Review of the 2017 Fishing Season in Coastal Georgia
The fishing year 2017 is one to remember in coastal Georgia for many reasons. Now, it’s no secret that Georgia saltwater fishing is spectacular. Especially around barrier islands such as Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island here in coastal Georgia. Like every season there were plenty of up’s and downs. Thankfully, the up’s were in the high percentage range again this year. Everything worked out and plenty of fish were caught up and down the Georgia coast. Not only was stellar fishing enjoyed aboard our boats, but many other fishing guides in this area also had a great fishing season. It’s critical for the reputation of any coastal area when most of the guides are having good fishing success on their fishing charters as a whole.
Note from the Captains: Be careful when booking a fishing trip in any locale. A look at their website should tell you if they are on the fish, then look them up on Facebook also. Inexperienced, unsafe or under priced guides have a severe negative economic impact on any venue when they dabble in the charter fishing business. We call it the 5-100 theory. It has been proven that it takes more than 100 happy customers to make a positive impact on the reputation of a fishing community. Adversely, it only takes 5 unhappy people to devastate the reputation of a fishing community and its guides caused by an inexperienced few looking to make a quick dollar.
The fishing Guides at Georgia Sport Fishing Charters spent hundreds of hours on the water this season to stay on top of the hottest fishing. There’s always a battle the Captain fights each day. That battle is with himself about where to go at what tide, wind and current scenarios and other fishy stuff. At the end of the trip, you’re relying on your guide to make the proper choices with the card mother nature has dealt for that day. And in this business, it’s all about the customers having the best time possible, catching the biggest fish possible and we strive for it daily! There’s nothing the Georgia Sport Fishing guides would rather be doing than watching a client catch big fish.
Spring 2017 Georgia Fishing Recap
The spring fishing season in Georgia is a great time to catch fish and keeping the boats booked on fishing charters was not an issue. This season, fishing action was often found near the beaches and outer sounds of Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. But, with a limited bait supply for coastal migratory fish in the early spring of 2017, the fishing conditions were challenging for those guides looking for popular migratory game fish. Spring was a bumpy ride, but with hard work and dedication we managed to pull out dozens of monster Redfish, various large shark species and several large Triple Tail from February until May.
Redfish note: Georgia’s Redfish is a popular species and Redfish Charters in Georgia are a popular activity. Georgia Sport Fishing Charters leads the pack in landing monster size Redfish from Spring through Fall each season. Landing Redfish over 40 pounds is common in Coastal Georgia rivers and sounds.
Finishing up about spring 2017 fishing, we battled with insane weather conditions and warmer than normal water as we exited the winter and rolled into the early spring months this year. Oddly, cooler than normal water ended up being our enemy as spring transitioned into summer. Read on..
2017 Summer Fishing in Coastal Georgia
Summer Fishing in Coastal Georgia from St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island was pretty good. Although the schools of bait offered only small bait fish (Menhaden bait schools), the fish have no choice but to eat what the ocean has provided for them. In this case, it was smaller bait than previous years in most locations.
We attribute the smaller than normal bait fish to cooler than normal water as we rolled into the summer months, notably June. The water temp was a staggering 72-74 degrees in early June due to several weather factors that are complicated. We should have had water temps closer to 80 degrees. The lower temps are not desirable for migrating fish such as Tarpon. Further, these lower water temps are less conducive for larger bait fish during the summer months as well which reflected in their size in a significant way most of the season.
Despite the hurdles, the migratory Tarpon were found inshore much of the season feasting on medium size menhaden inside river mouths and even further upriver. The medium size bait (larger than what was on local beaches) was trapped inshore and Tarpon took full advantage of this. As one might have guessed, we also took advantage of this situation once it was figured out. Many Tarpon were caught this season by guides, but it was a far cry from last seasons insane Tarpon fishing. With their entire life centered around food and migration, everything matters when it comes to the size and availability of bait for the almighty silver king, the Tarpon.
Fall 2017 Fishing Season in Coastal Georgia
As summer came to end, hurricane season once again put a damper on the fishing. Hurricane Irma inflicted damage on the Georgia coast with high winds and flooding water across southeast Georgia. The storm caused nearly 3 weeks of delays with fresh water run off from local rivers, floating trees, torn up docks and other storm related blow back.
As September passed and October arrived, the fishing became incredible and once again, we put Jekyll Island back on the map. Water temps and salinity normalized and the game was on! Some of the largest Redfish we have seen were caught and released this fall season. As of this writing, Georgia Sport Fishing Charters fishing guides are still landing huge bull Reds on a daily basis. As of now, we are nearing November which marks the end of the fishing season. By December, it’s all over for most of the best fishing and most of the customers are at home for the holidays with their families.
Next spring will be here before you know it and don’t rule out the remainder of 2017. Don’t forget to book your 2018 fishing charter early before all the best dates are taken! We would like to thank each and every one of our loyal customers for choosing to book with Georgia Sport Fishing Charters. We appreciate you very much and the proof of the good times, loyalty and insane fishing is found in the customer reviews left by you. Have a great holiday season with your families, god bless and we look forward to hearing from you again in 2018!
Capt. Richie Lott – President, Managing Owner
Capt. Josh Cook – Lead Fishing Guide
Capt. Richie Lott has been operating as a fishing guide in coastal Georgia for nearly 3o years and has fished this area since childhood. He holds a valid US Coast Guard Masters Certificate currently on issue number 5, coupled with an accident free history on the water. He provides late model boats, engines and equipment for Georgia Sport Fishing guides to ensure the safety and comfort of the customers booking charters with the company. Further, he has dedicated his life to the Guide business with a common sense approach to catching fish and pleasing customers, which is directly contributed to the success of the company and the success of the company Guides. So, let’s go Fishing!