The Power of Costa Fathoms!

Costa – Fathom are an Oldie but a Goodie

By: Tom Branch, Jr.


The Costa - Fathom Series Sunglasses are hardcore sunglasses for hardcore fishing junkies. Co-injected, cold-molded frames deliver a perfect flexible fit with the best polarized lenses on the planet to give you maximum comfort and vision on the water. A true sportsman is always prepared, so keep an extra pair in your tackle box. These sunglasses actually grip the skin the more you sweat for the ultimate hold. No more loose wearing sunglasses. The patented vented temples help keep your lenses from fogging up, so you can always get the most out of your lenses.


Costa’s advanced 580 lenses provide 100% UV protection plus unmatched clarity, contrast, and definition. The 580 lens technology takes lens performance to new heights by eliminating glare from yellow light and boosting red, blue, and green—resulting in deeper colors and sharper contrast. These lenses also feature both a water-repellent coating and an anti-reflective coating.


Costa del Mar Sunglass Company was started by a group of Florida anglers with the goal of building sunglasses that would perform in any situation or condition on the water. Each pair of Costa sunglasses are still fine tuned in the Costa Florida workshop to ensure that the utmost quality is preserved with each pair of sunglasses. Costa warrants these sunglasses against defects in materials or workmanship for the lifetime of the product…. Not for a year, but a lifetime. The sleek and stylish Costa Fathom Sunglasses won’t let you down!



Frame Fit: Medium 
Lens Size: Large

580G Lenses - Featuring exclusive Light Wave Glass technology, these are Costa most high-tech lenses. 20% thinner and 22% lighter than average polarized glass.

Grey - Maintains color saturation and natural contrast in medium to bright sunlight conditions. This color provides excellent versatility for sports on the water or the land.

Blue Mirror - Made for the open water. Encapsulated mirrors deliver maximum contrast and color in full sun, while eliminating glare.

Retail: $118.30 - $239.99


What customers are saying:

Daniel Dalfino, “On my 5th pair. I wear them 8-10 hours a day and they usually last two years. Great product.”

David Bui, “The only sets of sunglasses comparable to these are Maui Jims and Revos. I have had 4 pairs of these sunglasses and they are the best I have ever put on. Raybans are a joke and only a name like many sunglasses, but you are getting the best technology out there in my opinion.”


Tabitha Shuey, “My husband kept mentioning that he wanted a pair of Costas and after reading many reviews and researching them I finally bought these for my husband for father’s day. I had a hard time spending this much money on sunglasses! We love boating and he loves to fish, so we spend a lot of time on the water. These things are amazing on the water. Now.... I am trying to refrain from ordering myself a pair but just may have to give in! We will definitely own more in the future...maybe the near future.”


Read more about Costa sunglasses and Costa sponsoring the Kenny Chesney’s 2011 Goin’ Costal Summer Concert Tour at



About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and a full time Lieutenant/Firefighter-Paramedic with over 25 years of service with the Gwinnett County Fire Service in Georgia. He is employed by, LLC as the Director of Marketing and Future Development. He and his wife Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their 2 labs “Jake” and “Scout”.


Follow him on  and


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report


Striper fishing has been pretty good and we are seeing some really nice fish being caught! Planer boards and freelines are the ticket, Herring are probably the bait of choice but Gizzard Shad are also a good choice. Most of the fish are being taken in open water around bridges and bends in the river from Browns Bridge up to the 60 bridge. Finding the fish on this pattern is the challenge and that is best accomplished by watching the birds, looking for the isolated surfacing fish , or simply picking a section of the river and pulling the baits. The fish visible on the sonar, but because they are so scattered you will typically only see small groups of fish and maybe just singles. That is typical of this pattern and don’t be discouraged if you are not seeing big schools of fish.  Side imaging and 360 can definitely be an asset in this situation.

There are also some really nice Stripers moving up onto shallow points and bars in the upper reaches of the rivers. A big Gizzard Shad on a planer board will produce some awesome strikes, and this technique may get you a wallhanger! Don’t be hesitant to pull the boards right up on the banks!

Another option is after hours angling which remains a very good option! Bombers, small bucktails, and the McStiks will be good choices for the night bite. This techniques ramps up about an hour before sundown and is viable until just after sunup. Target the Stripers in the backs of the creeks or around dock lights.

Bass fishing is good; the fish are really pulling up and getting on the banks. If you just want to catch a bunch of fish, a Roboworm on a Weedless Wonder will be very productive and consistent. Other baits to try would be the jerkbaits, weightless plastics like the Flukes or Shadee Shads, and spinnerbaits. Almost any type of structure may hold fish, docks, Blowdown trees, secondary points, and stumpfields.  One bait that is really fun to fish and can be very productive in the days leading up to the spawn is the old floating Rapala. Cast this bait to around visible structures and fish it slowly with a twitch and pause motion. It is a very prolific technique and if you fish target the backs of the pockets it will produce some of nice of Largemouth Bass in addition to the Spots!

Crappie fishing is good, and we have had some really nice size fish being caught, although the numbers are a little lower than normal for this time of year. Look for the specs to be in shallow cover, docks, blowdowns, and flooded buck brush in the backs of pockets.  They are normally quick to bite, so move quickly until you locate fish.  Jigs and grubs are good choices for this type of fishing and both can be very effective fished under a weighted float. Just reel the bait slowly, pauses and stops will often trigger the bite.

OK, I’ll give the Walleyes Two more weeks, and if they do not start participating in our program we’ll take away their place in this column.  Other than a couple of anglers taking some fish out of the river, the Walleyes remain scarce. We have had reports of a few fish taken on jerkbaits by Bass fishermen, however, that has been the extent of the catch. If you want to target the Walleyes, concentrate on the upper parts of the river, search for the fish around rocky points and shallow humps. Brush is not a necessity but can be a plus!

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report

Striper fishing is good, the numbers may be a little less than what would be the norm for late March, but many of the fish in the teens and into the mid 20 lb. range! The best pattern is still pulling the live baits over open water areas, basically over bends in the river channel. This pattern may work anywhere, watch the birds to help narrow your search, but I think it is best in the middle upper parts of the lake. Freelines and planer boards are the ticket here; Herring have been the bait of choice.  This technique is all about covering lots of water so put out a big bait spread and be persistent.  The Herring seem to do well on the hook for 15 to 20 minutes, be diligent about checking/replacing you bait as needed.

 Fishing the backs of the creeks is also a viable pattern, especially at dusk, dawn and through the night. If you fishing after dark, Spro McStiks, small bucktail jigs, and the Bombers will yield some nice fish if you are willing to miss a little sleep. Fish the aforementioned baits slow, and cast right up to the bank.

The Bass have responded nicely to the warming surface temps and anglers are reporting some nice catches in recent days.  There are several patterns that are working, and here are some options to get you started. There are plenty of Spotted Bass on the docks, the depth varies, but if I had to pick a number I would look at docks that have 20 to 25 feet of water in the front of the dock. This may change as the water continues to warm and look for the Bass to suspend right up under the docks and/or move to the back corners. Fishing a Roboworm (Green Shiner and Prizm Kraw are good color patterns right now) on the Weedless Wonder will be hard to beat; jigs may give you a better chance for the big fish.  Fish the front of the dock first, then cast down each side, and finish by flipping or shooting bait as far under the dock as possible. There are also fish holding over drains and ditches anywhere from 5 to 20 feet. Jerkbaits, Fish Head Spins, or Shadee Shad are good choices for this pattern and may yield a bonus Striper bite to keep you honest. If the fish will not respond to suspending or moving baits, switch to the worm or jig to tweak the bite.

Crappie fishing has improved and anglers are catching some nice strings of fish out of shallow cover in the creeks and pockets. Blowdowns, Docks, flooded grass and buck brush are all likely structures to search for the specs. Small jigs, the Crappie country Chenille jig in the # 10, 7, and 3 color patterns are good choices as are small swimming grubs and live minnows. Fish all of the above under a float; just keep moving until you locate fish, they are bunched up nicely so once you find ‘em, you should stay busy for a while!

The Walleyes are starting to wrap up their spawning run and are heading back out of the rivers into the lake. They will remain in the upper parts of the lake for a while so the opportunity to catch a few is still good. Small crankbaits on rocky areas, shallow humps or brush are good choices to cast for the walleyes.  Fishing at night or in low-light conditions may increase your chances of success dramatically.

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Captain Macks Weekly Fishing Report

Striper Fishing has been good, and improving with warming water temps.  The main pattern remains pulling live baits over open water, mainly over the river channel. The bite is probably best in the upper parts of the rivers and I think the Chattahoochee side is the best option. Live baits on free lines and planer boards have been the best producers, but a few fish have been taken on down lines as well.  I am going to give Herring the nod as the bait of choice, but a Trout and or Gizzard Shad is always a good addition to your spread.  Depth seems to be the key and the distance behind the boat/planer can really influence the bite. Also, the addition of a little weight, #5 or #7 Split Shot, can be a very beneficial technique. Vary the distance and weight on your lines until you tweak the bite. Surfacing fish have been a little scarce, but there are a few to be found, mostly early and late in the day.  Keep a small bucktail tied on; if you see fish on top, they are quick to take the jig if you can get it to them quickly.  A ¼ or 3/8 Super Jig, tipped with a Shadee Shad should get the bite. On the bucktail, light line is a big plus. The smaller line allows for longer casts and makes those fish that seem to habitually be 10 feet out of range a little more accessible. Think 6 and 8 lb. test for the jig.

The Bass have also responded to the rising surface temps, but they are starting to move into shallower water. Creek Channels, ditches, and drains have all been good structures, and for this pattern I think the Fish Head Spin is the best bait. The slow steady retrieve is the ticket here.  There is also a good dock bite, Roboworms on the Weedless Wonder and the Spotsticker casting jigs are good choices for this pattern.  Target docks that are around 30 feet deep, the fish may be at any depth and often move over the course of the day based on weather and the sun. Dock fishing is a numbers game, run and gun until you can develop some type of pattern.  Jerkbaits are also viable baits and will become more so as the fish pull up on flats and points. For any of the above, I think the middle and upper parts of the lake are the most productive.

The Crappie bite is fair, maybe good, depending on the day. The fish are perhaps a little more scattered out than they might normally be in March, but they are really starting to move around as they prepare for the spawn. The techniques are varied with several methods producing fish. Long line trolling is still a good choice; fish the creek channels over a 7 to 15 foot bottom.  A slow troll seems to be best, let’s say .5 MPH, give a take a couple of tenths. Swimming jigs like the Crappie Country Wow Grubs have been good bait for the trolling. Docks are, as always, a good choice, shooting the docks with the Bobby Garland Grubs or the Sugarbugs Chenille jigs have been producing fairly well.

We actually have a Walleye report this week! The fish are in the rivers now, and we have a few anglers that are having some successful targeting the Walleyes. Small jigs, 1/8 or ¼ oz. bucktails fished slowly on or near the bottom is the pattern. Typically, the Walleyes will not be in the rivers long, they often spawn and head back down the lake so now is your chance! Historically, the Chattahoochee River has greater numbers of fish than the Chestateee, but there will be fish in both rivers. If you don’t want to make the run up into the headwaters, try targeting the Walleyes on lower lake rip rap. This technique is generally the most productive after dark, or in low light conditions. Small jigs and crankbaits fished slowly are a good choice for Mr. Walleye.


Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Captain Mack's Fishing Report

Robert Estrada with a double header on the rig!


What a difference a week makes! The water has warmed nicely and fishing is improving for all species! If nothing else, at least we have been warm while we are trying to catch them!

