Jan 5 2009 Captain Judy's Entire fishing report

2009-01-05 08:35:44
Savannah, Georgia - Saltwater Fishing Report
inshore offshore gulf stream freshwater

<p>CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

This fishing report is a little long again this week. So therefore here's a table of contents for those that have a desire to 'GO DIRECT TO' a certain article.

Table of Contents

Part one information about Captain Judy's inshore and offshore schools January and February

Part two Captain Jack McGowan inshore report and Captain Judy's Inshore

Part three Inshore Sheepshead Bite with 'Bugged Out Shrimp!'

Part four Offshore Artificial Reef Report

Part five Blue Fin Tuna article

Part six Savannah Snapper Banks report not written

Part seven Blue Water Report

Part eight Freshies Report featuring 'Riding the Wild Cat fish story!'

Part nine Little Miss Judy's New Year's Eve in the Fifties Story!

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part One

2009 Inshore and offshore Fishing School Dates

Now that January has turned the corner, it's time to start thinking about signing up for the fishing schools. For those that haven't attended before my school really do offer up some great information on 'how to catch fish!' The bottom line is the information shared has taken a long time to compile and you might as well take advantage of it. The hand out material alone could be considered worth the price of admission! Just so that you will know 'Lots of new information has been added.' It's time to learn some of the new ways to catch fish. After all the fish have been schooling and learning! Why not us?

2009 Inshore and offshore Fishing School Dates

Inshore fishing class January 31, 2009

Offshore fishing class February 7, 2009

Inshore fishing class February 21, 2009 $90.00 each now taking reservations

(Check web site for more details or give us a call.)

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Two

Captain Jack McGowan's Inshore report!

January 2, 2009

Hard to believe 2009 is already here! The weather has been a seesawing: cold fronts followed by unseasonably mild weather. However, on the whole this is not all bad. Mild temperatures mean no fish kills and bait, shrimp, is available (at Adams). The bite in recent days has been primarily in the sounds, beachfronts creeks and sloughs. Storms that crossed northern Georgia dumped large amounts of rain, which in turn flowed to the coast. The Savannah River system normally offers a strong winter fishery is off while rainwater dissipates. Fishing will heat up in the Savannah River system as salinity rises. For now the best fishing has been in near the sounds. Inshore sheepshead and black drum bite is still on! Many fishermen have said and are saying this appears to be one of the strongest years for black drum. When the sea trout and redfish bite is slow sheepshead and black drum can provide plenty of bites and some quality fish!

Despite challenging conditions during winter it is possible to catch some nice fish! One fisherman today reported catching lots of redfish and sea trout. These fish can be waded up! A big catch one day can produce little or nothing the next. The best fishing has been towards the sounds. Those trolling plastics are doing well in the intra coastal. Nonetheless, fishing is fishing; one fisherman said he caught twenty nice sea trout while his fishing companion caught only two. That's just the peculiarity of any given day. The short of this report is there are good fish to be found! Even fishing an ideal drop on an ideal tide could produce a bunch or a bust.

When sea trout and redfish can't be located fishing for sheepshead and black drum is an alternative that can likely provide lots of bites as well as quality fish. When fishing for sheepshead around heavy structure a drop shot can work well. Likely hot spots for sheepshead are close to rocks, fallen trees, docks, and bridge pilings. Check your bait often. This is not the type of fishing where your bait will have to soak for half an hour. Typically the bite is within a matter of seconds.

During the winter one day can perfectly suited for pitching artificial or a fly on the flats for redfish. While another day could provide a good sea trout bite. Yet another day is more aptly suited for sheepshead and black drum. The sounds are filling with mergansers, a migratory sea duck. Cormorants can be seen swimming in the rivers in search of baitfish. Egrets can be seen standing along marshy bank waiting for an unsuspecting minnow. Porpoises are in search of red drum; the main stay of their wintertime diet. There are fewer boats are on the water. Most are fishing for sheepshead. Some are just taking winter jaunt. Winter fishing while mercurial can still fun and rewarding! Anticipate the best bite on mild sunny days.

Hope this of help! Hope to see you out there! Be sure to catch at least one of Miss Judy's two Inshore Seminars this winter! We are looking forward to teaching the classes! Good Fishing! Captain Jack McGowan

Inshore Reports

The inshore bite has been 'Hot and Cold!' The reason being is that fish aren't sure just like us fishermen what's going on! Once day it will be cold and the next it will be warm. I don't know about you, but just dressing in the morning has been a trek. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it's definitely has to take a toll on those down under.

