We know that lovely holiday weekend is gone, but that doesn’t mean the fishing has to stop, right?
Tyler Lipham, our Georgia Bass Slam blogger, completed his Slam. Have you made plans to pursue yours? More info on the Georgia Bass Slam HERE. Read Tyler’s blog posts #1, #2, #3 and #4. Congrats Tyler!
June 3-11 is NATIONAL FISHING AND BOATING WEEK. This week, we encourage YOU to take a friend along next time you hit the water. June 3 and June 10 are FREE FISHING DAYS and there are lots of KIDS FISHING EVENTS taking place this week. Get out there and help someone else develop a love for fishing – just like you have!
Now, on to our report: This week, we have a fishing report from Southeast Georgia to share with you. Now, get busy making those plans!
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Grab a rod and go fishing this Saturday during one of Georgia’s free fishing days. No fishing licenses are required to fish public waters this Saturday (including Public Fishing Areas). If you have been considering fishing Paradise PFA in Tifton, this is the perfect weekend to give it a try! There are lots of tournaments and Kids’ Fishing Events going on all over the state this weekend. Check out some of the options below. First quarter moon is June 1st. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.
The 2017 Wayne County Catfish Tournament will be held this weekend, June 3rd and 4th. Big bucks are on the line, as first place pays $7,500, depending upon the number of entries! Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported nice bream caught on crickets. Lots of catfish in the 10 to 12-pound range were also caught. A limit of those will likely put you in the money at the tournament this weekend but will probably not even be close to take big fish honors. Someone always catches a monster whiskerfish. Donna at Altamaha Park said that the mullet are still tearing it up on green worms. Shellcrackers up to 2 pounds were caught on pink worms. Bream ate Beetlespins and crickets. Goldfish were the best bait for flatheads, while pink worms produced some great channel catfish catches. The river level was 7.2 feet and falling (80 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 8.4 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on May 30th.
The Second Annual Camp Tatum Satilla River Showdown will be held this Saturday (June 3rd). First place for the 5 biggest redbreasts is $300 cash. There are many other cash and merchandise prizes available. Sign up at Bowman Outdoors in Waycross. For more information, contact Craig James (912-282-3838), Joey Wildes (912-614-5314) or Kevin Steedley (912-286-1439). With the low water continuing, I expect most folks to be floating and paddling in kayaks or simply wading the river. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that topwater flies were working well for anglers wading the river for redbreasts. Craig James texted me a photo of a nice bass he caught with one of his spiders pitched to cover on a deep bend. Yellow Beetlespins also produced well. Pink worms produced some good catfish creels when fished in the deep bends. Trick Worms and shiners were the most productive offerings for bass. The river level on May 30th at the Waycross gage was 3.9 feet and falling (80 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 2.6 feet and falling.
ST. MARYS RIVER
The bream and catfish bite has been on fire lately! Big bream were eating crickets like they were anticipating a cricket shortage. Shrimp and worms were the deal for catfish, and it did not really matter where you fished – they bit. The river level at the MacClenny gage on May 30th was 1.9 feet and falling.
The West Mims Fire was over 152,000 acres burned (total area) and holding at the time of writing this. Kingfisher Landing is still open for day trips. SC Foster State Park is now reopened, but the water and trails are still closed (you can only fish from the bank in the boat basin). The Folkston entrance is still closed. Because of the uncertainty of the fires, make sure to call ahead of time to make sure any entrances you plan to fish out of are open. On the east side, you can all Okefenokee Adventures at 912-496-7156. Staff at Stephen C. Foster State Park on the west side can be reached at 912-637-5274. Updates from the US Fish and Wildlife Service available HERE.
Kids’ Fishing Events will be held all over the state this coming weekend. Check the SCHEDULE for events near you. In the Blackshear/Waycross area, the Coca-Cola/Winges/GA DNR event will be a blast at Brentz McGhin’s Pond. Call the Waycross Fisheries Office at 912-285-6094 for more information. Chad Lee caught an 8.2-pound whopper bass on a black flat-blade buzzbait on Saturday night. The buzzbait bite was hot over the holiday weekend, as Scout Carter and Wyatt Crews also caught big bass from a Ware County pond using quad-blade buzzbaits (black and watermelon haze colors). Michael Winge reported that bass were caught on lizards and good catches of bream were eating crickets.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
The tripletail bite is happening. Jim Page, Justin Bythwood, and Ed Zmarzly fished off Jekyll Island on Friday and saw almost 30, got in position for casts on almost 20 of them, and landed 6 fish on live bait. Those are about the percentages you can expect on an average day. It’s a hoot stalking these strange looking (and acting) fish. Blacktip sharks were caught on cut bait by surf anglers this week. Spanish mackerel were around, and they were about a mile off the beaches and sounds. Smaller redfish, along with trout and flounder, were caught in the inshore rivers and creeks. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that trout, flounder, black drum, and lots of sharks were caught from the pier over the weekend. Blue crabs were caught in decent numbers. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.
The buzzbait bite for bass in ponds is top-shelf this week. In saltwater, shark fishing is heating up with the water temperatures. Put a piece of cut bait on the bottom from the surf or a pier and hold on. The slug of water coming down the Altamaha system will probably put off the mullet bite for this weekend, but it should pick right back up as the water starts to drop. Wading the Satilla River for redbreasts and bream is a fun time!
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