The Stripers are waking up and in addition to a good average size the numbers are improving as well. There has been a good bite open water bite that has developed in recent days, live baits on free lines and planer boards have been the best producers. The addition of a little weight, a #5 or #7 Split Shot, seems to worth a few extra bites. Fish the baits 60 to 80 feet behind the boat or planer. The fish are still keyed on the smaller baits, so keeping a medium m Shiner or a threadfin Shad in the bait spread is probably a good idea. Herring are also very effective, and I would dedicate at least one line to pulling a big Gizzard Shad or Trout.  Keep a small bucktail tied on, we are starting to see some surfacing fish, especially early and late in the day, and if you can get to them they are quick to take the jig. A ¼ or 3/8 Super Jig tipped with a Shadee Shad has been an effective combo. Light line is a big plus on the jig, I prefer 6 or 8lb test, the smaller line allows for longer casts and more depth as you retrieve the jig. I think fishing is best in the middle parts of the lake.

Bass fishing has also improved and we are seeing the fish get up and move around a little bit. Docks have been a good pattern, of Course that can be tough to define since we have 7500 docks on the lake, but key on docks with some type of structure under or adjacent to the dock. Side Imaging is a big plus here as you can quickly determine which docks qualify, and often you’ll see the fish as well. That is not to say that a dock alone is not sufficient structure to hold fish, they often are, but an additional structure is usually a plus. The Roboworms (Green Shiner has been a good color choice) on the weedless wonder are a good choice to cast at the docks, as are rubber skirted jigs such as the Spotsticker casting jigs. Small cranking baits, I always like the Shad Raps in this cool water, and jerkbaits are also beginning to produce some fish in the backs of the pockets, look for this activity to increase as the water continues to warm.

The Crappie bite is ok, the numbers are area not as strong as they usually are in March, but I think that is due to cooler than normal water temps. The Crappie are also responding to improving water temps and look for the bite to really fire up any day. Shooting docks with the Bobby garland baits is the best pattern, and upper reaches of the lake are the most productive areas for this pattern. The longline trolling is also effective, pull small grubs along the creek channels over a 15 to 30 foot bottom, darker colored baits on overcast days, and lighter colors in bright conditions. The trolling pattern may be effective in creeks on any part of the lake.   

Walleye fishing is great, in Minnesota, but not much to report on here.  If anybody is catching them they are silent. There should be some spawning fish in the rivers, or in staging areas in the upper parts of either river. There may also be some really nice fish on lower lake rip rap as well. The rip rap pattern will probably be most productive after dark. Small jigs and crankbaits fished slowly are a good choice for Mr. Walleye.


Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @




Please wear your life jacket!

PLEASE Wear your life jacket….

Come on folks, how many people have to drown for everyone to begin wearing a life jacket all the time when you are on the water? Just the other day on Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, Georgia another angler has drowned while fishing when he fell overboard. Read more about this story; follow the link below -

Why does this continue to happen? The National Safety Council, Inc. tells us that almost 7,000 people drown in the United States each year. This number must decrease in the near future; I am tired of seeing fishermen and outdoors people die on the water.  To make this number decrease we must begin to ask others to put on his or her life jacket when they are near or on the water.  For those of you that do not fish in tournaments, it is the rule that every angler in a competitive fishing event must wear a life jacket when the big motor is under power. This is a sound practice that needs to be carried over into a common sense law for all boaters.

In Georgia, for example, all vessels must have at least one USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person on board. However, Type V PFDs are acceptable only when worn and securely fastened. These types of PFDs are for specific activities. To be acceptable by the USCG, they must be used for the activity specified on the label. Varieties include fishing, kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing, hybrid vests and deck suits.

The current Georgia law requires that all children under 10 years of age wear a U.S. Coast Guard—approved PFD while on board any moving vessel. This law does not apply when the child is in a fully enclosed cabin. In response to several fatal boating accidents this past summer, the Georgia legislature and Governor are expected to introduce legislation in 2013 to establish mandatory boater education, increase the PFD mandate to any child under 13 years old and possibly Personal Water Craft (PWC) education for those who rent PWCs.

Not only is it important to wear a PFD, but I believe it is just as important to make sure your fits properly. Sizing for adults is by using your chest size, not your weight. This will help determine the correct size. For children, their weight will determine the correct size. When trying a PFD on, they should be snug and fit like a glove, yet allow you to move freely and not restrict you while casting, paddling or just playing. To get the best feel and fit, wear similar clothing when trying on a PFD. Women should consider women-specific PFDs versus unisex styles. All PFDs will have a different design and foam placement to fit the contours of the body. Foam placement has more to do with comfort than safety. The more straps a PFD has, the more adjustments can be made to customize its fit. To assure a proper fit go to a repeatable marine store and allow a properly trained assist to help you.

LIfe Jackets

Types of PFDs: There are 5 categories of PFDs.

Type I: Offshore Life Jackets. These vests are geared for rough, open or remote waters where rescue may take a while. Though bulky, they have the most buoyancy, a bright color and can turn most unconscious people face up in the water.

Type II: Near-shore Vests. Made for calm inland waters, where there is a likely chance of a fast rescue is the intent of these PFDs. They will turn some unconscious wearers to the face-up position but not all of them. They are bulky, but less so than Type I.

Type III: Flotation Aids. These are suitable for most on the water activties where there is a chance for a quick rescue. They offer freedom of movement and the most comfort for continuous wear. Type IIIs are designed so wearers can put themselves in a face-up position, but they may have to tilt their head back to avoid being face down in water.

Type IV: Throwable Devices. Cushions or ring buoys are designed to be thrown to someone in trouble and provide backup to a PFD. They are not for non-swimmers, rough waters or the unconscious. The USCG does not require these for canoes or kayaks.

Type V: Special-use Devices. These are specialized PFDs for specific activities. To be acceptable by the USCG, they must be used for the activity specified on the label. Varieties include fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, hybrid vests and deck suits.

Last week, I was given the opportunity to wear and test the new Type V Mustang Survival M.I.T. 100 Auto Inflatable Life Jacket. The new M.I.T. 100 with Automatic Activation is a premium product at a truly affordable price.  The jacket suggested retail is $149.99 at your local Bass Pro Shops. When I put on this PFD and properly adjusted it, I was amazed at just how much freedom of movement I had casting a rod and reel, and moving around in the boat. This life jacket was so light and comfortable I had it on all day and hardly noticed it! So the acceptance of wearing a life jacket on the water all the time became more plausible!

Life Vest

If you don’t know your own state's regulation on life jackets and PFDs, go to the Boat U.S. web site and locate the laws specific to your state.  Web page link:

Please help me eliminate drowning on and near the water across the country this spring by asking others to wear their PFD. My hope is that you, and your family will never have to find out if your life jacket works when you fall into the water. Really, is $150 to much to save your own life?



About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Follow him on   and   



Stay Safe this Holiday Season while in the woods

Stay safe this holiday season while in the woods

By: Tom Branch, Jr.

For many families, including mine, the holiday season is about hunting and eating home-cooked meals, but safety should be as high a priority. I would rather be in a deer stand for the holidays than in the hospital from an injury. So all of us hunters must show some common-sense and follow safety precautions.

Did you know the majority of accidents occur while ascending or descending from a tree stand?

Every hunter should wear a safety harness system while climbing a tree and while sitting in a tree stand, no matter how high up a tree you are. Many of the current tree stand manufactures are providing a safety harness when you purchase a new deer stand. Make sure the safety harness you are wearing secures your shoulders, waist and legs all together as one system. Prior to any climbing, make sure your tether strap is attached to your harness and to the tree.  

Another danger is when climbing into a deer stand when the hunter steps over onto the stand from the ladder section. At this point, all of your weight is on one foot when you access the stability of the sitting area of the stand.

Another big mistake hunters make is not properly securing themselves into their stands once they have ascended the tree. Remember, you can fall out of your stand just as easily as you could going up the tree, or coming down it.

We all know that using a firearm can present a variety of dangers and safety hazards. Remember the firearm safety tips and guidelines you were taught in your Hunter Safety course. Make sure what you’re aiming at is what you want to hit. Identify your target prior to pointing your gun at it, and you must be 100 percent sure of your target before you pull the trigger.

All deer hunters in Georgia are required to wear at least 500 square inches of unbroken fluorescent orange when hunting deer during gun season (others should check their state regulations for more details). This also means when you are sitting in the deer stand you must wear your orange vest. Remember you are visible to other hunters and not to the deer.

All hunters need to follow the state’s legal requirements. To read more go to:

Please use what GOD gave you in the form of common sense and have fun in the great outdoors.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours..... BRANCH

About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years and he is a part owner of Wave Away, LLC.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Follow him on  and



Capt. Judy Helmey's Fishing Report

The Spotted Sea Trout has been good!

Artificials are working!!


This is what Captain Matt called lures that need to be put in the discard pile!  The yellow jig with the “Electric Chicken” paddle tail still has a few casts left.  However, the one below tail is missing isn’t much good at this to point.  During this time of the year it’s always a fisherman’s choice on whether or not they want to go to the artificial zone once they get the spotted sea trout bite start.  Some fisherman say, “During the warmer water times blue fish as well as others that have sharp teeth are known for really taking a toll on the artificial baits.  According to Captain Matt in some cases you are just a busy replacing lures as you are baiting up shrimp. As far as cost according to Captain Matt, “Its possible cost between live shrimp and the artificial is about the same!” 


So here’s suggestion for those that want to go artificial at this time of the year take all of you oldest and give them a try. The reason being is that once you get the bite going the old spotted sea trout is hitting movement not any special color or style!


Got Trout?

Captain Kevin Rose finds some great clean water conditions…


Photo by Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charters

When you find yourself in clear water conditions the bite is definitely on!

Cindy Hess and her son Nick had a great inshore light tackle catching day with Captain Matt!

The inshore spotted sea trout bite continues to get better every day.  However, inshore fishermen have had a hard time dealing with leftover windy conditions from Sandy.  However, if you can find a place to fish out of the wind I suggest giving this area a try.  Best live baits are shrimp and mud minnows. Whatever you do don’t forget you camera!!

Spotted Sea Trout

Cindy Hess and her son Nick caught a nice mess of spotted sea trout while fishing with Captain Matt Williams of Miss Judy Charters!  The mother son fishing team really scored big time!!  Even though windy conditions prevailed Captain Matt still found a spot where the fish were feeding!  The bite started with shrimp and ended with artificals!!


Artificial Reef Report

Spanish mackerel Bite

Spanish Mackerel

There is one thing that you can count on especially at this time of the year and that’s “CHANGE!” 

The reason being is that water temperatures are on the fall, but can “teeter toddler.”  It’s a simple as well as unpredictable occurrence at this time of the year. Approaching cold fronts as well as the simple in coming and out going tide can temporarily drop the water temperature.  These effects sometimes are permanent while other times they are not.  With that being said, “Sometimes when the water temperature drops it warms right back up. 


Summer trout also known as Weak fish!!

Summer Trout


I had to show off this nice summer trout which was caught by one of my customers while using a very small piece of cut squid.  During this time the artificial reefs are holding some nice summer trout.  Please don’t forget you dip net these fish has very weak mouth design. Sometimes lifting them out of the water into the boat doesn’t always work.  However, if you have a net under them your chances are going to be a lot better in the landing department!

Savannah Snapper Banks

Snapper Banks

This is a fine gag grouper, which Captain “Triple Trouble” Steve caught, while jigging in about 120 feet this past spring.  The best news that I can tell you is, it’s once again the best time of the year where both gags and scamps are on the move.  The reason being is its migration time for the big bottom fish.

For those fishermen that just like to go fishing now is the time but only if, you want plenty of bottom and even some top water action!  Even though there are some fish closures there is plenty other fish to catch as well as keep in the sea!!  

Blue Water Fishing Report!

If you go let me know!!

  High speed trolling, trolling regular, and bottom fishing…all will work!!

Going soon and will publish catching results!  However, if you get the chance, please go, because now you know…It’s time to make blue water run!!



Fishing Clinics with Miss Judy's Charters


It’s time to sign up!!


Inshore Light Tackle Fishing

Stephanie O’Conner scores a big one!

