December 7, 2023

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Tybee Island Fishing Guide

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Known for its stunning, wide beaches and pristine sand, Tybee Island is one of the best destinations beachgoers can visit. It’s also the easternmost point in Georgia, featuring the quickest access to the Atlantic Ocean in the state. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that Tybee Island fishing is in a league of its own, offering endless opportunities for adventure.

The fishing grounds surrounding Tybee Island are diverse and able to satisfy all your angling whims. The inshore waters are teeming with all kinds of gamefish, while the Atlantic Ocean holds almost limitless possibilities. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that there’s always something to catch.

If this already sounds like your type of destination, read on. We’ll reveal the different types of fish you can catch on Tybee Island, as well as where and how. You’ll also get to read up on a few basic regulations, so you have all the information you need to start planning a trip. Let’s dive into it!

Which species can I catch fishing on Tybee Island?

Thanks to its warm climate, Georgia – Tybee Island included – offers year-round fishing. As long as the weather favors you, there’s no wrong time to take a trip to this part of the Peach State. Have a look at some of the local favorites you’ll come across out here.


Tybee Island and its surrounding area feature dozens of different creeks you can explore. These, together with oyster beds and local marshes, provide prime habitat for the much-beloved Redfish. These fish are tons of fun to catch. They’re both eager eaters and great fighters, with a delicious taste to boot.

Since Redfish thrive so well in these waters, they can grow impressively large. In fact, Tybee Island hosts its own “Big Bully” Redfish tournament each October. Of course, you can catch these fish year-round on Tybee Island. However, if you’d like a chance to battle a trophy-sized Bull Red, you should visit somewhere between September and November.


Although they’re decked out in full convict uniforms, the only crime Sheepshead ever committed is being so incredibly tasty. And even though they’ll put up a hardy fight, they’re generally fairly easy to catch. This makes them suitable for anglers of all skill levels, novice to pro.

An angler holding a big Sheepshead in the shallow waters on a sunny day.

You’ll also find them pretty much all over the place while fishing on Tybee Island. They can be caught lurking under piers and near oyster beds inshore. Or, if you hit the reefs nearshore and offshore, you’ll get the opportunity to catch the big Sheepshead that feed there. Since they mostly eat crustaceans, their meat has a shellfish taste to it, leading anglers to call Sheepshead the “Poor Man’s Lobster.”

King Mackerel

Once you start moving nearshore and beyond, to deeper waters, your list of possible catches will start expanding. King Mackerel are one of the fish you’ll get the chance to reel in fishing offshore from Tybee Island. They’re renowned for their aggression, fighting disposition, and the blistering runs they make when hooked.

A man posing with a big King Mackerel he reeled in fishing the waters around Tybee Island.

But even though they’re terrific fighters, you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of experience fishing in order to catch them. They’re usually caught by trolling, which means your charter captain will set up the rod spread and search for the fish while you wait for a bite. This makes King Mackerel a good species to practice on if you’re new to offshore fishing. They’ll give you a great challenge and help you learn to fight stronger fish.

While it’s possible to catch King Mackerel year-round, provided you go far enough offshore, their season usually runs from spring to fall. That’s when you’ll find them in the 10-20 mile range, putting them within reach of Tybee Island charter boats.

Mahi Mahi

Another species you’ll come across as you navigate Georgia’s portion of the Atlantic is Mahi Mahi. They’re among the fastest-growing fish in the ocean, so don’t get surprised if you see some big ones swimming about. In terms of catch difficulty, Mahi Mahi can put up a great struggle when hooked, but they tend to tire out fairly quickly.

A trio of anglers posing with a huge Mahi Mahi caught fishing offshore from Tybee Island.

Besides their unique coloring, what sets Mahi Mahi apart is their amazing taste. Put simply, they’ll make for a delicious meal no matter how you prepare them. Similar to other pelagics, you’ll find Mahi Mahi in deeper waters. When the ocean gets warm, you’ll often see them in the 15-mile range from Tybee Island and sometimes even closer. Once you’re out there on the water, you’ll often search for birds or floating debris which will tell you there may be fish close by.

And Many Others!

Granted, there are other species to go after besides the four we named so far. Inshore, Spotted Seatrout, Black Drum, and Flounder are popular targets, as well as the mighty Tarpon that can be caught during summer. And if you decide to do some trolling along the coastal waters, you’ll often see Spanish Mackerel take your bait.

An angler on a boat, holding a massive Red Snapper.

Once you’re in the ocean waters, you can expect to reel in different Snapper species, including Red Snapper. Besides these, you’ll encounter Black Seabass, Cobia, and tasty Grouper. Pelagics such as Sailfish, Wahoo, and Tuna are also possible catches, though not an everyday sight. All in all, the species you can catch here are diverse, so it’ll be up to you to tailor your own unique adventure.

Best Ways to Fish on Tybee Island

One of the things that’s going to determine what you end up catching is how you tackle these waters. You can fish Tybee Island a number of ways, with each offering a different experience. Let’s go over some of these.

