Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – August 4, 2023

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

Capt. Bert Deener | August 4, 2023

Jackson Stewart, of Waycross, caught this keeper redfish while fishing with his dad at Keaton Beach, Fla. this week.

Rivers are up and down—you’ll just have to check the gages regularly before planning a trip. Bites at the Swamp and ponds were good. The inshore saltwater bite should improve this week with better tides.

Satilla River: Chuck and Hunter Dean fished the lower river Sunday and ended up catching 14 bowfin, a gar and three warmouth. They caught two of the warmouth on a popper and fly rod and everything else on a Dura-Spin (lemon-lime and crawfish-brass blade worked best for them). Their scale broke, so all they could do was measure the fish. The biggest bowfin was 28 inches, but almost all of them were over 22 inches. He estimated that the fish were about 5 pounds apiece, bigger than he usually catches in the Okefenokee Swamp (but not as many per trip). The river rose into the floodplain this week, but the upper river is dropping back out, and the water looked good when I went over the river above Waycross on Monday.

Okefenokee Swamp: Josh Ward fished the east side of the Okefenokee Swamp again this week on Sunday. The bite was a little slower than the week before. He still caught 20 bowfin, and his biggest was bigger than the week before. It weighed 7 pounds. His best colors of the day were crawfish-orange blade and firetiger. He believes that the fish like the big profile of the Dura-Spin. He tried to catch them on white Rooster Tail spinner and could not get them to eat the smaller offering very well. He also noticed that when you stop reeling a Dura-Spin, it will fall and continue to spin, and that often triggers a strike. Very few people fished this week in the heat. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.43 feet.


Mackenzie caught this big bass while fishing with her grandfather at a pond. She fooled it with a plastic worm.

Local Ponds: Chad Lee was back at bass fishing in Alma-area ponds this week. He caught just over a dozen bass. His biggest was a 4-pounder, and most were in the 2-lb. range. Senkos were the key for him this week. Kael Courson and I fished a Waycross area pond with a friend on Friday morning and caught and released 26 panfish (25 bluegill and a redbreast) up to 10 inches (most were 8 to 9 inches). They ate 1/16-oz. cracklehead crawfish Satilla Spins fished on spinning gear and a white Okefenokee Swamp Sally fished on fly tackle. In the latest weekend installment of the Guyton Saga, Tripp outsmarted his brother Waylon and sister Charlotte by fishing their pond Friday evening while his siblings were at their grandma’s house. He fooled bass and bluegill with a white Bert’s Bug that evening. They all pitched bugs over the weekend and caught bass, bluegill and shellcracker. Jimmy Zinker fished at night in a south Georgia pond on Thursday night/Friday morning and had seven bass. His biggest (5-lb., 7-oz.) ate a black Jitterbug at 4 a.m., and the other six (up to 5 pounds) ate a black Capt. Bert’s Buzzbait.

Saltwater (GA Coast): Jay Turner fished from the bank for a couple hours in the Savannah area on Friday morning and caught six redfish, and three flounder by flinging Keitech swimbaits on Zombie Eye Jigheads (1/8-oz, 2/0 Gamakatsu sickle-shaped hook). Dean Barber fished with his family on Saturday in the Crooked River area and caught trout and bottom fish (croaker and catfish) on shrimp. They caught their trout on Sea Shads under Equalizer Floats after the tide started in and ended up with several, including a nice 15-incher. They hooked what was probably a big redfish that ran them under the trolling motor and broke off. Shortly thereafter they were run off by thunderstorms. Capt. Greg Hildreth put his clients on a few tarpon and tripletail this week. He did not do well inshore because of the big tides and muddier water but expects it to improve this week with the clearer water.

Last quarter moon is Aug. 8th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on Aug. 3:
Clyo on the Savannah River –  9.4  feet and rising
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 2.1 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.8 feet and falling
Waycross on the Satilla – 7.4 feet and rising
Atkinson on the Satilla – 8.1 feet and falling
Statenville on the Alapaha – 3.5 feet and falling
Macclenny on the St Marys – 12.7 feet and rising
Fargo on the Suwannee – 7.7 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 e-mail him at [email protected].

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