Red Fish Fishing Is Good!

If you don’t believe me Just Ask Stephanie O Conner

Trophy Red Fish

Photo by Captain Kevin Rose

Stephanie O Conner along with her husband Jeff fished with Captain Kevin Rose of Miss Judy Charter this past week.  She is holding a nice trophy red fish, which was caught, fought, and released.  The Duo caught quite a few spotted sea trout on this fish day.  According to Captain Kevin, Stephanie did an amazing job of finding fish with prefect drifts!    With all this being said, “It’s time to go inshore light tackle fishing!” 


“Inshore Trolling and Strolling!” 

With a local legend Captain “Uncle” Bob Morrissey

My long time friend Captain “Uncle” Bob while trolling and strolling caught 10 nice spotted sea trout and one blue fish in less than three hours.  All fish were caught while trolling red head jig rigged with green or white chartreuse screw tails.  As my uncle always said, “Proof is in the cooler, but in this case it’s lying at his feet!”  

  Spotted Sea Trout

Caught these trout while using this secret bait

Secret Bait

Red head jig with white screw tail.  It’s the Captain “Uncle” Bob spotted sea trout catching special!!

For those that don’t know…taking a lure for a drag is sometimes referred to as “Trolling and Strolling!  Not matter what you care to call it, it time to give this type of fishing a try!!


Now you know what to buy!!  Better hurry, because as soon as this is published these lures will be flying off the tackle shelves, because, fishermen as well as the fish have been informed!!

 Captain Matt William has what is called Flounder Power!!

Flounder Power

Captain Matt Williams is holding up three nice flounder, which were caught while fishing for spotted sea trout.  In a fisherman’s world these flounder would be called a “by-catch!”  The means he wasn’t targeting them, but they just happened to be feeding in sequence with the trout!  All I can say, “What a nice by-catch!”  The only thing left to do is to decide whether you are going to fix broil, crispy scored flounder, or baked flounder for dinner!! I this case I would try it all three ways!!

 Offshore Bottom fishing is just plain fun!

Offshore Bottom Fishing

Offshore fishing is still very good

The offshore fishing in around 130 feet of water has been very good with fishermen catching a little of everything from top water to bottom fish.. My suggestion is don’t think about it just make plans to go…the water temperature is still around mid seventies!! The best bait is always going to be cut squid…because I haven’t met a fish that didn’t like the stuff!!

 Grant Grosch and his father Greg…

Two at a time

Grant Grosch and his father Greg are having a good time catching one bottom fish after another.  Grant decided one fish wasn’t enough so he started catching them two at a time!

Grosch Irrigation Company Fishing Team

Also known as “CATCHERS OF FISH!” 

Grosch Fishing Team

The Grosch Fishing Team!!

 I would like to report that the Grosch fishing team caught, fought, and released some really nice fish.  They caught trigger fish, vermilion snapper, genuine red snapper, banded rudder fish, almaco jack, ocean perch, and to top it off…a nice size Spanish mackerel jumped into the boat…and we kept it too!!!


Blue Water Fishing Report!

This is the area where the water is always warm in which the fish like to roam!!

If you go let me know!!

  High speed trolling, trolling regular, and bottom fishing…all will work!!

Going soon and will publish catching results!  However, if you get the chance, please go, because now you know…It’s time to make blue water run!!


Freshies Report

It’s time to give Bill Vanderford a call!!

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go


“Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not.”

Nuclear Submarine and me!

Miss Jerry

My father’s boat Miss Jerry!

This is one of those bottom line stories that really happened.  I decided to write about this instance due to the fact that submarines are suppose to be one of the most technical pieces of equipment that there is. However after hearing about all of these collisions at sea, which really never happened, according to those that govern I thought I would share with you what did happen a long time ago.  I really did have a “Close Encounter with a nuclear submarine!”  Which begs to wonder,” Who the heck is at the helm?”  

During the year of 1995 while trolling in approximately 600 feet of water, I was buzzed by what I call a submarine-tracking plane.  The A-Wax plane flew over my boat, heading east and then directly made a hard turn back to me.  When the plane got about 100 feet from my bow a very large object went under my boat.  It was unbelievably big; this wasn’t a fish or whale. Yes, I did hook it up; the object/submarine got tangled in both of my down riggers, which were 100 feet down.  We were heading east and the submarine seemed to be heading southwest with my downrigger lines in tow.  The submarine completely pulled one rigger off.  This started a chain of tangles with the wire that was already hung on the submarine tower.  Finally after a few seconds, which seems like minutes, the main tangle broke.  We retrieved all equipment and bait, but the wire line was unusable not to mention the stand that used to hold the downrigger. However the rigs and ballyhoo on them were unharmed.

I have one last thing to say about this….If I had landed that rascal can you imagine how much I could have gotten for it at the old scrap metal market?

Thanks for reading!  Captain Judy


Thanksgiving Day Bite!

Looking for a great Thanksgiving Day Bite?


Cooler of Spotted Sea Trout

This is nice cooler of spotted sea trout were caught by Walt Sowers and his father Frank.  Here’s a tip for those fishermen that want to “go fish” before Thanksgiving Day dinner… The inshore bite should be best from 10:00 AM until around 3:00 PM ..This should give you just enough time to get to home for that Big Thanksgiving Bite!     Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

 Inshore fishing is ON!

Spotted trout and flounder

Tina Robinson and Captain Judy are happy as can be and why wouldn’t they be?  Take a look at this fine catch of spotted sea trout and flounder!  All fish were caught while inshore light tackle fishing with Captain Matt Williams of Miss Judy Charters!  Now is the time to go inshore fishing!

Artificial Reefs

Captain “Triple Trouble” Steve Howell’s 44 inch red fish!!

Red Fish

Steve Howell and I are trying to stand up in the back of the boat.  Although it was rough we still found a pretty good offshore bite while doing a little bottom bumping.  This 44 inch trophy red fish ate a small piece of squid, Steve brought to the boat, we tagged it, and it was quickly returned back to the water…all I can say now is “Catch you later!”


Flounder Power at the offshore artificial reefs!


Steve Hanna is holding up some nice flounder, which were caught inshore while fishing with Captain Matt Williams of Miss Judy Charters.

During this time of the year flounder make their move to school up and feed around the structure located at the artificial reefs.  With that being said, it’s suggested that if you do anchor directly over the structure to make sure that you give standard flounder fishing a try.  The boils down to whatever you do once they take a bite, please give them time to eat!

Best live baits are jumbo mud minnows or small bottom fish such as sand perch or rock bass.  I suggest using a Caroline style bottom rig with a slide eggs sinker.  The weight should be heavy enough to keep the rig on the bottom and the leader used should be made from fluorocarbon.  It’s best to lip hook your bait, which means it will be able to swim as freely as possible.  Rigged in this manner the flounder will have to take the bait tail first, and by the time the fish figures out its mistake it will have basically inhaled the bait.  Don’t forget the dip net or your camera!


Bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks

It’s time to snag a gag

The Howell’s catching again!!

Grouper Fishing

Grouper fishing at this time of the year can certainly be exciting.  Captain Triple Steve and his father had a great time catching grouper with jigs and live bait.  There is one secret when it comes to catching grouper…it called location location location!


A beautiful ocean fish with unbelievable capabilities!

Soap Fish

This is called a soap fish 

Here’s a tip that all offshore fisherman can use: this is  called a soap fish.  It looks like a miniature grouper.  It’s normally caught in 120 plus feet of water. Whatever you do don’t put this fish in your live well, the mucus from this fish will kill all of your live bait!  How do I know this?  I found out the hard way! 

Blue Water Fishing Report!

Bottom fishing or trolling, it really doesn’t matter!!

Scamp Grouper

Captain Ryan Howard of Miss Judy Charters is holding up a nice scamp grouper, which he caught, while plain old bottom fishing in a deep water situation.  Now here’s the good news..the deeper the water the warmer the temperature!   It’s time to give Gulf Stream bottom fishing a try!! 


Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not!


A Thanksgiving Story

Sardines Snacks and the famous turkey Slide!

I guess most everyone has one of these holiday types of stories to share.  So therefore I would assume I am no different than anyone else.  My father always invited lots of family and friends to our Pre-Thanksgiving feast and drinking fest. It normally started around noon and most of the time lasted way until the early hours of the morning.  I might as well get to the truth of it all.  There was lots of eats and as I mentioned earlier also a lot of drinking!  Due to the fact that there were so many different types of people attending I have to admit sometimes that things really got interesting.  By large there was a good time had by all! 

Capt Sherman I Helmey

Thanksgiving 1984

Captain Sherman I. Helmey and his daughter Captain Judy L. Helmey

Our dinner wasn’t like most others where your family comes to visit, sits at the table, converses, and then eats.  It was more like a large picnic where you sat where you could and drank either what you brought or what was available.   My father always had some sort of spirits around.  According to my father the best of all liquor’s was called “O P!” This simply stood for “other people’s liquor.”

We spent our actual Thanksgiving Day with Aunt Hattie and Uncle Foster, but that’s an entirely different story.  Our pre-Thanksgiving party was always a hit with those that attended and also it meant a great deal for those that didn’t.  The reason for this is a simple one, those that didn't attend had plenty to talk about!  Our parties did get out of hand in most cases, which only added fuel to the conversations of the “busybody brigade!”  My father use to always say, “Women in hats always have something to hide!” According to daddy it was their big mouths! As a child, I wasn’t sure about the mouth thing.  So therefore I stared at all those that were wearing hats, because I was always trying to get a glimpse of what they were supposedly trying to hide.  It’s funny, but even now I find myself still looking!!

We made this hors d’oeuvre, although Daddy never called them that.  I can guarantee they were eaten by the handfuls. Daddy would take a tube of saltines crackers and deal them out on a big tray.  After that achievement he would open a few cans of whole sardines and put a large piece on each cracker.  As well as I can remember ½ sardine on each cracker worked out well.  On top of the sardines daddy put a thinly cut ring of raw Vidalia onion.  Here’s comes the last part and the best for me. While daddy was putting the  hors d’ oeuvre together it was my job to “roll the lemons!”  I was allowed to roll them on any hard surface that I could find.  So therefore some were rolled on the counter top while others were rolled on the concrete floor, because that’s where most of them ended up.  My job was to soften the tough meat of the old lemons.  After dropping the lemons from different heights and rolling them till they were soft enough I handed them to daddy and he cut them in half.  He then would squeeze the juice over the top of the crackers-sardines-onion rings.  According to my father this was a dish that had to be eaten right a way.  If not the crackers would become too soft to even pick up.  My job was to carry the tray and offer them up.  As I can remember since it was such a long time ago, I think I only dropped a few trays.

Our guests showed up in all sorts of transportation from cars to trucks to boats.   Some guests just walked down our dirt driveway from the main highway.  We never knew exactly how many guests would attend, but knowing my father as I did, I always expected a large crowd.  In the cooking department, I would have some help from daddy in my younger years, but as I got older I grabbed whom ever I could.   We cooked the normal Thanksgiving stuff, which consisted of baked turkey, dressing, and lima beans.   When I was young, eight years or less, neither Daddy nor I could figure out how to make Giblet gravy or rice.  Back in the old days you couldn’t just purchase gravy in a jar or rice in a bag. So therefore we stayed away from those two items.  We had our turkey recipe down.   We just oiled the bird up, put some choice seasonings on it, dumped it in the oven, and put it on 350 degrees for many drinkable hours.   However, there was this time where the turkey slipped out of our hands and on to the floor it went.  A greased headless 22-pound turkey when free dropped from 3 feet especially at an angle can do some traveling on the old kitchen floor. I should have measured the distance, but didn’t think about it at the time.

