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Time has come to hit up the Gulf Stream
capt judy wahoo.jpg
Capt. Ryan Howard of Miss Judy Charters holds up a big wahoo he caught recently while fishing in the Gulf Stream.

Artificial reefs 

Take a short boat ride to the fish!

Our artificial reefs, whether they are found in less or more than 50 feet of water, are holding some pretty interesting fish during this time of the year! With the month of April almost behind us, May brings us fishermen lots of catch opportunity. 

Bottom fishing for black sea bass, summer trout, flounder, and blue fish can be very interesting while using small pieces of shrimp, squid or fresh cut fish. 

 It is cobia time!

Yep, fishermen have been seeing and getting the opportunity to catch this fish while fishing the artificial reefs, the Savannah Snapper Banks and the blue waters of the Gulf Stream.

I like using a 3-ounce Whoopass Blue Thunder jig, which I always tip with a white eel. I always have a rod dedicated that is already set up with the jig ready to pitch.

If a cobia comes a knocking, throw this lure about 10 feet in front of its heading, let it drop down in the water column about 8 feet, lock to a medium drag, work the lure with medium movement up and down, and you should get a hit. 

Now you might not be able to see the fish, but it will be there chasing at your lure. Just give it time, when it gets mad enough the fish will hit it.

Learn more about this jig at

Savannah Snapper Banks

For those that want to have a day of catching fun, I suggest taking the right compass heading and give the Savannah Snapper Banks a try. 

When I am explaining to my customers the type of fish caught in this area, I call it the colorful fish catching trip. Why? Most fish caught are sporting some color whether it is blue, yellow, pink, red, sliver, green or white. 

After May 1, we can add brown to our color list. Why? The 2020 grouper keeping season will officially open. Watch out gags and scamps, we are coming to get you! For information on trips to this area, call 912-897-4921.

Blue water report

Capt. Ryan Howard of Miss Judy Charters has been fishing this area and the best news I can share it is time to go!

What are they catching? Well let’s see, bill fish, mahi mahi, wahoo, king mackerel, black fin tuna, and more. 

On one of Capt. Ryan’s last blue water trips he caught some very nice yahoo wahoo. While dragging rigged ballyhoo of assorted sizes dressed in different colors, he had a wahoo catching day! He started fishing the South Ledge and moved out to find deeper a temperature break. 

For information on trips to this area, call 912-897-4921.

Believe it or not:  The correct way to space spark plugs in the early ‘70s

I recently found a picture of me when on a boat I was 19 years old, working over a slant head Gray Marine gas engine, which I worked on all of the time. 

I was removing the spark plugs, dropping them in a bucket of gasoline and then sloshing them around a bit. After the sloshing, I would then hit them a few times with the old wire brush, and dry them off. 

My father always suggested that all six plugs had the same space. To adjust the space, I would pull a piece of 80-pound test wire through it. 

If the spaces were too big I would take the plug and tap in on the block the engine. This would close the space a bit allowing me to re-space. Back in the old days, sparkplugs were cleaned and spaced a lot more than they were replaced! 

Also in that photo is a bucket seat removed from a recently totaled 1969 Ford sports car. The fact of the matter is I have both of the bucket seats from this wrecked car. 

My father brought them home and we mounted them on old office furniture metal petals. The bucket seats swiveled and folded down. Daddy always said folding down wasn’t necessary, but it was an added feature. 

So I had matching leather look-alike bucket seats as fighting chairs that swiveled, as well as folded down. I tried to find an old brochure from the ‘60s, because that’s exactly what we advertised!

Thanks for reading! 

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

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