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Coastal Fishing

Tommy Thompson of Savannah with a nice flounder he caught while charter fishing with Capt. Golden this past Saturday.

Evan Jones of Richmond Hill, holding up a flounder. Evan also caught a redfish and a speckled trout, which earns him an "inshore slam" designation for catching all three species on the same day.

Coastal Fishing
August 31

By Captain Ray Golden

The Dawg Days of summer came back with a vengeance this past week, as the summer heat once again melted the ice in the coolers long before each day ended. This, of course, can slow down the fishing, but when UGA beats a big rival like Clemson, it makes everything alright!
There were significant offshore reports of big Spanish mackerel and grey trout, also known as summer trout, as well as big jack crevalle, which is a horrible fish to attempt to cook, but an awesome fighter on light tackle. In fact, many of the jack crevalle made their way inshore and were caught around the sounds and river systems.
Tripletail were hard to find this past week, although I did hook one up that would have gone about 18-20 pounds, but it came unbuttoned after a minute of screaming drag. The next day I caught a smaller fish, and a friend of mine was able to catch one going about eight pounds. Other than that, I think those northeast blows sent them in hiding. They’ll be back, though, as generally September is my best month for tripletail.
I had a charter trip out Saturday morning, and they wanted to focus on trout and flounder. We found a nice flounder right away, but all the trout were under the legal size limit, as is customary with late summer fishing. There were some nice trout caught over the weekend by various people who were in the right place at the right time, but mostly they were all throwbacks.
We were also able to catch a lot of small rat reds, which are redfish under the legal size limit of 14 inches. They were all caught on live mud minnows or plastic Gulp baits. After wading through numerous small fish, we were able to land a couple legal size fish for my charter to take home along with their flounder.
With the heat of the summer coming back, fish were being caught, but mostly small stuff. Now that September is upon us, look for the bigger fish to start moving in any day now. It won’t be long before whopper trout, fat flounder, and bruiser reds start filling up the fishing reports! And along with that comes the running of the big bull reds!
Big bull reds are redfish that are over 40 inches in length, and can weigh anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds. They are super fun to catch and it only takes a handful before most anglers are screaming “Uncle”! They arrive on the shoals and beach fronts when the water temperatures cool down another 10-12 degrees, which is usually by the end of September. Although these bigger fish are illegal to keep, they are a lot of fun to catch! Tight lines everyone!

Coastal Fishing Column: Captain Ray Golden is The Claxton Enterprise's newest columnist. He will be contributing to our selection of columns with "Coastal Fishing," a weekly fishing report. Captain Golden's column will appear on The Claxton Enterprise's website each week and occasionally in our weekly print edition as well. Captain Ray Golden is a USCG charter guide and, along with his wife, operates and manages Coffee Bluff Marina on Savannah's Southside. He can be reached by email at:"


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