Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – September 1, 2023

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

Capt. Bert Deener | September 1, 2023

Mark Vick, of Guyton, caught this nice channel catfish on the Ogeechee River earlier this summer. Catfishing is a good bet on the rising rivers behind the storm.

Hurricane Idalia was the main focus in southeast Georgia this week, and there were very few fishing reports. The good ones were from the weekend or late last week. Most rivers will be blown out once the rainfall works its way out of the upper tributaries.

Satilla River: Chuck Dean fished the lower tidal river on Monday before the winds picked up and caught a couple nice fish. He had an 11-oz. bluegill flinging a white popping bug on a fly rod. He also caught a few bowfin (mudfish) up to 6 pounds on firetiger Dura-Spins. The river was getting in good shape, but lots of rain fell over the upper river basin, so it’s going to be rising this week. You can probably catch a few catfish on the rising river if you fish the lower reaches before the big slug of water gets there. Note: High water will put the Highway 158 ramp project on pause for the time being, but they will get back on it as soon as it drops out. This is the kind of water level delay that will bump the project completion date back from the anticipated end of September time frame.

Okefenokee Swamp: The refuge was closed during the week of the storm, but is slated to reopen on Friday, Sept. 1.

Local Ponds: A couple of  Waycross anglers reported fishing a pond on Saturday evening. They had six bites on topwaters in the 93-degree water but were unable to boat any of them. One of them was a big bass. A Waycross angler fished a pond before the storm threatened this week and caught and released a bunch of nice bluegill. He had a 14-inch bass on a white bug, a small redbreast and 48 big bluegill. He caught three fish on a 1/16-oz cracklehead crawfish Satilla Spin and the rest on a fly rod and catalpa Okefenokee Swamp Sally.

Saltwater (GA Coast): It was a bumpy week with the high winds, but a few folks got out late last week. Capt. Tim Cutting ( fished Friday and had a great day. They caught 11 flounder (kept five of them) on a Gulp! Swimming Mullet. They also went looking for tripletail and saw 16 of them and caught six. They used shrimp for the tripletail. This weekend should be fishable in saltwater, so there should be more reports for next week.

Keaton Beach, Florida: Keaton Beach is one of my favorite places to fish on the Earth. The eye of Hurricane Idalia hit them as a Category 3 storm. Please pray for the folks of the Big Bend region of Florida as they repair and rebuild.  You can contact Capt. Pat McGriff of One More Cast Guide Service ( – Phone: 850.584.9145) out of Keaton Beach to book a trip for trout and redfish.  He will let you know the latest on his schedule.

Last quarter moon is Sept. 6. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on August 31 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River –  9.6  feet and rising
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 1.7 feet and rising
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 6.8 feet and rising
Waycross on the Satilla – 7.3 feet and rising
Atkinson on the Satilla – 6.4 feet and falling
Statenville on the Alapaha – 8.4 feet and rising (6 feet overnight)
Macclenny on the St Marys – 4.6 feet and rising
Fargo on the Suwannee – 3.2 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 email him at [email protected].

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