(Info provided by Fisheries biologists Bert Deener and regional Fisheries staff)
Altamaha River – Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that the river is on a slight rise, but it has now slowed the bream bite in the backwaters. Crickets produced some big bream around treetops in the lakes. Dannet at Altamaha Park said that a bream tournament over the weekend had 140 anglers entered. The rising, stained water slowed the bite, and the anglers had to work for their fish. They did catch fish, and most were caught from the feeder creeks and backs of the lakes (that is where the clearest water was located). Most anglers caught between 5 and 30 bream. The river level was 6.1 feet and falling (86 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 7.5 feet and rising (83 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on June 16.
Okefenokee Swamp – Early in the morning anglers are catching warmouth and fliers on the east side. Bullhead catfish were caught in good numbers from all entrances. Even after pulling out thousands of fish from the boat basin on the east side, anglers are still catching a few warmouth and fliers there. They have even caught an occasional bream on crickets.
Satilla River – Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the river fishing slowed with the high water and high heat, but the river is falling, and the bite is improving. A few fish were caught by anglers pitching crickets close to the bank cover. Satilla Spins (black/chartreuse and crawfish) fooled redbreasts and an occasional bass. Channel and bullhead catfish ate rooster livers and shrimp. Buzzbaits and ZOOM lizards and speed craws caught some nice bass. I spoke with an angler late last week who caught several bass up to 5 pounds in the Waycross area. The river level on June 16th at the Waycross gage was 7.7 feet and falling (80 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 8.3 feet and rising.
St. Marys River – The mullet run is in full swing. A piece of worm rigged on a #6 hook was the ticket. The catfish bite has been as hot as the air temperature. In the early morning before the heat, anglers reported catching some nice bream and redbreasts by pitching crickets. The river level on June 16th at the MacClenny gage was 2.1 feet and falling.
Local Ponds – Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds bream fishing has been tops. Crickets and worms produced some nice fish on the new moon. Jigs, beetlespins, and copperfield Satilla Spins also produced good bream catches for those using artificials. Rooster livers were tops for catfish. Black buzzbaits produced some nice bass early in the morning, late in the evening, and after dark.
(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)
I received reports of anglers catching tripletail this week from inshore channel markers. Live shrimp fished near the markers around slack tide has been the best way to catch them. Michael Winge said that Waycross anglers caught plenty of whiting in the sounds. Shrimp and squid both produced good catches of the tasty fish. A group of anglers fishing this past weekend reported catching a potpourri of fish including whiting, flounder, redfish, and trout. The Jekyll Island Pier produced some nice flatfish this week for those dragging mudminnows. Spanish mackerel and kingfish were caught in the channels and nearshore reefs. Tarpon should be here in good numbers any day. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the blue crabs are THICK under the pier. Crabbers are catching buckets-full of them, and they are really big. Croakers, spadefish, trout, sharks, whiting, and flounder also hit the deck this week. Monitor the marine forecast.
Best Bet – If the current heat wave stays (as it is predicted to), saltwater fishing should be the best bet. The whiting bite is still consistent in the sounds and deep holes in rivers. Seatrout are on the beach and will be biting for the next couple months as waves of fish head to the surf to spawn. I like throwing Assassin Sea Shads under the bigger oval Cajun Thunder Floats at them. If you need a little more weight for casting distance, pinch on a rubber core sinker (remove the rubber core first) below the brass beads.