Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – Nov. 10, 2023

Capt. Bert Deener | November 10, 2023

The bites have been mostly very good this week. Tides are increasing as we approach the new moon. Rivers are getting low enough that float trips should be a good consideration for the smaller rivers.

Altamaha/Ocmulgee Rivers: A couple of Waycross anglers fished the Altamaha on Sunday and had a great bite. They pitched plastics and cast crankbaits to catch 25 bass up to 6 pounds.

Okefenokee Swamp:  Anthony and his wife Jo are avid anglers from England who visited the east side and fished this week. They chose fishing in the Okefenokee for this fall, and the Swamp did not disappoint. They caught lots of bowfin and pickerel during their trip, and they had some big ones—they each had 10-lb.-class bowfin. Anthony caught his on a white paddletail grub, and Jo caught hers on a fly. They even caught a 3-lb. largemouth bass on the white grub during their trip. Josh Ward came up from Jacksonville and fished the east side on Sunday. It was slow, compared to his usual swamp ventures, and he only caught five bowfin on Dura-Spins. But, his biggest was a 10 1/2-pounder that ate a firetiger Dura-Spin. The big fish have shown up with the cooling water. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.56 feet.

Local Ponds: Leland fished with his grandfather (Phillip) on Saturday morning in a Waycross area pond, and he caught a really nice 5-lb. bass. The chunk ate a bluegill-colored swim jig with a green-pumpkin trailer. His group caught five bass and five bluegill. The smaller bass ate black/yellow Satilla Spins and wacky-rigged Assassin Fat Job worms (waterboy color), while the hand-sized bluegill inhaled No. 10 pink sallies pitched on a bream-buster pole. David Montgomery fished a pond near his house on Thursday morning with his brand-new ultralight Satilla Spin spinning rod and had a blast. He fooled five crappie, four bluegill and a small bass on stumpknocker-colored Satilla Spins and also 2-inch Keitech swimbaits rigged on weedless swimbait heads. Chip Lafferty fished a Brunswick area pond on Tuesday evening and caught five bass up to 4 pounds. He didn’t mention what he caught them on, but he’s a master with a plastic worm. The crappie bite has picked up. A Waycross angler trolled a pond for three hours on Sunday evening and caught 32 fish (one bass, one warmouth, three bluegill and the rest crappie). His biggest crappie was 1-lb., 10-oz., and his top-5 fish weighed 6-lbs., 15-ozs. Everything bit 2-inch Keitech swimbaits, and the most effective colors were sexy shad, sight flash and bluegill flash (the biggest fish ate that color). The only head he used was a 1/32-oz. Zombi Eye Jighead (in white and chartreuse colors), and the best speed range was 0.9 to 1.2 miles per hour. The crappie bite is going to be great over the next few months.

Saltwater (GA Coast): The trout bite improved this week, but it’s not wide open yet. Tommy Sweeney and Scotty Steedley won a trout tournament out of Cabin Bluff on Saturday. They weighed in three nice trout between 17 and 18 inches (the tourney had an 18-inch maximum) and took home the $2,000 first-place prize. They threw Zombi Eye Jigheads with 2/0 hooks and natural-colored Keitech swimbaits to win the event. They said the trout were slamming it all day. On Wednesday afternoon, Tommy fished three shell-lined banks and did not get a single bite in a couple hours of fishing. He returned to the exact same banks on Thursday evening during essentially the same tides and caught 15 trout, and he said that they were smoking it. Both trips he was throwing Keitech swimbaits on Zombi Eye Jigheads. Welcome to fishing the Georgia coast. You have to find them EVERY day in the big tidal swings. Don Harrison and friends fished out of Crooked River for a few days (when winds allowed) and caught 15 to 20 trout per day. Their best day was Monday when they had 20 trout on Assassin Sea Shads and Keitech swimbaits suspended underneath Equalizer Floats. Early in the day the fish ate bright colors like electric chicken and various hues with a chartreuse tail, but once the sun was strong, they preferred natural colors like silver mullet and perch. About one out of every four fish was a keeper for them. Blake Edwards fished the Blythe Island area on Saturday and caught some nice trout up to 18 inches. He had a total of 10 fish (three keepers), and they ate plastics under an Equalizer Float. Jay Turner has had a great week in the Savannah area fishing several days. He fished from a boat on Friday and caught and released a 25-inch trout that barely fit in the net. He kept a few other smaller trout, redfish, and even a 29-inch striped bass. He caught all of his fish on a Zombi Eye Jighead (built on a Gamakatsu sickle-shaped hook) and Gulp Shrimp. He had live bait that day, but they preferred the artificial. He walked the bank on other trips and caught several trout up to 21 inches and a slew of slot-sized redfish. Most of the trout are around the 14-inch size limit—either just above or just below. From the bank, his best presentation was an Assassin swimbait (natural colors) on a black 1/8-oz. Zombi Eye Jighead. Thomas and Mark took their sons Tripp and Jackson inshore fishing in the Savannah area last weekend and did great. Even in the wind, they were able to find protected areas and catch some nice trout on Vudu shrimp. The boys put shrimp on the bottom and caught eight weakfish, two sheepshead, and four redfish. They ended up keeping 11 trout, seven redfish, two sheepshead and a flounder. Capt. Tim Cutting ( said that inshore fishing has been very good this week for reds and trout. He caught lots of keepers, but there are tons of short trout mixed in, as well. Keitech Easy Shiners, Berkley 3.3-inch Power Swimmers and Gulp Swimming Minnows have produced well. On days he fished live shrimp, he suspended them underneath Harper Super Striker Floats. His trips caught between 20 and 35 keeper reds and trout per day. They caught two nice pompano on back-to-back casts one day. The only dock and pier reports I heard were from an angler fishing a Brunswick dock with artificials, and he caught 20 nice trout one evening this week. I didn’t get details on which lure he was using. The new bait shop in Brunswick named Wat-a-melon Bait and Tackle is now 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 in the same location as the previous J&P Bait and Tackle. For the latest information, contact them at 912.223.1379.

New Moon is Nov. 13. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on Nov. 9 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River – 3.2 feet and falling
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 1.1 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 3.7 feet and falling
Waycross on the Satilla – 5.5 feet and falling
Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.8 feet and falling
Statenville on the Alapaha – 1.9 feet and falling
Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.3 feet and falling
Fargo on the Suwannee – 4.8 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 email him at [email protected].

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