a kid that these wire things were a pain it the “You Know what.” Trying to get this apparatus in his pants especially when they were wet was very hard. You had to put the wire stretchers, what I named them, in so that when you expanded them, they would open up, and put a crease in his pants. Well, I have to be honest; it took me a long time to figure that move out. However, daddy never said anything; he went on wearing pants that had creases in various places on the leg. Who knows maybe it was a conversation piece. When perma press was invented, he changed to khaki colored “Dickie” work pants, and stayed with them until the late eighties. This is when his conversation piece ended.

    As far as dressing to go out on the town I remember some certain times for sure. He love new clothes and I believe all of his dress clothes came from a place called “Men’s Quality Shop.” This shop was known for having the latest style clothes for the man on the go. In my father’s case, a man “Playing the Field.” I am not taking about baseball. At any rate, his clothes were what anyone would have consider “Cool and very in style for the Times.” He always wore a suit of some sort. He had all colors that was available for the time. Now his shoes made another statement. He loved to dance and spent a lot of time at “Johnny Harris Restaurant.” This was the hot spot for fine foods and ballroom dancing. My father even carried me their a few times for supper and a few dances, but that’s another story. I remember one pair of shoes in particular. They were blue Suede shoes. Just like the ones that “old Elvis” sung about. In fact I am sure that’s were daddy got the idea.

    As I said, “before little Miss Judy” I have had to rely on pictures. So here’s a picture of how daddy dressed during those early years. He dressed like one of those rascals that ran around on the screen during the filming of “Elliot Nest and the Untouchables!” For those who aren’t familiar with the dress code of that particular show I will explain. He wore dark suits, dark ties, and his hair was slicked back. When looking at those old pictures had I not known him as my father I would have had to say, “Look at this Gangster looking Character.” Before you gasp for air, remember all this is through the eyes of a 6 year old!

    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy
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