Capt. Judy Savannah Fishing Report and Story – March 6, 2018

March 6, 2018 – Fishing reports and a Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not story! Thanks for reading!

Fishing statement: To try to ensure that fishing stays in the hearts of those that love it!

Chris Cummings of Brentwood, Tennessee; Rebecca Byrd of Franklin, Tennessee, and Captain Judy are having a great time. Rebecca caught this nice genuine red snapper and Chris picked it up! And it was so big it wouldn’t fit in the picture! Check out this beautiful ocean!

Who are these people? FISH CATCHING MACHINES!

Artificial Reefs

For those that want a short boat ride to the fish now is the time! Artificial reefs in less than 50 feet of water are holding sheepshead, black drum, flounder, trophy red fish, cold water sharks, juvenile black fish, and a few other bottom biters.

What is this? Well it does like a underwater spaceship! However, it is a spotted jelly comb jelly fish. Have I ever seen one before? NO!!! Pretty cool!

For that want to ride a little further offshore I suggest taking a heading to the artificial reefs that are located in more than 50 feet of water. You could find yourself catching some nice black sea bass, porgy, flounder, and other bottom bites.

For those fishermen that are doing it their way I suggest first visiting the site below. Why? Because I suggest that you have all the coordinates of all of Georgia artificial reefs along with each reef’s detailed structure. It is much easier going over this information while at the kitchen table. Why? Because the table doesn’t move like your boat is going too! Just do it!

Savannah Snapper Banks

This area is holding lots of black sea bass, vermilion snapper, white grunt, trigger fish, red snapper, grouper, and I could go on, but… The bottom line is we got lots of fish! Please always check with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council before heading out! Remember we got rules and lots of them!

Captain Kathy Brown is holding Rebecca’s just caught black sea bass!

Chris Cummings of Brentwood, Tennessee; Rebecca Byrd Franklin, Tennessee; and Captain Kathy Brown are having a great time. Rebecca caught this nice and soon to be released gag grouper! And once again Chris picked it up for Rebecca! It is becoming his designated job for this fish day! What did this grouper eat? Small rock bass! On this day the fishing team consisted of Chris, Rebecca, and Simon Bruce of London, England. Simon wasn’t up for fishing so he was the watcher. Once we started home he shared some wonderful as well as very interesting stories with us. It seems that Simon is affiliated with the law firm that has been in business for over 200 years. His firm handles assorted matters for the Queen of England. Simon’s specialty is keeping in step with writing the proper prenups for those engaging in marriage. His latest prenup was for Prince Harry and Meghan!

On the last drift of the fish day Chris settled the score for the day. He caught a nice genuine red snapper and of course Captain Kathy Brown had to give him the big thumbs up for this grand catching accomplishment! Yes, his fish was bigger than Rebecca’s and thats all I am going to say about this!

Captain Kathy Brown of Miss Judy Charters is just a riding on the stern and giving a big thumbs up!
Captain Steve Triple Trouble Howell is doing what he does best, which is to avoid getting his picture taken. However, sooner or later I will get this picture taking job done!

Captain Kathy Brown of Miss Judy Charters is holding up a pair of just caught black sea bass! She is wearing her lucky fishing catching shorts! Aftco really does know what they are doing! Bet you didn’t know that they had as built in secret fish caller! Captain Steve Howell ended up catching a nice black sea bass that was bigger than the one that Captain Kathy caught previously.

Captain Kathy Brown was spot on though! Every time she dropped her line she hooked up!

Well, I had to get in the picture sooner or later. Captain Steve Triple Trouble Howell and Captain Judy are doing what they do best, which is catch fish and smile about it!

Photo by Bill Vanderford

Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not!

Younger Captain Judy Helmey of Miss Judy Charters is holding up two nice silver kings that were previously swimming in the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean! Why am I saying this? Now read on for the rest of the story!

What a Silver King?