Charter Fishing

In terms of sheer variety, there’s no better way to go fishing around Tybee Island than to hop on a boat. You’ll get the choice between inshore, nearshore, or offshore waters, and you’ll get to employ different techniques to reel in your catch. Also, you’ll be accompanied by an experienced local captain aboard a charter boat, saving you the trouble of finding the fish on your own.

A charter boat in one of Tybee Island's creeks.

Tybee Island charter captains will typically also provide you with all the fishing gear you need. If you’re interested in fishing inshore, you can look for smaller boats that can explore the shallow waters and all the hidden nooks and crannies. For longer trips and deep sea fishing, you’ll generally want to find a charter that’ll give you the necessary comfort and security while you’re out there on the Atlantic.

We’ve already written about this a little, but the species you’ll get to catch close to shore are Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, Sheepshead, and Tarpon. Further from shore, you’ll get to target a variety of reef fish such as Snapper and Grouper. Finally, you can also fish for pelagics, ranging from Mahi Mahi and King Mackerel to Sailfish and Tuna, depending on how far offshore you go.

Kayak Fishing

The fishing grounds behind Tybee Island are comprised of numerous creeks and rivers. These calm waters lend themselves extremely well to kayak fishing. When the weather is favorable, you’ll almost get as many options as you would on a boat, with the exception of hitting the deeper waters.

A photo of a yellow kayak ashore with the Fort Pulaski lighthouse visible in the background.

Aboard a kayak, you’ll also get a somewhat more intimate experience fishing in this part of Georgia. The scenic marshland is a pleasure to explore. As you search for tailing Redfish, you’ll see many different kinds of birds and other wildlife. Close to the ocean shore, you might even see some dolphins while you go after your next catch.

Shore Fishing

Finally, there’s also the option of simply fishing from shore. Tybee Island features several different piers, beaches, and marsh shores you can set up on and start casting. It’s the most economical way to fish these waters and you’ll still get to have lots of fun.

An aerial photo of Tybee Beach pier leading out into the ocean across the sand.

You will, however, have to either bring your own equipment or rent it from one of the tackle shops around the island. Once you’re ready, you’ll have the whole host of the Tybee Island inshore fish to reel in. These include the famed Redfish, Sharks, Flounder, Whiting, Sheepshead, and many others.

Tybee Island Fishing Spots

A photo of a jetty on Tybee Island with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.

We’ve covered what you can catch and how you can approach Tybee Island waters. Next, let’s take a look at some areas you can fish. Of course, these are just a few of the many spots where you can find fish. If you pair up with a charter captain, they’ll usually know where the best bite is.

  • Tybee Beach Pier: Situated on the southern part of the island, Tybee Beach Pier stretches into the ocean, serving as a great spot to reel in some fish. You can expect to reel in smaller Sharks, Stingray, Whiting, and more. Admission is free, except for parking.
  • Lazaretto Creek Fishing Pier: This small pier offers great fishing coupled with a view of the scenic marshland behind Tybee Island. The species you’ll see here range from Redfish and Spotted Seatrout to Flounder, Croaker, and the occasional Blacktip Shark.
  • Little Tybee Island: Featuring a whole nervous system of creeks, Little Tybee Island will give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest inshore action in the area. The creek mouths often serve as choke points for baitfish, attracting the attention of Redfish, Black Drum, Trout, and more.
  • SAV Reef: Located about 6 miles offshore from Tybee Island, the SAV Reef is a popular spot for anyone looking to hook into Bull Reds, Black Seabass, Sheepshead, or Snapper. It’s reachable even on shorter trips, allowing you to catch your dinner without spending the whole day on the water.
  • Savannah Snapper Banks: If you want to experience some serious offshore action, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for at the Savannah Snapper Banks. This fishing area lies some 35 miles offshore from Tybee Island. As the name suggests, the banks provide a habitat for tasty Snapper. However, you’ll also get to reel in other bottom fish, as well as pelagics such as Mahi Mahi and Kingfish.

Anything else I should know?

An infographic that says "Tybee Island Fishing Regulations" and "What you need to know" against a blue background.

In Georgia, anglers aged 16 and older will need to purchase a fishing license. However, aboard charter boats, the captain will usually sort that out for you prior to the trip. A few other exceptions also exist and you can read more about them in our dedicated Georgia Fishing License article.

While all the species you’ll encounter while fishing on Tybee Island have their size minimums, most of their seasons are open year-round. One notable exception is Cobia, whose season typically lasts from March to the end of October. Also, if you’re fishing outside state waters, you’ll have to abide by federal regulations. For more information on Georgia’s size and bag limits, you can check out the state’s eRegulations page.

Tybee Island: The Perfect Place for a Fishing Vacation

A view of the sunrise on a Tybee Island beach with the sand in the foreground and fishing pier on the left.

Whether you’re looking for your next destination to fish or simply relax and enjoy the sunshine, Tybee Island will deliver. The variety of opportunities you’ll find here makes this part of Georgia suitable for both beginners to learn and experts to chase their personal bests. And in between the fishing, you’ll get to enjoy plenty of great food and traditional Georgian hospitality.

Have you ever been fishing on Tybee Island? What local species do you enjoy targeting the most? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Tybee Island Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Marko
Title: Tybee Island Fishing: The Complete Guide
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Published Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2022 13:38:00 +0000

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