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Lots of fish biting inshore, at artificial reefs
Capt. Judy fishing

Inshore report

After having an in depth conversation with Capt. Matt Williams of Miss Judy Charters, I was made privy of some very interesting spotted sea trout information.

It seems the spotted sea trout have taken to putting on a different fed bag. At this time, spotted sea trout can be caught everywhere from the creeks to the river to the beachfronts.

It seems, according to Capt. Matt, spotted sea trout holding in the creeks and river are mostly eating live shrimp and mud minnows. The trout that have moved offshore prefer small live finger mullet. Matt immediately remarked, “This is exactly opposite from the way it had been for years!”

The best way to serve up these live baits is to either put them under popping corks, traditional adjustable small floats or fished directly on the bottom with a small Carolina style rig. It seems that when the bait is presented under a float, they have a tendency to swim down, making for the prefect presentation. Now when presented bottoms-up on a Carolina type rig, the baits swim up or side to side, which is another way to get a spotted sea trout’s attention.

And here’s the thing – spotted sea trout are sight feeders. What does this mean? They have to like what they see before they will strike. And the quicker they like, the faster it will trigger a bite.

Keep that in mind, these are the things you need to know especially if you want to stop just fishing and do some real-time catching.

Artificial reef, less than 50 feet

We still don’t have dependable Spanish mackerel bite as yet. However, my father always said after Aug. 6 things in the Spanish mackerel department change big time.

Why? Well, according to my father that is when the Spanish start noticeably jumping on the surface.

My father’s story went just like this: Spanish mackerel start jumping more after Aug. 6, because they are egg tossing. As a small child all I could think about was colorful Easter eggs! Anyhow, Spanish mackerel jump for joy, because their happiness of supposedly lightening the load.

Artificial reefs, more than 50 feet

There areas are holding barracuda (all sizes), king mackerel (all sizes), Spanish mackerel (all sizes) and little tunny (football sizes).

You might not see them, but they are there.

How do you catch them?

I suggest pulling Sea Witches rigged with ballyhoo. In my case, I have them custom made and they are call Judy Jigs. They are rigged with three hooks in a row, which I load with a medium ballyhoo. They are made with a 2 ½ ounce orange painted lead head.

All lures, at least in most cases, need some “setting up” before using them. The 3½ Drone spoon is no different in the set up department.

The hook always needs to be sharp. There should be two split rings, not one. If there is only one ring, add one. All tackle boxes should be equipped with extra split rings. Don’t add any sort of leader wire to this spoon. The addition of the wire doesn’t allow this lure to work properly.

It has to be pulled 5 knots and it works a lot better at 6 to 7 knots. I pull all of my Drone spoons 20 to 30 feet behind my planner. If you want to use a downrigger, just make sure you let your lure out far enough.

Believe it or not: Castro’s cigars

 My father, Capt. Sherman I. Helmey, left a stogie calling card just about everywhere he went. He was a bum’s dream come true.

According to my father, Clem Kadiddlehopper (Red Skelton role) would have just loved them.

I remember my father had a large glass ash tray glued to the dash of his boat. Why? So it would not slide with the motion of the boat. How did he clean it out? The ash tray did not move, but the cigars did!

According to my father, he knew why Cuban cigars were such a “lure.” I have to still wonder to this day where he got all of this always-shared, interesting information. In this case, it might have been straight from the source.

My father personally knew Castro. The fact of the matter is he had supper with him on a few occasions right here in Savannah, Georgia. He also visited him in Cuba.

My father loved cigars and he smoked many in his lifetime. He especially loved Cuban cigars and he always had a few stashed away for special occasions.

According to my father, Cuban cigars were “rolled on the thighs of virgins.”

That’s all I have to say about that!

Thanks for reading!

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

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