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Date: Sat Apr 1 22:48:59 2006
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Date: Mon Mar 27 20:57:31 2006
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Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah Georgia
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Date: Fri Nov 16 11:43:23 2001
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CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "Kicking Fish Tail since 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 912 897 3460 fax www.missjudycharters.com November 16, 2001 Sorry about the long Captain Judy's Believe it or not but I got started and couldn't stop! INSHORE If you have tried inshore fishing in our area you probably already know about the high northeast winds, extremely high tides and the muddy water. However for those who haven't you certainly haven't missed anything in the way of fishing. I won't say that these conditions have completely shut the bite off, but I might say "close." There were a few trout, Spottail bass, flounder, and striped bass caught the pass week. These fish were the hungry ones while the others stayed hibernated in their special areas. As we all know next week is another week and the windy conditions should have moved on. OFFSHORE I haven't been in ocean for over 6 days due to the fact that the Northeast wind has really been blowing offshore. However, a lot of the people that I fish with also surf so I guess you could say that the have had a bonus week. I have been in my office writing the fishing report on what should be biting when I return to the ocean. At any rate, the fishing has been very good offshore. Even though we have had one low pressure after another. The weather in between the fronts has been great. So I guess I will write about what I have been doing while waiting for the wind to stop blowing. I have been projecting my self to the other side of the front, which is by the way the aftermath of the front. This is when the wind calms down and the sea conditions are great. As you all know the water temperature is dropping which in turn makes fish move. While we are sitting on shore the fish are relocating to their new temporary homes. Now here's where I come in. I know where they are because I have records of their migration movements for over well let's say, "many more than 20 years." Take for instance the Black Sea bass. As all of us fishermen know in the cooler months these fish migrate to the shallower water and usually end up holding at the artificial reefs. This is known by many fishermen, but there are those of you who are just starting out. Here are a few pointers to help the new comers get a rod bender. Most all of the artificial reefs off of Georgia's coast that are located in less than 50 feet of water are holding an array of bottom fish. At this time of the year you can catch black sea bass, flounder, grouper, red snapper, black drum, spotted sea trout, ocean sheepshead, sheepshead, pig fish, grunts, trigger fish and blue fish. The good part about this time of the year is that all of those fish that I have listed are trying to eat at the same time on the same bait. This is due to the fact that they are all hungry and there is a lot of fish feeding. So therefore first come first serve. Hopefully your hook will be the first to arrive and be received by biggest of all of the fish listed. All of these fish will hit squid while others prefer the fiddler crab. However, don't worry once you get them eating they will take almost any bait that you throw at them. When selecting a spot to fish pick the reef that is closest to you. Let's talk about the KTK Artificial Reef, which is located east of Blackbeard Island. This reef is full of fishing possibilities. It's made of mostly low relief bottom structure making it a great place for all of the migrating fish listed above. If you prefer to fish further north, the CAT, DUA, SAV, and KC artificial reefs are great areas to fish. All of these spots also have great bottom to support these migrating fish. If you are south of the KTK reef then try the ALT, F, A, and KBY artificial reefs. All information on reefs listed can be obtained free from Georgia DNR. Once receiving you package on the reefs spend a little time studying each reefs and decide which one is prefect for you. To best locate the fish that I have listed you will need to pick the reef that has the best low relief program. All reefs that have locations that are made of concrete rubble, pallet balls, wharf rubble, or concrete boxes/pipes are the places that these fish will hold up to fed. Upon looking at the description of the reefs you will find coordinates listed. For those who aren't real familiar with GPS the description also gives directions and distance from the buoy. There is a yellow buoy that is place by the DNR to mark the area of each artificial reef. They make great reference points, which is another aid to helping you find these locations on each reef. When I first started fishing these small spots I made myself a personal throw buoy with a rope and weight connected. I put about 65 feet of line and a 4-pound weight on a quart Clorox jug. I wrapped the line around the jug and when I throw it on the spot it made a great reference point. This was rather I hit the exact spot of not. It gave me something that was stable to work with. At any rate, if I can learn you can learn how to catch a fish when you want too! I have been reporting that the king mackerel are here, but only in 100 to 115 feet of water. We normally would be in our winter run of mackerel that brings these fish into about 60 feet of water. However the artificial reefs that are located in this depth have not seen many arrivals, but here's a news flash. Fred Bergen reported that his group while fishing off of Charleston in only 60 feet of water caught 15 kings all 30 to 35 pounds. According to Fred the bite started about 9:00AM and at 11:00AM they had their limit. However the bite never let up and they left the fish biting as they moved on to bottom fishing. These fish were caught on rigged ballyhoo and drone spoons. All fish were caught trolling at the normal speed of 4 to 6 knots. I would like to congratulate them on fine day! I know they must have had a great time and I know am jealous. ARTIFICIAL REEFS For those who are tired of reading about this and that here's the real deal! The artificial reefs are holding large black sea bass, blue fish, flounder, pig fish, ocean sheepshead, sheepshead, trout, grouper, and occasional red snapper. Please don't keep these fish if they are not of legal size and release back alive when possible. I have been catching all of the above on just plain old squid… SAVANNAH SNAPPER BANKS The Savannah Snapper Banks is holding it own. The red snapper season looks good. We have been catching a lot of 24 inches and over snapper. Once these fish start schooling over a ledge it's easy to catch them with just squid or cut fish. The other bottom fish are there too. The trigger fish, porgy, large male black fish, and vermilion are still hanging on the hard bottom ledges. Don't forget about the king mackerel and dolphin, because they are also in the area feeding on the small fish schooling under the Sargasso weed. So keep a flat line out while bottom fishing. I have been using a rigged