Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – June 2, 2023

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

Capt. Bert Deener | June 2, 2023

Lily caught this slab crappie and several others from a Blackshear area pond in late May.

Lots of fish were caught over the Memorial Day Weekend, even with the cooler-than-average temperatures and extreme winds early in the weekend.

Alapaha River: Take note that the Highway 129 Bridge boat ramp (near Lakeland) closed on May 30. It will be closed for a couple of months while the ramp and parking area are rebuilt.

Altamaha River:Ocmulgee Rivers: The rivers are fishable again, and I got a good report from a couple of bass anglers who fished the middle Altamaha. They caught them on spinnerbaits on wood cover. The fish are starting to move from the backwaters to the main river.

Satilla River: The river is well into the floodplain again, so plan to fish somewhere else this week.

St. Marys River: I got reports of some good redbreast and bass being caught from the St. George area late in the weekend. Chuck Dean fished the middle St Marys on Thursday afternoon and caught a really nice bluegill on a catalpa-colored Okefenokee Swamp Sally on his fly rod. He also caught a half-dozen on a white sally. Then, he switched to Satilla Spins and caught a couple dozen redbreast and bluegill on cracklehead crawfish and white gold. Shady Bream Tournaments held their co-ed event on Saturday in the gale force winds. Daniel and Tamara won it with 8.21 pounds (10 panfish). Second was Mark and Brittany with 7.78 pounds. Ernie and Brittany placed third with 7.27 pounds. Big fish was 0.81 pounds caught by Monkey and Brittany. They will be holding another points tournament this Saturday (6/3), so check out Shady Bream Tournaments on Facebook for more details.

Okefenokee Swamp: Mark and Sabrina Williams fished the east side on Tuesday and it worked for them. They pitched crickets and plastic worms and caught two fliers, a big warmouth, a pickerel (jackfish) and several bowfin. Chuck Dean fished the east side on Monday and caught one on a white streamer with his fly rod before switching to casting and trolling Dura-Spins. He fooled nine more bowfin on a red/white Dura-Spin. His biggest bowfin was 6 pounds. William Sims visited Stephen C. Foster State Park on the west side for the holiday weekend and had a blast catching lots of pickerel, bowfin and fliers. He fooled the fliers with a popping bug and the pickerel and bowfin with Dura-Spins. The biggest pickerel he caught was 22 inches, and the best color was black/chartreuse. He caught a few on crawfish and jackfish colors. They casted the lures around lily pads and wood cover. Pete Dyess and his fishing buddy Virg fished the west side on Saturday in the extreme wind and caught three jackfish and lots of bowfin on Dura-Spins. On Sunday, they caught them well, and their biggest jackfish was about 22 inches. They also had about 50 bowfin that ate their in-line spinners. They casted and trolled Dura-Spins in both white and jackfish colors. I took my daughter Ellie to the east side on Monday midday, and we did well for pickerel. We flung jackfish and firetiger-chartreuse blade Dura-Spins all around the canals and fooled jackfish up to 21 inches and only a few bowfin. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.40 feet.

Dodge County Public Fishing Area (near Eastman): Ken Burke fished the area on Tuesday morning and caught six bass for a total of 15 pounds. His big fish was 4-lbs., 2-ozs., and he had some other chunky fish. He fooled them with a Rat-L-trap, crankbait and shaky-head worm. The water temperature rose to 80 degrees by midday.

Hugh M. Gillis Public Fishing Area (near Dublin): Ken Burke reported catching seven bass from the area on Wednesday morning. They weighed a total of 16 1/4 pounds. He had a 4 1/2- and a 3 3/4-lb. fish for his biggest two. Crankbaits and Rat-L-traps produced his bites.

Local Ponds: Mark Williams and Anthony Nettles fished an area pond and caught several bass in the 1- to 5-lb. range. They fooled them with Trick Worms. A couple of Waycross anglers ran trotlines in a good catfish pond on Wednesday and caught several-dozen channel catfish up to 3 pounds. They baited the hooks with cut squid. Tripp Vick, of Guyton, put it on the giant bluegill and shellcracker in a local pond. He used red wigglers under a float to fool them. Gage Coley fished a Brunswick area pond a couple times this week, and his best trip was 50 bass while fishing around bluegill beds using plastics colored like bluegill. Texas-rigged Bama bug Yum Dingers with 1/4-oz. worm weight worked best for him. His fishing partner caught the biggest bass of the week—a 7 1/4-pounder. Chad Lee fished an Alma area pond for a short time this week and caught a pair of 2-pounders on Senkos. Jimmy Zinker fooled a 6-lb., 10-oz. bass by running a deep-diving crankbait across its nose in 17 feet of water.

Saltwater (GA Coast): Winds were stiff early in the weekend, but the weather improved as the weekend progressed. Cason and his son Conner had a great trip to the Jekyll Island area on Monday and had a dozen slot redfish and a couple big keeper trout. They fooled their fish with mudminnows and plastics. Capt. Greg Hildreth ( had some great trout catches this week. He fished inshore around the sounds for his fish. Most were throwbacks, but there were keepers mixed in. Tripletail fishing was good on the few days this week when he could get out. He caught a few per trip. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel have started to show up this week. Tommy Sweeney fished the Brunswick area this week and caught quite a few trout around shell mounds on small Sight Flash (white-silver flake) and blue-chartreuse Keitech swimbaits and 1/16-oz. Zombie Eye Jigheads fished under a float. He had five keepers and six throwbacks on Monday. The whiting drops fired off for him in the 15-ft range this week out by Jekyll. They got a bite every time their shrimp hit the bottom, but there was not much size to most of their fish. Jay Turner fished from the bank in the Savannah area for just a couple hours on Thursday morning and caught two nice flounder and an oversized and a slot redfish by casting a Sight Flash Keitech swimbait on an 1/4-oz. red jig head with a Gamakatsu hook. I’ve heard some good reports this week of flounder being caught from Christmas Creek and trout off the Cumberland beach. James Pollard caught four keeper flounder from the Jekyll Island Pier on Tuesday. For the latest fishing information or mudminnows in the Brunswick area, check with J&P Bait and Tackle on Hwy 303 (912.282.9705.

Full Moon is June 4th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

Conner fished with his dad Cason on Monday, and they caught a bunch of redfish and some really nice trout. Conner gave out after about a dozen nice fish, and they brought home a few fish for a good meal.

River gages on June 1st were:

Clyo on the Savannah River – 9.7 feet and falling

Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.9 feet and falling

Doctortown on the Altamaha – 7.9 feet and falling

Waycross on the Satilla – 11.9 feet and falling

Atkinson on the Satilla – 11.5 feet and rising

Statenville on the Alapaha – 3.4 feet and falling

Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.4 feet and falling

Fargo on the Suwannee – 3.8 feet and falling

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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