February 23, 2024

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Savannah, GA Fishing Guide: Complete Guide

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As you explore the wonders of one of Georgia’s oldest cities, you’ll feel like you’re transported back in time. Fishing in Savannah, GA, is definitely one of these wonders, and it has its own character. The city’s legendary angling scene spans from beautiful backcountry waters all the way to the mighty Gulf Stream.

Anglers of all skill levels come to Savannah to enjoy the rich cultural tapestry of the South and its fishing opportunities. And there are a lot of locals who have been mastering the waters for more than half a century and are ready to make sure their guests are in good hands.

In this guide, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about fishing in Savannah. You’ll learn about the exciting fish species that live in the vast marshlands, rivers, and coastal waters. As well as that, we’ll discuss the best spots to wet a line in and the most productive techniques to ensure a successful catch. But first things first…

What can I catch while fishing in Savannah?

If you’re dreaming about landing some of the most sought-after species in the Atlantic, both inshore and offshore, Savannah is an excellent spot. This coastal gem is home to anything from Sheepshead and Flounder to large Tunas and Wahoo. Let’s talk about the top Savannah catches.

Redfish and Trout

Photo taken by Ebb N Flow Charters

First of all, Redfish are among the most popular catches in Savannah. These copper-colored beauties are hard to miss. The marshes and inlets around Savannah teem with these creatures between August and November, especially the Wassaw Sound and the Wilmington River.

The coastal waters aren’t limited to just Redfish, though. Speckled Trout are active in Savannah year-round, especially during the colder months – from November to February. So, as soon as you’re done with your Redfish adventure, you can move on to the Isle of Hope and the Vernon River to pursue Trout with soft plastics or live shrimp.

Flounder and Sheepshead

A smiling middle-aged angler holding a Sheepshead fish by the gills back on land with the backcountry waters of Georgia behind him
Photo taken by Catalina Charters

May to September, is reserved for Flounder fishing. These masters of camouflage are especially active on creek mouths, around structure, and sandbars. If you don’t know where to start, consider the marshy maze of the Herb or the Skidaway River.

When it comes to Sheepshead, a lot of locals call them “bait stealers.” Indeed, landing one is definitely a challenge. Savannah anglers look for them by Bull River Bridge, Tybee Island’s back river, docks, and artificial reefs. The Sheepshead season runs throughout the year, although they bite best in winter.

Cobia and Kingfish

Three anglers – two shirtless – standing on a wooden deck after fishing in Savannah, holding a Cobia each on a sunny day
Photo taken by Above & Below Charters

The migration of Cobia begins in late spring – sometime around April or May – and lasts until early fall. The Savannah Artificial Reef, the Tybee Island area, wrecks, reefs, and buoys are the best Cobia hunting grounds, especially if you’re equipped with live eels or menhaden.

If you’re after a “royal” encounter, consider fishing for King Mackerel – a.k.a. Kingfish. These high-speed runners keep anglers busy from June to September. Locals usually troll blue runners or cigar minnows or use deep-diving plugs near artificial reefs and wrecks. If you’re fishing offshore, you can find Kingfish near the J-Buoy, just 16 miles east of Tybee Island.


A view from a flybridge down towards the deck of a boat, where four anglers are holding a Sailfish caught fishing out of Savannah, GA
Photo taken by Miss Judy Charters – Captain Dan DeYoung

Now, it’s time to talk about the deepwater giants. More specifically, magnificent Sailfish, White Marlin, and Blue Marlin. To get to these monsters, you’ll need to book a trip with an experienced charter and venture out to the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream. The North Hole and the R-6 Tower are among the best for Billfish action.

Trolling is the technique of choice when it comes to Sailfish and Marlin, although you can definitely experiment with kite fishing if the equipment allows. Artificial lures work well, along with live bait, such as ballyhoo. Plan your trip for the summer months, and go after that personal best.