ballyhoo dressed up with my favorite color skirt. I have been getting hookups while just drifting and when moving the boat back up to the ledge. Remember the fishing rule, without a line in the water you can't catch a fish. This is unless the fish just decides to jump into the boat! Well that's another story! Captain Judy's Believe It or Not! WOODEN MEMORIES I guess it's true that when you get older, you remember the past a lot better than the present. I am one who can raise their hand on that one. I often think about the things that happened on my boat during the middle sixties. Boy have we come a long way. Not just in navigational technology, but also in boat manufacturing. When I was in my early teens I had a wooden 30' boat. I can't remember the make. I think it was a custom built boat that was put together by a frustrated want-a-be boat builder. At any rate, I am still here, so it didn't come apart while I was offshore. The things I remember the most are instilled in my mind as if I just walked off this boat. It was long and had a very narrow beam. In fact, in a following sea you really had to be careful and not let this boat get broad side to the wave. That wasn't easy when all I had was a simple slant head six as power. Don't get me wrong, it cruised along at about 11 knots, but that was pretty much full throttle. Which meant having to get control of the boat was more of a leaning situation, than a power push. You had to be there when I instructed my group to move quickly from one side to another. They had to do all of this without falling out of the boat. You know, I never really though of that happening at all. No one ever fell over the side. I only had to resort to those customers moving tactics when it was real rough. And you must remember, back in those days, fishing was expensive, intriguing, and a dangerous past time. It cost a fishermen almost $6.00 per person to get the chance to be either throw over the gunwale on his ride out or back from the fishing spot. My father purchased this boat from a colonel in the army that was being relocated to an inshore destination. I will never forget the colonel's wife she was gorgeous. She looked like a very young Sophia Loren. If I had to guess, my father just wanted to purchase this boat so that he could talk to her. In this case, talk was not cheap. The boat came as is and with an engine that needed replacing. This was not news to us, because my father already knew the engine was bad and had gotten quite a bit off of the asking price. After purchasing the boat, my father arranged to have another engine delivered to the house. It was and it came complete with an exhaust stack that was 6 feet tall. You would have to know my father to understand this one. He loved to go shopping in weird and unusual places. He brought my new/used engine from a surplus guy who had six engines that were originally installed in amphibious vehicles that the army has used. He brought two, just in case he needed both to make one work. He never told me until the last minute that he was going to remove the exhaust stack. I thought all along that Daddy was going to have to cut a hole through the top of my cabin. After removing all unnecessary parts, we put the new/used engine into my wooden boat. With just a few minor changes, it cranked, smoked, and sputtered as most gas engines do. Daddy pointed out a few direct changes that he had. He always drilled a hole in the top of all of our raw water intake pumps. This was the pump that supplied the seawater to the engine that kept it cooled. He them screwed a small cup and cap in the drilled hole. He filled the cap with water pump grease. This was my father's theory for this change, as the saltwater rushed through the pump, so would the heavy grease that was packed in the cup, lubricating the entire housing. At the time it didn't make any sense to me. However, now it's a different story, less friction means less wear. Back in those days water pump grease was much more accessible than a new saltwater pump. I don't know where the name slant head six came from, because it wasn't slanted to me. It was flat on the head, which mean any water falling on the engine stayed and made its way to the spark plug holes. If the engine were running it would spit a little, depending on how much water and how many plugs holes were covered. If the engine was sitting, the water had time to start rusting in front of your very eyes. Either situation wasn't good, but I had to deal with both of them. The engine cover was split down the middle. It was held together by a long piano hinge. This hinge didn't stop any water at any time, but it did stop the floor from caving in on the engine. At least it was good for something. It certainly wasn't designed to shelter the water from getting on top of the engine. After getting the mechanical end of the boat up to speed it was time to look at any other problems that we might have to deal with. Keep in mind that by this time I had already been dealing with wooden boats and my father for quite a while. And believe me, there is always a problem when it comes to dealing with these two. This particular boat hadn't been out of the water too long, so therefore it didn't almost sink immediately as soon as we re-launched it. The planks on a wooden boat start the shrinking process when they are removed from the water. So therefore, if you fill the boat with water while it is on the hill, your chances will be better that it won't sink quite right away. You still have to baby sit the boat until the plank seams are pushed back together. As you can see there are a lot of important things that you must remember about wooden boats. Especially, if you want to keep them floating. As you have probably figured out, we got the boat in tip top condition and I started taking customers out fishing. The problems that I experienced then, such as taking on water, at the time seemed so normal. However, let me assure you that if I found my self in that situation now, I wouldn't be so cool as I was back in the good old days. I have to admit that back in days of wooden boats simply hitting a wave wrong could results in cracking any rib situated close to the bow area. This occurrence would usually lead to water running into the boat, which means in my book today that, "WE ARE SINKING!" How plain and simple can you get? I'm sorry, but that's not how it worked back then. You just dealt with it. I always carried certain so-called repair equipment on the boat to take care of this problem. In my repair kit was cotton, ice pick, and assorted sizes of brass screws. I was taught a long time ago how to put this special selection of tools to work. The cotton was to be packed by the ice pick into the hole. However, if the hole was to big to plug with the gobs of cotton then you started using the screws. This all sounds very simple and it was. I did this without even once thinking of what would happen if the boat were to sink. Boy, how things have changed. Happy Holiday Fishing, Captain Judy
Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah,Georgia
Home Page: www.misssjudycharters.com
Date: Sun Nov 11 10:16:50 2001
Location of fishing trip: Savannah Snapper Banks
Date of fishing trip:
Weather: Sunny
Temperature: 70's
Barometer:
Wind direction: NE
Wind speed: 10-15kts
Water temp: 70's
Water clarity: Clear
Report...
CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "KICKING FISH TAIL SINCE 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX www.missjudycharters.com November 9, 2001 INSHORE I have heard this remark from all of my inshore fishing sources. It's live bait kind of a year. Live shrimp has controlled the trout and Spottail bass bite for most of this fall season. For those of you who have caught yours on artificial consider yourself "GOOD" not lucky! So for those of you who just want to catch a fish get out those traditional float rigs out and let them take your live shrimp for a glide. You gotta love the sinking of that cork! For those of you who are interested in the sheepshead bite your time has arrived and it's only going to get better. All you need to get their attention is to bring along the hard to get fiddler crab as bait. There are a few other baits that will work. Try barnacles, oysters, small shrimp, or crickets a try. If you plan on using crickets don't worry you don't have to tell anyone! Keep it to yourself! OFFSHORE Our artificial reefs are holding their usual bottom-fishing array for this time of the year. The bite has been good and steady even though the weather fronts haven't stopped coming. I have been using squid and cut fish for bait and the Black Sea bass are not turning me down. We are also catching a few triggerfish, pig fish, blue fish, flounder, and grouper. You must remember to always be prepared for that big bottom bite to take place in these areas at this time of the year. The large fish such as the grouper and flounder are migrating to unknown destinations at this time. Their migration pattern seems to take them from one reef to another as they make their way. One day at the L-Buoy we couldn't catch anything but gag grouper. They ranged from 12 to 32 inches. The next time I visited this area they had moved on, but as we all fishermen know a few will and have stayed behind. These fish will become this year's resident fish. Here's my rule of thumb when trying to decide if you have caught resident of non-resident fish. It's very simple. A non-resident fish will be lighter in color while a resident fish will be darker. A newly resident fish will be a little darker. These are hard to tell unless you catch more than one. I always like to examine my fish closely so that I can ascertain which lodging stage that I caught them in. The winter run of the southern king mackerel may or may not have taken place in our area. From all of the information that I have gathered talking to fishermen north, here, to south of us I have pretty much come to a few conclusions. As I have been reporting the kings have arrived in our area at the Savannah Snapper Banks. They are holding in around 100 feet of water. The best way to catch them is to put your bait down deep. Now with all the information that I have received from north of us the kings were late in their arrival. This would only make me believe that the kings would be arriving a little later to our area. However, our time is running out and the water temperature is dropping. So therefore the kings that are holding in 100feet of water might be all that we get. However, once again, we still have time for the kings to move in to the shallower water before they leave our area completely. All signs that would make me think that the kings are still coming to the shallow water areas are still showing up. For instance the large school of cow nose rays have started passing though. They are making their track to the south. This always happens right before the arrival of the king mackerel. The gannet have arrived in full force. These are large seabirds that make this area a temporary home during our cooler months, because of the enormous bait migration that we have at this time of the year. The migration of the yellow butterflies has taken place and now has mostly moved on. All things are normal except for the fact that the kings haven't arrived in the shallow reef areas to take advantage of the large bait build up. Everything is in place, but the kings don't seem to care where their dinner is served. GULF STREAM I heard this on the radio, while I was fishing the Savannah Snapper banks. It was a conversation that two fishermen had about their day at the blue water. It's not good! There were plenty of perfect temperature changes and weed lines. However, the bite wasn't that good due to the fact there wasn't any fish in the breaks or the rips. They caught a few dolphin fish, but I didn't get the size of the fish or the depth that they were caught in. I would still go if I got the chance. That's why they call it "FISHING!" CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT Freshwater drum, also known a sheepshead is said to have mystical powers. This fish has a large pearl like bone, which bears an "L" groove. This bone has commonly been called the "Lucky Bone" and have a long history of superstitious folklore connected with them. According to a native that I took fishing that explained to me what the bones were actually used for. The markings actually sent a message. The outcome of the message depends on the reader or what I call the bone holder, which can be interpreted in different ways. The Indians used the bones as wampum, for ceremonial purposes, and as neck charms to prevent various sicknesses. Once again, please don't try to remove the mystical ear bones from your pet gold fish, there aren't any. Sea You Later, Captain Judy Helmey
Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah,Ga
Home Page: www.missjudycharters.com
Date: Fri Aug 3 07:21:06 2001
Location of fishing trip: Atlantic Ocean
Date of fishing trip:
Weather: Sunny
Temperature:
Barometer:
Wind direction: N
Wind speed:
Water temp:
Water clarity: Clear
Report...
CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX ww.missjudycharters.com July 30, 2001 The fishing has been a little strange this past week. We have had lots of rain, extremely high tides, lots of marsh grass everywhere, water is muddy, high winds, which has caused the fish bite inshore and offshore to be a little off. However, with all this behind us our summer fishing routine should continue without anymore delays! INSHORE The fish bite should continue to be long and hard, especially when it comes to the trout and bass species. There have been record amounts of these fish being caught in the creeks, rivers, and sounds in our area. Live shrimp seems to be the bait to get them started and finishing up is easy with grubs, screw tail, or assassins. The float rig called Cajun Popper is making the noise that is prompting fish to take the bait, regardless of whether they are hungry or not. I have been using chartreuse colored ones for a number of surface feeding fish. Just attached the popper to your snap swivel and put your favorite artificial lure in tow. Keep the float moving, popping, and the fish will charge the float. Hopefully, they will get the hook, not your float. The tarpon fishing season is at its peek. I am basically what you would call a "Tarpon Watcher." At least that is what I do best in my 31-foot boat. I am still seeing large schools of these fish feeding from Cabbage Island, along red marker 16 in Warsaw Sound, and all the way out to the Warsaw Sea buoy. To the south of our area, large schools of these fish have been spotted feeding near the sounds and inlets. You best bait to use in live menhaden, mullet, or mackerel. These fish are big, with most being over 100 pounds. Beef up your tackle and get ready for the pull of a lifetime. Please carefully release all of these fish!! OFFSHORE I have been writing a lot about Spanish mackerel, because it's the best time to target these fish, which are so fun to catch. They have been following their usual daily feeding routine for this time of the year. When the tide is slack, the schools push the bait pods to the surface. This is you best catching situation. The rule of thumb with mackerel is that if you can see them you can catch them. However, when they are holding deep, you have to fish deep to get them. With the tide being so strong this past week, the mackerel have been holding close to the bottom. I have been using a #3 planer with a medium clark spoon 15 feet in tow. It's not as much fun as light tackle fishing, but a fish is a fish and you will catch one using this method. King mackerel can be found from 30 to 150 feet of water. Since this covers a large area let me give you some hints. Tybee Roads and the rip that hangs one mile off of the Warsaw Sea Buoy is holding large king mackerel, better known as smokers. Use menhaden or mullet for bait. Slow troll is your best bet. The artificial reefs, L Buoy, J Buoy, CCA, and L Buoy are holding lots of surface bait, which in turn brings in the mackerel. However, barracuda have been thrown into the mix. Stay away from the wrecks and concentrate on the outer areas. King mackerel will feed on the bait that is hanging around the edges of the Wrecks. Barracuda feed and lay near the surface just down current from the wrecks. I have been pulling #3 planers with drone spoons on a 30 feet leader. Your trolling speed should be about 6 knots. Pull ridged ballyhoo in your outriggers, but don't troll them to far back. This fish want action. I have been pulling aliens ridged with ballyhoo and this bait has proven itself more than once. The king mackerel that are located at these areas run from 7 to 40 pounds. Trolling with planers and ridged ballyhoo usually attracts the smaller kings with an occasional smoker hookup. You can expect to catch large kings when use live bait, either by drifting or slow troll. The bottom has been a little mixed up this past week. With the strong currents that we have been experiencing, I have been fishing completely by the tide method. Fish one hour before to one hour after the tide change. This is the time when the current is at its least. This is the best tide to use live bait for red snapper and grouper. The other bottom fish will also take advantage of the slack tide. Give squid and cut fish a try. GULF STREAM I know I have told you that the light switch has turned off in the blue water, at least as far as top water fishing goes. However, from the reports I have been getting and from my fishing experiences, please do go and give it a try!! It's not spring fishing, but wahoo, school dolphin, yellow fin tuna, marlin, and sailfish can be caught at this time of the year. It's not a consistence bite, but it's possible. Here's a great tip; you are going to have to add stringers to your rigs. The fish aren't taking the bait in their normal mode and feeding it back doesn't seem to help. You have to have a rig that counts on that first initial hit. LITTLE CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Fishing for tripletail in the sixties was always a unique experience. Especially when Daddy was in charge. Not only was the fishing exciting, but also the stories that came along with the fishing day. These fish that daddy caught were so big that they wouldn't fit into out dip net. So daddy had to gaff them with his homemade wooden handle gaff. The three tail sections on these tripletails were as big as a regular size paper plate. He used a simple beefed up traditional float rig to catch them. For bait he used live prawn shrimp, which we would catch our selves. We made a short stop at one of Daddy's favorite shrimp holes and catch all we needed with only a few casts of the net. It was a simple thing in the good old days to catch bait in a short period of time. My father's secret triple tail hole was a little inshore of Bloody Point. There was a broken off range marker that he used as a reference. We also fished around the piling for the triple tail. They were either sunning by the pilings or in the deep hole. My father knew for sure when and why the fish were there. I just knew it was fun to watch and listen to the stories that he would tell. "Bloody Point" is beach located on Daufuskie Island. The island at this time wasn't developed. Daddy told me the most interesting story about how "Bloody Point" got its name. According to Daddy's folklore during the settlement of Savannah ships made their way up the Savannah River. Upon reaching the mouth of the Big Savannah River any undesirable occupants were tossed overboard. The types of people throw out were the sick, weak, or maimed. I might add they weren't murdered, there were just tossed overboard to fin for themselves. As Daddy's legend has it those that were strong enough to stay a float with the current usually landed on the beach. However, there were those that were attacked by large sharks on there drift to the beach. Those that were attacked usually did float to the beach either partially or the parts causing the point to be covered in blood. Now you know the rest of the story. No I didn't have nightmares as a small child. Sea You Later, Captain Judy
Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah Georgia
Home Page: www.missjudycharters.com
Date: Sun Jul 15 13:57:50 2001
Location of fishing trip: Atlantic Ocean
Date of fishing trip: 7/15/01
Weather: Sunny
Temperature:
Barometer:
Wind direction: SE
Wind speed:
Water temp:
Water clarity: Clear
Report...
CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 912 897 3460 FAX www.missjudycharters.com July 16, 2001 INSHORE It's that time of the year when the Spottail bass are just about everywhere that you throw your hook. However, you will need to put them in your fish stretcher to be able to keep them. Most of the Spottail bass are all running are about 11 to 12 inches in length. As we all know they have to be 14 inches (tail length) to keep them. Large Spottail bass are still being caught in the surf at Savannah Beach. They are hitting cut mullet and the bass seem to prefer that bait to shrimp. The smaller fish that are being caught in the creeks and rivers are hitting mostly live shrimp. You can catch and practice on these fish while you are fishing for the trout. They all are mixed and feeding together. By the way, I was just kidding about the fish stretcher. Some secrets just shouldn't be talked about. Another inshore fish to target at this time of the year is the great flat flounder. These fish are known for burying themselves in the sand so well that they are unnoticeable not only to you, but any unsuspecting small fish that might unfortunately swim by. Don't associate these fish with the group of fish that isn't likely to move quickly. This fish is known to see like a rabbit, to be sneaky like a fox, and strike like a cobra. Live bait such as mud/small minnows or live shrimp will work for these fish. The livelier the bait the better. As with any fish, bait presentation is of the most importance. Use a rig that will put and keep your bait near the bottom, but will also allow it to swim seemly freely. A flounder can't resist this sort of fleeing situation. Here a little need to know information about flounder habits. They always seem to lie on the bottom facing the current. This situation makes it easier for them breathe and it's usually where their potential meals come from. So therefore your fishing strategy should be to anchor so that you can cast your bait so that the current can deliver it directly to the fish. You should already know which way the fish is looking for it intended meal to be delivered. They like to move around on the slack tide. This is due to the fact it's hard to get enough oxygen while still or dug into the sand. This is not necessarily the best time to fish for them. They have more on their mind than eating. Incoming tide is the best time because the water is usually a little clearer. The ideal moving water is about 1 to 2 knots. Let me know how this works and by all means send me some pictures. OFFSHORE I have been doing a little Spanish mackerel fishing this past week and have come to a few conclusions. For one, you don't have to go far to catch these fish. I started trolling at red marker #16 in Warsaw sound and also started catching these fish as I headed to green buoy #13. I had been seeing them jump occasionally as I was heading home in the afternoon. So I though I would give it a try and it worked. Now don't get me wrong, in the sound, you can't get a lot of fish out of the same school. However, you can get a few mackerel out of each school, which leads me to my next conclusion. The schools were holding in the same spot. I found three bait pods in a holding pattern. I visited each pod making only one pass over the school, catching my fish and moving on to the next group. It's scientific, don't you know. Give it a try, you don't need a big boat to target these fish. King mackerel fishing is hot and cold. One day you will catch lots of snakes and the next day you will get in the smokers. Both sizes of fish are usually caught on the same bait, at the same time. I have been catching my fish trolling with drone spoons deep and ridged ballyhoo on the surface. My trolling speed is around 6 to 7 knots, depending on the sea conditions. Other Captains have been catching their fish with down riggers and live bait. This being the slow-troll effect, which is executed by bumping the boat in and out of, gear just enough to keep your lines from crossing. This works very well and you never know for sure what fish you might catch. There were a few large red snapper caught last week doing this type of fishing. The best bait to use for slow troll is menhaden (porgies) ribbon fish, or greenies. You can catch most of this bait around the buoys located at the artificial reefs. These fish don't have air bladders and last longer at most depths. The red snapper and grouper fishing have maintained about the same crazy feeding habits, on the bite and off. As long as you keep providing these fish with live bait they will eventually give in and take the whole fish. I have found that if you keep moving from ledge to ledge you have a better chance of catching the big one. You can fish the same three ledges, but you must rotate so that you don't scare the fish back into their safety zone. GULF STREAM Now that the blue season is basically over you don't have to worry about making that long boat ride. However, for those of you who have to go listen to this. Captain Mike Carbo (Natalie Jean) caught wahoo, dolphin, and large king mackerel last week in this not blue water season. I might add that the fish weren't small. It was hard picking up the wahoo, which weighted in at over 65 pounds. All of these fish were caught to the north of Savannah and in the Deli Ledge area. He didn't have a lot of barracuda hits, which is very unusual at this time of the year. So therefore, blue water fishing has only slowed down for some! Let's drag those lines! LITTLE CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! July 16, 2001 There has been a lot of talk about sharks lately. So here is a good shark story that my daddy use to tell all of our customers that supposedly happened during the middle fifties. Here's how it was told to me. A large boat such as one that I have listed below was fishing the warm waters of the Gulf Stream for a large fish such as a marlin or big tuna. A rather large fish did hit one of their lines and a lengthy fight took place. As soon as they realized it was a mako shark they all knew that they had a fight on their hands. Well, they decided that they wanted to try and land this 500-pound plus fish. So they came up