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Christopher Miller, Captain Judy Helmey, and David Miller…These fishermen are showing off a fine catch of winter king mackerel, little tunny, and barracuda! Photo by Captain Judy Helmey
Christopher Miller, Captain Judy Helmey, and David Miller…These fishermen are showing off a fine catch of winter king mackerel, little tunny, and barracuda! Photo by Captain Judy Helmey

February’s Fishing Secrets

Fishing the inshore waters of Savannah, can be rewarding during the month of February, if you are privy to some local secrets. The water is a lot clearer, making the fish a bit more skittish. Fishing redfish, pick areas in the sounds where sloughs flow onto bars or flats. Have at least six to eight inches of water at mean low tide. The best days are those having a midday low tide stage with sunny conditions. I like to fish the bottom of the low tide stage until the water floods the grass. As the tide rises there is more water between you and the sand. No one ever wants to spend the day high and dry on a sand bar.

For bait, try chunked pawn shrimp and whole mullet cut in pieces like a loaf of bread. Put the bait out in the air and sun to seal in the fish juices. This rings the dinner bell for redfish once it’s back in the water. Remember reds can pick up on even the smallest fishy scent. Using natural baits you need 12 to 15 inches of 15 to 20-pound test fluorocarbon leader tied to a small extra sharp circle hook. Cast into the area, let the bait fall to the bottom, and wait for a hit. Always allow time to eat before setting the hook. For those fishermen that prefer pitching artificial baits during the cold water bite I suggest Berkley Jerk baits or Strike King “soft bait” flukes rigged on ¼-ounce jig heads. White is the right color for this time of the year.

February is a great month to give fishing striped bass, AKA rockfish, a try. The Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers, seem to hold the interest of these strong pulling fish. I suggest using live shrimp, finger mullet, or threadfin herring, as these live baits work great under larger, adjustable, traditional floats. For those wanting to go artificial, I suggest 3-ounce lead head with hair jigs rigged with 4-inch plastic worms or paddle tails. The best jig for this job is the bait that is called Cobia Candy, invented and made by the Whoop Ass Tackle Company. The striped bass loves windy, rainy, and cold water conditions. So if you are this kind of a fisherman this is the type of fish for you!

For those fishermen wanting to try open water trophy redfishing, February is definitely the month. Redfish are in the 27 to 45 inch and bigger range this time of year. The best place to start looking is at the near shore Georgia artificial reefs located in no more than 50 feet of water. The SAV, DUA, CAT, KC, and KTK buoys have been holding some nice trophy fish.

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