Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – April 19, 2024

Capt. Bert Deener | April 19, 2024

Seth Carter caught this oversized redfish recently in a Brunswick area creek.

Rivers are still very swollen, and you can’t get to some of the various boat ramps because the ramps and access roads are flooded. Your best bets this week are ponds and saltwater.

Satilla River: The river is still up in flood stage, but it should be falling throughout this week. The annual Satilla Riverkeeper fishing tournament will be held May 3-12. Get the details on the Satilla River Facebook page.

St. Marys River: Brentz McGhin and a friend fished the river with crickets over the weekend and caught a nice mess of panfish, but it wasn’t on fire. They pitched plastics for warmouth and caught bowfin and a few small bass. The river is up, and they worked for their fish.

Okefenokee Swamp: I heard two good reports of warmouth this week. A couple dabbled live crawfish for four hours on Wednesday morning and caught 20 warmouth. Another angler fished about the same amount of time with a jig under a float and caught about the same number of fish. All of the other reports I heard were much slower bites after the rains last week. A couple people reported not even catching a single fish. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 121.58 feet (it has just started to fall after the most recent rise).   

Local Ponds: Tripp and Charlotte fished their Guyton pond on Saturday and whacked the medium-sized bass. Four-inch green-pumpkin worms wore them out. Joshua Barber used his new driver’s license to get to a local pond over the weekend. He kayaked around and caught seven crappie, 10 bluegill and eight bass. He fooled the crappie with minnows and the bluegill with worms. 

Daniel Johnson and Chad Lee fished on Saturday and caught a few bass on white spinnerbaits (Chad) and Christie Craws (Daniel). They each caught one about 3 pounds along with several smaller bass.

BJ and Hayes fished a Brunswick area pond on Saturday and caught some giant bluegill  (biggest was just over 12 inches) and a nice bass. Hayes had a bass that went about 4 pounds that he fooled with a pink Trick Worm.

Logan tore up the bass on Wednesday afternoon in a Waycross area pond by flinging rooster bug-colored Satilla Spins.

Saltwater (GA Coast): The tides improved this week, and the reports followed suit. Tommy Sweeney fished the Brunswick area with live shrimp under a Harper Super Striker Float both Saturday and Sunday. It was blowing hard on Saturday, and they struggled, but they spanked the trout on Sunday. They had a bunch of throwbacks and four nice keepers over 16 inches. They also had a good flounder and a pompano. Shellbeds at the mouth of creeks is where they found them.

Capt. Tim Cutting said that he caught a mix of trout, reds, black drum and whiting on his charters this week. They worked for them (except whiting), catching about five to 12 keepers per trip. Most of their redfish have been slot fish. In the sounds they’ve been catching about all the whiting the anglers have wanted. The black drum have been hit and miss and were mixed in with the other species. Whiting have been on dead shrimp on the bottom, but everything else has been on live shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats.

Seth Carter and friends have continued spanking the oversized redfish in the creeks around Brunswick. They’ve caught more oversized fish than keepers. Rickey and Chris O’Berry fished the Brunswick area on Thursday morning and caught a good mess of black drum and three sheepshead. They dabbled fiddlers around hard cover for their fish.

Capt. Cason Kinstle fished the Savannah area on Monday for a half day and put folks on some nice sheepshead. They had eight nice keepers, with the biggest pulling the scales down to 6 pounds. On Tuesday, he put a family on a good whiting bite. They caught a bunch and brought home 15 good ones for supper. Dead shrimp on the bottom was the ticket for the whiting.

Wat-a-melon Bait and Tackle in Brunswick is open Friday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. each week. They have plenty of lively shrimp and fiddler crabs and also have live worms and crickets for freshwater. They’re on Highway 303 just north of Highway 82. For the latest information, contact them at 912.223-1379.

Keaton Beach/Steinhatchee, Florida: Capt. Pat McGriff, of One More Cast Guide Service out of Keaton Beach, said that his charter on Tuesday roped the trout. They had a limit of 10 trout in under three hours. They had four on a new Assassin color—gold/glow—and the balance on live pinfish under oval Cajun Thunder Floats.

I fished with Capt. Pat on Thursday, and we had a limit of trout up to 19 1/2 inches (total of 22 trout, including throwbacks). We stopped in two areas without a sniff and then got on them at the third area. We had a few different areas where we caught them well scattered throughout the day. Bouncing the new gold/glow Assassin Sea Shads and pink ghost Sea Shads was the most effective presentation with 3/16- and 1/4-oz. jig heads. We had a total of at least 75 fish of seven different species.

Capt. Pat takes notice of every detail and has guided out of Keaton Beach for decades. If you want to learn trout fishing on the Gulf grass flats, book a trip with him.

Scott Smith, of Waycross, and friends fished out of Steinhatchee on Wednesday and had a great trip. He caught his personal best trout—an 18 1/2-incher—and a total of about 20 trout even with the strong winds. The goldfish-colored Keitech on a Zombi Eye jig head worked best for them.

River gages on April 18, 2024 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River – 11.0 feet and dropping like a stone
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 9.3 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 10.8 feet and rising
Waycross on the Satilla – 15.2 feet and falling
Atkinson on the Satilla – 16.6 feet and falling (record high for the date)
Statenville on the Alapaha – 24.7 feet and falling
Macclenny on the St Marys – 8.7 feet and falling
Fargo on the Suwannee – 13.0 feet and falling

Capt. Bert Deener guides fishing trips in the Okefenokee Swamp and other southeast Georgia systems and makes a variety of both fresh and saltwater fishing lures. Check his lures out at Bert’s Jigs and Things on Facebook. For a copy of his latest catalog, call him at 912.288.3022 or email him at [email protected].

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