This wintertime warming trends prompts lots of good fish bites. Spotted seat trout and red fish are certainly easier to deal with in the hooking up program. Even though the water temperatures are still on the cool side just reel setting instead of actual hard setting of the hook is preferred. Artificial scented jerk baits, screw tails and paddle tail types are prefect baits to use, because 'real time' competition baits aren't around to confuse the issue. This all boils down to the fact if it looks and acts real it's a sealed biting deal!

Mud Minnows

While the bait shops are still carrying live shrimp I suggest using them. However, the best cold water bait is one that's use to just that. The mud minnow is great live bait. It can be retrieved over and over again surviving the 'goings and comings!' I like having both live shrimp and mud minnows when I 'go fish,' because you just never know which bait is going to work when!

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Three

Inshore Sheepshead Bite

The sheepshead bite has been to say the least 'unbelievable inshore!' Some fishermen have been catching them on purple back fiddler crabs while others have been using bugged out shrimp. There are two types of fiddler crab in our area. There are the black backs and the purple backs. The black fiddlers aren't exactly the crab of choice for sheepshead. However, they will take a swat at it. The best bait and the most used is the purple back fiddler, which is 'hands down is called sheepshead candy!' There are others baits that will work, but are hard to put on a hook. They are those meats that come wrapped in a shell such as oysters, mussels, and clams. The fact of the matter is a sheepshead loves anything wrapped in a shell that happens to be attached to a surface that is vertical. Another shell bound meat, which also works is a barnacle. I wouldn't try getting the meat out of the barnacle. I suggest just sticking it on the hook with the area that has the opening sticking outward. The sheepshead will do the rest! After all this is a fish that loves a 'cracking up deal!'

As I have been getting reports the sheepshead are still being caught inshore. However, I am getting more of 'smaller fish now being caught than last week,' which means the migration to the near shore artificial reefs probably has started. As I thinking about this I wish it were possible to put a radio transmitter on a few large sheepshead so that we could track them as they make their migration to the offshore waters. The bottom line is we now have offshore sheepshead at the artificial reefs. So therefore those that want to give this type of fishing a type it's simple 'your boat or mine!'

Bugged Out Shrimp for Sheepshead

Captain Jack McGowan loves to use what he calls a 'bugged out shrimp!' With a name like that, before I asked, I had to wonder 'what the heck?' At any rate, Captain Jack explained it to me in simple form. Get yourself a fresh dead shrimp. Believe me, when you finish doing what Captain Jack suggests, 'the shrimp will be fresh as well as real dead.' Pull the shrimp's head and tail off, which leaves you with the body with legs attached. Now in the 'threading the shrimp directly on to the hook world' you would do just that. However, Captain Jack has come with this great bait for catching sheepshead. With that being said, 'he threads the shrimp so that the legs are sticking out not towards the hook's shaft. This 'bugged out shrimp' now looks somewhat like a fiddle crab with legs and everything. Now you know the rest of the story! This is one of those bait suggestions that you might not want to tell anyone about. The reason being is that it works so well you are going to want to keep it to yourself!

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Four

Offshore Artificial Reefs

Our offshore artificial reefs located in less than 60 feet of water offers up a lot of bite opportunity. There is black sea bass, flounder, sheepshead, black drum, large bull reds, triggerfish, cold-water sharks, and many more other catching opportunities. All you need for bait is a little squid, cut fish or heck even jigs will work. The main thing is that it's only a short boat ride away! The next question asked should be 'your boat or mine?'

Jigging Event!

This past week's warms temperatures and calm sea conditions offered the offshore fisherman some good catching opportunities'Chris Newton and Alex Moore fished the KC artificial reef buoy and caught/release some large black sea bass and trophy red fish. No real bait needed here'all fish were caught on the ever popular 'butterfly jigs.' Proving once again that 'just plain jigging is in!'

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Five

2008 Blue Fin Tuna Sighting

In 80 feet of water

In the afternoon on Friday Dec 26 while bottom fishing in about 80 feet of water Island Cracker better known as Marlin Garrison and crew saw a large blue fin tuna jump twice. During this time of the year the Georgia and South Carolina coast gets somewhat of a blue fin tuna migration. Over the past years these magnificent fish have been spotted off our beaches feeding behind shrimp boats and skyrocketing around our artificial reefs. The blue fin tuna that Cracker saw looked to have weighted around 200 pounds and believe me 'the Cracker man knows his fish.'

