By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist
(Deener’s reports can also be found in the Waycross Journal Herald on Thursdays)
Between the wind, cold, sleet, and snow this week, there is not much fishing to talk about! With the warming trend going into the weekend and through the middle of next week, the fishing should fire up until the next cold front. New Moon is Jan. 30 (the second New Moon this month). To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.
Altamaha River – The only thing happening on the river is a few crappie biting in the backs of oxbow lakes. The river was dropping out, but expect it to head back up before long after the middle Georgia rains and snow. The river level was 9.8 feet and falling (45 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 10.9 feet and falling (47 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on Jan. 28.
Satilla River – Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that on Monday, some crappie were reported by anglers using minnows. Late last week an angler brought in a 2-pound crappie to the store that they caught from the river using minnows as bait. A few anglers reported catching catfish on shrimp fished on the bottom. The upper river was at a decent level before this week’s rains. It will likely head back up. The river level at the Waycross gage was 8.4 feet and falling (49 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 9.3 feet and falling (48 degrees) on Jan. 28.
Local Ponds – Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle said that crappie fishing on the sunny afternoons was decent this week in Waycross area ponds. Shrine Lake produced some fair stringers of crappie on minnows and John Deere green Jiffy Jigs. Expect the crappie fishing to fire off over the weekend.
Okefenokee Swamp – This weekend’s forecast is excellent to fire off the shallow, blackwater fishery. By Saturday morning, you should be able to do well for fliers by pitching pink, orange, or yellow sallies to weed edges or cuts between the canals and the prairies.
Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Very few anglers reported going this week, but a few anglers caught trout and redfish back in the creeks and sheepshead around rocks in the Brunswick area. Quite a few redfish were reported by those fishing the mud flats on sunny afternoons during the outgoing tide. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the pier fishing was slow, except for croakers and whiting. You can check the marine forecast at www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/.
Best Bet – Crappie fishing at your favorite pond should be decent on afternoons this weekend and into next week. Flier fishing in the swamp should be excellent by the weekend and into next week. In saltwater, look for some redfish to cruise the mud flats with the warmer weather.