The stuffing/dressing was another thing that I didn’t understand the whole of.  My first dressings didn’t have much taste.  I don’t know why I just didn’t ask someone, but I really never thought about it.  The biggest problem was the fact that I didn’t know that it had to be cooked in the oven.  So therefore my uncooked dressing, which consisted of turkey’s juice and lots of, cracked up toasted and smashed cornbread was served as is.   It never looked or tasted like Aunt Hattie’s dressing whether I cooked it or not. I guess you really could say especially in the case of my uncooked dressing “The secret was definitely not in the sauce, but whether after you drank the sauce!”  As my father used to say, “It all tastes better especially after the bottom of the bottle is successfully revealed!”    

Happy Thanksgiving!

Captain Judy Helmey


SPRO McStick

I made plans to meet up with an old friend and hit the water Sunday morning. I actually got started earlier than he did so I was alone watching the sun come up at 6:45 and the stripers and some bass were already schooling up by the ramp. I didn't have to pick him up till 9:00 so I caught two medium (5 to 7 pounds) stripers casting a SPRO McStick through the middle of the schoolers. They would not touch a top-water plug or the Bomber for some reason and they appeared to just be slurping down small shad. Slow rolling the McStick seemed to work, but only a couple of times.  I thought I should have caught at least ten for as many fish that seemed to be there! These stripers and the few bass were in small pods of 3 to maybe 10 fish at the most and they were swirling, but not exploding like some of the schools that I have seen busting blue backs in the creeks in past weeks.

We made a medium run from Shoal Creek up to his dock in flat creek and I told him it should be a decent day. I should have taken him back to the ramp because he wanted to catch stripers. I really expected to find them schooling in Flat or Balus, but I couldn't find any concentrations of them. (we were casting plugs-No live bait in he Nitro unless I am taking kids) So we ended up running and gunning most of the day,  but it was almost all running. By around noon we had zero action and my pride was hurting. I would rather catch bass anyway so we picked up the shaky heads and jigs and went to work. Got on a pretty good shallow bite-not a lot of bites but the onces that did bite were all decent. The one in the picture looks smaller than she was but she went around 3 and a half. I was just looking at my Humminbird 858c in 15 foot of water by a dock and saw a fish right below the boat. I dropped my jig head worm and she followed it down and I saw her eat it on the screen. I love setting the hook before even feeling a tap! We caught 4 or 5 before we had to leave at 3 but I wish I had the day to do over. All of our bass hit in under 20 foot skipping around docks with a 1/8th ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head with a Big Bite Rojas Cane Sticks fished on 5-7 pound Sunline Flouro and one hit a 1/4 ounce Strike King Pro Model with a Fighting Frog with the pinchers dipped in JJs. The few bites we did have most occurred on the fall and were very light-Just heavy or swimming off. I have found some deeper fish that will eat jigs and one of them had that weird fungus that a few people have been talking about but the shallow fish looked very healthy.

 SPRO McStick

Good fishing and God Bless! Eric Aldrich


Fishing Report & Clinics


It’s time to sign up!!

Our newly revised inshore handout material is going to be considered priceless!  We are going to give you the best times to fish for what, when, and where for the entire year of 2013.

Any inshore fisherman that is considering going offshore should seriously consider attending the offshore class!  Details below:

Two Inshore Schools

Saturday February 9 2013

Saturday February 23, 2013

One Offshore School

Saturday March 9, 2013

Time: 8:00AM – 2:00 PM

Place: Tubby’s Tank House 2909 River Drive, Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404

Cost: $90.00 (included one day class, breakfast, and lunch)

Please call 912 897 4921 now for reservations

Please sign up as soon as possible!  There is limited entry!

Capt Judy’s email

Capt Judy’s Cell 912 429 7671

For more detailed information go to OR GIVE US A CALL 912 897 4921


 Inshore fishing report

Trophy Red Fish

Trophy red fish: Headache or not!

Teresa Talley is holding up a nice trophy red fish, which she caught while inshore fishing with Captain Ray Crawley.  Teresa was very happy after fighting, catching, and releasing her fish.  However, some things it seems do have their draw backs. Once the fish was released she asked Captain Ray if he had any aspirin.  And Captain Ray replied, “Why?”  Teresa said, “While I was trying to get the fish to the boat I gritted my teeth so hard that I gave myself a headache!” 

Artificial Reefs

Spanish Mackerel

Cherrie and Captain Deidra Jeffcoat of Miss Judy Charters having a blast catching Spanish Mackerel. 

Cherrie and Captain Deidra Jeffcoat of Miss Judy Charters had a great time catching Spanish mackerel.  You may not see these fish jumping on the surface but they are here!  The rule of thumb is to look for the birds feeding or just troll over any underwater structure.  The best baits are small and medium Clark spoons trolled at about 5 knots.

While trolling we are catching Spanish and King Mackerel, Little Tunny, and Blue Fish.  All of these fish are gladly hitting all size Clark spoons being pulled behind #1, #2, and #3 planers.  You noticed I added king mackerel to this list.  Well, it’s true we did have several king mackerel hook up while trolling for Spanish mackerel.  However, the tackle we were using was so light we could not get the fish in the boat.  With that being said, Try if you wish, the king mackerel are here!

Savannah Snapper Banks

The old trigger fish is good to eat! 

Trigger Fish

 Captain Kathy Brown is holding a nice trigger fish, which was caught while bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper banks.  Here’s some interesting facts about a trigger fish.  The skin once dried out makes some of the best sand paper ever.  Back in the old days during the wooden ship era seamen would eat the meat of the trigger fish, dry the skins, and use them to sand the deck of the ship.  This is a fish that jabs at its intended meal.  Therefore if your bait looks pulled and strung out this means that a trigger fish attacked.  The best suggestion I can tell you at that point is to give them time to eat. 

Sea Urchin

This is a sea urchin, which was caught while bottom fishing.  Take a close look at this picture. In the dead center of the urchin is a place that it’s most vulnerable, because there are no spines protecting it.  This is the area that the trigger fish targets, because it is the easiest spot to crack.  During this attack the trigger fish sometimes gets the spines broken off into all parts of their body and mostly in their face.  When you catch a trigger fish check for broken off spines as well as scars from an apparent sea urchin battle.  If the trigger fish does hit the sweet spot it gets to eat the insides of the sea urchin.  However, if it misses it could get its eyes poked out as well as being scared for life!

 Gulf Stream Report

Bottom Fish

This picture is from Captain Judy on the Miss Judy Too.This large Wahoo was caught on drift live line, which was baited up with a live silver snapper.  I put this bait out on a standard king mackerel rod/reel set up loaded.  When it comes to blue water Gulf Stream fishing, the Georgia Coast has a lot to offer.  Most fishermen don’t realize this until they try it.  We have quite a few fishermen that have figured out the feeding habits of fish in this area.  with 20 pound test main line.  It took over two hours to land this fish.  Every time we got this big fish to the boat it took a different direction and there was no changing its mind.   For catching opportunities like this one I suggest thinking outside of the box. 

Just about any bait you wish will get this job done.  Back in the old days we took a standard king mackerel rig and beefed it up with heavier wire and large hooks.  For bait we used a silver snapper, which is more commonly known by most as a “red porgy.”  This is strong swimming bait and will seek deeper water to stage a holding pattern.   Fast fish such as king mackerel and Wahoo can’t pass this sort of free swimming bait up.  

The trolling plight!
The black fin tuna have arrived and can be caught while trolling over the ledges in 15 to 250 feet of water or you just might find them rounding up bait in the upper water column.  This is one fish that feeds fast and furious. This means that they are strong fighters!  As far as best baits, small to regular size cedar plugs work as well as dink ballyhoo rigged on an assortment of colorful Tracker Ilanders.  The secret when targeting this fish is it’s important to “match the hatch.”  When trolling over a ledge wait until your baits are over it, take your boat out of gear and let the bait fall a bit in the water column.  Then put the boat back in gear, and when the bait is jetted forward that is when most bites are triggered.

Another method for hooking up black fins is to jig for them.  It’s simple and, believe me, it does work.  Your Jig selection should be heavy enough to make a sharp fall in the water column and small enough to fit in the tuna’s mouth.  Hook ups from a stand still are strong, direct, and awesomely powerful!  I can hear the reel screaming now!

 Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”  For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site

  Oyster Toad Fish

This is an oyster toad fish, which we call “the maw in law fish!” 

I am always writing about the fish that we catch that are good to eat.  I would like to tell you about one fish that we catch, but almost never eat.                                             

I consider the poor, misunderstood toadfish the ugliest of them all. I know its mother had to love it, but I am almost sure that is as far as this kinship goes.  One of my customers had another name for this fish, they called it the “The maw-in-law-fish.”  He told me why, but I really don’t need to pass on his reasons.  I am sure you can figure it out on your own.  The fish comes in the shape of a club with two dark semi-protruding eyes and a large big-lipped mouth.  The toad is equipped with a set of jaws that can put a hurting on any of your fingers.  In fact, those jaws are so strong that they can open oysters.  So beware, they do and will bite. They usually warn you with a croaking or grunting sound right before they bite.  In fact, they also use these sounds to communicate with each other.  At least that’s what I think.  They seem to talk the most at night.  I frequently hear them conversing under my floating dock. I haven’t figured out what they are saying, but as soon as I do you will be the first to know.

Here’s one for you, the male toad fish is responsible for taking care of the eggs.  He assumes responsibility as soon as the female passes them.  The females usually deposit the eggs in a spot where they can’t be disturbed by currents. The eggs have been found in empty cans and old shoes. The male’s job is to guard the spot until they go into the hatch mode, which can be as long as 3 weeks.  While the males are watching the eggs they don’t eat or leave the area.  They are very aggressive during this time.

The toads that we catch in the creeks and rivers are dark green in color.  They aren’t really large, but can still hurt you with their bite.  However, the toads that we catch offshore are a lot bigger than the ones inshore.  I have caught a few that were well over 4 pounds.  You should see the set of teeth on these babies.  The offshore toadfish’s color is a bright rust, which seems to get lighter the longer they remain in the sandy bottom offshore waters.

My father was known for his unusual supper surprises. It was not beyond him to skin, fry, and served toadfish to his company.  You have to understand my father loved to serve up unusual dishes to his unsuspecting guests.  Not only was fried toadfish occasionally on the menu, he also served grilled crow but that’s entirely another good story! Don’t kill these fish.  Please find a way to safely release them unharmed without hurting yourself.

Thanks for reading!  Captain Judy

POB 30771


912 897 4921

Captain Judy’s email


Captain Judy Charters

 Captain Alan Collins of Miss Judy Charters and the Poseys' fish  …

Catch and Release

 The Posey’s, while celebrating their 5th year wedding anniversary, had a great day of inshore fishing this past week with Captain Alan Collins.  They released quite a few fish and kept some nice fish to eat, which means there was lots of action going on. The best news is as waters cool inshore fishing should only get better!!

Little Bird watching

If you want your best chance of catching fish you should do a little bird watching! What are these birds doing in the above picture?  All are sitting on the water with heads up facing the wind.  With this stance they can smell any fish oils made by a fish feeding event. When they do smell something they take flight quickly towards the smell.  With that being said, “Let the birds help you find fish!” 

Below are a few suggestions for fishermen that don’t have special fishing spots and really don’t get to fish a lot.  Heck, if they don’t work for you, you can always come and fish with us!

To catch a fish in October you have to think like one:

As the water temperatures go into the cooling mode fish start to move, which means that they have to eat. They have to take in a lot of calories to make any migration, and fall also activates their instincts to tell them it’s time to start bulking up for the winter. So to say, “Feeding frenzies happen” is an understatement for sure. 

During this time of the year spotted sea trout get into some real feeding frenzies.  When this takes place the small shrimp or bait fish that the trout are feeding on start jumping and forming bait balls.  Those baits that jump will most likely be the first to be taken.  When a trout or a school of trout go into a frenzy leftover parts float to the surface along with the oil that they produce.  This is where the birds clean up the fresh leftovers. 

