Fly Cast Charters of St. Simons Island, GA

"Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn"

December, January through Early February Fishing Report

Red Fishing was great up through mid January. The big schools had formed. They normally sit on the bottom right at Low Tide, but as the tide comes in and as it goes out, big schools of reds move up and down the banks. On sunny days, the reds are headed for the oysters and mud banks on the incoming tide to warm up. In both of these situations, we normally just stake out and wait for the fish to come to us. On many occasions we had fish tailing and crawling on their bellies feeding and warming up. It is so cool to see 4-5 tails sticking out of the water at the same time.

Tailing fish on the low tide tail very subtly. It isn’t like the aggressive tailing activity on the flood tides. Additionally, these fish are very spooky, so longer leaders and lighter flies help you hook up.

We have been deluged with fresh water from both the Altamaha and the Satilla Rivers. The water at the Marina looks like Altamaha River water, which it is. Catfish are being caught in the Ocean there is so much fresh water. I have been fishing in areas where the water isn’t muddy, but it is very tannin stained. It really looks like strong ice tea. In this water, i am sticking with flashy flies that the fish can easily see. The Copperhead (Look for tying instructions on the newsletter page.) has been a great fly in these conditions.

In late January, the cold weather came rolling in and I didn’t go out much. We had huge tides on Super, blood, full moon in January. That muddied the water for a week. It has cleared now, and fishing is good.

Because of weather and huge tides, fishing in the winter can be great and terrible. It all depends on the weather. If you are fishing after a cold front and the wind is blowing from the N, I usually suggest we do not go out. On the other hand, if we are fishing 3 or so days after a front passes, the wind is calm or from the S and the skies clear, we can have some of the best sight fishing of the year. If you are here and want to fish, I try to be very flexible in scheduling. I will be honest with you about whether or not we should go out on any particular day.

Some people are catching trout, but I haven’t fished for them since early Fall. I would, and my clients would, rather spend their time sight fishing for 7-10 lb red fish rather than blind casting for 14-18″ seatrout.

Tte water has cooled to 55 degrees, and the fiddlers have burrowed into the mud for a long winter nap. While you may see red fish in the grass on big tides, you normally will not see them tailing aggressively. You may see a tail here and there, and if you do, give it a shot.

The most productive time to fish right now is the low tide, winter time pattern of “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn.”
Just a few pictures from the last few months.

Give me a call and let’s go “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn”
Capt Dave
www.flycastcharters.com
email:flycastcharters@gmail.com
cell: 706.540.1276

big red

Michael’s 2nd Red of the day

 

Red Fish
For the most part, October through early December brought off the wall fishing for Reds.. There will always be days when the wind is blowing, the sky is overcast or the Reds simply sit on the bottom and sulk. Fortunately, there were not too many of them this Fall.

October and November flood tides were outrageous. Dozens of shots at tailing reds was the norm. Once again, the only fly you need in the grass is the Black Toad. If you go fishing for red fish in the grass without this fly, you are crazy. It also catches fish on the low tide. I have been fishing this fly as long as I have been fishing for reds. It is my go to fly in the grass. If you ever find fish rejecting the black toad (It usually happens in really clear water) tie on a smaller version in tan. These fish are looking for and feeding on fiddler crabs. These two versions are excellent imitations of the forage.
After the water cooled, I changed focus to the low tide fishery. The Reds can be really spooky on low tide, particularly when the water is clear and the wind is calm. So be sure to put yourself into stealth mode when you stalk these fish. They will spook from 30 feet away just by normal conversation.
Normally they are more active on the incoming tide. When the sun is out and the low tide is later in the day, the sun warms the mud and oysters. When the water returns it warms up and so do the fish to take advantage of the warmer water. Earlier this month we saw huge fish crawling around in the mud on their bellies to let the mud and sun warm them. It is an amazing sight. I usually fish more natural flies during these tides, but I have been fishing a classic, Low Country South Carolina pattern these days, the Copperhead.
As we go into winter, the water will cool further (currently 57 degrees). It will clear and the schools of red fish will get bigger. You will also find them at the back of creeks as well as on the mud flats. Go Get Em.