with a foolproof plan. The boat was equipped with a gin pole, which basically is a hoist type rig, which had a flying gaff attached. The plan seemed simple. They were going to get the big shark next to the boat, set the gaff, and hoist it up on the gin pole. Sounds good but as usual best-laid plans don't always work. They managed to get the shark next to the boat, the gaffer set the gaff, and the designated others were ready to act out their part. They were all ready for their job. Well, here's what happened as soon as the gaff was set. They started hoisting the shark up, it started going crazy. The Shark got off the gaff, but didn't fall back into the water, but rather into the cockpit of the boat. This is a bad thing. As I mentioned this was a big shark, very strong, and not even ready to die. So therefore it started thrashing back and forth destroying everything in its path. The fighting chair, which was previously attached, became a free moving object. Any thing that wasn't attached was flying and the things that were didn't last long before they also became moving objects. Finally the big shark, but only after what seemed to be many long minutes came to rest or so they though. All of the fishermen jumped out of the safety of the cabin. They tied a rope around the shark's tail and pulled this magnificent fish up with the gin pole. When they got the sharks tail to the top of the pole, it's large head still laid partially on the gunnel. They were all very tried from all of the excitement. Just as everyone started to relax the shark came too once again. He started jerking back and forth trying to get off of the pole. Finally realizing that it was over the shark opened its mouth and bit down on the gunnel of this large expensive boat, which is where he died still holding on. When the fishermen arrived home it took crowbars and hammers to get that shark embedded teeth off of the gunnel. According to daddy there was about $15,000.00 worth of damaged done to the boat by the shark that day. I guess you could say, "During the fifties that was considered a lot of money to spend on a one day fishing trip." According to my father this happened on one of these local boats. It was either the "Waterway" or "The Ambos Yacht" or "The Citation" or "The Altimeter." As daddy repeatedly told the story time after time he did make his own changes. Some versions I have to admit were better than others. However, the good thing is that everyone loves a good fish story! How did you like my version? Sea You Later, Captain Judy
Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah Georgia
Home Page: www.missjudycharters.com
Date: Sat Jul 14 10:14:23 2001
Location of fishing trip: Atlantic Ocean
Date of fishing trip: 7/7/2001
Weather: Sunny
Temperature: 88
Barometer:
Wind direction: SW
Wind speed:
Water temp:
Water clarity: Clear
Report...
CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 OR 912 897 3470 FAX WWW.missjudycharters.com July 7, 2001 INSHORE Everything that our area has to offer is biting.  Take these few suggestion and run with it.  The surf fishing is great at this time of the year.  You can catch Spottail bass using cut mullet by casting into the surf. There is a by-catch when doing this type of fishing. Either before or after the bass bite, sharks, whiting, and blue fish should keep you busy.  The best tide to fish for the bass is the incoming, but don't let the tide chart slow you down.  If you are there and have time, go for it.  The flounder fishing has picked up.  You will need to get your minnow trap out of the garage.  These fish are born killers and are attracted by bait that's trying to escape.  The best bait to use for this fish is a live minnow such as ploywogs, mud minnows or just plain so called small fish.   Also, I might add, the best way to get your minnows trapped filled quickly is to put in some saltines and a piece of raw chicken.  Fried chicken just doesn't seem to work as well.                                                           OFFSHORE The mid summer bite is still on with the Spanish mackerel. However, the arena has change a bit.  The mackerel have been staying close to the bottom feeding on schools of bait that are content with the dark green waters.  This situation has made it hard to locate these fish without the aid of a fish finder.  However now that the water temperature is in the eighties the fish have decided to take to surface feeding, which is what we call "sight feeding."  At this time of the year Spanish mackerel push the baitfish to the surface and go into a feeding frenzy.  This feeding stage gives everyone a piece of the catching pie.  The advantages are that the birds now can help you locate the feeding schools, you can smell the oils that gather on the surface from the shredded baitfish, and you can present your bait offering on the surface.  I have been using cagen poppers and small bird exciters with small Clark spoons in tow.   With these surface rigs you can actually see the fish hit at the bait and finally get mad enough to take it.  For those of you who want to use light tackle and cast to the fish, now is the time to do so.  All you need to do is to situate your boat up wind of the school and cast into the school. Use you lure of choice, most all surface-pulling plugs will work.    The bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks has been hot and cold.   This bite situation could leave any fishermen frustrated, including me, but there is an end to the bite uncertainly.  The bottom fish are a bit more sluggish at this time of the year.  So therefore with this low activity schedule the less food that they require. Another problem that we as fishermen are faced with is the fact that there is too much bait.  The bottom fish have a smorgasbord of bait at their fin tips, which means less movement and little hunting for food.  It's like they have called in for a "take out."  Don't worry this can only last for so long and the end is near.  Soon the bottom fish with have to go back to working a little more for their meals.  The baitfish will start their normal cycle movement pattern, which means summer vacation for the bottom fish is over!  