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Inshore catch is down with rain, cooler water temps
Capt. Judy fishing

Inshore report

Well I have to say, the winds along with the scattered rain this past week sure made inshore fishing challenging. 

However, with water temps steady over 65 degrees, catching can be more realistic. And what the heck does this mean? You know I am always saying, “When it’s 65 everything is alive!” I am talking about the water temperature not my age many years ago (I can’t believe the years have flown by so fast!).

It seems when the water temps are solidly over 65 degrees, fishermen get more of a chance to catch while fishing. 

I love this time of the year. Why? The fish are more likely to bite than not, opening up a grand arena of catching possibilities. 

Savannah Snapper Banks 

While bottom fishing with small pieces of squid and cut fish, a recent fishing group caught some large trigger fish, big black sea bass and of course some nice genuine red snapper, which they promptly released. 

They were fishing live bottom areas west of R2 in 66-degree water. According to the group, the bottom bite was pretty darn good. They stopped at the CCA and water temps there were around 68 degrees.

While bottom bumping at the banks, they had a few visitors, better known as cobia, swim by. They hooked up and kept one legal cobia, but saw about four more. 

What does this mean? The 2020 cobia season just might have started. So now when you do go offshore fishing, whether it is to the artificial reefs or the Savannah Snapper Banks, I suggest keeping your cobia-looking eyes on the wide open mode.

Before heading out, please always check for current fishing regulations!

Believe it or not: Taking a diver for a drag

Over 40 years ago, a diver while spear fishing at a place called Texas Tower, which was located about 13 miles off Tybee Island, had a big story to tell. Not only that, but he lived to tell about it. 

I remember the scuba gear that was used back in the good old days. When dressed in a scuba outfit from yesteryears, the divers came out looking like a jet-black shinny seal with long arms and legs. 

Regulator hoses were fat and they covered both sides of your face. They wrapped around you head while coming from your back. In other words, you had two hoses instead of the single hose, which was a design that was invented later. 

High tech underwater stuff sure took a sleeker design later on. When dressing as you did back in the good old days, you certainly couldn’t count on blending in.

At any rate, this 60s diver had his bag full of dead/half dead, bleeding, distress-sending fish. The bag was attached to the diver’s belt, which was being pulled behind him about 6 feet or so. 

A 14-foot hammerhead took the fish bag, which was attached to the diver, and started pulling him out to sea. He dropped his knife in the process. 

Had the shark not bitten through the parachute-type cord holding the bag, this diver might of have never been seen again. And this story most likely would have had a much different ending.

You must be thinking, “How would she know this for sure?” 

Well, I was there because I was the captain that took the diver out to the Texas Tower. Back in the old days, way before the thought of any type of insurance liability, much less how dangerous it was in the first place, we did it all – because we could. 

Way back then, fishermen would start fishing and divers took directly to the water, knowing that it could be a very dangerous sport. Now that I think about it, the only thing that really has changed with this mind set is the outfits that scuba divers wear. 

In this story’s case, it was either the lure of the sport or just being a lure that this diver loved the best. 

Thanks for reading, and please be safe! 

 Capt. Judy Helmey can be reached at 912-897-4921 and

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