Do you love big bluegill?
I just joined today. I have been fishing over 50 years and often for panfish. I tend to fish UL with artificials most of the time. I live near Raleigh and primarily fish local lakes and rivers and make it down to the coast a few times. I plan to get down that way more this year.
In Feb, probably the weekend of the 21st, I and a buddy or two are doing a weekend in SC right off I95 near the GA line. Planning to fish the Savannah River near Hardeeville. I have heard of large numbers of big bream coming out of that section and I will probably fish it much like I fish here - grubs, beetle spin and where it is clear enough small lipless cranks. Those are my usual go to lures. I might stack the deck and pick up some meal worms. Anyway, I would be grateful for advice if anyone knows the area or just what works in similar areas (coastal river just a few miles from the salt).
Andy you will need to talk with Jeffrey Abney our N.C. connection. He love to catch them gills and crappies to boot anyway if you talk with him I think you will be fully satisfied.
I replied to his thread on 2014 and introduced myself. Finding his thread Googling about is what landed me here. I think I am likely to do alright down there, but I really want to get into more big ones and up my catch rate a bit.
I did a forecast for the avg water temps in your area at that time would be in the low 50s. Might be a little cold for cranking and spinning. My bet would be floats with tipped jigs or a more stationary presentation with drop shot with live bait. They may be starting a slow migration or stacking outside of the spawning flats... weeds are key.Last April I went out for the first time water temps in the mid 50s looking for crappie and noticed a boat with 2 fisherman casting bobbers and worms against the seawalls with a lot of action.
In my area or in Hardeeville, SC? According to the map, the depth in that part of the river is 15' to 20' in the channel and usually under 7' outside the channel. The floats with jigs outside the channel will likely be one of the first things I try. We will probably see great variation in temps depending on day time temp. We will paddle into a couple of backwater "lakes" (big blackwater coves) that are fairly shallow. Search for "fox lake hardeeville" and you will see one (no big secret; well known public ramp just below it).
Following up on my own initial post to expand one something - "grub". By that I mean a small, usually 2", plastic bait, usually a twisty tail. I generally start with a 2" Berkley Power grub in white and use more of those than any other, but I do switch around. The jig head will often be a 1/8 or 1/16, less commonly a 1/4 or 1/32. I may use a clear bobber, the type with the rubber tube you pass the line through and twist to set a depth and that you can partially fill with water. I may tip the hook with a little bait.
Sometimes I will substitute a small tube jig instead.
Anyway, a lot of backstory in a word...
Water temps may be to cool for soft plastics. Do you have any hair jigs or feather jigs? Small bucktails, something with rabbit zonkers, or some marabou jigs?
I have a very small selection of doll flies (small marabou jigs). I should probably pick a few up. Any color/weight suggestions? My guess would be that I want a slow fall out of the main flow. The river rips pretty good in the channel; people often canoe up to 20 miles a day (not while fishing) according to some info I have found. FWIW, I find the better plastics, like the Berkley Jigging (they make different ones; the jigging grubs seem to have the best action) move pretty well in cold water. A small black twisty tail grub is one of my favorite mountain trout lures year around.
I suspect you and Slip Sinker may be right about temps out near the channel though. I can't find data on the river, but inshore (downstream a few miles where it meets the ocean) it is 50s in Feb. I will have to see how the weather goes leading up to it; areas like Fox Lake should warm quickly if there are a few good days in a row.
Andy I think everybody has there own color preference. I think a lot will do on water clarity as to what colors will work for you. I have 2 main go to colors that being white and chartreuse in that order. Them are what has worked for me over the years. When I use to fish Lake Norman many years ago an older fella got me started on marabou jigs. In the colder water need to remember to downsize.
Dick is correct. Color preference is going to be a personal thing, unless you have a lot of experience in your local waters with testing of various colors.
Dick is also correct about the need to downsize; gills are taking smaller baits in cold water. However, you mentioned the current strength. Have you thought about Tungsten jigs? They're pricey, and a lot of people aren't sold on them, but they would give you extra weight at a smaller size. Smaller size also means less water resistance, so hopefully the current won't drag the baits downstream as quickly.
It has a well defined channel that is ripping downstream but also has a lot of backwaters.
We will likely put in at the "surfaced ramp" on the lower right and paddle up into Fox Lake (a backwater mostly; some tiny creeks dump into it). May paddle up or down to other similar sections, but that is pretty much the layout.
Never have. My son goes to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and I will deliver a care package and go to dinner with him, friends and a nephew. SCAD is only a half hour from the exit in SC that this is very near. So my buddies and will get a motel room on ground level so we can slip the yaks in there when we go to Savannah Saturday night. Plan is to fish from maybe 10-4 both days. Our research leads us here (specs and reds down in the wash is another possibility but we don't have as much confidence about doing that and the timing would be harder).
In that section, the left side is the river channel. On the right, Fox Lake dead ends just above where I clipped it off. I have driven down and looked at the river on my most recent SCAD trip; looks very promising. There are several "lakes" like that in the area. I am a little leery of fishing the Spoil Area too much; if we are lucky enough to have warm weather (last Feb, most days were high 60s or 70s there) the gators may be active.
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