Give these few pointers for catching these sluggish bottom fish a try.  The best time to catch them is on the slack tide, less movement for fish, which means the bigger bottom fish are going to give feeding a shot. I have been using the "Captain Judy's Slammer" double hook bottom rig, which has 3/0 to 4/0 hook on board. This size hook is little enough to catch the smaller mouth fish such as the vermilion snapper and strong enough to also hold a large big red genuine snapper.   You have two choices for bait.  Squid will always work.  I can't ever remember a bottom fish turning this bait down.  However your best shot for a larger bottom fish is to use a live cigar minnow or any other smaller fish that you might have caught.   When using a live fish always hook through the lips. After locating the school, you should drop directly into the school, and reel up a few turns quickly.  The larger fish have a tendency to hold and fed above the smaller fish.  The theory being that larger fish don't want to fight with a bunch of smaller fish over their intended meal.  Don't stay on one fishing area to long.  Keep moving to different locations, this takes the edge off of scattering the school by drifting these small location over and over.  Here's a Captain Judy special secret.  When looking on your favorite ledge for larger bottom fish the rule of my thumb is…if the bottom fish are feeding the smaller fish shouldn't show up on you fish finder screen.  In other words, the larger fish scare the smaller fish into to small round ups or into the safety of the ledge.   Bottom line is to always drop into these areas even if you don't mark but a few a fish.  If the fish were there once, trust me they haven't left the area!    NOT THE GULF STREAM If you have been following my fishing report you would have noticed that I have been reporting a lot of blue water fish being caught at the CCA artificial reef.   Well, here comes another out standing catch from that same area. Lee Bryant who is among one of the fishing team on the boat "Southern Pride" has made his mark.  He caught a release a sailfish from this area.  Congratulations!  For those of you who haven't been following my reports numerous blue water catches such as wahoo, yellow fin tuna, sailfish and dolphin have been caught over the years in this area at this time of the year.   GULF STREAM I consider the Blue Water Trolling Fishing Season officially over around the middle of July every year.  Well, as you on know that date has passed us and the top fishing has slowed down as expected for this time of the year.   So it's time to drag those lures over the ledges at the edge.  These areas always hold lots of bait.  So therefore the big fish know that and tend to hang to feed.   I have gotten several l bottom fishing reports of large gag grouper being caught in 150 to 200 feet. Your best bait to target these fish is live bait.  You will have to stop at the snapper banks to catch your own.  Don't wait till you arrive to the deep water to get your bait because they aren't any to be found.  I have found that hardy bottom feeders like ruby red lips, sand perch, bank sea bass, vermilion, and small Black Sea bass make the best bait.  Don't forget to pop their air bladder before you put them in the live well.  If you do not, they will not survive the ride from the snapper banks to the ledge.  Don't forget to put a flat line while you are drifting.   We are still getting a few wahoo, king mackerel, and dolphin hits.   LITTLE MISS JUDY'S BELIEVE My father loved to fish.  He loved it so much that he started this charter boat company in 1948.  Not only did he love to ocean fish he loved different kinds of inshore fishing.  He liked trout fishing especially using the traditional float rig.  His favorite saying,  "just watching the sinking of that cork was always a thrill."  His other favorite inshore favorite was to pull Cisco kid lures in the Savannah River for striped bass.  He always knew when they were biting.  I wished I had taken pictures, but at 6 years old it wasn't top priority.  He would always take me along.  Some of his trips were boring to me, but I will always remember the most exciting ones.  Daddy called it "Mullet jumping."  After my first experience with this fishing I knew I had to make some changes in my attire.  I guess I should explain exactly what mullet jumping is.  It simple really. We would get the old wooden rowboat out, load it up with the essentials, and take off for Mud Puppy.  Mud Puppy was a small creek located just down from out house. The ride seems long, at least to a 6-year-old.  The essentials were simple.  Daddy brought along a white sheet and a flashlight.  Oh, I forgot to mention you had to do this at night during a low tide.  Not only at night, but also during a new moon.  You know the moon stage where there isn't any light.  At any rate it was dark and spooky at least for a six-year-old.   Daddy would run our rowboat up into the creek to his special location.  I would hold one end of the sheet and Daddy would hold the other.  He then pointed the flashlight on the sheet and mullet jumped into the boat.  It was strange to have all of these fish jumping in the boat.  Some didn't hit the sheet.  They would hit me in the head and all over.  It was fun, but spooky to me.  So as I told you earlier in this story that I changes my attire after my first mullet-jumping trip.  I added a kitchen pot to my head and an old catcher mask to my face.  I then felt safe, but I looked plain ridiculous.  The bottom line is that you can't argue with dressing for success. No more mullet in my hair or in my face!   Now lets not forget about the mullet that jumped into the boat.   Daddy and I screaming as I went picked through the fish and only kept the ones that were suitable for smoking.  It was great being raised on the water!  Wish you all could have been there!    Sea You Later Captain Judy
Name: Captain Judy Helmey
E-Mail: fishjudy2_AT_aol_DoT_com
City/State: Savannah Georgia
Home Page: www.missjudycharters.com
Date: Sun Jul 1 20:56:23 2001
Location of fishing trip: Atlantic Ocean
Date of fishing trip: 07/01/01
Weather: Sunny
Temperature:
Barometer:
Wind direction: N
Wind speed:
Water temp:
Water clarity: Clear
Report...
