Fishing in Savannah, GA Guide
Fishing in Savannah, GA offers anglers nearly endless opportunities — especially if they rent a boat in Savannah or enlist the help of fishing charters.
The city itself is surrounded by multiple waterways that enjoy spectacular inshore fishing action and sitting right on the Atlantic coast, you can even enjoy deep sea fishing in Savannah, Georgia. So, where will you fish, and what will you catch? Let’s put the spotlight on Savannah.
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Where to Fish: Best Savannah Fishing Spots
When considering where to fish in Savannah, it’s helpful to separate out the options between inshore and ocean fishing.
Inshore, the Savannah River, Wilmington River, Skidway River, Vernon River, Ogeechee River complex, and Wassaw Sound provide the major options. There are also countless creeks and smaller tributaries attached to each of these waterways.
- As a general rule of thumb, most of the fishing in these waterways takes place along marsh edges, oyster middens, and structure such as docks.
- The rivers have either brackish or saltwater environments depending on how far up them you travel, and with a reasonably fast boat, you can catch freshwater fish like largemouth bass and saltwater species like red drum all in the same day.
Deep sea fishing
When heading out into the open ocean, most anglers will point the bow for a reef or wreck site.
- The Continental Shelf slopes gradually deeper for around 80 miles before meeting the Gulf Stream, so while pelagics can be targeted from Savannah, reef fishing is far more common.
- The state of Georgia has constructed a number of popular artificial reefs which hold lots and lots of fish, and when deciding where to fish in the ocean, these are top destinations. You can find their exact locations by visiting the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Offshore Artificial Reefs webpage. Watch our Reef Fishing 101 tutorial for tips when you go.
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What to Fish for in Savannah: Top Species List
When fishing in Savannah’s many brackish and salty rivers and creeks, you’re likely to encounter:
- Drum (both black and red)
- Sharks (multiple species)
- Speckled sea trout
- Striped bass
If you head up to areas with fresher waters, you can also target:
- Bass (largemouth and striped)
- Channel catfish
The oceanic reef sites provide a very different list of available fish, including:
- King mackerel
- Sea bass
When is the best time to go fishing in Savannah, GA?
The best time to go fishing in Savannah, GA is… whenever you can! That said, what time of year you hit the water will dictate which species are most available.
- Inshore during the cooler months of the year fish like speckled sea trout, drum, and sheepshead tend to bite well.
- During the spring and summer months, you can add flounder and whiting to this list.
- And as a general rule, spring and fall tend to offer peak action as compared to midsummer or midwinter.
Fishing the reefs, again, there’s year-round action but just what that action is will change with the seasons.
- At any time, you have a good shot at encountering groupers and snappers, while the late fall and winter months tend to be good for sheepshead, drum, and black sea bass.
- With the warm weather, cobia arrive as do a wider mix of fish including Spanish and king mackerel, amberjack, and barracuda.
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Anglers employ all sorts of methods in these waters, often depending on which type of waterway they’re casting in and what particular species they’re hoping to catch.
- In the rivers and creeks, anglers usually employ one of two main tactics: casting lures or tossing out bait.
- In the case of lure fishing, jigs, plugs, or spoons are usually cast to likely areas and structure and retrieved back to the boat.
- When it comes to bait fishing, live shrimp or large minnow are often used to tempt the fish.
- Many area anglers also like to employ floats or cork rigs, though sometimes the rig may be as simple as a hook and a small weight to keep the bait near bottom in the strike zone.
In the ocean, the tactics boil down to either trolling or bottom fishing with cut bait.
- Trolling is often employed for the free-swimming species, like mackerels or bluefish.
- But when it comes to the more structure-oriented fish like groupers, snappers, or sheepshead, most anglers will drop baited rigs down to the bottom and then wait for a bite.
If you’re not familiar with fishing tactics like these, booking a Savannah fishing guide is a great way to get started and learn the ropes. And there are plenty of fishing charters in Savannah Georgia, so finding one won’t be a problem.
So, are you excited at the prospect of fishing in Savannah, GA? We certainly hope so — because few areas of the nation have so much to offer anglers.
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With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites ranging from BoatU.S. Magazine to BDOutdoors.com. Rudow is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk, he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.