We left this location to move on to the others on our list, but returned a few hours later. By now, the tide was low and had started moving in. The oyster bars, invisible at high tide, were all showing; some were several feet out of the water.
Along these oyster bars, we found and followed several schools of redfish. They were tailing and feeding just at the edge of the oysters, and we were able to pitch jigs tipped with shrimp just ahead of their progress.
These were big reds, all of them larger than the twenty-three inch upper slot limit. Our tackle was light and the oysters were sharp, a combination that caused numerous cutoffs on some very nice fish. Had we brought heavier spinning or casting gear, we could have horsed the reds way from the oysters, allowing us to get the larger ones to the boat.
These fish were visible in the very clean, clear water, and would be easy targets for a fly-rod and a nice clouser minnow.
Location 4 (30°4643.25N, 81°2840.00W)
On the south end of this strip of marsh island is a small cut that actually creates a new island out of the tip. Tidal currents had cut through the marsh, and we were able to work this cut with our jigs.
On around the tip, a large mud bar extends to the southwest. The east edge of the mud bar where it dropped to deeper water provided some additional action on our jigs and grubs.
Location 5 (30°4644.29N, 81°29'02.83"W)
This spot is directly southwest of location 3 and is the north end of Drum Point Island. Here we worked the edge of the grass line and oyster bars that border the east side of the island. Once again, the trout were cooperative.
Location 6 (30°4659.00N, 81°2822.96W)[\b]
While we did not fish at this location ourselves, we stopped and watched two boats that were black drum fishing. While we were there, one boat hung and lost a very large drum after a ten minutes battle.
Big black drum make their way into the inlets at this time of year looking for a mate. They will be found in the deeper water inside the inlets, and their drumming noises can often actually be heard through the bottom of the boat.
The bait these anglers were using was a half or whole blue crab, fished right on the bottom. Their tackle consisted of medium heavy bottom rods and Penn reels. Some of these spring drum can reach ninety pounds, so heavy gear is the order of the day.
Location 7 (30°4735.90N, 81°2835.40W)
Farther north in the sound, we eased along the west side of Cumberland Island. We moved around the east side of Stafford Island and came to Oldhouse Creek. The tide was low and beginning to move in as we entered the creek with our trolling motor.
There are several slough entrances to the marsh in this creek, and on one bend in the creek, we stopped and began watching the water. We were looking for baitfish, a sure sign that redfish would follow.
Using Thunder Chicken weighted float rigs with two-foot long leaders, we cast far into the bend with a live shrimp. The weighted floats allowed us to cast far enough to keep our boat from spooking the fish in the relatively shallow water.
Redfish would grab our shrimp and make off with the float., The water wasnt deep enough for the fish to take the float under. You knew a fish was on because the float began moving sideways to the current.
There was bait in Oldhouse creek on this occasion. There might not be bait there on another day. There are literally dozens of creeks just like this between the St Marys and Satilla Rivers. While we found bait and fish today, the fish wont be there if the bait is gone tomorrow. The trick is to locate the creek or creeks that are active with baitfish. These are the creeks that will hold fish.