Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – August 18, 2023

Timely info on where and how to catch fish on various rivers and waters of southeast Georgia.

Capt. Bert Deener | August 18, 2023

Arthur Eidson caught this 8.5-lb. bass from a pond on Saturday by casting a 7-inch purple curly tail worm.

With school starting back up in most areas and the heat still upon us, the number of reports decreased this week, but some really good catches were made. Ponds, the Okefenokee Swamp and saltwater are where most of the better reports originated.

Altamaha River: Chuck Dean and Jake Duncan had a fun trip to the tidal Altamaha on Sunday. They cast Dura-Spins to shoreline cover in the murky water and caught four largemouth bass up to 2 1/2 pounds, four bowfin up to 4-lbs., 11-ozs., an 11-inch warmouth and a giant bluegill. They tried trolling the lakes but could not make them bite. They ended up catching everything by casting. Firetiger-chartreuse blade and crawfish-brass blade were their best colors.

Satilla River: The river is at the edge of the floodplain again with the daily rains this week. Note: Georgia DNR closed the Highway 158 Landing on Aug. 15 in order to rebuild the ramp and parking lot. Weather depending, it should reopen toward the end of September.

Okefenokee Swamp: Very few people fished this week in the heat. Kenny McClain and I were two who did on Saturday morning, though. We fished from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (right in the heat of the day) and caught 104 fish trolling and casting Dura-Spin in-line spinners. Our catch included one flier, two chain pickerel (jackfish), three gar and the rest bowfin (mudfish). Most of the bowfin were in the 2- to 4-lb. range, but our biggest was 5-lbs., 13-ozs. The best colors were lemon-lime, fire tiger-chartreuse blade and crawfish-orange blade. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.44 feet.

Mark Vick caught this giant 11 1/2-inch bluegill on a chartreuse Bert’s Bug a couple weeks back in a Guyton area pond.

Local Ponds: Arthur Eidson caught the biggest bass I heard of this week from a pond. He was casting a 7-inch purple curly tail worm when the 8.5-lb. bass inhaled it. Jimmy Zinker caught several big bass this week. He has been fishing both in the daytime and at night. He caught a 7-lb., 7-oz. bass on Friday while using a big crankbait, a 6-lb., 11-oz. fish on Sunday on a black Capt. Bert’s buzzbait and a 7-lb., 12-oz. fish on Monday night while flinging a Jitterbug. Catfishing was good for those putting shrimp or worms on the bottom just after dark. Shelton Hunter hit a pond this week and caught several fat bass up to about 4 pounds on a junebug Zoom Centipede worm rigged on a shaky head. Chad Lee fished on his lunch break and caught five bass up to 2 pounds on stick worms and micro crankbaits. All the bass were close to schools of shad in the pond he fished.

Saltwater (GA Coast): Capt. Greg Hildreth ( has been chasing tarpon pretty much all week. On Thursday, his charter went one for three (landed one and jumped three of them). They hooked them on both live bait and DOA Bait Busters (rigged with a Tarpon Tamer Jighead). The one they landed was a 140-pounder, and it ate a live bait. Capt. Greg said that the fish are all along the beaches and sounds on our entire coast. Capt. Tim Cutting ( switched gears this week and chased tarpon. They jumped one Monday and Tuesday and three on Wednesday. They landed one of the silver kings on Wednesday. They’ve been catching them on DOA Bait Busters and live bait.

Greg Raborn fooled this monster smallmouth bass in Quetico Provencial Park (Canada) on a perch-colored 4-inch Rapala minnow plug last week.

Quetico Provencial Park (Canada): Susan and Greg Raborn fished the Canadian Quetico Provincial Park last week and caught a bunch of smallmouth bass. It’s really remote, so you catch your supper or eat energy bars, lol. Susan used Perch Hounder and Satilla Spin Spinnerbaits almost exclusively. The best colors were warmouth craw and crawfish. Greg caught a monster smallmouth and a bunch of others on Perch Hounder Spinnerbaits, hard jerkbaits, Ned rigs and Rat-L-traps. Greg’s biggest ate a perch-colored, 4-inch Rapala minnow plug.

First quarter moon is Aug. 24. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on August 17 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River –  7.1  feet and rising
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 5.1 feet and rising
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 7.6 feet and rising
Waycross on the Satilla – 9.9 feet and rising
Atkinson on the Satilla – 9.9 feet and rising
Statenville on the Alapaha – 5.3 feet and rising
Macclenny on the St Marys – 7.3 feet and rising
Fargo on the Suwannee – 3.5 feet and rising

Capt. Bert Deener 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].

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.