Blue Fin Tuna Article

By Captain Judy Helmey

Here's my article on blue fin tuna. It's long, but has lots of information that I have gathered over many years. Please send any comments to Captain Judy 912 897 4921 or e-mail fishjudy2@aol.com. All fishermen will benefit if we throw all of our blue fin tuna information into an information pool!

This article was published in the Big Game Fishing Journal 2006 March/April issue.

'South Carolina/Georgia Blue Fin Tuna migration.'

By Captain Judy Helmey

For Many years I have been hearing sketchy and confirmed reports of large blue tuna sightings off our coast. Georgia and South Carolina aren't' known for having a blue fin tuna migration or let's just say, 'Not until the last few years!' According to my records we have had for at least 15 to 16 years plus a 'blue fin tuna migration off of our coast.' So I am declaring that after years of records and some actual landings during this migration period that we now have what I call the 'South Carolina/Georgia Blue Fin Tuna migration.' From all records the migration can start as early December and normally lasts till around the first of February. Based on sightings and unconfirmed landings mid-December to late January is the best time to get your best shot at seeing 'South Carolina/Georgia's large jumping blue fins!'

This is just a few of the interesting blue fin tuna reports that I have received over the past years!

Over the years I have heard on more than one occasion talk over the VHF radio about large tuna sightings. You would hear fishermen start to talk about it and then a couple more transmissions would take place owning up to the same thing. In this case even actually seeing a blue fin tuna especially in our area doesn't make a believer out of you.

A Sea Tow vessel while towing a disable boat called me from his cell phone to report that he had spotted quite a few of these magnificent fish. His first report was that he had seen the fish from a distance, but could still correctly identify them. However, his next call was even more unbelievable. The school of blue fins actually surfaced right where they were towing putting them in the middle of all of the surface action. The two vessels moving at 5 knots didn't seem to bother the tuna at all. According to the captain it was a sight he won't long forget.

A charter boat while heading to the snapper banks saw quite a commotion on the surface. They decided to put out a few lines so as to do a little trolling. In other words to basically perform what is normally called especially during this non-trolling time of the year a 'Fact finding mission.' They put out 4 trolling lines. For bait they pulled various surface to semi deep pulling lures. They weren't really prepared for this type of fishing. So they pulled what they had on board. What happened next was unbelievable. They had 4 hits resulting in 4 fish on at the same time. The two baits that were set out the furthest were the first to go. The two hooked fish had taken the line off so fast that the customers swore that the 6/0 reels were actually smoking. The other pair of shorter trolled baits was also being emptied at the same time. All lines were peeling off so fast that it kind of hypnotized all that watched. Not one fisherman picked up a rod. The end results were simple to judge 'fish 4 fishermen zero!' Now in the tackle department they were left with two 6/0 reels that were totally emptied of their 50 lb test line. The other two 6/0 reels still had a little line, but not enough to make it to the bottom when fishing the snapper banks. I can only assume that fishermen had to share rods on this particular fishing day.

A small center console reported while bottom fishing for black sea bass and targeting large trophy reds at one of the local artificial reefs that a big fish that looked like a tuna jumped right by his boat. In fact the fish was so close that it almost used his boat as a landing pad. The fishermen described the fish's shape as that of a 'Volkswagen.' According to story the one eye that the fishermen did get a close look at seemed about the size of a 'moon shaped hubcap.' This sighting actually happened at the Hilton Head Reef, which is located about 10 miles in about 50 feet of water off of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. According to this report a tuna was then hooked up on a 4/0 reel, was brought somewhat to the boat, identified, and was released unharmed.

There was also a story that was passed around about ten years ago that proved to be very interesting. A commercial boat supposedly landed 5 tuna off of our area. These fish gladly took them up their bait offering of rigged giant squid. The tuna ranged from 400 to 600 pound each. According to this story of stories these fish were caught during this time frame, but in the distance blue waters of the Gulf Stream. The information that I received from different sources read like it came straight from the movies.

Allegedly these blue fins were caught while using large orange commercial buoy, which were used like traditional trout float rigs without a slipknot. As I heard the story all I could think about was that particular episode in the movie 'Jaws' where the shark towed those oranges cans around for days. In this case this was large orange buoy ball, sort of like bumpers that supposedly had a large hook attached.

According to the story their bandit reels weren't able to hold these big fish. Two of the bandits were pulled right off of the boat and into the water when the tuna were hooked up. That's when they came up with tying the orange balls together and then attaching a large hook loaded with squid. This started a watch, chase, and catch the big fish game plan! The story gets even better. Supposedly the fish were brought to shore, sold for an undetermined amount of money, and then shipped out of the country. I see this story several ways' Someone had a great imagination, saw too many movies, was just a great storyteller, or it's the actual truth. This boils down to the fact that we will never actually be able to prove one way or the other beyond a doubt. (Lairs and Legends) Whatever the case may be in regards to this story it has to be decided by the reader alone.