Trout
Trout fishing sas been excellent. We have had some torrential rains lately that have pushed a lot of fresh water into the sound. The water is stained and muddy. As soon as this clears up, and as long as it does not get too cold, trout fishing can be excellent in December.

Call, text or email if you are interested in booking a trip.

 

Enjoy the pictures.

Capt. Dave
www.flycastcharters.com
flycastcharters@gmail.com
706.540.1276                                               

 

July, August and September brought a typical summertime pattern for reds. If the tides were not high enough for thefish to get into the grass, I concentrated fishing for these

Red Fish

Reds in the Grass

Red Fish

Reds in the grass

fish on the low tides. When the tide recedes the fish are pushed from the long grass and from around the oyster rakes. They school up on select mud flats for protection. They can be incredibly spooky at this time. The best time for this type of fishing is when the low tides are early in the morning. Low ti

10 lb red on a Stealth Bomber

des an hour or so after first light will often offer fish moving around, pushing water and aggressively eating. Lot’s of times we will see the fish crawling with their backs out of the water or feeding with their tails up. Later in the day, many times the fish just sit on the bottom and sulk.
The shrimp are bigger now and beginning to move out of the creeks. Keep an eye open for reds actively feeding on these Fall shrimp at creekmouths on an out going tide.
September flood tides were off the charts. Shots at dozens of fish on a tide were the norm. I expect October to be the same.
Toward the end of October, there may be a few more days of tailing tides, depending on the water temperature. In late October, the water typically begins to cool and clear. This heralds the arrival of the winter pattern of huge schools of red fish in clear water.

 

 

Trout and Flounder

Sea Trout

Livewell full of trout. Have to keep a few for dinner

Now the shrimp are larger and moving out of the creeks, the Fall pattern of trout fishing is beginning. A few weeks ago, i went out and caught good numbers of 15-18 inch speckled sea trout. Once the water cools a little, trout fishing will really turn on.
I have been so busy chasing red fish, I have not had a chance to target this great eating fish, but reports say Flounder are still being caught.

red fish

5 spotted red fish

If you are planning a trip to the Golden Isles this Fall or Early Winter, give me a call and let’s go “Hunting

spotted red

16 total spots on this red fishSurface caught red fish

Fish in the Marshes of Glynn.”

Enjoy the pics.

Capt. Dave

I am sorry I have not updated the fishing report in almost 6 months. I have been running on empty for months now. Thanks to all my clients and friend for the support and keeping me busy.

Still fishing. Spring was tough. April brought the triple tail. Red Fish are on the flats at low tide. Sometimes they move, sometimes they don’t. Flood tide fishing in May was great.
Looking forward to flood tides in July and August.

Trying to mix it up with some mackerel from the Parker when inshore gets really tough.

Been running hard for a long time. Thanks again and enjoy the pics.  Click on the images for full size photos.

And check out my new truck.  Best looking truck in SSI.

Tight lines, strip strike and practice the double haul.

Capt. Dave
“Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn.”

Late Fall and Early Winter fishing report 

Through much of November and into early December, the fishing for trout and red fish was on fire.  On several low tide trips my anglers had shots of schools of 25-50 big red fish tailing toward them in inches of water.  These fish were actively feeding on millions of shrimp that were still in the creeks.  Watching a school of 25 big reds come feeding toward you is as exciting as casting to a red fish tailing in the grass.  

    The low tide fish are extra spooky, so longer casts and lighter flies are necessary to get them to eat.  There is nothing like watching a fish notice your fly, watching the fish, working the fly to entice the fish to grab your fly, strip striking and hearing your line scream off the reel.  It is incredibly rewarding when it all comes together.

The weeks up to Christmas were a little slow with big tides and cold weather.  Then at Christmas, the cold weather came in with high winds and cold weather.  We were able to get a few trips in after Christmas, and all the folks got shots at fish.  The first few weeks of January were bitterly cold and I didn’t go out.  