CAPTAIN JUDY HELMEY "Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956" POB 30771 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 31410 912 897 4921 OR 912 897 3470 FAX WWW.missjudycharters.com July 1, 2001 INSHORE Surf fishing is always very exciting and simple at this time of the year. Spot tail bass, whiting, and sharks are hanging in these near shore areas looking for that easy meal. You best bait to use for this type of fishing is cut mullet. In the past, I have used whole finger mullet, but we have found that stripped pieces from a larger fish works just as well, if not better. I think it's the smell/taste, not the shape that gets the fish's attention. If you just want to sit on a dock and wet a hook, try this. Trout, flounder, spot tail bass, yellow tail, and whiting can usually be found schooling around and under these areas. You can either jig artificial paddle/screw tail, use live bait, minnows/shrimp, or dead squid/shrimp. With this wide range of bait, you could find yourself catching a big one! OFFSHORE With the mackerel fishing in full swing you can certainly have a blast with light tackle. These fish are runners and on light tackle the fight is great. You can use anything from the traditional Clark spoon to a lure that you might use inshore to target trout. If presented properly, these fish will hit almost anything. The only way to present the bait properly is to find the school or evidences of the school and cast into it. Always remember when using artificial bait that you keep the lure moving. We have been catching quite a few king mackerel at the Savannah Snapper Banks. There are two methods in which to use to target this fish. It's simple you either have to use artificial or natural bait. However, these two methods are completely different when it comes to presenting the bait. Artificial baits are self-explanatory. They look unnatural and most of the times don't even look like a fish that these mackerel would be attracted to; unless you keep the bait moving. These high-speed feeding fish don't necessarily need to be hungry to eat. They are prompted by sight especially when they see what appears to be a fish fleeing from the area. If you want to be a natural bait fisherman, use live fish that are shinny and don't have an air bladder. These baits live longer and don't seem to be effected by shallow to deep trolling. Another plus is the fact that you get to feel the hit, experience the run of the fish, and can usually determine readily if it's a king on the first strike. Kings are strong on the first run and have a tendency to lean into the pressure after their initial run. Heck at this point, you have already had fun! The vermilion snapper are back to their normal feeding habits. For a few weeks we all had a little problem with getting these fish to take any type of bait. They were there, but weren't apparently in the feeding mode. The good news is that their normal feeding habits are once again being expressed. I am finding large amounts of these fish holding in 105 to 110 feet of water. Look for them to be schooling on ledges that aren't frequently covered with Black Sea bass. These two fish don't seem to work well together. Here's is another secret about the vermilion. The schools of larger vermilion hold and feed over the smaller ones. It's easy to determine the depth that they are at by looking on your fish finder. They usually hold about 4 to 12 feet above the ledge. Slack to almost slack tide is the best time. Larger fish, being smarter always feed during the time of less resistance, which would be when the tide is slack. I have been using small pieces of cut squid laced on my double hook bottom rig. You best bet for the bigger vermilion is to not fish on the bottom. Your choices are simple either drop to the bottom and reel up quickly or just let you line out slowly until you feel a hit. Both methods will work! The large bottom bite hasn't been red hot, but we are still catching a few. It's not unusual for the bite to get what we call "soft" at this time of the year. So your best bet is to always keep live bait on the bottom or 10 feet off the bottom. The larger fish like to get out of their habitant area and swim a bit at this time of the year. GULF STREAM The lights have not gone out in Georgia's blue water as of yet. In fact blue water has found it's way as close as 120 feet of water. I have had reports of wahoo and dolphin being caught from 150 to 40 feet of water. That's not a misprint. Troy Remoin of Savannah decided to take a little lone fishing trip out to the CCA Buoy this past week. Upon arriving he caught his first fish which was a king that weighted in at about 18 pounds. Tory's second fish was a 35 pound cobia, which took him over 15 minutes to land. He had two other lines out which also were hit at the same time. He managed to land one fish, which was a small king, but lost the other fish. While trying to catch his breathe another king hit doing that sky rocketing thing. As the king fell back into the water the fish didn't run and the line went limp. As Troy reeled the tailless fish back to the boat he started blaming the barracuda for the tail cut. His last line out and basically all he had left due to the fact that all of his lines had been hit, starting peeling off line. Troy grabbed the rod and started to get control of this fish. The fish made long surface runs, but didn't show his true colors. After about 15 minutes Troy got a look at what was on the end of his line, it was a 50-pound wahoo. After a total of 25 minutes, he landed this fine blue water fish in green waters of the CCA Buoy. Congratulations! Here comes the best part, for those of you whom Troy asked to go fishing, bet you wished you had gone. Remember the tailless king that he caught? Well, Troy found it in the stomach of his 50-pound wahoo. Now you know where wahoo got their nickname "TAIL CUTTERS." CAPTAIN JUDY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! July 1, 2001 I have seen a lot of lighting strikes over the years while on the ocean. I would like to share a few instances. Early in the sixties my father came home from a day of fishing with an antenna in a million pieces. Not only was the antenna a total lost so was all of his boats the windows. All ten of his windows included the front ones were broken. His old wooden boat actually looked like it had gone through a hurricane, but it was only hit with one bolt of lighting. The damage was unbelievable. I remember another boat that was hit that same day. A rather large yacht was making its way up the Savannah River at about the same time that the storm was passing. The yacht was also hit. Unfortunately for the captain it was almost a fatal hit. When the lightning hit the boat it traveled through the structure up through helm, hit the Captain's hand, went up his arm, and out his shoulder leaving a large exit wound. He immediately went into shock, but did live to tell the story. This happened over forty years ago. Sea You Later, Captain Judy

Last revised: February 03, 2001.