Tuna and Wahoo

Two anglers crouching on the deck of a sportfishing boat, holding a Tuna caught offshore with the water behind them on a sunny day
Photo taken by Rainmaker Fishing Charters

Who wouldn’t want an unforgettable duel with Tuna? Savannah’s offshore waters are busy with Tuna lovers from April to June, and again from September to November, with boats targeting Blackfin, Yellowfin, and Bluefin varieties.

The R-6 Tower is the place to be if you’re after Tuna, and you can also find Wahoo around the area if you’re fishing in fall. The North Hole is another good spot to chase these high-speed missiles, thanks to its temperature breaks and strong currents.

When to Go Fishing in Savannah

We’ve already mentioned some of the best seasons for the top species, but let’s dive in a little deeper. Typically, the best time to go fishing in most parts of coastal Georgia is early summer. However, this mostly applies to offshore fishermen. In Savannah, there’s always something in season. Let’s break it down.

A view across the beach towards a fishing pier in Tybee Island, with puddles in the sand visible in the foreground and the sun setting in the distance

In spring, Savannah’s waters come alive with activity. The Isle of Hope or the Vernon River are perfect spots to enjoy some Speckled Trout action, as the fish usually awake from their winter slumber to feed inshore. Plus, mighty Cobia arrive at the Savannah Artificial Reef and the Tybee Island areas.

As we already mentioned, summer is all about the offshore action. King Mackerel bite near wrecks and artificial reefs and Billfish grace the deep waters of the Gulf Stream. Most action takes place 60 miles east of Savannah at the North Hole or the R-6 Tower.

Redfish take center stage during the fall months, especially in the Wassaw Sound and the Wilmington River. The Wahoo season also kicks in offshore. Finally, winter in Savannah is prime time for Sheepshead fishing. These bait stealers hang out around bridge pilings, docks, and artificial reefs, such as Savannah River’s Bull River Bridge or Tybee Island’s Back River.

How to Go Fishing in Savannah

When fishing in Savannah, it’s not that hard to experiment with all types of techniques and methods. You can troll for Kingfish nearshore, go sight fishing for Cobia, or get Little Tunny on light tackle. However, to get the most out of your time on the water, consider booking a trip with a local captain. There are various charters tailored to fit anyone’s budget, and the benefits of fishing with an experienced guide are unparalleled.

Let’s talk about the various ways you can enjoy the local waters…

Inshore Fishing in Savannah

A center console fishing boat being navigated by a captain on the backcountry waters of Savannah, GA, with trolling rods perched above the helm and a net on the back of the boat
Photo taken by Captain Jake Ross Inshore Specialist

To reel in inshore favorites like Redfish and Trout, focus your efforts on oyster bars, creek mouths, and grass flats. Wassaw Sound, the Wilmington River, Isle of Hope, and Vernon River are good spots to employ a popping cork with a 2–3” leader, paired with live bait or artificial imitations.

For Flounder, head to the Skidaway and Herb Rivers equipped with a Carolina rig with a live or mud minnow on a circle hook. A Carolina rig is also a good option to target Sheepshead on bridge pilings, docks, and artificial reefs, such as the Bull River Bridge on the Savannah River and Tybee Island’s Back River.

Offshore Fishing in Savannah

A view from a boat of a sole trolling rod trailing behind an offshore sportfishing boat, with the wake of the boat visible in the water
Photo taken by Latitude 31 Dive Company

Trolling is the go-to technique to get your hands on Cobia, Kingfish, and Tuna. The Savannah Artificial Reef and the J-Buoy, both situated 15 miles east of Tybee Island, are perfect spots to use live bait or artificial lures to get the fish to bite.

Of course, you can venture much farther out and fish for much bigger creatures. For instance, the North Hole and the R-6 Tower offer the best chances to find Sailfish, White and Blue Marlin, and Wahoo. These monsters react well to trolling with ballyhoo or artificial lures. However, you’re always welcome to experiment with different techniques, gear, and bait. Or, instead, just let your captain show you the ropes!

Shore Fishing in Savannah

A view across a winding waterway in the backcountry around Savannah, with a small, wooden fishing pier and boat dock visible on the right of the image at sunset and grassy flats on either side of the water

If you’re not interested in fishing from a boat, you can always just grab your rod and hit one of the local shore fishing spots. Tybee Island is a good destination to wet a line and target species like Whiting, Redfish, Flounder, and Black Drum.