The weather has moderated some, and the water is clear.  After having the motor overhauled on the Maverick, I am doing a little gel coat maintenance on her.  I added a few pictures below of the girl with band aids all over her which are masking the gel coat work.

I took her fishing yesterday, and we found lots of red fish in clear water.  I even managed to catch one.

 

Capt. Dave Edens
706.540.1276
flycastcharters@gmail.com

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I had to go catch one and tag it for the DNR. Nothing is more exciting than sight fishing. There were so many fish around this day, I just waited for them to swim by.

 
 

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Britt’s first red fish on a fly.

 
 

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Red Fish on a Cloudy, Cold Day

 
 

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Touching up some rough spots in the Gel Coat

 
 

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Trying to fix some cosmetic cracks in the Gel.  After doing this I know why the people who do Gel Coat work get paid so much.  This is hard work requiring skill and patience.

Tailing Red Fish, Fall 2017–September, October, November 2017

Fall means great low tide fishng and tailing red fish in the grass.  Tailing Red Fish in the grass was as good as it gets on most trips. When the wind and weather allow, I always run a long way from the Marina. Most fishermen won’t consider running 15-20 miles for a short trip. But I run that far and reward my clients with lots of fish and little competition.

Here is a quote from a recent review left on my page on the Orvis site:
“Great Trip……best flood tide trip I have ever been on! No folks around..just me, Dave, and some of God’s best work! Oh yea……and a ton of red fish tailing, cruising through grass and fighting over crabs, snails, and what not! And this was only a half day charter. Tagged two fish for DNR. Some good memories burned in today. Off the beaten bath. Met a fist class guy today! There will be another trip in the future.”

That says it all. We saw minimum 10 tails on a trip and as many as 75 on really good days. Accurate casts were rewarded with fish from 7 to 11 pounds. But this was in September, Oct and early November.

By mid October, the fish were beginning to go into their winter pattern, and low tide fishing turned on. Here it is, mid November, and what is happening now is sight fishing red fish on the low tide. The water is clearing. On neap tides and days with low wind and bright skies, we are seeing schools of 25-50 fish. These fish are actively moving around, pushing water and hunting food in prep for winter.

Sight fishing red fish in the winter is different from tailing fish in the grass. You have to be very stealthy. Normal conversation will spook fish within 30 feet of the boat. On calm days, I will go down to a 6 or 7 weight with smaller flies and longer leaders. This combo allows delicate presentations. Fishing on low water in the winter is as technical as fishing a Spring Creek in Pennsylvania.

Speckled trout fishing is on fire. On a fly rod, a sink tip line and chartreuse and white clouser help entice these fish to bite. One of my favorite ways to catch trout is with a spinning rod, popping cork and DOA shrimp. This can be fun and exciting fishing. Many times it is a fish on every cast.

Fall and Early Winter offer some of the best fishing opportunities of the year. If you find yourself in the Golden Isles at this time of year, give me a call and lets go, “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn.” Click to go to my Contact Page.

Capt Dave
www.flycastcharters.com

 

 

Summer time fishing for red fish is as hot as the days are in South Georgia.

Low Tide Sight Fishing for Red Fish:
While we can fish the low tide at any time of day, the fishing is best when low tide is in the morning. Just as the sun comes up is a great time to look for actively feeding fish. The air is cooler so the angler is more comfortable. The water is cooler so the fish are more comfortable. At this time of year, you can see fish chasing shrimp all over the flats. Small shrimp patterns, clousers, the Prawns’ Revenge or the St. Simons Scampi are great flies. If you see a swirl or a wake, cast to it and you may be rewarded with a nice fish.
There are certain flats and edges that usually hold fish in the summer on the low tide. Sometimes the fish are where I expect them to be, other times we have to move around until I find them. Some flats fish well on the outgoing tide, some on the dead low tide and some on the incoming tide. I move around a lot to find active fish for my clients. If we are on a flat, and nothing is happening, I pack it up, put the Maverick in high gear and take off.