This is a true story about the great unknown “Silver King.” Don’t go running to your identification book for this one. My Father would come home from fishing and he would tell me that he had caught a silver king. It was normal for him to make that statement. As I got older, and we started fishing deeper, I finally realized what exactly he was talking about. It’s no great secret about how the fish can change their skin color to adapt to their environment. Flounder, grouper, and black fish are among the many that can camouflage themselves for protection so that they can sneak up on their intended prey easily. I don’t know if camouflage is the right word, but it’s definitely part of their makeup. The fish’s skin color changes with the color of the water. The lighter the water the lighter the skin and it reverses with darker water. Therefore, a silver king is a mackerel that had just migrated into darker water, but hadn’t had time to change its skin color.

Over the years, I have come to understand what all these skin color changes might mean, at least to a fisherman, who doesn’t have a degree in marine biology. It boils down to what I have come to call certain fish; they are either residents or non-resident of the area from which they are caught. My theory not only applies to mackerel it also applies to many other fish. Take the silver king for instance that daddy always caught. He fished mainly in an area that we now consider very green water. This area was a live bottom that was known as the Black Fish Banks. The Black Fish Banks was located to the east about 10 miles off of Tybee Island. In the early 50’s this spot held everything from Black Sea bass to grouper. In fact the first in person red snapper I ever caught was in this area. Top fish, such as Bonita, cobia, and mackerel, (both king and Spanish) could be caught there from early spring to late fall. Now that I look back, the black fish banks were certainly a very active area even though it wasn’t that large. While bottom fishing we would always throw out a top line that we would bait with a live fish. I don’t remember cigar minnows until the early 70’s. I’m not saying that they weren’t available; we didn’t have the knowledge of them. At any rate, this top line would always produce, if you had the right kind of bait. Not all-small baitfish would work. The most favorite was the pinfish, which is the shape of a ruby red lip also known as a tomtate. And a cigar fish better known by us offshore fisherman as a reef runner. (Check out next week’s little Miss Judy stories…it is about reef runners) However there were so many bottom fish fighting to get at our bottom hooks it was hard to catch a small fish. In fact you were considered lucky when you did catch one. Once you had live bait, you were in the fishing driver seat, because you knew you were going to get a hit. We used a single 6/0 hook with a short wire leader. I don’t remember using stingers or two hook trailers until the 70’s. Since live bait wells were not part of the offshore fishing scene at this point, you immediately hooked you bait up and put it out. After hooking up your prize fish of the day, which usually was a very large king mackerel, your customers got the fight of their life. Daddy would get the old wooden gaff that was always re-enforced with black tape. The tape would either be around the end, which was holding the gaff hook in place or on the handle area holding the long crack together. You haven’t lived until you have a semi-cracked wooden gaff pinch your hand. After you get over that minute of pain and the blood blister appears, you then go get the black tape, which is now consider marine covering for your gaff. Now that we are back to the fish, Daddy would gaff it, but only after it made several passes by the boat. He never liked to gaff a green fish. A green fish was a fish that still had a lot of energy left making them hard to gaff. I used to think it was because the fish was so strong, but my father was a big man. As time has passed, I now have figured it out. If he hadn’t waited until the kings got a little tried the wooden gaff probably would have broke. Upon landing this monster, Daddy would immediately throw it in the big wooden cooler. This is when he would determine whether or not this fish was a sliver king. As you already probably have figured out, if the fish’s skin was sliver he was labeled a “Silver King.” However, if the skin was dark green, it was just another king mackerel, which wouldn’t get as much applause from Captain Daddy. Boy, I sure did have a great fishing childhood!

You know who likes to go fishing besides Captain Garrett Ross? His young golden retriever puppy, Tripp Ross.

Thanks for reading! – Captain Judy

Captain Judy Helmey
Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956
124 Palmetto Drive
Savannah, Georgia 31410
(912)-897-4921 or (912)-897-2478
(912)-897-3460 [Fax]