Additionally, you can fish along the Skidaway River in Skidaway Island State Park just southeast of Savannah. Reds and Flounder also bite here. For something a bit more unique, consider fishing along the banks of the Savannah River and the Atlantic Ocean near Fort Pulaski National Monument on Cockspur Island or check the bite in the Savannah and Wassaw National Wildlife Refuges.

Where can I go fishing in Savannah?

So you’ve heard about some of the top fishing spots throughout the article so far. But what makes them stand out. Here’s a list of our top picks for you to consider, with a short write up of exactly why you should cast a line there:

  • Green Island. There’s hardly a better place to cast for Redfish than Green Island with its prominent marshland. Reds are especially active later in the year as they flock to the backcountry.
  • Wilmington Island. This is a popular destination for both shore fishermen and fishing charters that head to the Gulf Stream’s offshore waters. If you stick to the coastal grounds, you can get your hands on Trout, Redfish, and Flounder.
  • Wassaw Sound. Wassaw Sound’s extensive marshes and tidal creeks promise an amazing day on the water for anyone looking to fish for Trout, Flounder, and Redfish.
  • Isle of Hope. This is a historic community on the banks of the Skidaway River. Anglers come here to enjoy gorgeous views, ancient oak trees, and, of course, excellent Trout fishing opportunities.
  • Savannah Artificial Reef. This reef is located 15 miles east of Tybee Island, offering amazing fishing playgrounds for Tuna, Kingfish, and Cobia.
  • J-Buoy. If you’re fishing the Savannah Artificial Reef, consider checking out the Kingfish bite at the nearby J-Buoy.
  • North Hole. Billfish roam around the waters of the North Hole, which is located 60 miles east of Savannah. This spot is perfect for a deep sea fishing trip if you’re after a trophy catch.
  • R-6 Tower. This is another offshore gem and a go-to spot to target Billfish, Wahoo, and Tuna. You can explore these deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream right after you’re done with the North Hole.

There are also a couple of rivers for you to discover among a labyrinth of tidal creeks and marshes of Savannah. The Vernon River, for instance, is a well-kept secret for Trout enthusiasts, while the Skidaway and Herb Rivers are best known for their Flounder populations.

Just steps away from Tybee Island’s beaches, anglers can find Tybee Island’s Back River with great Sheepshead and Cobia fishing opportunities. If you’re planning to fish the waters of Wilmington Island, consider casting for Redfish and Trout in the Wilmington River.

Savannah Fishing Rules and Regulations

An infographic featuring the flag of Georgia, and text that says "Savannah, GA Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background

Before we let you go, there’s just some housekeeping in order. First of all, if you’re over the age of 16, you’ll need to obtain a valid Georgia fishing license. Plus, if you’re intending to go after Trout, or explore the state’s Atlantic shores, you’ll also need a special permit. There are some groups that can get the license for free, though, so we suggest checking out this guide to Georgia fishing licenses.

Other than that, all species are also subject to bag and size restrictions. Check out the latest rules from the Georgia DNR.

Fishing in Savannah: Tides and Tales of the Coastal Empire

Fishing in Savannah allows you to get to know Georgia’s amazing coastal wonderland. Now, you know almost everything you need to figure out what species you’d like to target, when to go, and which spots you’d like to explore.

A view across the water towards Savannah, GA, with a boat visible, perched on the shoreline on a sunny day

Savannah’s estuaries, the rivers, and the sea are more than just fishing grounds, though. Generations of anglers have been mastering these waters, passing their knowledge and guiding others to the best spots around. Even if you’ve never held a fishing rod in your hands before, consider heading out and seeing why so many people love it. Tight lines!

Have you ever been fishing in Savannah? What was your first impression? Which local fish is your favorite target? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Savannah, GA, Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Savannah, GA, Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/fishing-in-savannah-ga/
Published Date: Sat, 13 May 2023 13:17:57 +0000

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