The baits that work together form up what is called a bait ball.  This is where the school of bait circles tightly, forming what looks like much larger fish, which is supposed to scare off the predators.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.   The rule of thumb when fishing at tightly schooled bait fish is to not penetrate the school it self.  The best tactic is to only work the outskirts.  The reason is that the larger fish are going to be holding on the outskirts and picking off the bait that seperates from the large school.  When deciding which casting lure to use make sure you  pick one that is about the same size as those baits that are schooling. 

Inshore fishing has been great it’s only going to get better! 

Inshore Fishing

The inshore fishing continues to get better everyday. Fishermen of all ages are getting to enjoy catch spotted sea trout, red fish, flounder, and whiting.  The best bait  is going to be shrimp.  You can catch it yourself or purchase at your local bait house.

Artificial Reef Action

Fishermen that like short boat rides to the fish and a light tackle experience should check out this next section.

It’s time to quit belly aching about some things that we cannot change when it comes to the fisheries.   It has taken me a while to get all of these fisheries closings wrapped around my head.  I have been mad, frustrated, and in denial for some time, but then it dawned on me “it is what it is!”  It’s the belief of most fishermen that when it comes the artificial reefs, especially during this time, that black sea bass are the only fish out there.  Well…maybe not. With all this being said and also with a much better fishing prospective in my mind here’s what I have been doing at the artificial reefs:

Bottom Fishing

It’s true when you're bottom fishing with any sort of bait, such as squid or cut fish, you will definitely catch black fish.  The truth of the matter is you won’t just catch a few you will catch hundreds.  Believe me I have had my customers count them.  With 6 anglers fishing on the bottom in 2 hours we normally catch over 200 black sea bass.  Well, that in itself is a miracle even if you can’t keep them. 

When we bottom fish from my charter boat we use heavier weights so that once dropped the bait is taken straight down.  With all the closures we have had to lighten up our tackle quite a bit.  While my customers were bottom fishing I decided to stage my own fishing adventure.  I tied a small Hopkins lure directly on to a small rod/reel loaded with 20 pound test line.   As it gracefully fell thorough the water column I felt a bump. This first fish missed the lure, so I retrieved again and cast a ways from the boat letting the lure free fall.  As it dropped to about 20 feet a large school blue hit my lure.  I got hooked up, and then handed it to one of my customers.  It was at this time that I decided to get out a few more lures and light rods, which really turned the excitement tide.  So far this week, while making a few changes such as using lighter tackle and pitching spoons, we have fought, landed, and released several species in varying sizes.  We have caught: Blue Fish from school to mid size, trophy red fish, Spanish mackerel, lemon shark, weak fish, and as you know for sure Black Sea Bass.

The bottom line to this report is a simple one

Change is good and believe me there are more types of fish at the artificial reefs than you think!!

Please meet the Corcoran Brothers and there were 11 of them visiting Tybee Island from all over the United States

Tybee Island Visit

 The Corcoran Brothers all met at Tybee Island flying and driving in from all over the Untied States for a week long visit.  Here are seven of the eleven brothers. The other four stayed at the beach house and got ready to cook the fish at the seven fishing brothers caught. 

Offshore fishing at the artificial reefs has been pretty good.  While bottom fishing we have been catching black sea bass, trigger fish, and summer trout.  Trolling hasn’t been too bad either …the best news I can tell you is the Spanish mackerel are here making quite a showing!

Spanish Macherkerl

It’s Spanish mackerel time of the year!


Savannah Snapper Banks

Bottom Fishing is great!  And it’s time to go!

Snapper Banks

Captain Bob “Big fish” Rotham has pulled in what is as called “A trigger fish duo!” When using two hooks you might as well get two fish hooked up before bringing your rig to the boat. 

Stringer Full

This could be called a stringer full of fish, but it’s not.  It a gold hook sabiki rig that had 6 hooks on it.  One hook got torn off by another fish and the other 5 hooks held.  So therefore drop to the bottom and reel up 5 fish.  It’s as simple as that!!


Gulf Stream Report

It’s time to go!!

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go


Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not! 

Sniffing Orange Zest

Orange Zest

Yes, this is one of my customers sniffing a squeezed orange peel.  As you most likely already know when you squeeze an orange peel liquid as well as zest are pressed out.  It has been said by many that if you sniff an orange peel’s zest it will keep you from getting sea sick!!



Captain Judy Helmey
912 897 4921



The Time is now...Hunting Season!!

The Time is now….. Hunting Season

Big Buck

With slightly less than a few days remaining between now and the beginning of deer-hunting season here in Georgia, it's past time for hunters to be all geared up and ready to hit the woods.  Some hunters I know have these pre-season rituals, not me.  I can be ready in 15 minutes if you call me to go hunting! This post will outline some suggestions for preparing for the upcoming season.

First, you need to be ready to walk in the woods and climb a tree.  A good fitness program of walking every day and a decent meal plan will keep off those extra pounds.  Walking in the woods can be total enjoyment in short distances.  However, when you add dragging a dead deer or climbing up and down a tree now we are getting into some serious physical activities.

Prior to the season, I like to make a few trips to my hunting area and visually inspect my stands.   At the same time, I can spend a small amount of scouting the same area.  One thing I do every year is to relocate my ladder stands to a new tree. I don’t want the deer conditioned to looking up into the tree I am in.  We all know the feeling of being busted by a deer in your favorite tree stand.   My biggest concern is not to be surprised come opening morning.

Changing your entry path monthly is also a good suggestion.  Many times the deer will utilize the same path and it is my job to surprise Mr. Buck.  A big thing to avoid is trying to change or mark the vegetation in your hunting area.  If the deer smell, feel or see change, they are not coming back.  Leave everything as natural as you can!

Many hunters are all-terrain vehicle or utility vehicle users.  I am not in favor of these creatures in the woods where I hunt. I don’t have a problem with them hauling out my deer when I am way down in the swamp though.  My own personal feeling is they leave too much scent in the area.  If your hunting area allows them to be used, be very careful with your scent trail.

You may have cleaned your gun last January when you put it away, now it’s time to clean it again right now!  A properly cleaned and tuned rifle is priceless when the buck of a life time shows up 45 yards down wind.   I would highly suggest making sure your rifle is sighted in prior to going to the woods.  Over the past few years, I have begun to wear prescription glasses, but I don’t need them to shoot.  Next time you go to the range do not forget to try shooting with your every day prescription glasses.

Lastly, before you leave the house to head to the woods check to make sure your hunting license is not expired.  That could make for a bad day if you meet up with the DNR Law Enforcement guys.  Please read the game rules in your state and county.  Just because your buddy can shoot a doe a day does not mean you can.  Each county in Georgia has their own rules.

Take someone hunting with you! Share your love of the great outdoors with others….

Read more about Hunting Regulations in Georgia at

Turn in Poachers: 1-800-241-4113 or *DNR (AT&T Mobility Customers)

Tom Branch Jr


About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years and he is a part owner of Wave Away, LLC.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Follow him on: and



Here’s My Line Now Bite My Hook!


It’s time to sign up!!

Our newly revised inshore handout material is going to be considered “priceless!”  We are going to give you the best times to fish for what, when, and where for the entire year of 2013.

Any inshore fisherman that is considering going offshore needs to attend my offshore class.  For more details scroll down …

Two Inshore Schools

Saturday February 9 2013

Saturday February 23, 2013

One Offshore School

Saturday March 9, 2013

Time: 8:00AM – 2:00 PM

Place: Tubby’s Tank House 2909 River Drive, Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404

Cost: $90.00 (included one day class, breakfast, and lunch)

Please call 912 897 4921 now for reservations

Please sign up as soon as possible!  There is limited entry!

Capt Judy’s email

Capt Judy’s Cell 912 429 7671

For more detailed information go to OR GIVE US A CALL 912 897 4921


 Inshore Report

David Miller Catches a Big Trophy Red Fish!!

Trophy Red Fish

David Miller and Captain Jack McGowan are showing off a big trophy red fish.   David caught while fishing inshore with Captain Jack.  Once the fish took the bait, it ran away from the boat, then towards it, and then around the anchor rope twice.  The best news is that this fish was fought, caught, and promptly released!!


Captain Jack McGowan has been doing quite well in the big fish catching department

While fishing the beachfronts and sound areas he had been catching large trophy red fish and, believe it or not, tarpon in the 100 to 150 pound range.  According to this report the big boys have moved in to these areas to take advantage of a feeding extravaganza.  With plenty of bait, large fish such as the trophy red fish and tarpon can easily gorge themselves, and quick!  For those that want to give inshore mega fish catching a try give us a call-912 897 4921 or if you want to try this in your own boat now is the time!!

Now to do a little casting!

Captain Jack reported that if you want to catch your own bait shrimp it is a great time to do it.  According to this report, backs of creeks and all the usual spots are holding quite a few bait shrimp.  So if you want to cast a bit before you fish now is the time to add this sport to your fishing day!  The best times is when the water coming out of the grass.  However, on the day that you plan to fish if the tide is not with you then just give it a try!! 

Captain Ray Crawley releasing a trophy red fish!

Release Red Fish

Capt. Ray about to release a nice red he caught on Jack's boat!


Jillian Nance’s big bull red fish!

Big Bull red fish

Jillian Nance and her father Jon are holding up a nice bull red fish, which was caught while inshore light tackle fishing.  Jillian and her father were fishing guests onboard Mike Holton's boat.  As you can see from the smiles delivered it was a successful catching trip!


Artificial Reefs

Cindy McManus’s big Shark Tale!

October 7, 2012 Sunday

Shark Tale

Cindy McManus standing next to her 8 foot 180 pound tiger shark

Cindy along with her nephew Corey McManus loaded up the boat and headed offshore to the K.C. artificial reef to do a little shark fishing.  In the tackle department Cindy had brought along a couple of her favorite rod and reel combos.  Since it was sharks that she was after she loaded up her Penn jig master 6/0 reel combo with 80 pound test monofilament main line.  As far as leader “steel was the deal” and it was rigged with one single “J” hook.  Cindy’s favorite bait when shark fishing is a Bonita.  With this bait on her mind she headed over to the Tybee Bait shop.  The only shark bait that they had was a barracuda head, which is what they suggested.  So therefore barracuda head became the bait of choice for this fish day. 

Cindy and her nephew Corey, age 19, have been fishing together since he could walk.  So this fishing duo knew exactly what they were doing when they hooked up what most would call “a sea monster from the deep!”    Cindy and Corey both watched as the rigged barracuda head free floated away from the boat. Their first shark weight about 150 pounds and was quickly released after it was landed. With lines re-set the duo watched as several different size tiger sharks curiously cruised by their boat.  It seemed that the barracuda head had come alive as it started moving away from the boat.  The further it got away from the boat the faster whatever had it swam.  As soon as Cindy made sure the big fish had gotten enough of the head in its mouth the hook was set.  This act started a strong fight that would last a couple of hours.  After 2 1/2 hours of this big shark making deep runs, screaming off line, retrieving line, and seemly dragging the boat around the duo finally got a good look.  It was at this time that both ascertained that this big shark was about 8 foot long.   

Shark Tale

Here's a picture of Corey holding the gaff in place while the tiger shark is trying to pick its teeth with Cindy’s boat rail.

When Cindy felt it was time she maneuvered the shark to the boat and Corey set the gaff.  Once Corey set the gaff in place the tiger shark went crazy jumped towards the boat and jaw locked the bow rail of Cindy’s boat. After a few minutes of wondering what the heck the shark was going to do next Corey tail wrapped the shark. 

When they got back to Tybee Island Marina the shark that they pulled into the boat was mechanically hauled out with a wench. The big tiger shark was weighted, tipping the certified scales to a large 180 pounds.  Cindy filled out proper paper work and sent information off to the GADNR in hopes of setting a new women’s state tiger shark record.  

