By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist
(Deener’s reports can also be found in the Waycross Journal Herald on Thursdays)
Saltwater has produced the best reports this week. The Outdoor Adventure/J.A.K.E.S. Day will be held atParadise Public Fishing Area near Tifton on Sept. 27. I will be conducting free bass fishing trips to teach teens how to bass fish. Each person will fish for an hour from a boat and will learn how to cast artificial lures for largemouth bass. Pre-registration is required. To sign up a teen (ages 12-16), call the Waycross Fisheries Office at (912) 285-6094. New Moon is Sept. 24. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.
Altamaha River – A group of anglers from Waycross fished for mullet out of Jaycees Landing in Jesup on Thursday afternoon. They didn’t catch mullet, but the redbreasts were biting… on the sandbars! Red wigglers and 1/8-oz. black-yellow Satilla Spins fooled 35 redbreasts and a couple of bluegills to 8 inches. They even caught a 13-inch bass on a Satilla Spin. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that crappie were around in good numbers, but it takes some hunting to find them. Once you get on them, stay in that area, as they are schooled up in the deeper areas. Minnows fooled most of the fish. Some bream, catfish, and bass were caught this week, as well. The mullet are everywhere in the lower sections of the river. Get at them for the next month or so before they move offshore to spawn. The river level was 3.0 feet and steady (84 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.3 feet and rising (84 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on Sept. 16.
Satilla River – Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the river came up a couple of feet in the Waycross area, but the upper river is still very low. The water will be dirty, but you should be able to get a johnboat around well this week in the Waycross area of the Satilla. Wading is still the way to approach the upper river. The river level at the Waycross gage was 7.0 feet and falling (80 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.4 feet and rising (83 degrees) on Sept. 16.
St. Marys River – The river is falling again, but is still very high. Fish another river, for now. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 12.8 feet and falling on Sept. 16
Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – A couple of Waycross anglers fished from the bank on St. Simons Island on Saturday and caught some flounder. They cast-netted finger mullet and used them for bait. The numbers of small mullet washing out of tidal creeks was impressive. The bigger migratory mullet should start heading south any day now. Redfish were also caught from the bank over the weekend. Flounder and trout were caught in the creeks around St. Simons Island. Most of the trout were small, but some nice keepers were mixed in. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that from the pier, flounder, croaker, Spanish mackerel, and a few sheepshead were caught. The most impressive thing was the size of the fish – most (except the croaker) were over 18 inches. Stone crab numbers were up this week.
Best Bet – If the weather allows, trout fishing should pick up over the next few weeks. Redbreast and bream fishing on the Altamaha should really pick up as soon as we start getting cool nights. Fish the willows and blow-down trees with Beetle spins and Satilla Spins and hold on. Last fall the black-yellow and crawfish colors were best.