Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – June 14, 2024

Capt. Bert Deener | June 14, 2024

William Waldrop fished with Capt. Bert Deener on the east side Friday and caught this nice warmouth by pitching a chartreuse Okefenokee Swamp Sally. The warmouth bite is happening right now.

It’s going to be an awesome week as the various rivers drop into a range where the bite fires off. Choose the right spot and it will be lights out —miss it and you’ll make a bunch of fruitless casts. Good luck!

Altamaha/Ocmulgee River: Brentz McGhin fished the lower river backwaters on Friday and caught a few warmouth and bass by pitching plastics (junebug lizards and worms) to shoreline cover. This river is going to produce some great catches this week!

Satilla River:  Joshua Barber fished some small creeks with rooster-tail spinners and fooled 10 fliers and had a jackfish on for a short time before it pulled off. The river is dropping out. I didn’t get any reports, but I know the fish are starting to chew. The water is down within the banks, and it’s going to be great this week in the extreme upper river.

St Marys River:  Brentz and Alex McGhin fished the river on Sunday and caught 10 channel catfish during a short trip. A Blackshear angler fished the ditches near road crossings with orange sallies under a small balsa float on Sunday and fooled 42 fliers (ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches) and four nice warmouth.

The Shady Bream Tournaments trail held their year-end event out of Kings Ferry Boat Ramp on Saturday. Bo Moody won my custom-built Satilla Spin Rods.

Okefenokee Swamp: William Waldrop fished with me on the east side Friday, and we had a blast. We pitched sallies first thing for just a little bit, and he caught a nice, 9-inch warmouth. The fliers weren’t playing that morning, so we started fishing Dura-Spins pretty quickly. Shortly after we started, he caught a 6-lb., 5-oz. bowfin, and that’s the presentation we stayed with for the next few hours. The best colors were lemon-lime and firetiger-chartreuse blade, although we tried several other colors. He never topped that first fish, but we ended up with 42 fish (40 bowfin) during the four-hour trip. An 8-inch warmouth inhaled the Dura-Spin. When that happens, you know the warmouth bite is about to break loose, and it did just that.

That same morning Buck Johnson pitched white curly tail jigs to the trees and landed 31 warmouth. Another couple anglers I talked with on the water said that they had caught 61 warmouth the day before, and already had 20 when I talked with them at 8 a.m. That was just the start of the torrid bite.

William was camping for a week in Folkston, so he fished the swamp a bunch over the next few days. On Sunday morning, he had seven warmouth pitching Texas-rigged small plastic worms and then switched pretty quickly to trolling Dura-Spins… from his kayak! Using crawfish and then firetiger spinners (most were on the firetiger color), he caught 34 bowfin and a 16-inch pickerel.

He fished Tuesday morning, and the warmouth were biting like crazy. He lost count at 47 (he didn’t keep them all), and they were jumping all over the small plastic worm again. He then trolled firetiger Dura-Spins and caught 24 bowfin. They were biting great, but he didn’t fish for them as long as his trip before.

On Wednesday morning he returned with his bream buster pole and crickets and whacked a bunch of warmouth. He said it didn’t matter what you threw. Other folks were catching them great on artificials, as well.

On Tuesday, I got a report of a couple of anglers catching their limit of warmouth by pitching crawfish and crickets. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.9 feet. Yellow flies were not bad at all on the water Friday, but if you got under dense trees, there were some waiting for you.

Local Ponds: Joshua Barber fished a pond on Friday and caught four bass up to 2 1/2 pounds. He fooled them with stick worms and topwater hard plastic frogs.

Jimmy Zinker got on some nice fish this week, but the bite has been slower than previous weeks. He night fished a pond ,and his two biggest bass were 5-lbs., 15-ozs. and 6-lbs., 1-ozs. He fooled them with a Jitt-r-Ratt topwater.

Joshua went to a Waycross area pond on Wednesday with a friend and caught 10 warmouth, about 20 fliers and eight catfish. He also had a couple bowfin break him off. He caught his fish on Rooster Tail spinners, Satilla Spins (bruised banana gold) and a small yellow fly. His catfish ate shrimp on the bottom. Another angler they talked with had a cooler full of big warmouth that he had caught in another pond. Some of them were pushing a pound.

Paul Williamson fished with me in a Waycross area pond on Tuesday morning, and we started off trolling for crappie. That wasn’t working, as we had only four in the first hour and a half. We switched to bluegill fishing, and it was on. Stumpknocker 1/16-oz. Satilla Spins and bumblebee Super-Sallies (fished with a fly rod) fooled the shallow panfish. We worked various banks for the next couple hours and tallied a total of 30 fish (four crappie and 26 bluegill). Our biggest bluegill was 9 inches, and our biggest crappie was 10 inches.

Saltwater (GA Coast): Luke Steedley got on the flounder at the St. Marys jetties this week, so they have arrived in good numbers.

Quinton McMichael and Seth Carter put it on the sheepshead in the Brunswick area by dabbling fiddler crabs.

Tommy Sweeney fished my prototype weedless head rigged with mudminnows in the Brunswick area and did well for slot redfish and flounder over the weekend. He fished shells in the 4- to 6-foot range on the outgoing tide.

Chris took his son John Ross on Saturday to the St. Marys jetties, and they did well for whiting and had an upper slot redfish. John Ross caught the most whiting for the second trip in a row. They were using shrimp on the bottom for the whiting and caught the slot red on a Zombi Eye jig head and electric-chicken Keitech swimbait. The whiting were mostly in the 15-foot range, and they were some big bulls (they brought 10 home for supper).

One captain had some really good trips this week inside. On Monday, he had a grandpa, dad and two grandchildren, and everyone got in on the action for trout, reds and flounder. Tuesday was a great trip for reds, trout and flounder. They had 22 keeper fish and released them all.

Dr. Warren Morgan caught and released this oversized red in the Brunswick area on Tuesday.

Dr. Morgan caught an oversized red. They fooled reds on live shrimp on a Redfish Wrecker jig head and a Gulp! rigged on a Zombi Eye jig head. Flounder ate the Gulp! on the Zombi Eye jig head, and trout inhaled Keitech Easy Shiners and live shrimp.

Joey Whitaker and Charles Sweat fished the St. Marys jetties this week and had a tough go for trout and flounder. They only managed a couple of each on live shrimp, but the pelagics showed up with a vengeance and doubled their rods. Spanish mackerel and bonita were marauding bait schools, and they were able to get Yo-Zuri 3-inch minnows nearby. That’s all it took, as a half-dozen bonita and several Spanish macks inhaled their plugs. That’s how fishing the jetties is—feast or famine. And often the species that is feasting is one different than you were expecting. You always need to be prepared for lots of options when fishing the rocks.

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, Florida: Capt. Pat McGriff of One More Cast Guide Service said that the bite has been very good this week for trout and reds. The best trip was Tuesday where his folks whacked lots of trout on live pinfish under Back Bay Thunder Floats. They already had their limit of trout and a keeper red, and they caught and released seven more keeper trout in shallow while trying to catch their other keeper red.

Full Moon is June 22. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website. For the latest marine forecast, check out

River Gages on June 12 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.9 feet and falling
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 4.7 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 6.3 feet and rising
Waycross on the Satilla – 7.9 feet and falling
Atkinson on the Satilla – 9.1 feet and falling
Statenville on the Alapaha – 8.1 feet and falling
Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.3 feet and falling
Fargo on the Suwannee – 6.0 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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