Now here’s where this shark fishing story gets real interesting.  Cindy just relocated from Florida about 7 months ago and thought that she will give fishing off the Georgia coast a try.  Cindy’s boat is only 18 feet long.  So let’s do the math 18 foot boat and 8 foot shark equals 10 foot left between you and the shark!!  I don’t know about all of you but the phrase from the movie “JAWS”   I think we need a bigger boat comes to mind!

Congratulations and a big welcome goes out to Cindy McManus and her nephew Corey!!


Savannah Snapper Banks

Plain old bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks can be interesting!

Snapper Banks

Almaco Jack

The bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks and around the naval towers has been pretty good.  Top water fish such as amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudder fish are holding in large school around these areas.  And here’s the best news these fish will hit cut squid or small live baits such as Spanish sardines and cigar minnows.  


Gulf Stream Report

Ilander Trackers

Ilander Trackers

South Ledge

Friday October 5, 2012

  Captain Tommy Williams

E-FISHN-C Blue water fishing team

Trace Dorminy

Wil Dorminy his son Trace, ARran Bibby, Captain Big Tommy Williams, Dan Spencer, and Captain Little Tommy Williams


 Trolling the South Ledge in the day time:

 While pulling assorted colors of  Ilander Trackers rigged with dink ballyhoo this blue water team stayed hooked up.   They caught 13 black fins, one 50 pound Wahoo, and one sailfish, which was promptly released.  When it got time to head home to the west, the crew instead headed east.  This is where the night time Sword Fishing took place.

Night time fishing for Swordies

While drifting in 1,500 feet of water with rigged baits not revealed, the team caught three sword fish weighting in at 71 pounds, 61.1 pounds, and 55 pounds.

So now that you know, it’s definitely time to go!!

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go


Here’s My Line Now Bite My Hook!

Captain Judy


“Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956” by Capt Judy Helmey


It’s time to sign up!!

Our newly revised inshore handout material is going to be considered “priceless!”  We are going to give you the best times to fish for what, when, and where for the entire year of 2013.

Any inshore fisherman that is considering going offshore they need to attend my offshore class.  For more details scroll down …

Two Inshore Schools

Saturday February 9 2013

Saturday February 23, 2013

One Offshore School

Saturday March 9, 2013

Time: 8:00AM – 2:00 PM

Place: Tubby’s Tank House 2909 River Drive, Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404

Cost: $90.00 (included one day class, breakfast, and lunch)

Please call 912 897 4921 now for reservations

Please sign up as soon as possible!  There is limited entry!

Capt Judy’s email

Capt Judy’s Cell 912 429 7671

For more detailed information go to OR GIVE US A CALL 912 897 4921


 Inshore fishing just got really interesting!!

Captain Alan’s Red Fish Corner

Captain Alan Collins of Miss Judy Charters along with his customers has had a great inshore catching month.

Wilmington Island Autoplex fishing team

Captain Alan Collins of Miss Judy Charters and the Wilmington Island Autoplex fishing team!!

Saltwater Catfish Oh My!!

Salt water Catfish

Captain Alan Collins is holding up a nice and live saltwater catfish, which was caught while floating fishing for spotted sea trout.  Believe this or not, but over the 20 years we haven’t caught many of these fish.  Before this time we used to catch lots of catfish, then one day none.  My father said, “Some sort of vises must have killed them off!”  Well, it looks like slowly but surely they seem to be making a come back…this fish was released alive and kicking!!

Big fish catching smiles!

 Please meet Skylar Wellington  and Jocelyn Dundisky 

Spotted Trout and Red Fish

Skylar Wellington holding a nice 22 inch spotted sea trout and Jocelyn Dundisky holding a nice 17 inch red fish.  This catching duo didn’t stop with these two fish. they also caught several others biters!!

Captain Ray Crawley Trophy Red Fish Catching Man

The Terry Hubbard family fishing team

The Terry Hubbard family fishing team

 Captain Ray Crawley of Miss Judy Charters also known as the “Trophy Red Fish Man” took the Hubbard fishing team to a line stretching event.  As you can see they kept a few and release a whole lot!!

Two reds and Captain Ray’s fish catching smile!

2 Reds

 Captain Ray Crawley certainly knows how to find the red fish bite.  His secret is a simple one ..and it goes like this…you have to think and eat like a red fish to catch them…so therefore when he not fishing he thinking!!  It time to go inshore fishing!!

Dennis Johnson fishing team

Captain Ray Crawley of Miss Judy Charters and Dennis Johnson fishing team.  While inshore fishing with Captain Ray they caught fought, kept a few, and release many trophy red fish!

Artificial Reefs

It’s time to go!!

Summer Trout are back!!

Summer Trout

Captain Kathy Brown of Miss Judy Charters is holding up a nice summer trout also knows as a weak fish.  When the water temperature got a warm 82 degrees these fish basically left the artificial reefs for parts unknown.  However, here’s the good news…the water temperature is teeter toddle ring between 79 and 80 degrees.  With that small fall in water temperature the summer trout are back.  Our inshore captains have also been catching quite a few really nice size fish inshore while fishing on the bottom in the sound area. 

Savannah Snapper Banks


Please meet Tybee Island’s newest fishing team.  Captain “Triple Trouble” Steve Howell has fished with me (Captain Judy) for many years and has always talked about getting a team together.  Well, on Sunday September 23, 2012 it all came together, the team and the fish!


Captain “Triple Trouble” Steve Howell is holding a nice gag grouper, which he caught while bottom fishing over a “Topless Tunnel” located at the Savannah Snapper Banks. Back row left to right: Captain Bob “Big Fish” Rothman, Captain Frank “Snapper Man” Murray, and Captain Kathy “Hubba- Hubba Cotton Top” Brown of Miss Judy Charters.

Red Snapper

Captain Bob “Big Fish Rotham” holding his fine specimen of a genuine red snapper and Captain Kathy Brown of Miss Judy Charters.  Captain Bob’s snapper inhaled the first peeler crab that was dropped on the first spot.

On the deck at the wreck!

Our first stop was a secret spot that not only were we aware of it, but also the fish.  On the bottom near the wreck were red snapper, porgy, and vermilion.  In the upper water column there were numerous schools of banded rudder fish, almaco jack, little tunny, skip jack, and amberjack.  With a full packed fish stadium Captain Steve went into the jigging mode, stayed hooked up, and had a blast reeling in fish.  Captain Bob and Captain Frank used what we called a “bottom fish cocktail” as bait.  The definition of this type of bait is small pieces of squid, cut bait, and topped off with a live fish. I know this sound like a lot of bait on one hook, but it’s not.  The reason being is the live bait gets the fish’s attention and if the hook doesn’t get them on the first attack the leftovers will most always bring them back.  For about one hour the team caught, fought, and landed fish. Captain Bob and Captain Frank dropped, set the hooked, reeled the fish in, were re-baited, they dropped back to the bottom, hooked up, reeled fish in, and I think you get the just of what happened at the old wreck. There is a strange thing that happens after you fish one area such as this for a while and that’s the fish tend to scatter.  When this happens this is your sign that it’s time to move on to the next catching adventure and that’s exactly what we did.

Our bottom works

While Captain Kathy was getting the back deck in order I did a little looking and seeing.  It’s my belief that the bottom in our area isn’t so cut and dry meaning you really don’t have to find a wreck or a ledge to get the best opportunity to catch some quality fish.  Now don’t get me wrong a ledge or wreck does definitely hold the attentions of all fish from upper to lower holding species. And you can see it very plainly with your fish finder.  However, there is more to look for when it comes to scouting our bottom. 

Ditches also known as Topless Tunnels

Yes, there is more to look for than the obvious wrecks and ledges.  These are special areas that I call ditches and sometimes refer to as “topless tunnels.”  These areas are located on what looks like a flat lifeless bottom.  There is a secret as well as a chance for finding these areas.  The secret is to know that there is a possibility that they can be anywhere on the ocean bottom.   The chance is that those fish that live in it happen to be out of the ditch when you ride over it.  When I see a flat bottom area, which shows absolutely no bottom life I watch out for any sort of bottom detail such as small bait fish hovering or a single large fish moving.  I have my fish finder set up so that I can zoom right to the bottom, which offers quite a bite of detail.  However, with anything detailed such as this you have to know what you are looking at.  In my case it’s using the same style fish finder for over 20 years.  

Red Snapper

On April 18, 2012 Captain Frank, “Snapper Man” Murray fished with Captain Triple Trouble Steve at the Savannah Snapper banks. He is holding a nice genuine red snapper, which he caught while using a live ruby red lips.  Captain Frank’s main goal is to catch a MAHI MAHI!   My main goal is to see that this happens!!!  And the best thing is we still got time!!

With my thoughts of finding more fish in mind I started slowly making way while looking for a particular bottom detail.  Just as I have hundreds and maybe thousands of times over my past 50 years of fishing and as luck would have it “there was this one fish.”  I quickly wrote coordinates down, screamed bait the hooks, and get ready.  As I made a turned back up current of the area I was excited about what I had found.  When the hooks hit the bottom big strong hook ups happened!!  We caught everything from trigger fish, porgy, white grunts, and vermilion snapper.  And I almost forget to mention that one big fish that was swimming near the bottom that turned my head.   Whether or not this was the big fish, but Captain “Triple Trouble Steve did catch a big gag grouper.  And this is why I love fishing so much, because you really never know what is going to bite your hook when!!  However, with years of knowledge and real fishermen that can fish I really don’t know how any of us in the Tybee Fishing Team can go wrong!!  GO TEAM TYBEE!!

Best fishing for grouper is yet to come

October through December!

With ocean temperatures on the drop these fish are making way.  When a fish moves it’s got to eat.  This big gag inhaled a large live vermillion snapper while bottom fishing in 130 feet of beautiful blue water. 

Gulf Stream Bite

 Bottom fishing and trolling options!

Yes there big grouper  at them there deep water drops!! Give jigging a try, because big bottom fish such as this big grouper are making plans to move!!  And they have already gone into their bulking up mode!!

Gag Grouper

Johnnie Wilson on the E-FISHIN-C with a deli ledge gag grouper.


Thanks for reading!  Captain Judy


Peeler Crab and such...

We headed out with catching on all of our minds.  As soon as we loaded up with live baits of all sizes we made our way to the back side of the snapper banks sometimes referred to as the Grand Banks.  I haven’t been out to this area since they closed “red snapper.”  However, with Sunday September 23, 2012 being one of those red snapper keeping days I decided to make the run. 

On the ride to the south east we talked, we ate sandwiches, and made bets on whom might be able to brag about catching the biggest fish.  It was pre-decided that Captain Triple Trouble would jig and Captain Bob would use live bait while fishing right on the bottom. Captain Frank was to use both squid and live bait.  I was (Captain Judy) going to try something a little different, which was peeler crabs.  Bob and Diane Lowery have a commercial crabbing business in Savannah, Georgia.  This is one husband and wife duo that knows where the crabs walk at all times of the year.   Over the years I have learned a lot about the whereabouts of blue crab from them.  For instance:  I do know that during the cold months blue crabs travel the deepest part of the channel.  So if you want to catch them that is where you will have to look. Believe me you best bet is to call Bob and Diane if you want blue crabs for any event!!

Peeler Crab

Peeler crab that has shed it shell

 I took my peeler crab, stuck a circle hook all the way through the crab’s body.  I placed the hook at the point end of the crab, because this is the area where there isn’t any vital parts and dropped it to the bottom.  My leader was a standard Carolina rig style, which is 8 ounce egg threaded on to main line then 8 mm plastic ball and then I tied on a 100 pound test snap swivel.  As far as my leader:  I tied about three feet of 100 pound test monofilament to a 9/0 circle hook and then to 100 pound test swivel.  When using crabs as bait it’s suggested to use a shorter leader.  Please know that it’s is always best to use a much longer leader when targeting grouper! Types of live bait used also determined the length of leader used.  When using a bottom hugging such as a sand perch or rock bass I suggest using a leader as long as 30 feet.  I know this sounds crazy.  However, it’s not.  A large fish will loose interest before it follows the leader to the end of the line. The longer length offers bait more free swimming freedom.  Heck, I have even known the baits to swim right inside of the ledge where the grouper is holding.  Shorter leader such as 6 to 12 feet are good to use when using live bait such as ruby red lips, pin fish, cigar minnows, and Spanish sardines. The bottom line here about baits is simple “longer leaders for bait with larger air bladders and shorter leaders for those that don’t. 