As I am writing it I had just thought of another interesting thing to report. It was said that one of the fishermen was so excited by the catch that he kept the head from one of the biggest tuna. This he carried around in the back of his pick up truck in a large trashcan. His intentions, at least till he found out that it was illegal was to have the large tuna's head mounted. After supposedly talking to someone he then took the head and sold it to a Japanese Restaurant in downtown Savannah. According to the story he received $150.00 in payment for the removed head. All good stuff, but don't know if it's true or not! You decide!

After this story of stories was passed around, which was about 10 plus years plus ago, federal tuna fish agents knocked on my door. They came with recorder in hand to interview me, because of this tuna-catching story. I answered all questions to the best of knowledge. As I said earlier I didn't see any of this first hand. I only heard about it. Whether or not this 'catch' was true or false is beyond me. I just wrote it from my many sources and fish tails!

During this time frame I also got a report that a mother ship type was holding about a 100 miles off of Georgia's coast. This large vessel of which I labeled 'mother ship' wasn't flying a United States flag. She was foreign flagged vessel. According to sources this ship was the largest of the five others that were fishing in the area for tuna. The schools of tuna were apparently being spotted by air from a plane that had been hired to do their fish spotting for them. All pieces and parts of these stories lead to but one thing, 'tuna and more tuna.'

A South Carolina fisherman while fishing with his grand children saw an amazing sight. While he was anchored in about 55 feet of water fishing and catching black fish he noticed lots of surface activity to the northeast of his position. He admitted that he was very busy trying to help his grand children while they were fishing, but every time he did looked in this direction there was lots of action. After about an hour of being a first mate he finally got a break. He took out the binoculars to get a better look at what he first thought was a school of dolphin feeding. It was in fact a very large school of large tuna that seemed to be passing by. This sighting lasted for hours. The area where this took place was offshore the Hilton Head Tire Drop, which is located in about 50 feet of water.

In the year of 2004 five plus blue fin tuna were landed and several more released. Roomer has it that some of these fish weighted in at around 300 lbs while other tipped the scales at over 700 pounds. For those of you that consider these just big fish stories you had better think again. These fish are here during these times and have been for years!

To this year of 2005 I am still getting reports of sightings, hookups, and so-called landings of blue fin tuna. I can't report that this has been an active year at least as of yet. However, there's still time! Our strongest and biggest part of our so-called 'blue tuna run' hasn't supposedly passed our way as of yet. So therefore there is still time to take a look-see for you're own self!

All sightings and landings came from the same area and time frame!

As you read all of these stories I am sure you are wondering what they all have in common. Most all of these instances happened in approximately the same area at the same time of the year. The time was December/January and the places were as followed: The Betsy Ross, Eagle's Nest, and Hilton Head Reef. These are considered artificial reefs off of South Carolina. The L Buoy and CCA, of which are considered Georgia artificial reefs. All of these areas are manmade artificial reefs, which are located in less than 70 feet of water. They also are all located less than 20 miles offshore. The most important thing and the bottom line is that during this time these areas have what it takes to attract blue fin tuna. In the past I have received reports of tuna feeding on the by catch that is discarded from shrimp boats, which were trawling on the beachfronts of Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. There have been too many of these sightings to think that these fish weren't anything but blue fin tuna.

Our Blue Fin Tuna Migration

Our migration generally starts late December with the last of the blue fins migrating out of our area by the middle of February. Our peak season is late December to middle January. This is when most sightings and landing have occurred. I believe that while the blue fin tuna are moving through our area that the school blues are also so-called migrating. As with the always-asked question, which came first the chicken or the egg? We find ourselves with the same dilemma in this case. I have to ask, 'Is it the blue fish's or the blue fin tuna's migration? At any rate both fish are here at the same time.

Just a little information about blue fin tuna fishing!

Let's take a little time and analyze a few of the fishing tactics used off of North Carolina. As you all know this area is known as the 'blue fin tuna' capitol of the east coast. Real large tackle is used, because it's needed to get control of these big fish. The reel outfit probably falls into the 12/0 plus bracket. According to reliable sources they spool these big reels with no less than 130-pound test line. Now this is a big outfit situation in my book. The drag is set at about 65 pounds, which means that the angler on the rod is in for the fight of a lifetime.

