Live Bait fishing around the coastal waters and the marshes of the golden isles is the most popular and often most productive way to target and catch our local Gamefish.
Inshore everything eats a shrimp which can be a blessing or sometimes a curse. A frisky live shrimp is often the meal of choice for a hungry trout or redfish. Shrimp can be cast netted in deep holes, or shallow creek systems, or more easily purchased by the quart from several bait shops in our area including St. Simons fishing and boating club. In the summer months, the small bait stealers will put a large dent in your shrimp stockpile, so often times cast netting mullet or mudminnows will help you to catch your targeted species. Live finger mullet are deadly on flounder and will often produce quality trout when your shrimp are being devoured by smaller fish. Anytime you notice a surplus of mullet in an area you are fishing, it is always a good idea to net a few in order to “match the hatch”. Quite a few times I have switched to mullet and watched the quality of fish we were catching in a given area increase exponentially.
Nearshore the normal bait of choice is the menhaden or pogy. These fish can be cast netted daily just off the beaches and sounds around Saint Simons and Jekyll Island during the warmer months. Be sure to use a large, heavy net with a larger mesh as these fish are much quicker than they look. Everything from Tarpon, to sharks, kingfish, and bull reds love to dine on a pogy. Larger Mullet often run the beaches in the fall and are just as effective.