How a fishing line is formed! Here’s your sign, Fish Here!

Trolling Time

Trolling Time has arrived!!

For those the want to do a little trolling the edge is slowing forming.  My definition of the Gulf Stream ledge:  When the western cooler waters meet the warmer Gulf Stream waters a wall is formed.  The western waters move east and west having a slight shift to the south.  The Gulf Stream water moves to the north at quite a steady clip, which boils down to about 3.8 knots and more.  When water moving east meets water moving north an edge is formed.  The edge brings on the attentions of small fish, which in turn provides the prefect target rich environment for the larger fish.  When the western waters start to move to the west depending on certain conditions the stream is sometimes shifted inshore a bit. 

To locate a serious edge keep an eye on your temperature gauge.  Back in the old days there were no temperature gauges.  We used our talented eyes to make the call.  The darker blue the water the warmer is seems to be.  When two different water temperatures meets on the surface a line is formed.  Sargasso weed, flotsam, jetsam, all colors and types of jelly fish some times show us fishermen the way. 

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go

Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not!

Pearling Expedition!

“Pearling Expedition”

My father would have said, “Only pick the oysters that are below the water line!”  Now can’t you just see me now wading around in my father old boots, which were cut from a pair of his waders, looking for the prefect oyster?  You know the one with the pear!!   Now for the rest of the story, “I never found a pearl and never thought to just stop looking!”

“Pearling Expedition”

My father was an avid hunter.  He loved to hunt and fish. I went with him everywhere on his adventures. One of his favorite things to do was to go to his so-called private oyster beds, pick out a few, and eat them right on the spot.  Heck, I even joined in on this one.  As a child and adult I have always loved raw oysters. When daddy and I would go on an oyster hunt it was always a lot of fun.  I loved playing in the mud and also I didn’t mind too much picking up the oysters.  My father’s secret place was located in Bull River.  It was a great spot for picking oysters. According to my father it was perfect, because even at the lowest tide stage his oyster beds were still right under the water.  My father always maintained that oysters that spent too much time out of the water during a tide change tasted differently. As a child I was always looking for that white pearl. As I got older and smarter I realized that daddy was only telling me that because it put a twist on the collecting.  In other words, it made me happy to help as long as a pearl might be had.  As you all know our oysters don’t usually produce pearls.  At the time I wasn’t privy to that information.  So therefore it was just an oyster hunt to daddy.  However for me it was what I considered a “pearling expedition.”  

We had to use proper footwear for the occasion. My father had these big black thick rubber boots of which he had cut off of his retired duck waders.  Back in the old days I don’t think rubber boots even came in children size.  So therefore I wore daddy’s old pair.  They were big but we found out that if I wore my shoes inside of his boots it wasn’t too bad.  As we headed out, we would pull the old wooden rowboat behind our big boat.      As we gathered the oysters we dumped them into the rowboat. When we were tired the oyster hunt came to an end and we went home.  Now that I think about it no matter what we were doing when daddy was tried we stopped and moved on.

Upon arriving home it was time to cook the oysters. We had to wash them.  Believe me there were no power washers during this day and time.  It was called “Judy Washer!”  So we sprayed them with water and then brush them to get them clean.  It definitely took longer to clean them than it did to cook them. According to my father there were three  types of cooked oysters.  There were the “warmers, semi steamed, and open ones.”

The first two had lots of juice, which is referred to “oyster liquor.” His favorite thing to do was to loosen the so-called oyster’s anchor, which was attached to the inside shell, lift the shell up, and pour it in the old mouth.  Occasionally you might see him add a few drops of hot sauce. There was only juice available in the first two stages of cooking.  I like them cooked in all stages, but the last was my favorite.  I didn’t have to bother with trying to get them open.  They were already popped open, easy to get unanchored, ready for dipping in cocktail sauce, and fit prefect on top of a saltine cracker.  I’m sorry that I can’t finish this story, because I’m leaving to go get me some oysters!  And since there is an “R” in this month they should be real good no matter how we cook them!!


“Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956”

Inshore fishing Tips

Berkley Gulp

This is called a root beer gold screw tail made by Berkley Gulp!  Back in the old days there were not that many colors to choose from.  Now a fisherman has many choices and the fish do too!!  Hope you pick the right color!!  My father liked white, brown, and light green.

Trolling and strolling for spotted sea trout

 This is the time of the year where old timers really know what it take when it comes to catching spotted sea trout.  My father loved inshore fishing and he especially loved it when mid September rolled around, because it was trolling strolling time of the year.  We spent many hours talking and trolling the marshes during this September and October.  His favorite lure was the forever popular lure of its time, which was called “the screw tail.”   We would troll his screw tails way back behind our rowboat, which was powered with a 31/2 horsepower Evinrude motor. When we got a hit, sometimes we would circle back, anchor, and fish the spot.   Then there were times where he just made a mental note of the location and just kept trolling.   So now you know when trolling you can catch spotted sea trout, you can find spotted sea trout, and you can stop or not!!

Casting for your own bait!

 It’s that time of the year where a fisherman can catch his own live shrimp as well as others baits.  Best tides are out going and incoming isn’t bad either.  Shrimp have to go into the evacuation mode when the tide is falling. And their main goal is to get back into the marsh grass when it starts to flood.    The rule of thumb is a simple one; a shrimp needs water to hover in and grass to hold on to.  

And other live baits while throwing the old cast net

While casting you just might happen to catch a few small croaker, mullet, pin fish, or any other small fin fish.  I suggest that you put them in your live well with the shrimp.  The pinfish also call sailor choice is a very good bait to use when targeting the larger trout.

The reason being is a bigger trout prefers bigger bait, because they are smart enough to know that it fills their bellies quicker with less work!

Pinfish are great baits!!

Pin Fish

This is about the size of pinfish that we catch offshore. While casting inshore if you happen to catch smaller versions of pinfish please put it in you live well.  They make for great bait when targeting larger spotted sea trout!

It’s time to do a little triple tail watching

Triple Tail

Ralph Lattke and his mother Cathy are holding up as nice triple tail, which was caught while inshore fishing with Captain Jack McGowan.  According to Captain Jack this triple tail was cruising the flats while packing itself with small shrimp. Then best bait as you already most likely guessed is going to be small live shrimp. It’s time to do a little triple trail watching!

Captain Alan Collins Fishing Catching Corner!

Red Fish

This is Karen Griaier visiting from Indianapolis, IN. with her 28" Redfish. Before she boarded Captain Alan’s boat she said, I have never caught a fish 8" long.”  Well, that saying no good now!!

Savannah’s own gator catching man!!

Gator Catcher

 Peter Lenares is holding the jaw open of 11.6 foot 700 pound alligator, which he caught while hunting with Captain Mark Jonas. I know this is supposed to be a fishing report and it is.  This gator was caught on a hook and line!!  Proving once again when going fishing you really never know what you might catch

A Six Pound Story!

A flounder that would certainly feed two!!


Captain Rick Reynolds of Miss Judy Charters is doing what he does best that that’s catch fish!  While doing a little scouting he caught this 6 pound flounder, which we all known see like rabbit, cunning as a fox, and strikes like a cobra!  Here’s the good news when targeting red fish and spotted sea trout it’s not unusual to get the attentions of a six pounder!

A big jumping sturgeon! 


While heading the fishing grounds this past Saturday with a charter party on board Captain Rick experienced and unusual phenomenon.  Captain Rick was cruising at about 40 knots when he slowed down to idle speed to go under an over pass.  Right before passing under a large at least 200 pound sturgeon jumped in front of the boat’s bow and almost landing inside the boat.  Well, I am certainly glad this fish did not land in the boat.  The reason being is not only was this a big fish it is a strong fish.  While being a green fish meaning full of life it would have destroyed whatever it hit including those on board right down those things attached.  I am so thankful that this did not happen not only for the customers, but also the fish.   I suggest, especially when in  boat on the water to always having eyes wide open all of the time!!

Both Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon are protected from harvest by state and federal law. In fact, both species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, which means anyone caught in possession of one is subject to very stiff penalties. So, if one lands in the boat, the best thing to do is to get it out of the boat ASAP, regardless of whether it's dead or alive.

Artificial Reefs

Blue Fish

The blue fish has arrived at the artificial reefs. 

Bringing On the Fish Bite!  Please meet our resident fishing wizard!

   Biting Spell

Believe this or not!  This fisherman is not waving at the fish.  He is putting a biting spell on them.  Since this is not a video you can’t get the true value of the waving of arms and squeezing of the fists.  The fisherman aka bringing on the fish bite wizard did his thing around the trolling rods.  And I know the question that you wan to ask but don’t dare.  Did it work?  Yes, it did 50 percent of the time!  When wizard man waved it didn’t take long before hits happened!!

Savannah Snapper Banks

Bottom fishing is very and the keeping it too!!

Vermon Snapper

Vermilion snapper bite is good

The vermilion snapper bite has been pretty good.  These fish are fun to catch and good to eat.  The best baits are live cigar minnows or Spanish sardines.  However, after you get the bite going you can switch to bait your hooks with cut fish and squid combo.  The bag limit is 5 per person and they have to be 12 tail length to keep! 


Our red snapper six day only season is closed

Red Snapper

 Please know that our brief red snapper season is over and closed.  However, you can still catch them, take a picture, and release them back to the wild.  Best news that I can tell you is that there are plenty of them at the artificial reefs, Savannah Snapper banks, and the deep waters near the Gulf Stream.


The amberjack fishing is very good!

Amber Jack Fish

 The amberjack bite has picked up at the Savannah Snapper banks.  Once hooked up this is one fish that really knows how to fight while being pulled to the surface.  They are also known as the reef donkeys, because they are known for guarding the upper water column above the ledge.  The best bait is live fish such as ruby red lips, sand perch, and cigar minnows.  Once hooked up you had better hold on!!

Gulf Stream Bite

Early Edge is taking form!!

Triggering the bite for a strong fight

The grouper can’t stand anything, including your lure that tries to past it by.  This is called triggering the bite for strong fight!

When September rolled around a best temperature change started taking place.  The waters to the west of the Gulf Stream are going into a cooling mode. When this happens the fishermen are not the only ones that know this is happening.  So do the fish and I am talking about all sizes start to make a move. 

A good plan at this time especially if you are going to make a blue water run is to be prepared to change up and fish or should I say “catch what is biting!”  For those dead hard trolling machines well you can troll till you can’t stand it any longer.  The best news that I can tell you is that you just might catch quite a few fish and then you might not.  The rule of thumb especially during this time of the year is to be “catching flexible!”  This just boils down to fishing for what’s biting.  So therefore if the top water fish aren’t there I suggest going to the bottom for some solid action.   After all you can catch those down deep with lures you jig and your catch those on the surface with lures that you pull.  The bottom if you want to catch fish you can certainly get lots of solid pulling action at this time!!

Freshies Report

 Joe Vennarini 2.5 days of hard fishing!!

Nice looking fish and nice looking fisherman!!


Joe Vennarini hold salmon that he caught while fishing the Salmon River Pulaski, NY while using a standard fly!!

According to Joe’s fish catching report the salmon were so thick that they were tripping over them. All of the fish that Joe landed were caught on standard with 8 pound test line.  In 2.5 days of fishing Joe caught way over 2.5 fish meaning many fish were landed and lots of fun was had by many!  Sources say, “Best salmon run that the locals have ever seen!” 

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go


Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not!