The blue fin in this area can be caught in as little as 50 feet or less and more than 500 feet of water depending on the location of the fish at the time. Large tackle is needed to control the hooked fish especially when it's hooked in deep water. Once a tuna takes the bait and feels any sort of pressure they naturally go into a deep dive mode. Large tackle and a heavy drag will allow you to control your hooked tuna a little more effetely. Let's face it a 600 hundred pound tuna in 500 feet of water would be almost impossible to land on lighter tackle especially if it becomes 'coma toast also know a dead.'

According to my sources blue fin tuna especially off of North Carolina seem to form a tight schooling pattern. Therefore to find these fish they usually troll for them at least until they locate them. Once they locate the school they stop and start continuously chunking menhaden and other fish pieces overboard, which forms a great slick. After the tuna picks up the scent the feeding/catching frenzy begins for both angler and fish. I am sure that these accounts that I have shared with you only touched a few ways to get a blue fin tuna hookup in North Carolina.

Back to South Carolina and Georgia

Let's get down to what is my opinion based on information gathered over the years the best way to target a blue fin tuna in our area. You can start your own looking process in late December or you can wait until fishermen report a sighting. However, even if no sightings have been reported I suggest you start your tuna quest during the last week of December or the first week of January.

For tackle if you have the big stuff I suggest that you use it. However, if this isn't the case I don't suggest for one minute that you go to the expense of purchasing it. Most all blue fin caught and landed in this area was caught on regular bottom fishing gear. In fact most were caught and landed with stand up style rods with a 6/0 reel, which were only loaded with around 50 lb test line.

The good news about out migration location is that most all areas are actually in less than 70 feet of water. However the larger part of the tuna migration have been found in around 50 feet. When a tuna is hooked in a deep-water situation their instincts tell them to dive deep. However in our case a tuna's deep diving instincts are of no use. Your hooked fish is forced to swim parallel with the ocean floor. This is a real advantage to us fishermen in this area. Especially to those of us that are using what is considered small tackle for big blue fin tuna.

Another theory that applies to our shallow tuna fishing area is the fact that when a tuna is first hooked it does in fact make a deep dive. It has been reported that some of the hooked fish seemed to be stunned due to the fact that dive so quick that before they know it they basically plow right into the ocean floor. In other words, the fish dives so instinctively that it actually hits the ocean's sandy bottom. Once this happens the hooked fish takes a short second to re-collect before it speeds into that wide-open forward direction. This gives the one holding the rod and the captain maneuvering the boat a better chance to get the vessel turned around and headed in the direction of the soon to be hooked up wild fish.

In my opinion I believe that the tuna are feeding on the juvenile blue fish that are found in these areas at this time of the year. We have what I call a 'Blue Fish Invasion' during this time at the artificial reefs. Quite often fishermen don't realize it, but schools of blue are actually responsible for all of those bottom rig cut offs during this time. These just eat away at anything that is dropped in front of them. During this time fishermen are usually bottom fishing and targeting black sea bass. However, the blue fish always are schooling over the black sea bass, which means your bait offering sometimes never makes it to the bottom. At this time I usually make my bottom rigs out of 80 lbs test line. However, after about a dozen drops through the schools of blue fish and you have to replace your rig. Any fishermen using any light leader as his bottom rig is basically out of luck. Blue fish have unusually sharp teeth of which move at all times. These fish are known for having an appetite that can't be satisfied. In fact all they do is eat until they are full, purge themselves, and then they start the feeding process all over again. In other words it's a never-ending feeding pattern. I know you must be wondering where all this is going and how a blue fin tuna comes into to play. As I said this is just a theory that I have come up with.

I believe that whatever the large schools of blue fish are feeding on, which is being continuously regurgitated is making a major natural slick. This slick in turn attracts the tuna. I believe that they are following the blue fish for two reasons, which are the scent of the slick and the sport of the chase. This could possibly account for some of the reasons why chunking to our tuna hasn't been too effective.

Most of the tuna that have been hooked-up have been on what I call the 'Old Stand By Lure.' It's a basic and simple lure. A rigged horse ballyhoo of which is pulled with a blue and white Ilander lure. Another Ilander lure, which has been proven, is what I call 'crystal hair color.'

According to sources these rigs work the best when being pulled 20 to 30 feet behind a #3 Planer. I have other sources report better hits occur when the lure is pulled at about 70 feet behind a #4 Planer. According to sources the best trolling speed is around 6 plus knots. I always pull at least four lures plus. Even though there have been no reports of blue fins being caught on surface pulled lures, I still put them. You know the old saying; 'Be All You can be and if you have water behind your boat pull a lure in it!'