Flood Tide Fishing-Tailing Red Fish in the grass:
If we can fish the flood tides, I always suggest a client try for red fish. This is the classic, southern fly fishing most people think about when they think about fly fishing for reds. See this short video I made several years ago to get an idea of what this is all about. Flood Tide Fishing
Catching reds in the flooded grass flats takes skill and luck. I had a client once say: “You just have to have a lot of shots.” So many things have to come together to catch a tailing red fish. Your cast is accurate. The fly doesn’t get caught above the water on the grass. The fly finally sinks through the grass so a fish can see it. You don’t line a fish. The fish moves in the direction you think it will move. You time the retrieve so the fly comes right in front of the fish. You make a good hook set. When it all comes together, you are rewarded by catching a red fish that offers some of the most exciting, visual sight fishing on the planet.
To the right is a recipe for tying a felt crab fly. Tie some of these, have a few gold spoon flies, and tie a few Black Toads, and you will have all the flies you need for flood tide red fishing.

Jacks
I have not seen the big jacks in the sound this year. We have had some temperature inversions in the ocean this year which affected the bait and the Jacks. I am keeping an eye out for them. When they are here, we will certainly chase these world class fish.

Speckled Sea Trout:
Trout fishing is getting better I saw a bunch of birds diving in the sound the other day. I motored over to them, and saw shrimp jumping out of the water. Casting a lightly weighted clouser yielded a small trout on every cast. It was fun, but they were not large enough for dinner. Remember, we now have a 14″ minimum length on Speckled Sea Trout.

I am almost completely booked for morning tailing tide trips in September and October. If you are interested in any of those days, please send me and email and I will contact you if I have any cancellations. There are plenty of evening times available. So if you are in SSI third week in September, give me a call and we can go chase some tails in the evening.

Enjoy the pics from the last few months. When you are down here for vacation, work or just passing through. Give me a call and let’s go “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn’”
Capt. Dave Edens
706.540.1276
flycastcharters@gmail.com

I can’t believe it has been four months since I have posted a sight fishing red fish report.

Seems like time flies.  There are lots of photos, so be sure to scroll all the way through.

The winter time sight fishing red fish was excellent. When we had nice weather, low wind and clear skies, we found schools of fish moving all over the flats. It never really got cold, and the huge schools never formed, however, we were able to consistently put clients on fish on the low tide in February and March.

Snook

Jim’s Snook

 

 

February’s high light was a hosted trip to Casa Viejo Chac on Ascension Bay in Punta Allen, Mexico. Ten intrepid souls traveled South of the Border for a break from sight fishing red fish for 6 days of the finest bone fishing on the planet. At the end of the first day, we had boated over 100 bonefish. After 6 days fishing, we had caught permit, jacks, snook and baby tarpon. We lost count of how many bonefish we caught. Another trip is planned from Feb 11-18, 2018. Let me know if you are interested.

Here are a few photos and a link to a Google album with more pictures. The San Kiam Preserve in Ascension bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Google Album: Bonefishing Mexico

 

Sight fishing red fish through the middle of March continued good. Lots of reds, clear water and big schools. About mid March we had a very cold spell and the winds started howling. The winds of Spring seemed to blow almost constantly, making conditions for sight fishing red fish difficult. We had a few slick calm days where we caught a few fish. In late March, the triple tail started showing up, and when the wind is down, sight fishing for triple tail offers a nice change of pace from flats fishing.

May brought calmer weather and better fly fishing. The water warmed, the reds broke up into smaller groups and the triple tail continued their Spring Fling in front of Jekyll. This is continuing into early June.

 Soon we will be looking for Jacks and Tarpon to begin showing up and crashing bait. Trout fishing has picked up with some big Roe trout being caught inshore and on the beach at Cumberland.  Early Summer time sight fishing red fish is in full swing in the Golden Isles of GA.  

When you are down here for vacation, work or just passing through.  Give me a call and let’s go “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn'”

Capt. Dave Edens
706.540.1276 cell–best

 

Sorry for the late report, but I have been on the water since right before Christmas until sight fishing red fish, so no time for computer work.

