Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – Feb. 9, 2024

Capt. Bert Deener | February 9, 2024

Scott Kuhn caught this 6-lb., 9-oz. bass in a Brunswick pond on Tuesday. He fooled it with a Texas-rigged pumpkinseed-colored plastic worm.

The weekend rains were followed by cold, but a few folks got on fish. Lakes, ponds and saltwater are where the best reports came from.

Savannah River: Mark Vick returned to the river this weekend with his oldest son, Tripp. The river had risen a little from last week, and the bite slowed some, but they caught some really nice crappie and a giant flier. They fooled them with crawfish Warmouth Whacker Jigs and minnows. Tripp lost a monster right at the boat that he thought was a bass…. until he saw it! Mark said that the crappie was well over 2 pounds, but it turned and popped Tripp’s line. That may be their last meal of fresh crappie for a little while, as the river has continued to rise.

Okefenokee Swamp: The water level is still high and fish are spread out in the prairies, but the water level is falling. On Friday, I fished the east side and got on a good flier bite. I bounced around at several spots and ended up catching 21 fliers up to 7 inches and a 17-inch pickerel. The fliers ate pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies under a small balsa float, and the pickerel ate a chartreuse back pearl 2-inch Keitech rigged on a 1/16-oz. Flashy Jighead with a gold blade. Bill Stewart and I fished the east side on Tuesday and worked hard for a few bowfin and pickerel in the strong winds. The ones we caught ate a prototype in-line spinner and crawfish Dura-Spin. I heard of a few pickerel and bowfin being caught in the east side boat basin. The warm spell the next few days should make the fish more active, but they are still spread out. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 121.28 feet.

Local Ponds: Wyatt Crews fished with a couple friends on Saturday, and they caught some nice bass and crappie. They caught about 15 bass with their biggest pulling the scales down to 6 pounds. Their bass ate 3.8-inch gold flash Keitech swimbaits rigged on an 1/8-oz. Capt. Bert’s Flashy Swimbait Head with a gold blade. They caught their crappie on a prototype color Satilla Spin. A Baxley angler trolled 2-inch Keitechs (chartreuse shad) on 1/16-oz. black-green eye Zombi Eye jig heads for 15 slab crappie up to 2 pounds late last week before the front slowed the bite. Sean Tarpley fished a private pond near Baxley and caught a bunch of crappie up to 1 1/2 pounds. He started catching them on a white, 1/16-oz. Flashy Jighead and Bobby Garland Baby Shad but had to switch to an 1/8-oz. jig head (chartreuse) to keep their lure down in the strong wind. Another friend fished a Valdosta area pond this week and caught a 5-lb., 7-oz. bass on a deep-diving crankbait. Cason Kinstle said the bite in his favorite Savannah-area ponds slowed significantly this week in the cold, but he did fool a giant crappie on Friday with a paddle-tail plastic. Scott Kuhn caught the biggest bass I heard of this week—a 6-lb., 9-oz. pig that ate a Texas-rigged pumpkinseed-colored plastic worm in a Brunswick pond on Tuesday. Chad Lee fished a pond on his break Tuesday and fooled a 4-lb. bass with a crawfish-colored Rat-L-trap.

Saltwater (GA Coast): Capt. Tim Cutting had great trips on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Wednesday it was about live shrimp for redfish. They got on 20 of them and kept 15. They also caught a few short trout, four nice keepers and a keeper sheepshead. On Thursday, they had six oversized redfish in a row, then a few keeper-sized fish. They ended up with about a dozen reds and a dozen good trout on plastics. They fished 3.3-inch Berkley Power Swimmers on 1/8-oz. Zombi Eye jig heads (spring keeper version) and 6th Sense Divine paddletails, 3.5- and 4-inch Keitech Easy Shiners and Down South Lures on 1/8-oz. Trout Eye Jigheads. 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.

St. John’s River (Astor, Florida)/Crescent Lake: I heard better reports from Crescent than the river around Astor this week. The folks trolling just offshore did better on the cooler days, and those beating the shoreline made the best catches just before the front this weekend. A couple of Waycross anglers fished a tributary to the St. Johns River on Saturday and did great for bass and crappie. They had 18 crappie up to 1.74-pounds by fishing a 2-inch Keitech swimbait (bluegill flash and sexy shad) under a float. They fooled a dozen bass on wacky rigged stick worms. Saturday should be great for crappie and bass pushing shallow during this short warm-up. For the latest fishing information or to reserve a room or cabin in Astor, you can call Kerry at South Moon Fish Camp (386.749.2383).

First quarter moon is Feb. 16. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on Feb. 8 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River – 11.3 feet and rising
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 9.3 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 10.4 feet and rising
Waycross on the Satilla – 12.4 feet and rising
Atkinson on the Satilla – 11.4 feet and rising
Statenville on the Alapaha – 6.5 feet and rising
Macclenny on the St Marys – 7.3 feet and falling
Fargo on the Suwannee – 10.0 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].

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.