Then there was this one report, not even sure where it came from, that blue fin tuna love to eat calico crabs. How anyone would know this other than opening one up is beyond me. However, I like to report all that I have heard even if I don't get to lay my two good eyes on it. I can't say for sure that's it true, but I did a little checking on the 'old calico crab!' It has been reported and is part of the blue fin tuna's make up to migrate near shore during sometime in its life. Well, as we know they pick this area to do that migrating near shore time of their life. Also it has been reported and including part of many records that this fish will eat just about anything that's the underwater near shore sandy bottoms has to offer. Blue fins will and it has been documented that they eat calico crabs, which are basically burrowed down at this time of the year. Not only that, but also sand dollars and starfish's aren't safe either!

I'm not suggesting that you should use any of these for bait. I am only saying, 'blue fin tuna' come here for a reason, which is for a food source. We basically have what they eat, which is blue fish, calico crabs, starfish, and wherever else they can pick up while passing through this area. In other words this could possibly be there near shore watering hole!

Blue fin in our area are sort of scattered and aren't generally found holding in tight patterns. This is your sign that not only do you have to pull your lures you must also watch for any surface action. As all of us fishermen know when the fish feeds the oils and leftover parts float to the surface making anything from a small to a large slick. At any rate the birds will help you located these good fishing spots. So therefore everyone onboard should be watching for any surface activity from below and any birds diving from above.

I do believe and it has been proven that the tuna bite has more active right before dawn. I would suggest if possible being in this area at this time. However, all sightings and landing were reported during daytime hours. So therefore your chances in our areas might be as good early as they are late.

I guess what all of this boils down too is that there is absolutely no reason what so ever to ague with statistics. However, there is still plenty of room for additional reports of sightings and landings, which you certainly can't add to if you don't give this fishery a try! For those fishermen that have sightings that they haven't shared with anyone and would like too, please give me (Captain Judy) a call 912 897 4921 or e-mail Fishjudy2@aol.com. Please by all means let me know how your blue fin tuna fishing adventure turns out whether it's good or bad!

For those fishermen wanting information about the current 2008/2009 current blue fin tuna regulations please visit:

http://hmspermits.gov/ or call 1 888 872 8862

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Six

Savannah Snapper Banks

The water temperature in 90 to 100 feet of water is around 60 degrees, which is located about 30 miles off the Warsaw Sea buoy. If you move in an eastern direction another 10 miles offshore this puts you in about 120 to 130 feet of water and you will find a 62-degree surface temperature. I know you are wondering why I am going to all the trouble of listing the water temperatures. Well, the red snapper bite was better for me before noon in 120 to 130 feet of water. That 2 degree surface temperature change made all the different in a bigger fish bite.

From 60 to 100 feet of water the black sea bass bite was very good with fishermen catching their limit of 15 per person without any problem. The current legal size for black sea bass is they that have to be at least 11 inches tail length or more. I heard fishermen on the VHF radio saying that they didn't have any problem keeping 14 inches and up size fish., which is a very good thing. This means there were plenty of fish to be caught and the bite was steady.

I am always talking about stopping and catching live cigar minnows and Spanish sardines with Sabiki gold hook rigs. These are great bait and if the bite is slow dropping one of these baits down to the bottom normally gets you some sort of bite action. During this time stopping by the artificial reefs to load up on bait isn't possible, because most of the time there is 'no bait included in this deal!' You do have an option to run out to one of the navy towers and pick some up there. However, during this time frame you can't away count on those extra miles traveled to result in a 'live bait encounter.' So therefore I suggest going with some sort of flash frozen cigar minnows or Spanish sardines. The secret is to not thaw these fish completely out. Keep them in your bait cooler only taking out a few, as you need them. Cigar minnows after the freezing event hold on the hook much better than the Spanish Sardines. However, it's my opinion that the smells delivered from the Spanish sardines are much stronger than a cigar minnow.

Here's just two ways for me to back this up: The first is the fact that when it comes to the Spanish sardines the seal of smell is broken when the scales start to fall off. The trickling off scales provides a small chumming event, which offers a feeding opportunity for smaller fish. This feeding normally causes a feeding chain of events to start taking place. In other words where you have small fish feeding you have the larger ones 'watching in wait to eat!' Please understand I am not trying to take anything away from the cigar minnow as bait, because this too is another very good one to use. It's prefect in size and it also lures in the best of fish from small to large. The cigar minnow does stay on the hook longer whether it's live, fresh dead, or flash frozen. It's like the sardine is a prefect mouth full for a big fish. However, if you do the 'mash and smell test' you might just have to agree that the sardine is the king!

