John's Journal...

Fishing with Captain Greg Hildreth on the Georgia Coast

Click to enlargeLook for Trout in the Cuts

Editor’s Note: Captain Greg Hildreth of Brunswick, Georgia, fishes Georgia’s Atlantic Coast for speckled trout, redfish, flounder and tarpon. That’s right, tarpon. Most people don’t realize that Georgia has a saltwater coast. Few people even know that this is a tarpon hotspot during the heat of the summer. It also has some tremendous marsh and beach fishing and one of the most-unusual tripletail fisheries in the nation. Boaters and sailors up the East Coast sail down to Sea Island and Jekyll Island for tennis, golf and high-dollar resort living. Most people never consider the outstanding saltwater fishing available just off the fairways. This week, we’ll look at someClick to enlarge of the finest saltwater fishing in the nation that receives little fishing pressure.

Question: Where are you catching speckled trout at this time of year?
Hildreth: I’m catching most of my trout in the cuts, ditches and channels that come into the ocean from Cumberland Island. We anchor up close to the surf and cast toward the beach. We’re fishing at the first sandbar. We depend on the Spike-It Boot Tail Minnow to catch speckled trout. We fish the Boot-Tail Minnow under the Cajun Thunder cork and/or we tight-line it by simply casting it out and retrieving it close to the bottom. We use a lead head jig with my favorite colors, chartreuse or opal-and-chartreuse.Click to enlarge

Question: What size trout are you catching?
Hildreth: We’re catching some nice-sized trout now in June, 2006. We’re catching trout from 13- up to 22-inches long. The weather, the tide, the water condition and the mood of the fish all dictate how many trout we’ll catch in a day. We may catch as few as 10 or 15, or as many as 50 or more trout in one day. Regardless of where you fish, you’re still subject to weather, wind, tide and the mood of the fish.

Question: How do you fish the Spike-It Boot-Tail Minnow?
Hildreth: When I’m putting the Cajun Thunder cork under the Spike-It Boot-Tail Minnow, I cast the bait and coClick to enlargerk out, and I keep popping the cork causing it to splash and make noise to attract trout. When I’m fishing it on a tight line, we cast it out, let the boot-tail minnow swim close to the bottom, and keep the bait coming back to the boat on a steady retrieve. Trout are feeding on pogeys, mullet and shrimp that are coming into open water from Cumberland Island. Besides speckled trout, we often catch many big whiting (also called brown mullet). These whiting weigh from 1 to 1-1/2-pounds, and they’re delicious to eat. We also catch redfish, ladyfish, bluefish and flounder. At this time of year, fishing those run-outs, we can usually keep rods bent the entire time we’re out fishing. One of the advantages to the Spike-It Boot-Tail Minnow is that it will catch about any fish that swims in saltwater.

You can contact Captain Greg Hildreth at 912-261-1763, or visit

Tomorrow: Use Jerkbaits


Check back each day this week for more about " Fishing with Captain Greg Hildreth on the Georgia Coast"

Day 1: The Mystery of the Tripletail
Day 2: Look for Trout in the Cuts
Day 3: Use Jerkbaits
Day 4: Once-a-Month Reds
Day 5: The Tarpon Are Coming


Entry 355, Day 2