  Old Time Navigation My Daddy’s Way

LOng RAnge Navigation

Here’s a picture of the 1965 wooden version of the Miss Judy Too!  Believe me, when I say, “There was plenty of room to prop your feet up on the dash.  NO electronic here only a compass that may or may not have been set right!” 

Back in the real old days long before Loran we had to navigate the old way, which was anyway you could to get back to shore.  My father had his standards on getting us back to shore.  Some of them were simple.  The most important one for this time era was to drop out a buoy as soon as you got to where you thought you were going.  Please re-read that last sentence of “where you thought you were going!” He also drilled in my head that it was important to watch the compass and try to keep the boat on as straight of a course as possible. He suggested to always keeping mind the direction in which the wind was blowing.  In other words was it changing directions or just holding. As a child I figured out quickly that the waves went with pretty much in the same direction as the wind.  However, that’s not always true.  Sometimes all is completely different in this respect, but when you don’t know in the first place it really doesn’t seem to matter. 

Once I arrived to what was perceived as the designated fishing spot I was to throw the old sacred buoy out.  This would become the center of my fishing universe. I fished around and circled this area until it was time to go home. During this time era, which fell in the late sixties and early seventies “Loran A” was invented.  Loran stands for “LOng RAnge Navigation.” To be honest I especially during this time had absolutely no idea how it worked much less if it did.  My father had one of the first loran’s installed in his charter boat for this area. I had the second, which he also brought as a present for me. In fact I still have one of those old lorans that he purchased from Maricom Electronics of Thunderbolt.  But that’s another story.  The bottom line to the story is short, simple, and to the point.  Even with all the electronics onboard I had certain instructions from my father.  To this day I remember exactly what he told me to do.  My father told me that even after using the newly installed navigational “Loran” that I was to never not for one minute to forget that it was a machine and it might not work.  So therefore I was to use it as a navigational aid only!  With all that being said, his main suggestion was then to just head home the old way!  As you can see I am still doing that! 

Here’s My Line Now Bite My Hook!

Captain Judy

“Fish Physic!”


912 897 4921Phone

912 897 3460 Fax

Captain Judy’s email


Bayer really works...

Big Fish Catching Smiles!!

Little Tunny

Kristina and Andrew Jones are holding some really nice little tunny.  While fishing offshore with they nephew Evan Zappa they had a catching blast!

Little Tunny

Evan Zappa holding a pair little tunny, which was caught while trolling drone spoon around the out skirts of a bait ball.

  Artificial Reefs Little Tunny and Spanish mackerel.Top  A little catching trick!!

Top water action has picked up with fishermen catching quite a few Spanish mackerel, little tunny, and king mackerel.  Trolling spoons such as Clark or Drone are the ticket to this biting ride.  The best way to get your spoon to the fish’s mouth is too pull it directly on the surface or behind a trolling sinker also known as a trout sinker, but bigger.   Another way to get these fish’s attention is to pull your spoon behind a planer, which comes in several sizes from number one, number two, and number three.  We use all sizes depending on where the schools of fish are holding.  As far as leader size between the trolling sinker/planer and the spoon I suggest about 30 pound test monofilament. 

A little catching trick!!

There is a little trick that us charter boat captain love to use.  We attach a 3 to 4 foot piece of 30 pound test leader to a popping cork or a bird and then directly tie a spoon on.  The birds also known as “The exciter” works great.   The reason being is the popping cork and bird while being pulled on the surface imitates “one fish chasing another!”   And that my fishing friend is what puts the fish biting game into motion!” 

Savannah Snapper Banks

The list of keepers is longer than you think!

Savannah Snapper

Savannah snapper Banks

For the next couple of weeks fishermen can keep a few red snapper…please make sure that you know the rules and regulations

Captain Judy Soap Box located at the first of this fishing report!!

Web Site for South Atlantic Fisheries

(Most of the current closings/regulations (very formative)  are always listed on the right side of the page)

What we have, can, and might catch while fishing at the snapper banks

I have had several customers calling with concern in regards to the season closure of black sea bass.  They want to know what else they can catch while bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks. 

Instead of talking about what fishermen can’t catch lets talk about what they can!! Well the list is long and we have been doing great in the catching department!!

Gag Grouper, scamp grouper, red grouper, vermilion snapper, red porgy, white bone porgy, knobbed porgy,  white grunt, scup, tomato, ocean perch, bar jack, trigger fish, almaco jack, banded rudderfish, amberjack, cobia, dolphin (mahi mahi) king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, occasional bill fish, occasional Wahoo, occasional black fin tuna, and I am sure I have missed quite a few. Now I am not going to say, “You will catch all  of these different species of fish every time you go  out, but I will say, it’s possible and that’s why we fishermen love fishing.  

Gulf Stream Report

 The EX TA SEA Fishing team has done it again!

EX TA SEA Fishing Team

 From left to right:  Captain Brendin Page, Johnny Gondol and Kent Phillips

Kent caught this 82.5 lbs sword at 3 AM while drift fishing large baits in deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream off Savannah Georgia.  Kent’s sword was 3.5 lbs shy of breaking the men’s Georgia state. 

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford a call, it’s time ot go!!

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site for all the details!  For more details go

Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not!

The Bayer has done it again!! 


The Bayer has done it again!! 

No I don’t have a headache. And just when you think you have heard it all.  While leaving the dock one morning I over heard my fishing charter talking about there fear of getting sea sick.  The reason being is that they had been out before and had gotten sea sick.  So there were a little apprehensive to say the least.  I never said anything, because I didn’t want to put the might getting sick in their heads.  After about 3 hours into our 4 hour offshore trip with the boat rocking pretty good I said, “Well, so far so good no one has gotten sick.”  Both couples smiled and said, “We definitely know why too!” 

So here’s how the conversation went from this point.  They started telling me about this thing that they did that has guarded them from air and sea sickness.  I got to tell you they really had my attention now.  It seems while on another offshore boat they were told about this remedy.  While the couples were listening to this for sure remedy they were cascading and those that tried it before leaving the dock were not sick. 

The meaning of Cascading

This is another way of saying throwing up, loosing you cookies, regurgitating, up chucking, to puke, and vomit.   I think you get the picture. 

 Back to why my customers did not get sea sick….

They all said that they taped a single Bayer aspirin inside each of their belly buttons.    At this point, all I wanted was picture, but no one volunteered.  So I quickly dropped that subject. While heading home, one of the customers came to the helm and said, “I don’t know which is crazier the fact that I tried it or that it really worked!” 

Thanks for reading!!  Captain Judy



“Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956”


(912) 897 4921

(912) 897 3460 FAX

Captain Judy’s email



Captain Judy - Limited Harvest of Red Snapper

  Red Snapper

Captain Judy’s Soap Box

Please read this!!


Georgia DNR Needs Help From Anglers

September 7, 2012 – BRUNSWICK – The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has approved a request by NOAA Fisheries to allow limited harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the South Atlantic. Anglers can harvest red snapper September 14 through 16 and again on September 21 through 23. Each angler is allowed one red snapper per day with no size restriction. 

Georgia DNR is working with NOAA Fisheries in an effort to collect data on the South Atlantic red snapper population.  These data will be used to estimate harvest, discards, and fishing effort and to determine the age, size, and growth of red snapper in the population.  There are several ways that Georgia anglers can help.

Anglers can place filleted red snapper carcasses in chest freezers located at fishing access points along the Georgia coast (go to to find a list of locations). Over the past decade, the Carcass Recovery Project has collected thousands of fish carcasses that help inform biologists of the size, age and gender of saltwater fish being harvested by anglers.  Each freezer has catch cards and plastic bags to be used by participating anglers. DNR staff will check carcass freezers each afternoon during the days when red snapper harvest is allowed. One lucky angler who participates in this special effort will receive a $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card.

Anglers can also provide information about their red snapper fishing trip by going to and completing a short survey. The survey includes questions about the date of trip, length of trip and departure location, as well as depth fished and the number and size of fish harvested and released. Anglers who provide their name and contact information will be eligible for a drawing to receive a $100 gift card from Bass Pro Shops.

Finally, CRD staff will be conducting routine interviews at boating access points so they can intercept red snapper anglers to collect information on their fishing trip and catch. Anglers are encouraged to participate in these dockside surveys by answering questions and allowing their catch to be processed for biological data.  

“Angler reports and our underwater observations during artificial reef monitoring indicate there are large numbers of red snapper at several locations offshore Georgia. So, anglers will probably not have difficulty catching their one fish limit. Studies show that post-release mortality for red snapper averages 40% (4 out of 10 released red snapper die) so we hope that anglers will cease fishing for red snapper once everyone onboard has their limit,” explains Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division. “If anglers elect to stay in the area to fish for other bottom-dwelling species, they should be prepared to release any incidentally-caught red snapper as soon as possible. Recent research has shown that bottom-dwelling species like red snapper survive much better when returned to the bottom instead of released at the surface. Recompressing, as this technique is known, is better than venting, which has been the norm for many years.”  Information on recompression techniques and equipment can be found at

The recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters will be allowed from 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 14, 2012 until 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 17, 2012 and again from 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 21, 2012 until 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 24, 2012.  During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit.

The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters will be allowed from 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 17, 2012 until 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 24, 2012.  During the open commercial season, the trip limit is 50 pounds gutted weight and there is no minimum size limit. 

More information on red snapper regulations in federal waters can be found at or at

Carcass Recovery Project Freezer Locations



Freezer Location

Phone Number




Bahia Blue Marina





Coffee Bluff Marina





Hogan's Marina





Landings Yacht Club





Tybee Island Marina





Fort McAllister Marina





Half Moon





Shellman Bluff Marina





GADNR Coastal Resources

912-264-7218 (M-F)




Two-Way Fish Camp





Crooked River State Park





Lang's Marina






The recreational fishing season will open for two consecutive weekends made up of Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays…Recreational fisherman can keep red snapper on these days only….one fish person per day with no minimum size limit.

1st weekend

September 14, 2012 Friday

September 15, 2012 Saturday

September 16, 2012 Sunday

2nd weekend

September 21, 2012 Friday

September 22, 2012 Saturday

September 23, 2012 Sunday

The bottom line…

The good news is that we are going to get to keep a few red snapper.  Now, for the bad news, according to sources, this could be our last time for this type of opening.  It’s been said, the fisheries are cooking up a good and fast curve ball to throw at us fishermen next year!! Best had put your gloves on!!

Please remember to always check fishery regulations before heading out to fish!

Web Site for South Atlantic Fisheries

(Most of the current closings/regulations (very formative)  are always listed on the right side of the page)

If you want to email…any comments (email)


Tracey Stewart and her big trophy red fish!!


I am putting Tracey’s picture in the fishing report again this week, because I messed up her name.  Her name is Tracey Stewart not Tracey Stephens!!  Please forgive me and once again this is a very nice red fish!!!

A spotted Sea Trout and a fisherman

“The True Love Story!”

Fish kisses

A spotted sea trout and a fisherman!!

Although it’s hot and it seems like summer time is the still in the baking mode better bite patterns in regards to the inshore fisheries have prevailed.

Inshore fishermen are getting a touch of what the cooler temperature might bring.  The inshore bite has picked up offering fishermen a more solid bite.  They have been catching keeper red fish, which is also called slot reds. (14 inch TL min to 23 inch TL maximum)  What amazes me the most is the fact that there are as many big trophy reds being caught as there are keeper size.  As the tide started flooding the marshes on Wednesday September 6, 2012 keeper reds picked at the bait offering up some pretty solid action.   However, when the grass was covered the big boys also known as the trophy reds went into a feeding frenzy.  Best baits suspended under small adjustable corks have been mud minnows and shrimp.  You know the old saying everything eats a shrimp!!


Thanks for reading!!  Captain Judy 



“Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956”


(912) 897-4921

(912) 897-3460 FAX

Captain Judy’s email