The bottom line to this report as far as bait is cut fish, squid, frozen cigar minnows and Spanish sardines make for great bait. This bait works from the artificial reefs to the Savannah Snapper banks. All you have to do is to put it on the bottom, wait for a hit, and set that hook. If you don't hook up in an instant, immediately let your bait back to the fish, and let it hit it again! After all, all you have at stake is your bait! And there is always plenty of that even if you have to take the ham out of your sandwich!

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Seven

Gulf Stream

Early Morning Tuna Bite

I have been receiving solid reports of black fin tuna being caught at the South ledge for the past two months. The secret is you have to be on the ledge right before daylight to get your best shot at the early morning tuna bite. Although all of us blue water fishermen have caught tuna at one time or the other we all have to agree 'early is in!'

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Eight

Freshies Report

I first heard about 'Noodling' for catfish in the eighties. I wrote and published an article called, Ride The Wild Catfish!' Now this article was written in the late eighties, long before this strange type of fishing became a 'real sport.' I wanted to re-publish this article, because I just watch a 'Noodling Tournament' on one of the fishing networks. Boy, this sport has come a long way. However, it's still something I don't personally want to try. I am going to stick with the old time 'rod and reel only method!'

Riding The Wild Catfish in the Eighties

Have you ever heard about this sport called 'NOODLING?' Well, I hadn't, at least until some construction workers doing a job here chartered my boat and told me about this so-called 'fun filled sport.'

The first thing that you need to do is to find a deep ledge, hole, in the water over hanging tree roots, and etc in a pond or river. Then you dive down either with or without scuba equipment. By the time you finish, you will need scuba equipment. You reach under the ledge and feel for a big fish, sometimes referred to as a Flat Head Cat. If you happen to stick your hand into his, don't panic; be real still so he will let go. Now I hope that you are following this because, you might just want give this a try one day.

OK now you are there with your hand in the mouth of a 40-pound plus flat head being real still. Right? If you are real still, they say the fish will eventually unlock its jaws and then you can pull your hand out. Of course, if you are not real still and you jerk too soon, then you will have one arm and hand with some skin missing. Now keep in mind some fishermen say, 'this is a growing sport!'

For the article's sake, let say, 'you have found your fish and once your are free with or without your forearm skin in tact, it's time to surface.' At this time I'm sure there is little air left in our lungs. Now it's time to get your tools need together. You will need to take a metal rod with a line attached, go back to the ledge, and stick this through the fish's mouth out the gills, and then tie a slipknot. Now all you have to do is pull the catfish out. Simple right? However, if the fish gets mad, he may attack you. At this point I can't see the fish being anything but mad. You drag the fish out and it tries to swim off. You hold on until the fish gets tired or you get tired of being bitten. You mail goal is to make it back to the bank. By the way according to the one telling this story, 'Fishermen have drowned trying to perform this prehistoric ritual!' That's what is now being called 'Noodling!'

I will be honest; the reason I have told you about this unusual sport is because I find it very amusing. I tried to vision in my mind what it would be like if I took the aforementioned steps to catch a flat head cat. Well, I don't think I could get off the bank; because I would be too busy rolling on the ground laughing!

Now for a little 2009 humor: I am definitely still not getting off the bank and I am still laughing! It takes the 'Real Deal underwater fisherman to Noodle!'

CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY

'Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956'

POB 30771

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410

912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX

www.missjudycharters.com

Captain Judy's email fishjudy2@aol.com

Captain Judy's Cell 912 429 7671

January 5, 2009

Saltwater inshore, offshore, blue water fishing report, Freshies Suggestions, and 'Little Miss Judy's story! Thanks for reading! Captain Judy

Part Nine

Little Miss Judy's Believe It or Not!

New Years Eve in the Fifties

The Old Oglethorpe Hotel'better known as the old Sheraton Hotel'now condominiums'etc

In the early thirties, (not really sure) on Wilmington Island, down a long narrow road the Oglethorpe Hotel was built in all it's grander. This was a local hotspot for many from the rich to the famous to the regular. It was a great place to stay, to eat, and to party hard. The fact of the matter is back in old days especially on New Year Eve, this was the 'Go to Spot!' If you want to take a 'look see' I found a sight that had some pretty neat old time hotel pictures'go to

http://www.sip.armstrong.edu/Oglethorpe/FullView/Ogle_Img115.html

Since I wasn't around the thirties I had to rely on what Daddy had to say about this place. Believe me he had plenty'According to my father this hotel wasn't built, because it was going to be the prefect tourist destination spot. As you read earlier this magnificent hotel was built on isolated out of the way Wilmington Island. My father always told me that Wilmington Island was sort of a 'dropping off and picking up area.' In other words, 'liquor was brought in from the sea, packed onto trucks, and transported right down that lonely narrow road right out of town. This story could go on forever and maybe it will later. However, I really wanted to write about the 'New Year's Eve Balls' at the Oglethorpe Hotel.

