• Captain Judy's December 2018 fishing Forecast!

    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.

  • Captain Judy's December 2018 fishing Forecast!

    Believe me, it is all good!

    There is one thing that I can say about the month of December when it comes to catching fish and that is “it can happen!” During this time all fish from spotted sea trout to flounder to red fish are doing what they do best and that’s bulking up for those unpredictable but fast on the way cold weather patterns. It’s also a great time to be a weather watcher. Normally the inshore bite will “turn on big time” when there is an approaching cold front. The fish usually feed hard at about 18 to 24 hours out before the big weather change. The best natural bait is going to be live shrimp and the best artificial baits are those that imitate them. Live shrimp will work under popping or traditional adjustable corks or just plain naked meaning using a hook only. Most spotted sea trout, red fish, and flounder will take a chance on a shrimp even if it does looks a little fishy. From a fish’s point of view, the shrimp is easy to catch, easy to eat, and easy on the stomach. And once you get the bite going on the live or fresh dead shrimp it’s easy to change to artificial such as DOA’s. When it comes to getting the red fish bite I suggest pitching copper penny, baby bass, or ice flukes made by Strike King (ZTOO) rigged weed less, cast right into the grass. When using artificial bait during cooler water times, please remember to work your lure slower than normal. The reason being is everything is moving a bit slower and this is includes the bait and those that eat them.

    When you can’t purchase or catch your own live shrimp there is another bait to consider. The old standby mud minnow is easy to catch and it’s hardy bait. It does come in second on the best bait to use scale. But I can guarantee you that 9 times out of 10 if you can’t find shrimp neither can the fish. A single mud minnow works great and is usually good several times even after hits, misses, or catches. If one minnow lipped hooked either under a popping or adjustable cork doesn’t work I suggest adding another one. Using double up baits can turn an unlikely bite on. Here are two tips you can use…when the water gets cooler it is much clearer, which means if you can see the fish it most likely can see you too! When approaching your fishing spot do so “slowly!” I suggest offering the least amount of noise and impact. Once arriving slowly drop your anchor quietly as possible.
    For those fishermen that prefer darkness over daylight fishing this is the perfect time of the year to give it a try. Most all isolated dock lights will hold the interest of some sort of bait, which in turn brings on one heck of a top water bite. Best baits are DOA’s artificial shrimp patterns rigged on 1/8 to ¼ jig heads and small Rapala Pinns series of floating/diving lures. For fishermen that prefer the live bait such as shrimp or mud minnows these baits will also work. Best procedures for working a dock light can be quickly ascertained by pitching and retrieving a few lures in different directions or placing bait rigged under a cork up current of the light. Bites should be consistence for about 15 to 20 minutes and then it will be time to move on or take a break giving the fish time to regroup uninterrupted.
    Offshore Artificial Reefs
    December is a grand month for those fishermen that love a light tackle fishing experience. Artificial reefs are holding sheepshead, black drum, trophy red fish, flounder, and cold water sharks. Fish put these areas on their list of places to school up to bulk up for winter migrations. Best baits for Sheepshead, black drum, and trophy red fish are going to be the purple back fiddler, juvenile rock crabs, and green mussels. Small pieces of shrimp will also work. These fish love anything wrapped in a shell or the meat that is removed from them. Flounder are known for situating themselves on the outskirts of the structure while waiting for that prefect meal. Best baits for the old flounder are jumbo mud minnows or small sand perch placed on a Carolina style bottom rig. Placement of this bait is simple, cast to the outskirts of the structure, set drag to medium, and place rod in holder. Another baiting up method for flounder is take a 3 ounce jig head (https://www.nutsandboltsfishing.com/...tackle-company), which is still my favorite jig head) bait it with live finger mullet or any live bait that is about the size of a cigar and put it on the bottom. -Or you can butterfly a small fish, which when introduce back in to the water, offers up two working flowing tails. The best thing about jig head fishing is that you can move your bait along the bottom and it imitates a small fish. When a small fish is skirting close the bottom it forms somewhat of a sand storm. And a fish knows this, because they have been there and ate things doing this sort of things before. When you get a hit whatever you do don’t try to set your hook, because flounder are known for being slow bait takers. In other words give them time to eat! Old time fishermen used to say that before you set the hook count like this 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, and then set the hook. If you miss the set I suggest quickly drop your bait back letting it just sit. It is going to be a waiting game to see if the fish will give it eating another try.
    If sharking is on your mind and if you are looking for an unbelievable fight of grand portions I suggest bringing along some squid or cut up some freshly caught fish. Another great bait when targeting shark is going to be belly strip cut from a sheepshead. All you have to do is cut the belly out of the fish leaving you the best part to eat, hook it up, and put it on the bottom. (Removing the belly from this fish still allows the sheepshead to be intact meaning tail and head still allowing for any official measuring.) It’s best to try to place this bait as far on the outskirts of the structure as possible. In other words cast these bait as far as you can from where you are anchored. Please always check state and federal regulations for any closers and size limit. For state: http://www.eregulations.com/georgia/fishing/ for federal: http://www.safmc.net/
    During a normal winter season all sizes of black fish make way to most all artificial reefs in search of a colder water hold up. This is the best time to find large schools of these fish holding on all types of structure from the lower relief to wrecks. The reason being where there is a feeding possibility they are stayers until this event changes. Large summer trout are can also be found schooling on the artificial reefs and some of these fish are in the 20 inch plus size range. The best bait is going to small pieces of cut fish, squid, and cigar minnows.
    With the grouper season 2018 open until December 31 you still have time to catch. There is still time to end this grouper season with a big rod bending bang. Large gags are known for migrating into shallow water during this time of the year. In the shallow department artificial reefs located in 35 to 90 feet of water are stopping off staging places. The best places to fish on the artificial reefs are the places where you have wrecks such as the barges, battle tanks, subway cars, ships, tugs, and dredges. These fish prefer these areas, because they can move in and out of structure feeding on those smaller fish that feel safe inside. Grouper not only take advantage of its camouflage of blending in, but also its ability to get into tight spots. I always suggest using the preferred live baits such as pinfish, ruby red lips, sand perch, and rock bass, when targeting grouper. No respectable large fish, at least most of the time, is going to leave an already target rich feeding environment for the likes of something that may or may not be worth its travels. These live baits normally offer up a grand incentive for a grouper to make a serious feeding move!
    Savannah Snapper Banks
    The bottom fishing in 90 to 100 feet of water can be very interesting because you really never know what you might catch. Best bottom fishing baits are going to be small pieces of squid, cut fish, and fresh or frozen cigar minnows. If you happen up on a school of baits meaning schooling cigar minnows or Spanish sardines I suggest getting out a sabiki bait rig and give it a try. These types of baits are known for triggering a fish bite that might have not existed! And believe me fresh dead/halves of minnows in most cases work great!