Copper colored red fish

Sight Fishing Red Fish

WOW!!! That is all I can say about the sight fishing red fish right now.  Big schools of red fish are moving all over the flats, pushing water and chasing bait and eating flies.

Winter time sight fishing red fish is all about the weather and the tides.  Low tides from late morning until mid afternoon, bright skies and calm wind spell success. We had some days sight fishing red fish when it was windy and cloudy where we had trouble getting the red fish to bite.  Some days we found them on the outgoing low tide, and on other days we found them on the incoming tide.  At this time of year you have to move around to find the fish.  My motto is, “Never Give Up.”

We have been able to find clear water even during the current full moon tide cycle.  We have have had genuine 10′ tidal changes recently.  Imagine how much water is rushing up and down the rivers and inlets for the water to change from a -1.4 ft low tide to a +8.6 ft high tide.   The amount of water moving in and out  of the  inlets, rivers and creeks is unimaginable.  However, we have been able to find clear water for sight fishing red fish

Anyway, we keep at it.  Sight fishing red fish with a fly rod.  I am just going to let the photos do the talking.

If you are in St. Simons for a meeting, conference or holiday–or simply want a winter time get a way–give me a call, and let’s go “Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn.”

Capt Dave Edens
www.flycastcharters.com
706.540.1276 cell–best
912.289.1061  home

Sight fished red fish

Red Fish never Smile

Puppy Drum

Tim’s Puppy Drum

sight fishing red fish

Copper Colored Red Fish

Matt'a Red Fish

Matt’s big red. Look over Matt’s left shoulder. The nervous water is a school of red fish. Love winter time fishing

Matt's first red

Matt’s first red fish of the day

Scott's Puppy Drum

Scott found several of these slot red fish in the back of creeks

red fish

Carter’s sight fished red fish

red fish

Carter’s Big Red Fish

close up red fish

Red Fish never smile

12 lb red

12 lb red fish on a 6 weight fly rod

puppy drum

They are not all big

Low tide red

Troy’s nice red fish

Tagged Red Fish

Even I had a chance to fish. Tagged and released for the DNR

August and September were all about tailing Red Fish  in the flooded grass.  Flood tide season as we call it.
The fishing:
When the tides exceed 8′, the water covers the hard marsh and the tailing red fish invade the flooded grass to munch on fiddler crabs.  On some days, they were so anxious to get into the grass, the tailing red fish were crawling on their bellies with their backs out of the water to get to these delectable red fish snacks.  Once in the grass, they grub aggressively for these little crabs.  Their tails stick out of the water, they splash water 2 feet into the air and run all over the flats with the feedbag on.  The sight of a 10 pound tailing red fish in water so shallow it barely covers their back will make even a seasoned angler have a bad case of knock knees.


Casting distances:
Even though these fish are aggressively feeding, they are very spooky.  Your casts to tailing red fish don’t have to be big booming 80′ casts, 40′ is a much more common distance, but they have to be accurate.  These tailing red fish have to have the fly so close to their face, they can’t turn down the opportunity for a quick snack.  Once hooked, they will try to run through cover back to deeper water, dragging your line and leader through heavy marsh grass.  Fishing for tailing red fish is not delicate.  7 1/2′ t0 9′ leaders tapered to no less than 20 lbs are needed to keep from breaking these big fish off.
The flies:
My favorite fly is a black toad.(click for tying instructions)  I have fished this fly for years, and year after year it continues to produce.  It is a good imitation of a fiddler crab.  If I only had one fly to fish in the Golden Isles of Georgia, it would be the black toad.  At the suggestion of another guide, I tied some in purple with a blue tail.  They work as well.  Another good option is a gold spoon.
We have one or two more sessions of tailing red fish in October.  Don’t miss it.  Go out and enjoy the best time of the year.

If you can’t be here for tailing red fish, look for the fish on low tide.  They are on the low tide flats chasing shrimp and eating flies.  September to December is a magical time for fishing in St. Simons.

PS:  Trout fishing in clear water is on fire, too.

Give me a call to enjoy some of the finest fishing for red fish on the east coast.

Capt. Dave Edens
706.540.1276