However, before I go into the New Year's Eve Ball, I must tell you this one last thing about the hotel. On the grounds was as 18-hole golf course. The fact of the matter is it was considered 'World Class' golfing at it's finest! After all according to daddy, those that were players in this particular transportation industry were sometimes golfers. After all those mafia types always played it in the show 'Sopranos!' Believe me, this is one of my favorite shows. I know if dear old captain dad were still here with us, it would be his too!

Here's what daddy had to say about the allegedly gangster activities at Oglethorpe Hotel golf course'. 'In Las Vegas they buried the dead in the desert. On Wilmington Island they buried them on the golf course!' The fact of the matter is my father was a very smart man. However, there is no way he could have made all this stuff, because he knew too much detailed information about it. When I remember about the past I write it down as soon as I can!

All I want to know is where is that publisher that wants to write a book about all of my father's wild adventures? Here's one for you. In the fifties a certified book publisher that wanted to do his story approached my father with a deal. They wanted him to talk and they would do all to the writing. My father quickly declined this great offer. Over the years he mentioned about the book offer from time to time. I never really thought about asking him why until one day when it finally crossed my mine to do so. I asked him, 'Why didn't you let them write about all these great things that you experiences?' His answer was quick and to the point. Daddy said, 'I was afraid it would affect you!' I still had to ask, 'why?' This answer came quick also. Daddy explained, 'Some of those involved were still living and sill had outside ties to the so called Underworld!' According to my father 'really talking about it at this time wasn't an option!'

I know I need to get back to the story at hand. My grandmother, who I didn't see much after the age of 8 year old, (another story) lived and worked at the Oglethorpe Hotel. The bottom line was for the time that she was around and especially on New Year Eve I normally spent the night. She worked in the laundry room, which was located in the underground part of the hotel. As a small child, when I stayed with he, I pretty much got to know the hotel from 'bottoms up!' It seemed after a few inspections that all areas such as the dinning rooms and kitchen as well as the ballroom could be accessed from this area. So therefore the more I exercised my right as a child to sneak around while no was looking especially my grandmother, the more I discovered..

There was this one room besides the kitchen that I loved to sneak around too. I called it the 'green room,' but I think it was actually called the 'Emerald Ball Room.' Now that name certainly does ring a big bell. There was a place in downtown Savannah called the 'Emerald Room' if I'm not mistaken. I believe daddy visited there a lot too! I know I'm rambling.

The Emerald Room at the hotel was so special at least to me, because it had these long green velvet curtains. The windows in this place must have been 20 feet tall. Please remember as a child things can and do get a little exaggerated! However, this is what I remember for sure!

While looking about one early New Year's Eve I watched as these guys with tall white hats chipped away at large blocks of colored ice. It looked like they were going to make swans, ducks, or some sort of bird shape. Others dressed in black and white attire placed colorful parties favors all the tables covered with starched white tablecloths. After a while I become bored and back out of there. As the evening went on I kept thinking about the ice figures and them just melting right away. It kind of made me sad. This particular thought probably only lasted about one minute.

My ultimate main goal was to go to sleep fast and wake up early so as to get ready for daddy to pick me up. As a young child I really didn't know what all the fuss was about in regards to New Years Eve night. However, I have to admit that I was always anxious about getting my hands on those big party hats, blowouts, and noisemakers that daddy was going to bring me straight from the 'Green Room!' What he didn't know was 'I was there before him!' As a child I had a wonderful life and as an adult it's even better! Here's wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

Captain Judy

Thanks for reading!

Fish Species: red fish trout sheephead red snapper black sea bass, tuna, flathead catfish
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About The Author: Captain Judy Helmey

Company: Miss Judy Charters

Area Reporting: Inshore and Offshore Savannah Georgia

Bio: 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. Take a look inside, you will find current fishing reports by Captain Judy and pictures of the many fish we catch here in Coastal Savannah Georgia.

912-867-4921
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Judy Helmey