    All of these baits bring on the attentions of black sea bass, vermilion snapper, white grunts, porgy, trigger fish, and other colorful bottom biters. If you are looking for a bigger bottom bite I suggest dropping a lipped hooked ruby red lip, sand perch, vermilion, or rock bass down to the bottom. These baits attract amberjack, grouper, and red snapper, which by the way come in extra large sizes! Before heading out I always suggest checking with http://www.safmc.net/ for current offshore regulations.

    Gulf Stream
    This is one of those fishing opportunities that most fishermen don’t even think about. Heck, with the holiday season in “Full Throttle” it’s understandable! However, if you get the chance and want to make the run to the blue water off the Georgia coast this would be a great time to find yourself involved in a strong line stretching ordeal! Our black fin tuna run is on Wide Open and this is one fish that can offer you a strong fight. You can find these fish holding over the ledges in 180 to 250 feet of water or you might just happen to find a school holding in the upper water column that has rounded up a school of bait. Best lures that fit into what is called old school are “Cedar Plugs” pre-soaked in menhaden oil. I am not talking about colored cedar plugs. I am suggesting the actual plug that is made with cedar showing not the ones that are painted. These plugs absorb the menhaden oil while holding it longer when trolling producing “lots of happy fishy trails!” It is a known fact that menhaden oil attracts the attentions of fish. I call it the “there is always a bigger fish in the sea effect.” The reason being is smaller fish are attracted by the oil as well as the larger ones. We all have something in common the fish want to eat and the fishermen want to catch!
    For those fishermen that have to troll with real bait I suggest Ilander Trackers rigged with dink ballyhoo baits. The trick here is to rig the Ilander Trackers with 60 pound test fluorocarbon and small short shank extra strong 4/0 to 5/0 hooks. This style rig works well when rigging with dink (small) ballyhoo. For those fishermen that love to do a little jigging, once you find the tuna, drop your lure to this depth and work it. Best deep water jigs are those butterfly type designs from 3 to 6 ounce. (http://search.aol.com/aol/image?q=bu...yword_rollover) For the best jigging results I suggest using braided as main line and a fluorocarbon leader above the jig. It’s time to go, because now you know!

    2019 Captain Judy’s Inshore/Offshore Fishing Clinics
    February 23, 2019 Saturday and February 24, 2019 Sunday
    On inshore/offshore boats in the water
    $150.00 per person for inshore
    $150.00 per person for offshore
    Morning departures
    Time: 8:00AM till12:00 NOON

    Afternoon departures
    Time: 1 PM till 5:00 PM

    Snacks and drinks provided by Captain Judy Place: Miss Judy Charters dock
    202 Wilmington Island Road, Savannah, Georgia 31410
    912 897 4921 for more details!
    Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

    Captain Judy Helmey
    912 897 4921
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