Southeast Georgia Fishing Reports With Capt. Bert Deener – September 8, 2023

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

Capt. Bert Deener | September 8, 2023

Matt Rouse, of St. George, fished the upper St. Marys River on Monday and caught several nice bluegill and redbreast on Satilla Spins.

There were not many fishing reports due to storm clean-up, school starting and the heat, but the few who went did well. The rivers (except the St. Marys) are all high, so spend your time on the St. Marys, the Okefenokee Swamp, ponds or saltwater this weekend.

St. Marys River: Matt Rouse fished the upper river on Monday and had a fun day. Even in the off-color water, he caught several big bluegill and rooster redbreasts on Satilla Spins. The panfish bite slowed for him about 10 a.m. He found a shady spot and put some shrimp on the bottom and caught a few nice catfish and a couple of bowfin weighing about 2 pounds apiece.

Okefenokee Swamp: The refuge was closed a couple days after the hurricane but reopened on Friday. Ellie (my daughter) fished with me on the east side of Okefenokee Swamp on Saturday morning, and we had a great trip. There was very little additional debris in the canals, which very much surprised me. We pitched sallies for 10 minutes in my favorite flier spots and didn’t catch any, and then we trolled and flung Dura-Spins. We fished a total of about three hours and caught 42 fish. We had four pickerel up to 17 inches (all caught by casting) and 38 bowfin (mudfish) up to 8-lbs., 14-ozs. Our second heaviest was a 5-lb., 15-oz bowfin. The others were mostly 2 to 3 pounds. The biggest bowfin ate a chartreuse snowflake version, but the best overall color was lemon-lime (chartreuse blade). We caught a few fish each on jackfish, crawfish (both orange and brass blades) and fire tiger-chartreuse blade. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.56 feet.

Ellie Deener, of Athens, caught this 8-lb., 14-oz. bowfin on a chartreuse snowflake Dura-Spin while fishing the east side of Okefenokee Swamp on Saturday.

Saltwater (GA Coast): The mullet run is getting cranked up and fish are chowing down on them. Tarpon and bull reds are around in their usual haunts at the jetties and sounds. Capt. Greg Hildreth ( put his clients on tarpon, whiting and pompano this week. They caught tarpon on live bait in the sounds and beaches. On Wednesday, they caught a 120-pounder. Whiting and pompano ate dead shrimp fished on the bottom. Capt. Tim Cutting ( had a good flounder and redfish day on Tuesday. His charter worked a white Gulp! Swimming Mullet on a jig head for six flounder and six reds (all fish were keepers). They kept four of the flounder. On Wednesday, they fished live shrimp and caught 25 redfish, with about half above the 14-inch minimum and half just shy of keeper size. They had a good flounder, black drum and sheepshead in the mix.

New Moon is Sept. 15. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website ( For the latest marine forecast, check out

River gages on Sept. 7 were:
Clyo on the Savannah River –  10.3 feet and falling
Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 4.2 feet and falling
Doctortown on the Altamaha – 9.1 feet and falling
Waycross on the Satilla – 16.0 feet and falling
Atkinson on the Satilla – 16.3 feet and rising
Statenville on the Alapaha – 12.9 feet and falling
Macclenny on the St Marys – 4.3 feet and falling
Fargo on the Suwannee – 4.5 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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